Super Eagles didn’t beat us clean — E/Guinea coach

Equatorial Guinea head coach Rodolfo Bodipo said the 3-1 defeat to Nigeria in a Group C 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) clash in Agadir on Tuesday night was not a clean victory.
CHAN Eagles
The Equatorial Guineans opened scoring in the encounter, but the Super Eagles showed up strong in the second half to beat the Nzalang Nacional and booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Bodipo was particularly enraged by two refereeing decisions in his side’s loss to Nigeria. “Things like these happen to small countries like us,” said Bodipo in the aftermath.
“We didn’t win though, but we have reservations with the officiating for the first goal we conceded. We were one man down and the referee delayed the player getting back on the pitch. The third goal was not a clean penalty.
“As I said earlier, we came here with this young team to gain experience. We played a strong team in Nigeria.”
 
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We are true coalition of Nigerians – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it represents the true coalition of Nigerians from across the country.
It stated this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday in Abuja.
It said that its experience in governance and successful rebound from challenges had provided it an edge over every other existing or intended political platforms in the country.
It also faulted claims by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, that PDP procure judgment from the Supreme Court, describing it as “unsubstantiated claims.’’
“Obasanjo’s claim on procurement of judgment amounts to an ill-intended attempt to impugn the integrity of the Supreme Court, particularly when such a claim is false and not predicated on any empirical proof.’’
The party said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, which ended the protracted internal feud within its fold reinforced Nigerians confidence in it.
“Rather than detract, the judgment reinforced the confidence of Nigerians in the PDP as the platform that truly embodies the resilience of a genuine democratic process in the face of daunting challenges.
“Even the worst critics of PDP concede that the judgment of the Supreme Court, was unprejudiced, uninfluenced and determined completely on merit, for which it was applauded in Nigeria and across the world.’’
It added that its December, 2017 elective National Convention was conducted in a transparent, free and fair manner, and where nobody was “kingmaker”.
“This denotes the democratic credential of the repositioned PDP to deliver credible primaries that would yield a presidential candidate Nigerians desire.’’
The party said that there was an extensive dissimilarity between it and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Unlike the APC, where very few individuals from within a circle control the instrument of power and governance, the PDP remains that egalitarian platform.
“PDP remains that egalitarian platform where all Nigerians are free to express themselves, politically engage and freely aspire for any office without regard to divisive considerations.’’(NAN)
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Police chief warns personnel against “oppressing” members of the public

Mr Kayode Aderanti, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG). in charge of zone 3, has warned Policemen against harassing and oppressing members of the public.
Aderanti, whose zone comprises Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba States, gave the advice on Wednesday in Gombe, in an address to officers and men of the Gombe State Command of the Force.
He reminded the policemen that they were public servants paid with tax payers’ money, and declared that it was incumbent on them to protect such tax payers instead of oppressing them.
Aderanti, who was on a working visit to the north-eastern state, also warned the policemen against corrupt practises. and stressed the need for patriotic, diligent and selfless service to the nation.
Earlier in his welcome address, the police commissioner in  Gombe, Mr Olukolu Adesino, had appealed to the Inspector-General of the Force to facilitate the commencement of academic activities at the newly established Police Secondary School, Nafada.
“The state government has donated a school to the police for that purpose, but the place needs to be renovated.
“I am appealing to you, to use your office, to facilitate the commencement of academic activities in the school.” he said.
He said that the command was in dire need of additional officers because those transferred had not been replaced. (NAN)
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[Full Text]: FG replies Obasanjo, list achievements of Buhari

The Federal Government has replied to a letter by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo’s criticising the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, gave the response in a seven-page statement released on Wednesday.
The former President had in a statement asked President Buhari not to seek for a second term in office.
READ FULL STATEMENT:
We have read the press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the State of the Nation.
For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling
insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We
thank him for this.
Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.
Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ”good Nigerians” who could help.
This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing:
* Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully.
 
