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Nigeria’s poor ranking on Global Hunger Index … The Sun

Akinwunmi-AdesinaTHE growing fear of a food cri­sis in Nigeria has been given credence by the country’s poor ranking on the recent Global Hunger Index (GHI) of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The index grouped Nigeria among the countries with a high level of hunger threat, with an index of 14.7 compared with Ghana’s 7.8. Higher index scores, the report said, indicate higher levels of hunger threat in the rated countries.

This report should be a wake-up call to the Federal Government on the need to rev up its food sufficiency pro­grammes, to which N720 billion has been committed in the last one year. The document, which focused on “hid­den hunger”, was compiled by the In­ternational Food Policy Research Insti­tute. It placed the level of hunger threat in Nigeria at “serious”, while that of Ghana was described as “moderate”.

Coming one year before the United Nations’ 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the report noted that regard­less of the progress made by countries listed as having high level of hunger such as Nigeria, “hidden hunger” is a critical aspect of the food insecu­rity problem that has often been over­looked. This is hunger related to mi­cronutrients deficiency. This aspect of hunger is reported to afflict about two billion people around the world

2015: OPEC sees little output change, says don’t panic … The Vanguard

OPEC’s oil production is unlikely to change much in 2015 and there is no need to panic at the crude price drop, OPEC’s secretary general said yesterday, adding to indications the exporter group is in no hurry to cut output.

opecAbdullah al-Badri also said output of higher-cost oil supplies such as shale would be curbed if oil remained at around $85 a barrel, while the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries enjoys lower costs and will see higher demand for its crude in the longer term.

Oil’s drop below the $100-mark, the level many OPEC members had endorsed, has raised the question of whether OPEC will cut supply when it meets in November. Badri said OPEC’s output was unlikely to change much next year, adding to signs a decision to cut in November is unlikely.

“I don’t think 2015 will be far away from 2014 in terms of production,” Badri told reporters in London at the annual Oil & Money conference. “There is nothing wrong with the market.” Brent crude LCOc1 has dropped more than a quarter from above $115 per barrel in June as abundant supplies of high-quality oil such as U.S. shale have overwhelmed demand in many markets, filling stocks worldwide.

Keshi to return as Eagles coach …. Daily Independent

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Indications have emerged that Stephen Keshi will return as the head coach of the Nigeria Super Eagles, supersport.com can report.

Supersport.com learned from an inside source at the NFF on Thursday morning that Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan has ordered that the former Nigerian international be reinstated as the head coach of the African champions.

The source added that the president had an emergency meeting with troubled NFF president Amaju Pinnick on Wednesday night and advised that Keshi should return as the national team gaffer.

“I can confirm to you that Stephen Keshi will return as the head coach of the Super Eagles because of the presidential intervention.

“The president (Jonathan) met with all football stakeholders last night and he told them that Keshi must return as the Super Eagles coach with immediate effect,” the source revealed to supersport.com

How to locate a lost phone by Chima Oleru

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A smartphone is more than just a device that makes calls. For many, it’s an indispensable part of our daily lives, containing calendars, financial information and treasured photos – things that aren’t easily replaced when a phone is lost or stolen. Fortunately, most smartphones are now equipped with GPS, allowing you to locate them and (if retrieval isn’t possible) remotely wipe your sensitive information. Although options are limited once your phone is gone, a little foresight goes a long way. Installing a phone-locator app now can save a lot of time and worry in the future.

 Find your iPhone

For iPhone users, the Find My iPhone app is a must-have. Although it debuted as part of Apple’s Mobile Me subscription service, the iOS 4.2 update it made it free for current-generation devices. With Find My iPhone, you can see the approximate location of your phone on a map, send a message to it (even if it’s turned off), change the password and lock the device to keep intruders from accessing your personal data, and reset the phone to factory settings (removing all of your personal information, photos and videos) if you don’t think you’ll be able to get it back. Setup is pretty easy – just tap “Settings,” then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars,” then “iCloud.” Tap “Account” and sign in with your Apple ID; after signing in, tap the switch next to “Find My iPhone” and toggle it on. If your phone ever goes missing, log in to iCloud.com and click “Find My iPhone” to get started.

