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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2Series - What It Takes (Prod. By Vice)

The season of Love is once again upon us, and in the spirit of Valentine…Music sensation, 2Series decides to serenade us with this lovely slow Jam christened “What It Takes” laced by the magic Touch of fast rising Producer, Vice.  

“What It Takes” is sure going to put you in the right mood for the season, Listen below and celebrate Love!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bomb Blast Hits President Jonathan's Rally In Gombe And Courts In Port Harcourt

A man throws a container of water towards a burning car after a bomb explosion barely a few minutes after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan left Gombe stadium on 2 February 2015

A female suicide bomber has blown up herself in northern Nigeria's Gombe city, minutes after President Goodluck Jonathan left a campaign rally there.
At least one person was killed and 18 others were wounded in the blast, police and hospital sources said.
Mr Jonathan is standing for re-election on 14 February against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in the run-up to the contest.
It has not commented on the blast.
Explosions have also ripped through court buildings in three towns in oil-rich southern Nigeria in what police described as co-ordinated attacks.
Dynamite was suspected to have been used in the attacks in Port Harcourt city and the towns of Isiokpo and Degema in oil-rich Rivers State, regional police spokesman Ahmad Muhammed said.
There were no casualties, but the court building in Degema was "razed down and documents burnt", he is quoted by Nigeria's privately owned Daily Trust newspaper as saying.
Boko Haram is not known to be active in the oil-producing region, where militants demanding a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth have carried out attacks in the past.
'Angry youth'
In the blast in Gombe, the bomber blew herself up near a car, Gombe state police spokesman Fwaje Atajiri told the BBC.
He said a female passerby had been killed, contradicting earlier reports that three people had been killed in the blast.
Goodluck Jonathan addresses his supporters in Gombe on 2 February 2015
People protest against the increased violence ahead of a visit by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to the state, after an suicide bomb explosion in Gombe, 1 February 2015
Mohammed Bolari, who was at the rally in Gombe, said the explosion occurred some three minutes after Mr Jonathan's departure, AFP news agency reports.
"The president had just passed the parking lot and we were trailing behind his convoy when the explosion happened," he was quoted as saying.
Mr Jonathan addressed a rally in the north-eastern city a day after it was hit by two blasts that killed at least five people.
Since Monday morning, the city has largely been in lockdown with security operatives restricting the movement of people in most areas, Nigeria's privately owned Daily Trust newspaper reports.
A local journalist told AFP the latest blast had led to unrest in Gombe, with angry youths attacking supporters of Mr Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP).
"They were shouting and denouncing the president's visit which they blamed for the attack," he added.
Analysis by Will Ross, BBC News, Nigeria
It may not have been as large as other bombings in Nigeria but the timing of the latest attack will have shocked the security forces. The violence is escalating in the run-up to elections due in less than two weeks.
The attacks are blamed on Boko Haram which is against democracy and says it wants to set up a caliphate.
As well as the bombings the military is facing a huge challenge as the Boko Haram fighters try to capture more territory in the north-east.
On Sunday, the military and local vigilantes prevented the jihadists from penetrating Maiduguri city in Borno state for the second time in a week.
Northern Nigeria is seen as Mr Buhari's stronghold.
On Sunday, a bomb also exploded in the north-eastern town of Potiskum outside the home of a politician who had organised a campaign meeting.
The election is expected to be the most tightly contested since military rule ended in 1999 but there are growing fears that voters in areas controlled by Boko Haram will not be able to vote.
Last week, the African Union (AU) backed plans for the deployment of a 7,500-strong regional force to fight Boko Haram.
Mr Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Nigeria's north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in May 2013, but it has not stopped from continuing its offensive to seize territory.
The six-year insurgency has killed thousands of people and displaced some 1.5 million.
Source: BBC Africa

Whitney Houston’s daughter found unconscious in her bathtub

                              whitney and daughter

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s daughter was rushed to the hospital some moments ago after being found unconscious in a bathtub in her Roswell, GA home.
Police officers are reporting that they responded to a call from a house in the Ellard subdivision off Holcomb Bridge.
Upon arrival, police officers discovered an unresponsive Bobbi. Brown’s husband and friend told officers that they found her in the bathtub. Both individuals tried CPR on her. Police offers stepped in to assist Bobbi, until a rescue crew could arrive.
Bobbi has been transported to the North Fulton Hospital.
According to TMZ, doctors have stabilized her breathing.
It’s still unclear why Bobbi fell unconscious. The circumstances are especially eerie — Whitney died in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton on February 11 … three years ago.