* According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has stopped the haemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA.
* The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira
 * At about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first
quarter.
* In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.
* Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.
* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods exports are up 22% year-on-year.
* Government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service are reporting highest-ever revenue collection, while JAMB, under the new management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8 billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!
These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now. This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society.
When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644,000 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.
Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains, especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest
producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.
For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s
largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and
overcome our economic anxiety.
Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children
in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.
Finally, our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented. This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and development.
Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:
* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted
* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready 2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021; Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to Calabar.
* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and all geo-political zones are benefitting equally
This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.
On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, this Administration is determined to end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the fact that the clashes predate us. we urge Nigerians to have faith in the Administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures in this regard.
On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return. However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations. He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!
Finally, we have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good  faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.
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Argentine president to cheer Messi against Nigeria

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Tuesday he hoped to be in Russia to watch matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off this summer in 11 cities across the country. “I hope to come to the world football championship together with my daughter Antonia,” Macri told journalists after his meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
BRAZIL, Pôrto Alegre : Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi (R) and Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama smile during a Group F football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO
Argentina are grouped alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria and President Mauricio Macri believes his country’s national team will brush aside all opposition and top the group.
Indeed, he foresees Lionel Messi and his teammates in the final of the tournament in Russia.
He told journalists, “I also hope to come to the third final match as I hope that we (Argentina) will be playing in the final game.”
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums  across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital, Moscow.
 
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Tech: Believe it or not, Facebook wants you to tell it who or what...

Facebook users have reacted with disbelief to the intrusive question.
Facebook has been asking users to tell it what they “usually sleep with.”
It’s not clear if the bizarrely intrusive question is discussing sexual preferences or more family-friendly bedtime habits.
It’s part of a new feature that prompts users to share stories about their lives and answer hypothetical questions.
Facebook has been asking some of its users an unusual — and intrusive — question: Who or what are you sleeping with?
The social network is increasingly prompting users to answer questions and finish sentences describing their lives via its new “Did You Know?” feature. Most of these are fairly innocuous queries or fun hypotheticals — “When I don’t like a gift, I…” for example, or “If I could choose to be teleported anywhere or read people’s minds, I’d rather…”
But it’s also asking some of its members to complete a rather more intimate sentence that has left many users baffled: “I usually sleep with…”
There are two very different ways two interpret the prompt. It could be asking users about their sexual partners and sexual preferences, or — far more likely — what their more PG-friendly sleeping habits are. Do they tuck in at night with a teddy bear, for example, or a hot water bottle, or a comforter?
But given the vague wording, it’s not clear.
British parliamentary researcher Reshima Sharma is one of the people who saw the pop-up. (Full disclosure, she’s a friend of the author’s.) Her first impression was that Facebook was asking her about her sexual partners, she said.
“I guess you can read it two ways maybe,” she told Business Insider in a message. “But it’s difficult to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt when its ‘did you know’ feature also asks you to publish weirdly personal questions like ‘the last time I went through a tough time was…’ and ‘if I could change one thing about my significant other it would be…’”
She wasn’t the only one to receive the message and respond with revulsion.
A Facebook spokesperson did not indulge Business Insider’s request to clear up the confusion.
Facebook launched the “Did You Know” feature relatively recently, in December 2017, as a way to get people to volunteer more info about themselves and share off-beat facts and details about their lives.
The social network is reportedly battling a decline in people sharing statuses and updates about their lives, and has come under intense scrutiny over its impact on society in recent months. It’s now tweaking its algorithm to show users more content from their friends, in what seems to be an attempt to encourage them to share more — and the “Did You Know” prompts are a novel way to try and encourage this.
Some of these efforts, however, could do with being a little less invasive.

NOGIG 2018: NNPC crash out

…As Chevron, Shell qualify for semi final
IT was agony for the defending champions of the football event of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games, NNPC as they crashed out of the competition after losing 2-0 yesterday to strong contenders, Chevron in their final group match played at the Legacy pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos.
Prior to the match, the two teams had equal number of points(6) from 2 wins, with NNPC having a superior goal aggregate of +8, while Chevron had a +4 aggregate. It was expected that Team NNPC would overrun their opponents, top the group and go ahead to the semi finals.
But that was not to be as the underdogs, handled by former Nigeria international, Yisa Sofoluwe defied the form books and created one of the biggest upsets of the competition so far, sending the champions home via a 2-0 victory.
In Group B, Shell had to depend on the unpredictability of Team SEPLAT to qualify for the semi finals. After going down 4-0 at half time against the much-fancied Exxon Mobil in their final group match, SEPLAT conjured rare resilience and tightened their defence in the second half conceding only one goal. They ended the encounter 0-5. The scoreline did not favour their opponents thus denying them an automatic ticket to the semi finals. Shell with a superior goal aggregate of +8 jubilated and openly hugged their less endowed SEPLAT counterparts after the encounter. Hope is not totally lost for Exxon Mobil as they still expect to emerge as best losers and stand a good chance of moving on to the last four.
 