The Power Sector Intervention Fund and Matters Arising by Ayodele Oni

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To guarantee effective gas supply to power generation companies and find a sustainable resolution to electric power sector challenges in Nigeria, the Nigerian government announced a N213 billon power intervention fund to cater to the legacy gas debts and address the revenue shortfall in the power sector. Whilst outlining the scope of the issues that the N213 billion facility is designed to address, the current minister of petroleum resources stated that the fund would be used to (a) settle the legacy gas debts which stands at N36 billion, (b) execute agreed metering programs and (c) procure transformers by distribution companies and execution of maintenance programs and procurement of equipment by generation companies.

Use of Funds

Settlement of Legacy Gas Debts

From transactional experience, the writer is aware that the legacy debt owed to, particularly, international oil corporations (“IOCs”) is a major problem in the subsector as many of these IOCs are unwilling to negotiate gas sale arrangements with or make gas available for off-take (by the successor power generation companies) as they claim that they are owed several sums (estimated at over N200 billion), particularly by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (“PHCN”) (now in liquidation).. 

Nigerian stocks ready to rebound after relative selloff by Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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In the recent past, the Nigerian stock market had a relatively big selloff that buoyed investors’ cry, but the market is coming back nicely.
The stock market’s year-to-date (YtD) loss in the negative territory of 5.42 percent as of last Friday, further creates some opportunities for investors to get back in the market with cheaper good stocks.
As third-quarter (Q3) earnings trickle down at the bourse, investors are already pricing into fundamentals of companies that released impressive results, a development that can validate the optimism for a rebound.
Most analysts would put everything on earnings season, because it continues to be a big deal in the market – we are right in the middle of it.
Though the market gyration continued this week like other global markets, the NSE All Share Index and market capitalisation had last week risen by 2.33 percent to close at 39,087.10 and N12.906 trillion, respectively.

What exactly is “clueless” about Goodluck Jonathan? (3) By Femi Aribisala

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By the time you are reading this, by the grace of God, the 218 kidnapped Chibok school-girls may have been released. If not, their release is imminent. A ceasefire with the Boko Haram has been negotiated. Never mind that there are still skirmishes here and there. “Clueless” Goodluck Jonathan has forced the insurgents to consider seriously putting down their arms.

He has done this in spite of the nagging of the opposition about his “cluelessness.” He has done this through the much-maligned Nigerian military; and without mortgaging the nation’s security to foreign troops. Now is the time to give the microphone to Lai Mohammed, who talks about Nigeria’s security as if he were a Chadian. Now is the time to hear from Muhammadu Buhari, who claimed in the past that Boko Haram is a malevolent Southern conspiracy against the North.

What would these implacable critics of Goodluck Jonathan say if the girls were released now? Would they be gracious and eat their words? Don’t bet on it. Don’t expect them to commend the purposeful tactical manner by which the Jonathan administration has forced the Boko Haram, at the very least, to the negotiating table. It is increasingly apparent that if Jonathan is “clueless,” his “cluelessness” is the magic that Nigeria needs at this very moment in time.

The Second Round Of Goodluck Vs Buhari: A Source Of Apprehension By Dr Ahmad Gumi

Nigeria is in such a deplorably inflamed state of insecurity and mutual mistrust between different segments of the society that doesn’t require another dirty second round of GOODLUCK vs BUHARI. In fact that will cause another severe ‘political anaphylaxis’ that can lead to shock and ultimate death of the nation we all aspire to live in… peace with. Sheikh Gumi

Before you start gasping for air in shock or disappointment – the usual reaction from fanatical followers of men and not reason- let me categorically say I am not a fan of any politician nor am I partisan. I know politicians have double personalities. The public image and the true one. My interest is that the nation should heal and my Islam should have it’s proper place in the fabric of its adherents not being framed, maligned or misrepresented. 

Neither Goodluck nor Buhari solicited for my views or counsel before showing their ambition to contest for the presidency this time. Each has his own political advisers and praise singers from across the nation. This puts me at the same length from the two, obliging me to do what I believe is right. I feel it is time we blow the referee’s whistle to end the fight before it starts.