Why Buhari Keeps Declining Debates With Jonathan - Doyin Okupe

            Today, Buhari declined yet another invitation to engage president Jonathan in a debate on Channels TV.According to APC, most media houses have been compromised. Doyin Okupe took to facebook to slam him,saying her has little mental capacity and archaic knowledge of developmental economics
More below

Video:Amber Rose Dancing Shoki


Another D'banj Show Flops,This Time His 10th Anniversary

Don’t you just feel bad when you already had your day planned and circumstances take a better part of it. These things just never go as planned.
Things such as a D’banj event. It should have been noted in my subconscious when we were told the event was slated to start at 7pm. Maybe I was giving them the benefit of a doubt? What was wrong with that? After all, it’s his 10th year in the industry, everyone should be eager to celebrate him enough to be early? No?
Thats was what I thought when I arrived the scene and it was scanty. Typical, so it wasn’t such a big deal. In an hour or two or three, things should get better and people should turn up? So I thought. I’m sure at this juncture a lot of people are wondering what I was expecting, this is what is obtainable at Lagos events. Right? You’ll know in a bit.
The choice of event is still bewildering to me. What is D’banj’s love for sand? He seemed to have registered a thing for it since his last event. Going in from the carpet to the venue became a journey on its own. Something of a deja-vu. Only thing that made it better and different was the distance.
Having finally made it to the venue, I looked around, a couple of guests had started arriving. Celebrities, not actual guests who purchased the tickets that started at 20,000 for regular. Which really, if you are a die hard – and more emphasis on die hard – you know the rush that comes when you know you’re about to attend a Cold Play event and you’d pay anything for it kinda situation, it’s shouldn’t be a big deal to get. But not when it was announced barely days to the event.
The vast majority of the crowd were made up of media crew. At a point, they started interviewing co-presenters. Do you blame them? They have to make up for content somehow. With one guest by the hour, it was impossible to work with. The red carpet became more active by 12am. And when I say active I mean, the number had increased from one to two and three.
When I heard a ten year anniversary celebration, I pictured an O2 Arena kind of gathering for a kick off. Even made better and confirmed when it was revealed ex-stripper, Amber Rose was headlining the event.
So imagine my surprise.
Every other thing went in a blur as time passed with nothing going on except a lot of bored people showing off their frustrations at 1am standing around doing nothing.
The interior, though small looked really well decorated with dazzling ornaments. The stage well lit in anticipation of what should be happening but isn’t. People littered the corners sipping on drinks provided with the exchange of a voucher going for 3,000naira. For a 10 year anniversary apparently D’banj didn’t want a mammoth crowd hence his choice of venue.
Then the moment came when people started leaving. Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie probably didn’t stay up to 11pm before he took his leave. Followed by some other people. First in their twos, then threes. Just as they had come.
Then somewhere between 1:50 and 2am, there were loud sirens and a lot of chaos and we knew the hosts for the show had arrived and finally too.
The moment Amber Rose had arrived on the red carpet much to the delight of the photographers who didn’t eventually get a good shot and swore under their breathes later, the show had begun for some and ended for most. As they had finally achieved why they came.
All this while, no one noticed Sheyi Shay arrive in the midst of the ruckus.
Even at that the show didn’t really kick off till much later into the morning. What baffled me though was that aside some celebs such as Teebillz and Tiwa Savage (who arrived the venue separately by the way), Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido and some new acts, no one from the beginning of his 10 year professional career showed up to celebrate the supposed icon in the industry regardless of any existing rift.
That’s how the cookie crumbled for Bangalee.
Watch her arrive here- Video


Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala replies Soludo

This piece is in response to an earlier article authored by former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo. Please read it HERE.