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‘It is uncharitable to blame Buhari for our economic woes’

Paul Odili is a former media aide to former Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. In this interview with Southsouth Regional Editor SHOLA O’NEIL, he speaks on the prospects of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s elections. 
Why did you leave the PDP for the APC?
The PDP lost its way; we could not fit into what the party became, despite doing our best to ensure victory at all levels. Suggestions were received with hostility; we saw a lot of suspicion, and frankly it became completely an unwelcoming place. We were marginalised to a point that if we wanted to continue to contribute to the political development of our people, we needed to find an alternative platform. The APC as a party was open and welcoming and willing to listen to suggestions on how to do things better. We also saw that the APC has a strong desire to do well for our people and the country. The economy is a sore point for Nigerians; they think the APC government’s policies led to the recession I am happy that the economic crisis is gradually receding and we are gradually seeing growth. It is uncharitable to blame President Buhari for the recession. How is he at fault? He came when oil prices were collapsing and oil production was falling at the same time. From $100 to $34 per barrel, 2.3million barrels of oil per day (bpd), to roughly 800,000bpd of production. There was no savings of any sort. No buffer. Foreign reserves had fallen to I think about $24billion, barely enough to ensure we continue to service imports. It is, I say again, uncharitable to blame President Buhari. Have we forgotten that shortly after assuming office many states could not pay salaries and he had to give bailout to states to enable them pay salaries. The Federal Government even before he assumed office was borrowing to pay salaries of federal civil servants. I find it difficult to fault the man. And what was the money used for? Nobody can say definitively. Was it used for infrastructure development? No, if it was, the situation might have being different. I really don’t know how the President can be blamed. Some say he should have acted quicker. In what sense, I am not certain. Here is a country that was importing virtually everything. From rice, palm oil, corn, toothpick and every other consumable and the oil prices that funds those imports were collapsing. What do you expect will happen? Let’s stop deceiving ourselves and listening to useless propaganda. Nigeria’s economy was not a productive one structured to cater for the needs of the people. This man came at a time we were in a hole and even digging ourselves deeper into the hole and he stopped us from further digging and to start filling the hole we were digging. For me, that is even an achievement. President Buhari is a serious minded leader and that is why I support him.
What’s your assessment of the performance of the past administrations?
The money was flowing into the coffers and flowing out at the same time. No savings and no strategic national programme and projects to wean us out of crude oil dependence. The result was the oil shock that spiral into economic contraction that caused recession. If refineries were working, perhaps we would not need to spend so much in importing fuel. If electricity supply was stable, industries would be operating at higher efficient level. If the railways system was in place and operating, movement of goods and service would be cheaper and affordable, and we can go on and on. Without these basic national infrastructures the economy was primed to collapse. People say before money was flowing, I agree it was. But was it flowing from any serious productive activity? We know the answer. It was not. We were importing, importing and importing everything under the sun. So, no, there was no plan to ease us off crude oil dependence.
How would you compare Uduaghan and Okowa’s administrations?
You cannot compare the two. Obviously, the two administrations have different agendas. The previous administration said its focus was to build an economy less reliant on oil and to invest in sectors that will ensure this happens. The current administration has a different agenda and from all appearances the programmes of the two administrations has not quite complemented each other and the result is that the state is not moving in a definable path. Mark you, each administration is free to prioritise its objectives and so Okowa’s administration can be explained that way. However, compared to the approach by President Buhari who having taken over is going ahead with many projects and programmes he inherited from the previous administration, fine-tuning them as he deems fit, I am not so sure that the current administration in Delta State is doing the same.
 
 
 
 
 
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I Go Dye to Buhari: leave when ovation is loud