Let us be frank with ourselves, GOODLUCK VS BUHARI is going to be a war of two extreme poles. This polarized situation is what should be avoided at all cost. Whether Goodluck likes to hear it or not, he is seen by most Muslim masses in Nigeria as the most pro-Christian president. The CAN and the wealthy jet trotting pastors the nation is shocked with have never had it better. This has tainted PDP as a CAN party. For that most Christians will still vote for Jonathan despite the deplorable state of the nation and gross misgovernance from share recklessness and incapacity. He is still better to them than Buhari.

On the other hand, Buhari’s popularity surged to messianic peak among the ordinary northern Muslims not because of his incorruptible ascetic-like qualities but the day he debunked the Atiku’s ‘back to status quo’ declaration during the heated Sharia and Anti-Sharia debacle of Zamfara’s Sharia reintroduction. This same reason, Christians are still not comfortable with him. 

My fear here is that what Buhari did was the right thing and should never regret it even if it cost him his presidency. That is his most pleasurable achievement to Allah for standing against for his own faith being tarnished and politicized. The moment he stands for the presidency he has two options, lose the Christian votes or dilute his Islamic credentials by going extra miles to prove he is not an islamist which they all know he is not.

FIFA hands Nigeria three-day grace by George Aluo and Mariam Agboola

Soccer_FIFA_Corrupt_500730a-702x336World soccer governing body FIFA has handed Nigeria a three-day grace to put her football house in order or face a lengthy ban.

FIFA in a letter addressed to NFF president, Pinnick Amaju warned that the country will face a lengthy ban from international football if by Friday (October31) those who went to court to get Amaju’s election annulled fail to withdraw the suit.

The letter made available to Daily Sunsports read in part: “We wish to inform you that if by Friday, October 31, 2014 midday Nigerian time we ve not received proof that the case in court has been definitely withdrawn and the elcted board allowed to function without hindrance, we will refer Nigeria’s case to the emergency committee for the implementation of Nigeria’s suspension.”

Meanwhile, the NFF would be in court today to begin legal battle aimed at getting a stay of execution order over the Jos High court ruling. The NFF had last week appealed the ruling of the Jos High Court arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

PDP Asks Speaker Tambuwal, Latest Defector, To Resign …. Sahara Reporters

speakerIn a polite statement signed by National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh, the PDP said it was not unmindful of the fact that Tambuwal became Speaker on its platform as the political party with the majority of seats, a fact it described as “incontrovertible” and “has not changed.”

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who formally defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) today, to resign his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“After a thorough consideration of the matter, the NWC came to a conclusion that the Hon. Speaker, as a responsible elected officer, knows full well what is needful and honourable of him since his new party is in the minority [in the House]” the party said at the end of the NWC meeting.

In a polite statement signed by National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh, the PDP said it was not unmindful of the fact that Tambuwal became Speaker on its platform as the political party with the majority of seats, a fact it described as “incontrovertible” and “has not changed.”

Tambuwal abandoned the PDP today, thereby becoming the latest high-profile figure of the party to do so.  In 2011, he replaced the former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, also of the PDP, who was toppled in a corruption scandal.  Bankole had himself in 2007 replaced by former hairdresser Patricia Etteh, also of the PDP, who had also been brought down by allegations of corruption and unauthorized spending.

Autonomy for local councils …. The Sun

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One knotty problem in the operation of the 1999 Constitution is the issue of local government administration and control. Since the restoration of democracy in the country 15 years ago, the Federal Government has repeatedly tussled with state governments on the matter, in particular, as it concerns the control of local councils’ finances. Attempts to resolve the dispute went up to the Supreme Court, which delivered judgements in two cases on the matter. It is in this regard that the recent decision of the National Assembly to give financial and administrative autonomy to local government authorities in the country is a welcome development.

Perhaps, the decision will help lay to rest the interminable disputes between the federal and state governments, guarantee the independence of the councils and empower them to play their role as agents of development at the grassroots.