It shows how an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space can get so derailed that they commit intellectual harakiri by deliberately misquoting economic facts and maliciously turning statistics on their head to justify a hatchet job.
For anyone who has not read Professor Charles Soludo’s article in the Vanguard (online version) on January 25 2015, I would encourage them to do so. It is littered with abusive and unbecoming language. It shows how an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space can get so derailed that they commit intellectual harakiri by deliberately misquoting economic facts and maliciously turning statistics on their head to justify a hatchet job. We hope all the intellectuals in the international circles in which Professor Soludo has told us he flies around in will read what a Professor of Economics has chosen to do with his intellect.
In this one article Soludo has shamelessly pandered to so many past leaders that Nigerians are asking one more time – what position is Soludo gunning for now? He claims in his article that he has had his own share of public service, yet he has failed twice in his attempts to be Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential candidate of various parties. There is definitely an issue of character with Prof. Charles Soludo and his desperate search for power and relevance in Nigeria. Nigerians should therefore beware of so-called intellectuals without character and wisdom because this combination is fatal.
But let us turn to the main subject of Soludo’s discourse. So much of what is written is outright nonsense and self-seeking aggrandizement that need not be dignified with a response. It is totally remarkable that Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the man who presided over the worst mismanagement of Nigeria’s banking sector as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between May 2004 and May 2009, can write about the mismanagement of the economy.
Nigerians must be reminded of his antecedents as CBN Governor, and even prior to that, as the Chief Economic Adviser to the President. The consolidation of the banking sector was a good policy idea of the Obasanjo Administration but Soludo went on to thoroughly mismanage its implementation leading to the worst financial crisis in Nigeria’s history. So what did Soludo do?
After consolidation, the regulatory functions of the Soludo-led CBN were very poorly exercised. As Governor, he failed to adequately supervise and regulate the now larger banks – an anomaly in Financial Sector Supervision. In fact as every Nigerian knows, in his time there was very little separation between the regulators and the regulated which is a violation of a key requirement of Central Banking success. This led to infractions in corporate governance in many banks as loans and other credit instruments running to hundreds of billions of naira were extended to clients without following due process, and several of these loans could not be paid back. This massive accumulation of bad debts or non-performing loans as they are called in the banking sector meant that our banks were ill-positioned to deal with the global financial crisis when it hit.
In fact, the banking sector was brought to its knees and required a massive bailout by Nigerian tax payers. This bailout was done by his successor (now Emir of Kano) who cleaned up all the bad debts and transferred them to the newly-established AMCON, from where they are managed today. So let it be noted for the record books that Soludo’s single-handed mismanagement of the banking sector led to an incredible accumulation of liabilities that will cost tax payers about N5.67 trillion (being the total face value of AMCON-issued bonds) to clean up. Let it be noted also that this amount, which is more than the entire Federal Government 2015 Budget, constitutes the bulk of Nigeria’s “contingent liabilities” mentioned in Soludo’s article. It is only in Nigeria where someone who perpetrated such a colossal economic atrocity would have the temerity to make assertions on public debt and the management of the economy.
Let us now look at some of the points he makes. Luckily, Soludo has told us that he has been busy travelling internationally, hobnobbing with his global partners. It is obvious from this article that from the rarefied heights at which he is flying he is completely out of touch with what is happening with the management of this economy. Take his comments on the mismanagement of the economy and the imposition of the austerity measures. The present fall in oil prices, a global phenomenon over which Nigeria has no control, has given every charlatan the opportunity to attack the economy, and by extension the managers of the economy
It is true that the economy grew well during the second-term of former President Obasanjo as a result of the reforms supported by the President and implemented by the Economic Management Team. Please note that the Finance Minister under whose leadership that good performance took place, including massive unprecedented debt relief, is still Finance Minister today. But thorough examination of the facts on performance under the Jonathan Administration will also reveal that at a time when global economic performance was mediocre, with GDP growth averaging about 3 percent per annum, Nigeria’s GDP growth – averaging about 6 percent per annum – is indeed remarkable. Even more interesting is the fact that the oil sector did not drive this economic performance but the non-oil sector (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, the Creative Economy, and so on), which shows that the current Administration’s diversification objective under theTransformation Agenda is working. Transformation equals diversification.
This current government managed to control inflation, which he Soludo, was not able to do during his time at the helm of monetary policy in Nigeria. When he left the Central Bank in 2009, inflation – which hurts the poor and vulnerable in the society the most – was above 13 percent per annum. Now, inflation is at single-digit, at 8 percent per annum. What about exchange rates? Well this administration again managed to stabilize the naira exchange rates, such that between May 2011 and the end of 2014, official exchange rates against the dollar rarely moved out of the N153 to N156 band. It is only with the recent dramatic fall in oil prices and the consequent impact on our foreign reserves that the exchange rate has become quite volatile. The drop in oil price has been heavy and rapid impacting all oil producing nations significantly. Nigeria is no exception and appropriate fiscal and monetary policy measures are being put in place to manage this situation.
In fact, history will recall that careless remarks by Prof. Soludo (then Chief Economic Adviser to the President) hypothesizing a possible naira devaluation, condemned the naira to a free fall towards the end of 2003. Ray Echebiri, in his 2004 article in the Financial Standard, wrote that not even the assurances given by the then CBN Governor, Mr. Joseph Sanusi or President Obasanjo that any plans to devalue the naira existed only in the head of Professor Soludo could halt the fall of the naira from N128 to the dollar in the official market to about N140 between September and December 2003.
It is true that our foreign reserve accumulation is less than what it should be but the reason for this has been fully given, not as excuses but simply as fact: lower oil production and crude oil theft along with the refusal to save in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) are the reasons. Contrary to what Soludo said, oil production under President Obasanjo was higher than current levels. Quantities produced averaged 2.4 million bdp, 2.22 million bpd, and 2.21 million bpd in 2005, 2006, and 2007 respectively but has declined now to between 1.95 and 2.21 million bdp due to vandalism of the pipelines and the resulting “shut-ins” to fix the problem. It is true that had production been at the previous levels and had there been willingness to save we would have had more money in the ECA and also in the reserves. But the overriding setback to savings is that the State Governors felt it was their constitutional right to share the money. Please recall that even as we speak the States have taken the Federal Government to the Supreme Court on this issue
Soludo’s claim that 71 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line is misleading and disingenuous. He uses 2011 statistics on poverty by the NBS to support his argument while ignoring more recent figures. But as stated in the Nigeria Economic Report 2014 by the World Bank, poverty rate in Nigeria has dropped from 35.2 percent of population in 2010/2011 to 33.1 percent in 2012/2013. By the way, the reason why our poverty numbers have been so wrong is that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), under Soludo’s supervision as CEA and Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission, departed from the international standard method of poverty measurement. Is he now ignoring the right economic statistics to wilfully manipulate information?
No doubt we have a problem with unemployment in this country and we must deal with it. Indeed this Administration is dealing with it and stands proud of what it has accomplished so far and is pushing hard to accomplish much more. As a first step, the Administration, through the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and the NBS, worked hard to determine how many jobs we need to create in a year. What you don’t measure you cannot make progress on. Why didn’t Soludo do this when he was CEA?
We need to create about 1.8 million jobs a year in this country to cater for the new entrants into the labour market, but we also need to deal with the backlog of the unemployed and the underemployed, e.g. those selling on the streets. Dealing with this global challenge of unemployment is not an easy task for any country, as can be seen from the experiences of developed countries particularly in the euro area. But the Jonathan Administration is making good progress, creating an average of about 1.4 million jobs per year by driving quality growth in key sectors like Agriculture, where the bulk of new jobs are being created, Housing, Manufacturing, Financial Services, and the Creative Industries like Nollywood.
In addition we have special programs to promote job creation among the youth and these include:

  • Promoting entrepreneurship among the youth through the “Nagropreneurs” program to support 750,000 youth farmers with grants and training, and the YOUWIN program that is directly supporting up to 5,400 young entrepreneurs with grants, training, and mentorship and so far beneficiaries are creating an average of 9 jobs each, for themselves and others. About 22,000 jobs have been created by the first 2,400 youwinners.

  • Graduate Internship Scheme: that is reducing the vulnerability of unemployed graduates by enhancing their employability. The Scheme targets up to 50,000 unemployed graduates in the 36 states of the Federation and FCT and about 22,000 graduates have so far been placed by the program.

  • Community Services Scheme under SURE-P: developed to empower young unskilled Nigerians, women and people with disabilities. About 120,000 mostly young workers have been engaged across the country
On the issue of debt, Nigerians deserve to know the truth and we have said it before. The truth is that the government borrowed in 2010 to pay an unprecedented 53.7 percent wage increase to all categories of federal employees as demanded by labour unions.  The total wage bill rose from N857 billion in 2009 to about N1.4 trillion in 2010, and as a result, domestic borrowing increased from N200 billion in 2007 to about N1.1 trillion in 2010 to meet the wage payments. Where was Soludo at the time? Why did he not react to the borrowing then? Was it because he wanted to pander to labour in preparation for his political career?
It is noteworthy that since 2011, the Administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been prudent with the issue of debt and borrowing. The Economic Management Team not only looks at debt to GDP ratio, where Nigeria has one of the lowest numbers in the world at 12.51 percent but it looks at debt service to revenues. That is why in spite of the rebasing and a larger GDP, the administration has taken a prudent approach to borrowing. The prudent approach helped to drive down domestic borrowing from N1.1 trillion in 2010 to N642 billion in 2014. In fact for the first time in our nation’s borrowing history we even managed to retire N75 billion of domestic bonds outright in 2013.
Despite the present tough situation, we do not plan to go on a borrowing spree but to keep borrowing modest at a level sufficient to help us weather the present situation. We have already ramped up efforts to generate more non-oil revenues for the government while cutting costs of governance. Therefore, Soludo’s claim that this Administration is reckless with debt does not hold true.
Since Soludo seems so ignorant to what has been achieved by the Jonathan Administration, let us present just a few examples of them here again. This information is easily verified.