In his continued campaign against recycling of political leaders, stand-up comedian,
Francis Agoda, aka I Go Dye, who last year, dished former vice President, Atiku Abubakar, following his return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has a word for president Muhammadu Buhari over his likely second term bid.
The comedian, a UN youth ambassador, is advocating for a process that will afford the youth the opportunity in political leadership, has advised President Buhari not to seek re-election as being insinuated in some quarters.
The entertainer said he is making “a passionate appeal to his Excellency, President Mohamadu Buhari, not contest the 2019 Presidential elections  and a clarion call to all tradition leaders, Ex-presidents, diplomatic communities  elder statesmen, professional bodies, entertainers and Nigerian youths to lay their voices to end political recycling, because a future bequeathed to Nigerian youths today, will be the best legacy.”
His appeal is coming a day after former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s much publicized letter to Buhari on a similar issue.
I Go Dye who took the President through some of the best moments of his (Buhari) youth, noted that “the youths of today are grieving every day, because so much has been taken away from them.”
“We all have our different birth dates,   yours was in 1942. You joined the Nigerian Army at the age of 19 in 1961.Just three years in military service, Nigerian government sent you and a few others to commonwealth military academy training at Aldershot in England, between 1962- 1963, a testimony of how government cared and protected the youths at that time. At 22 years you were already the platoon commander of the second infantry Battalion. Thereafter, at the age of 25 years,  you were the among the few soldiers that were involved in the counter- coup of 1966, which included your colleagues in service, Abacha 23 years, IBB 25 years and the oldest was Danjuma 28 years and a host of others. In 1975, at 33 years, you were already the Governor of North Eastern States .While in 1976 at 34 years, you were appointed as the minister of petroleum. Meanwhile, two years later, in 1979, I was born into this world; the story has been the same old story, when e go better? In 1983, at the age of 41 years as a sign of displeasure with the Shehu Shagari led civil government, you conquered your fears and risked your life to overthrow the democratic structure at that time, at this young age 41 you became the Head of State. Today you are 75years old, and president of Nigeria, nothing can be found to still be missing, apart from the fact that the youths have not been protected even in your administration.”
He highlighted some of the problems facing the ordinary man to include, electricity, food, shelter, and unemployment.
“Let me recall, previously I wrote you a letter titled: logic and reasons without guns, I spoke on some issues affecting us as a people. If we don’t change our political process, sooner than later, the youths will demand for it, I just pray it’s not too late.”
I go Dye advised the president to consider quitting office and lead the process of advancing and transferring political leadership to the youths in 2019, as there is nothing left for him to conquer.
“I am not against your political ambition, neither  am I opposing your interest but I am of the view that it’s better to leave the stage when the ovation is loud.
Honestly speaking, there is nothing new for you to conquer, the only sacrifice that will bring more honour to your personality, is for you to lead the process of advancing and transferring political leadership to the youths.
“The best gift that you can obviously give to my generation is to activate and set the process of ending the long and over -due political recycling’s that has denied the youths their rightful place in our political history as Nation,” he said.
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Mahmood Yakubu: INEC boss defends N9B as cost for hazard, allowances in 2018

Yakubu explained that the total budgetary figure of the commission for the 2019 general election was still being compiled. The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has defended the cost of N9billion as estimates for hazard and other allowances of staff members on the field in the 2018 budget.Daily Trust reports that Yakubu made this known on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 while defending the 2018 budget estimates of the electoral body before the Senate Committee on INEC.Yakubu, it was further reported, explained that the total budgetary figure of the commission for the 2019 general election was still being compiled. “It is provisions of the amendment to 2010 Electoral Act after passage by the National Assembly that will show the commission how elections at primary level by the political parties would be conducted.ALSO READ: We need funds for Diaspora voting – INEC“And monetary cost that would entail on the part of INEC, let alone the general elections”, he said.According to the INEC boss, the exact amount of money the 2019 general election will cost the commission across the 119,999 polling units in the country can only be arrived at, after the passage of Electoral Act.

Tech: It’s official: Samsung will announce the Galaxy S9 on February 25th

Samsung fans: It’s almost time.
Samsung is set to reveal the Galaxy S9 smartphone at an event on February 25th.
Our only hint is that Samsung will focus on the new phone’s camera features.
Earlier leaks seem to indicate that the S9 might be very similar to the S8, in terms of both design and specifications, apart from some new features for the camera.
Samsung is officially announcing the long-awaited Galaxy S9 smartphone on February 25th, at a special event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Here’s the invitation received by Business Insider:
It’s pretty minimalistic, but it contains one big hint as to what this event holds. For starters, there’s the big 9, which seems to give the game away.
Otherwise, the only thing we have to go on is the tagline: “The camera. Reimagined.” This tracks with a leak earlier this month, holding that the the biggest difference between the previous S8 and the new S9 will be found in the camera.
Thanks to what appears to be a leaked retail box for the Galaxy S9, we can guess that the internals of the device will be similar to its forebear, but carry new camera features, including “super slow-mo” and “super speed” features for the rear camera, and the AKG-tuned stereo speakers. The relatively weak front-facing speakers were among people’s biggest complaints with last year’s Galaxy S8.
Of course, that assumes that the leak is accurate. We’ll know for sure when the Galaxy S9 is officially introduced in Spain on February 25th, so stay tuned.

Tech: San Francisco just appointed a new mayor to a heckling crowd, and everyone...