Currently, there are 774 constitutionally-recognised local councils in the country. The approval of the National Assembly for their autonomy has paved way for the amendment of Section 124 of the 1999 Constitution. The amendment will make the councils become a full third tier of government, without undue interference from state governments.

‘$78 oil benchmark not realistic for 2015’ by Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu

SARAKI

Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, yesterday  described the proposed oil benchmark for the 2015 budget as unrealistic.

Saraki in a statement in Abuja, yesterday,  said the Executive cannot afford to pretend that all is well, following the 25 per cent drop in oil prices at the international market.

The Cuban Example in Ebola Crisis by Kayode Komolafe

oliver

Dr. Oliver Johnson is the London doctor leading the war against Ebola in Sierra-Leone as the programme director of King’s Sierra-Leone Partnership. Only yesterday he was still pleading for more British NHS doctors and other medical staff to support the efforts on ground in Sierra-Leone. The call is coming at a time that public health experts are already predicting that unless efforts are increased in the fighting the disease about 1.4 million people may be infected by early next year.

So the humanitarian dimension of the crisis should be kept in focus even as emphasis is laid on raising the urgently needed funds. Towards the Ebola fight, the United Kingdom has so far contributed  £ 11.7 million or $ 18.8 million out of a pledge of £250 million. The highest donor, the United States of America, has so far given $200 million.  The operations in Liberia are  mostly financed by America while Britain’s money goes into providing infrastructure in Sierra-Leone. Coming from China is the relatively paltry sum of  $8.3 million to the United Nation’s main Ebola relief fund, a situation that prompted a United Nations official to ask recently: “Where are the Chinese billionaires and their potential impact?”  Remember China is actively competing with the West in investments and finding markets in Africa.

Abandoning Lagos …. The Nation

Babatunde-Fashola2

Why is the Federal Govt now suddenly interested in taking over the Badagry Expressway?

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) had during his 2,700 days celebration in office at the Lagos Television, Ikeja, given a hint of a purported statement credited to Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works, that the Federal Government was planning to take over the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The expressway, which also serves as gateway into the country, has been abandoned by the Federal Government for years. Why it has suddenly become attracted for take-over at a time that its transformation is being bankrolled by the Lagos State government remains curious.

Governor Fashola however reportedly admonished: “On the statement credited to Minister Onolememen… I think it will be wise to hear what they have to say on the matter and I think it will be an unfortunate journey to even contemplate that idea. They will have us to contend with should that be the case, but I don’t think that anybody who is sensible will want to stand in the way of development. What will the objective be?”

The Federal Government has undoubtedly abandoned Lagos for inexplicable reasons. The pointers: The centre government has neglected its duties to the state and also refuses to refund the N51 billion that the Lagos State government claimed it had so far spent on repairs of dilapidated abandoned federal roads in its jurisdiction, so as to improve the state’s transportation challenges. Moreover, the Federal Government has been ignoring the state’s application for approval to share the red line federal corridor without which the take-off of the state’s light rail project becomes impossible.

N6.4trn telecom investment in danger as NASS fails to pass CNI bill by Ben Uzor

nat

Sustained investments required to deepen telecommunications service penetration in the country is being threatened by delays in the passage of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Bill by the National Assembly, amid rising cases of theft and vandalism of equipment owned by mobile operators, market observers say.

The bill, when passed into law, is expected to criminalise any act of vandalism against Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructures, since they would then be classified as CNI.

The telecoms sector has so far attracted over N6.4 trillion ($40 billion) in invest-ments, 13 years after its liberalisation, according to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Market analysts are however suggesting that investors are already raising questions about the country, in view of its somewhat harsh business climate.

According to them, government’s delay in passing the bill into law is counter-productive, as telecommunications has since become fundamental and a most reliable public infrastructure in the country. Osondu Nwokoro, director of regulatory affairs and special projects, Airtel Nigeria, has however warned that mobile operators might be compelled to slow down on investments in the country if there were constant threats to infrastructure, amidst the raft of multiple taxes and regulation, power constraints and the generally unfriendly business environment.