San Francisco is divided over tech’s influence in the city, and the battler to fill the mayor’s office is now in full swing.
Supervisor Mark Farrell has been voted in as San Francisco’s interim mayor.
He replaces acting mayor London Breed, who took over the role following Ed Lee’s sudden death.
San Francisco has a new interim mayor — and no one is sure whether to be mad, shocked or just confused.
On Tuesday night, the city’s board of supervisors voted to appoint a former venture capital investor from one of its wealthiest neighborhoods as interim mayor.
The vote to crown Mark Farrell interim mayor provoked an immediate outcry, the latest flare-up of tensions in city politics over the influence of the tech industry.
Farrell replaces London Breed, a San Francisco native who grew up in public housing and was the city’s first woman of color to have the mayor’s job (albeit briefly, as Breed was appointed acting mayor in December after Mayor Ed Lee died in office).
Yet, Farrell’s backers have championed him as a blow to tech industry special interests.
Welcome to San Francisco.
The new mayor isn’t really the new mayor
In December 2017, Ed Lee, San Francisco mayor of seven years, died of a heart attack. London Breed, District 5 supervisor, was appointed as acting mayor, and a new special mayoral election will be held in June 2018 to establish Lee’s proper replacement.
Under Lee’s watch, San Francisco became increasingly cozy with the tech industry, giving tax breaks for companies like Twitter to maintain its headquarters in the city.
On Tuesday night, SFGate reports, Breed lost a vote to be named interim mayor 5-4, and supervisor Farrell was since elected to the position with a 6-3 vote from the board of supervisors.
As Mission Local’s Joe Eskenazi wrote, “In short, the left-leaning bloc of the city’s legislative body, at this particular moment in American history, chose to unseat a black woman who worked her way from public housing to City Hall and replace her with a well-off white venture capitalist who graduated from St. Ignatius High and lives in the Marina.”
But there’s more to it than that. London Breed is already district 5 supervisor and president of the board of supervisors, and she’s also running in the election to replace Ed Lee as elected mayor — so her acting as interim mayor would make for a significant concentration of power. Supervisor Aaron Peskin stressed the need for the separation of powers prior to Tuesday’s vote, according to SGGate.
London Breed is also viewed by some as the candidate of choice of the tech industry, which has transformed San Francisco and the surrounding area, with widespread gentrification and sky-high rents and costs pushing some longtime residents out. In December 2017, The San Francisco Examiner published an article alleging that Silicon Valley billionaire Roy Conway supports Breed’s candidacy for mayor and was canvassing for her at Ed Lee’s funeral. Conway did not return a request for comment.
Despite the optics, Farrell’s supporters insist that it’s he who is in fact the bulwark against the tech industry. According to the Chronicle report, supervisor Hillary Ronen decried the “tech moguls and real estate billionaires” who were backing Breed during Tuesday’s vote. Other San Franciscan’s also appeared to subscribe to that view.
So who is the real anti tech mayor?
As Business Insider reported in December, Breed centered her 2016 supervisor re-election campaign on building and protecting affordable housing, a crucial issue in a city where the median cost of rent has soared to $4,450 a month.
That’s not to say that Breed is inherently opposed to tech or unwilling to collaborate with the industry. Appearing at the 2015 “Crunchies” awards organized by tech blog TechCrunch, Breed said she had “great respect for the tech sector, for the dreamers and entrepreneurs who want to create something new, something innovative.”
Breed did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
After Tuesday’s vote to replace her, she tweeted a conciliatory message. “I have a vision for an inclusive & fair San Francisco, and will keep working every day on the important issues we face: homelessness, housing, & public safety,” Breed wrote.
Her supporters were less cool-headed however. After the vote, the board was heckled by Breed’s supporters who shouted “Shame on you!” and “racist board!” according to CBS SF Bay Area.
As for Farrell, the office of the mayor had two press releases on its site attributed to Farrell on Wednesday.

Buhari to Obasanjo: you’re wrong on my scorecard

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration defended yesterday its integrity — and achievements.
It scored itself better than its predecessors.
It was all in reaction to  Tuesday’s ”public statement” by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which criticised the administration for not doing well and advised President Buhari to exit “in a dignified manner” and not seek reelection. The government said Obasanjo might have been too busy to appreciate how well the administration had performed.
Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation Lai Mohammed told State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that Obasanjo is a patriot with a right to his opinion.
He described the ex-president’s comment on the 2019 election as a distraction. “Mr. President spends every working hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his administration by successive past administrations. He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015,” Mohammed said.
The minister acknowledged that the administration was not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but said: “We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits.
“We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.’’
On the herders/farmers’ clashes, he said the administration was determined to end the crisis once and for all, “not minding the fact that the clashes predate us’’.
He urged Nigerians to have faith in the administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures.
The government said it had not cause “to believe that Obasanjo had any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement”.
Mohammed, who did not entertain reporters’ questions after reading the statement, listed the achievements of the government.
”We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.
“Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
”We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.
“Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ‘good Nigerians’ who could help.
“This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing:
“* Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully.
“* According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has stopped the hemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA.
“*  The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira
“*   At about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
“* In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.
“* Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.
“* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods exports are up 22% year-on-year.
“* Government agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service, are reporting highest-ever revenue collection while JAMB, under the new management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8 billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!”
 
He went on: “These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now. This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society.
“When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644,000 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.
”Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains, especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.
”For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety.
“Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.
”Our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented. This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and development.
”Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:
“* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted.
“* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready 2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021; Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to Calabar.
“* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and all geo-political zones are benefitting equally.
“On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return.
However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time.
The post Buhari to Obasanjo: you’re wrong on my scorecard appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

EFCC detains ex-SGF Lawal after eight-hour grilling

After an eight-hour grilling, former  Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal was detained yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Lawal’s interrogation  by a team of detectives is expected to continue today.
He is being investigated over a N200million contract awarded to a company, Global Vision Limited, which is linked to him.
The contract was awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) for clearing of “invasive plant species” (weeds) in Yobe State
A presidential panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo found Lawal guilty of infractions in the award of the contract.
The panel recommended  further probe of some of the activities of PINE.
The ex-SGF was removed from office  in connection with the matter..
Lawal arrived at the EFCC headquarters at about 11am following an invitation. He wore a Safari suit with a pair of black sandals.
After the interrogation, the EFCC opted to detain him so as to continue with the interrogation today.
A source, who spoke in confidence said: “Following the receipt of the report of the committee headed by the Vice President, it was important to interact with the ex-SGF.
“Upon arrival, he met with a panel of investigators who had done preliminary work on the report. Lawal was asked to make a statement and explain his role in the activities of PINE.
“In view of the volume of issues he needs to clarify, it was more expedient to detain him till he is able to complete the first phase of the ongoing interrogation.”
The source added: “We are looking into the accounts of the company implicated in the contract and Lawal’s.
“Some other officers of PINE are already under probe and some assets have been seized from them.
The Acting Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Sammin Ammadin confirmed the detention of the ex-SGF at about 7.45pm yesterday.
“He is with us to respond to a few issues,” he said.
The post EFCC detains ex-SGF Lawal after eight-hour grilling appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

CMD and its many troubles

Dr. Kabir Kabo Usman ended his two-term tenure of eight years as the Director-General  of the Centre for Management Development (CMD) on Januray 10, leaving behind a huge debt profile and controversial retirement age, among other unresolved issues, behind for his successor to tackle. ADEBISI ONANUGA and JIDE BABALOLA report the controversies that characterised the CMD under Usman’s watch.
EIGHT years ago, when Dr. Kabir Kabo Usman, 62, resumed at the Centre for Management Development (CMD) in Lagos, not a few members of staff of the agency saw him as the right man for the job.
His appointment, which many said was influenced by the then National Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, to whom he was personal assistant, was received with jubilation on January 10, 2010. The hope of those who jubilated was that the relationship between the two Usmans would rob off positively on the centre, which is under the National Planning Ministry’s supervision.
The workers had high hopes Usman’s reign would bring a change with a radical approach to doing things after the 12-year reign of Dr. Joseph Maiyaki.
But all expectations remained in the realm of conjecture this month when Dr. Usman took a bow from the Centre after the expiration of his tenure of two-terms of four years each. His promises to transform the management development institution to a world class centre comparable only to the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom, were not achieved.
The story is different today. Eight years after, the hope of the workers for a new dawn has turned to one of disillusionment.
Usman became the centre’s director-general under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. His appointment was approved by the former Vice President, who doubled as the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Namadi Sambo, effective from January 8, 2010 and for a period of four years in the first instance.
When the appointment was made, he was directed to “be guided by the Act establishing the centre, extant rules, guidelines and circulars issued from time to time” by the supervising ministry.
After the first four years, the appointment was renewed for another four years. But the curtained dropped on the hopes and aspirations on January 10, when Usman left office.
The jubilation that greeted the former director-general’s appointment, has given way to apathy, anguish and regret, no thanks to what some workers alleged as Usman’s arrogance, high-handedness and disregard for rules and regulation.
As it has turned out, Usman’s plan to turn the CMD into a world-class management development centre has become a mirage, as the training and  research institution, set up by four decades ago to strengthen the weak and inadequate indigenous management capacity of ministries, departments  and agencies (MDAs) and private sector organisations, has become a shadow of itself.
Last June, when the incumbent Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, visited the Centre, he could not hide his rage over the collapse of basic infrastructure.
The Centre’s two generating sets – a 500kva and a 350kva – had broken down.  The minister, who visited the library, could not believe that the newest collection to the library since the departure of Maiyaki was a 2006 publication of the Centre. Nearly all the buildings in the centre, including the director-general’s office were in the state of disrepair.
The story was not different when members of the Rabiu Kwankaso-led Senate Committee on National Planning visited the Centre. The former Kano State governor could not hide his feelings on seeing the state of facilities, including the parking bay.
He wondered whether the director-general needed budget approval from Abuja to replace burnt bulbs and fix the dilapidated car park.
Usman’s predecessors, Prof A.P. Edet and Dr. Maiyaki, told The Nation that they bequeathed the CMD facilities in good shape at the centre’s Shangisha sprawling complex, Shangisha, Lagos.
Mayaki, who handed over to Usman said: “All I know was that I handed over peacefully and everything was intact as at the time I left. If it is about the infrastructures that I left, all the structures I left were habitable. They were in working conditions. They were still new.
“I constructed most of the structures there for the short time that I was there. Even the old ones that I took over, I renovated them
Today, the ‘management village’ has become a shadow of itself as a one-time leading government ‘think-thank’ and the apex human resource centre of high repute.
Most of the lecture rooms and theatre are in a sorry state. The seats are dusty because they have not been used over a long period of time.
Investigations also revealed that the lecture halls and corridors leading to them are not illuminated because the burnt bulbs and fluorescent tubes have not been replaced.
In some cases, there were no seats in some of the lecture halls. Most of the facilities were in bad shape owing to lack of maintenance. The roof of the car park for the director-general and other senior directors had been blown fallen off.
There are visible signs of leaking roofs on many structures in the administrative section of the centre, where the director-general’s office is situated.
One of the workers who pleaded for anonymity said that “unlike before, the centre is no more attractive for training programmes owing to the rot of facilities.”
The Nation learnt that whenever the centre is able to attract training workshops, most times with minimal participants, the centre uses small generating sets to power the hall where the event will hold.
The source said that instead of issuing a bank cheque in favour of the CMD for payment, the organisers are always encouraged to pay cash. The cost of diesel that will be used to power the small generator is deducted from such payment while the balance is paid into the CMD’s account.
 
Landed properties of CMD
The CMD is established on a vast expanse of land in Shangisha, on the outskirt of Lagos, of the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway. The structures within the complex occupy less than a quarter of the available space.
There were allegations that private developers would have encroached into the centre but for the intervention of the supervising ministry that ordered stoppage of further sales some years back.
The Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Vice President had caused a memo from the office of the HoCSF reference HCSF/EPO/EIR/RR/62307/V.V dated July 28, 2015 to be issued to the director-general on two main issues – the directive was on the implementation of the 65 years retirement age for academic/professional staff and the land on which CMD is situated in Lagos.
The directive signed by Permanent Secretary (SPSO) for HoCSF, Dr. A.K. Muhammad stated in part: “The land on which the Centre for Management Development is situated in Shangisha, Lagos belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria. As such, any action taken by the Board/Management on the sale/redevelopment of portions of the land, without the approval of the appropriate authority i.e. the Federal Executive Council is illegal, null and void.
“In the meantime, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has directed that the Centre for Management Development should stop any action on the sale of the land until the matter is resolved.
“The directive further directed the DG to forward a presentation on the facts and figures pertaining to the purported sale of the land as a matter of priority”.
It also requested him to provide reasons as to why he has and or refused to comply with the directive of government on the applicability of the 65 years retirement age to academic staff of the CMD, in spite of numerous letters/advice to that effect.”
Early last year, Dr. Usman, obtained through the office of the Head of Service to the Federation a letter to indicate that the CMD is no longer a research and allied institution and so, the rule of retiring at 65 years of age must be reversed.
As a result, more than seven directors and deputy-directors were summarily sent on premature retirement. The decision was taken despite the six letters earlier written by the same office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, classifying the CMD as a management development facility in the same hue with ASCON capable of earning the CONRAISS salary structure as well as retirement at age 65.
Workers at the centre are still worried to date, on the sudden turnaround of the office of the HoCSF on the retirement age of academic staff, contrary to the six letters earlier issued, attesting to the 65 years retirement age.
 
Disregard for constituted authorities
Not only the infrastructures have been neglected at the CMD, the employees also have sordid stories of alleged impunity, wasted opportunities and mismanagement.
It was learnt that the immediate past director-general, in total disregard for constituted authority, suspended the rule that allows training and research staff to continue in service until 65. To this end, he sent seven directors and deputy directors on retirement. All efforts to get him to rescind his decision fell on deaf ears. A directive from the vice president’s office for the reinstatement of the compulsorily retired workers was ignored.
The reversal to 65 years retirement age was topical amongst the six point demand of the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) comprised of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI) which embarked on an indefinite strike November 14 last year, to underscore its importance.
Usman’s refusal to recall the directors attracted a warning query on March 14, 2016, in a memo reference HCSF/CSO/HRM/POL.1282/1/61 and titled: “Directive for immediate implementation of 65 years retirement age at CMD.”
The query, signed by the Permanent Secretary (CMO), Innocent K. Ogbonnaya for the HoCSF, stated: “Your failure to comply with the directives of the HoCSF on the matter is considered an affront to the present administration.”
Warning the director-general to desist forthwith, the query said “as further acts of disregard to government directives on the subject shall be dealt with appropriately.”
The director-general had disregarded all previous five letters from the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation supporting the enforcement of 65 years as the retirement age in the centre.
Despite a subsisting directive from the supervising minister’s office for their recall since April 2017, some of the directors who were forced to go on retirement on attainment of 60 years have not returned to their desks, The Nation found out.
The developments made the minister to set up a committee to investigate the issues relating to 65 year retirement age, directing the recall of the affected directors.
Although the former director-general had in August last year, informed the affected directors of the minister’s directive on their recall, investigation revealed that their recall was on the condition that they withdraw some pending court cases.
A source said the condition was contrary to standard industrial relation’s practice.
 
Debt profile
More worrisome to some stakeholders is the huge debt profile of the centre which has become the major source of resentment, apathy, leading to indiscipline among enployees.  Although the issue of debt to the workers and contractors is well known to the management, it appears the matter is not receiving the needed attention it deserved.
As at today, the CMD is said to be indebted to its guest house for the food served to participants who have fully paid their fees upfront.
It was learnt that a particular food vendor, who is allegedly being owed less than N300, 000 for about three years met with the former director-general thrice to express her predicament of having to deal with dialysis to get the money paid to no avail. It was gathered that there is hardly any coordinator that was not being owed money used for services rendered at workshops, with some dating back to 2011. The company responsible for trimming the lawns is said to be owed to the tune of several millions.
About a month ago, the Lagos State Waste Management Agency locked up the CMD office in Lagos on account of debts owed the agency on waste disposal which is also said to be in millions.
As at January 08, the centre’s main gate at Shangisha was under the LAWMA chain and padlocks.
Likewise, the Centre’s South West Zonal office in Ibadan has been locked up by the Oyo State Property Development Authority over accumulated debt owed the agency running into millions of naira.
 
Disregard for court orders
A source told The Nation that the former director-general’s disregard was not only to constituted authorities but judicial pronouncements.
The National Industrial Court (NIC), a court of competent jurisdiction ordered the reinstatement of five union leaders that were sacked under Dr. Joseph Maiyaki more than eleven years ago.
The court in its judgment of February 28, 2017, gave the centre thirty days within which to reinstate them. But nothing was done on the matter by the administration of Dr. Kabir Usman.  The affected directors took the matter to court and the case is still pending.  They were not allowed to continue their work until the determination of the case in court.
General Secretary, SSAUTHRIAI, M.A. Akinade, told The Nation that the union had done everything within the laws to get the judgement of the court executed but that the management has not responded.
He said: “Our lawyers wrote to them, demanding for compliance with the orders contained in the court judgement. After the expiration of the deadline given by the court, we wrote, we also sent a reminder. What we would now do is to file a motion for contempt for disregard of the court judgement.”
 
Status of CMD
Despite the various directives and clarifications from the office HoCSF and Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the status of CMD remained a recurring issue under Usman’s watch as the director-general. It was learnt that the former director-general’s refusal to accept CMD as a research center in the league of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) was one of the reasons he forced members of the academic staff on forced retirement at 60 as against what was specified in the statute relating to the CMD.
Under his predecessors, the CMD existed as a research, training and consultancy institution.
Prof. Edet said: “The CMD could be compared to ASCON in a number of respects in terms of training programmes, in terms of consultancy and research institutions.