  • We are improving infrastructure across the country. For example, 22 airport terminals are being refurbished, and five new international airport terminals under construction in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja, and Enugu. Soludo’s kinsmen in the South East now have an international airport in Enugu, and for the first time in Nigeria’s history can fly direct from Enugu to anywhere in world for which they are very grateful to this Administration. But with Soludo being up in the air with his international travels, he has not touched ground in the Southeast to observe this development for himself.

  • Various road and bridge projects have either been completed or are under construction. Those completed include the Enugu – Abaliki road in Enugu/Ebonyi States, the Oturkpo – Oweto road in Benue State, the Benin – Ore – Shagamu highway, and the Abuja – Abaji – Lokoja dualization, and the Kano – Maiduguri dualization. The Lagos – Ibadan expressway and the Second Niger Bridge are under construction.

  • Rail from Lagos to Kano is now functional, as is parts of the rail link between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri. All these have brought transport costs down. We recognise that more needs to be done in the power sector, but bold steps (like the privatisation of the GENCOs and DISCOs) have been taken, and our gas infrastructure is being developed to power electricity generation

  • In Agriculture, over 6 million farmers now have access to inputs like fertilizers and seeds through an e-wallet system, which is more than the 403,222 that had access in 2011. Rice paddy production took off for the first time in our history, adding about 7 million MT to rice supply. An additional 1.3 million MT of Cassava has also been produced and as a result, the rate of food price increase has slowed considerably, according to the NBS.

  • In Housing, we have put in place a new wholesale mortgage provider – the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC) – to provide affordable mortgages to ordinary Nigerians, starting with those in the low-middle income bracket. This sector will help the economy grow as we tap it as an economic driver for the first time. Mortgage applications from 66,000 people are currently being processed and 23,000 have already received mortgage offers

  • Our Manufacturing sector is reviving with new automobile plants by Nissan, Toyota, etc. This is in addition to the backward integration policy in key sectors like petrochemical, sugar, textiles, agro processing and cement, which Nigeria is now producing 39,000 MT and exporting to the region.

  • The Creative sector is now a factor in our GDP, with Nollywood alone accounting for 1.4 percent, creating over 200,000 direct jobs and nearly 1 million indirect jobs. This is the first Administration to recognise its importance and support its further development with a grant program.

  • A new bank – the Development Bank of Nigeria – will soon be operational and this bank will help bridge the access to finance gap, which is a major constraint for the private sector especially SMEs. The bank will provide long-term (5 – 10 years) financing at affordable rates for the first time in our nation’s history.
This is the path that the government has been on before this fall in oil prices. The response to the economic shock has been spelled out to the Nigerian public over and over again, and the Administration intends to focus on managing this crisis appropriately. This year will be difficult. To say anything less to Nigerians will be untruthful. It would have been better if there had been a bigger cushion of the Excess Crude Account to manage this situation but despite this the nation can rise to the challenge. More importantly, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Economic Management Team are seeing this as an opportunity to diversify the revenue sources of an already diversifying economy. In fact let me at this juncture use this opportunity to comment on Soludo’s appalling statement that rebasing brings no policy value. Rebasing has enabled us to better grasp the new diversified nature of our economy. This provides the basis for our present drive to support different sectors with appropriate policy instruments to enhance their development. Rebasing has also enabled the Administration to create the platform from which to drive our work on increasing non-oil revenues. These are areas of critical policy value.
Soludo mentioned the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, noting that this Administration has not been vocal or clear on its direction with this agreement. On the contrary, the Administration, particularly the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, has been clear on this issue but since Soludo has been in the air he probably has not been aware of this. Just recently, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment reiterated again to the corporate sector that Nigeria has not signed and does not propose to sign the EPA in its present form.
The point is that this government has been pursuing the right economic policies, and its efforts have been acknowledged nationally and internationally. Let me say that there are objective ways to measure performance. There are international institutions globally accepted to do this. They have acknowledged this Administration’s good economic management up to the recent crisis and even now.  
We cannot go by someone’s subjective view, driven by bitterness and bile. We need to look to the truth and to professionalism. This is where Professor Soludo totally fails. For the other gratuitous, political, and personal attacks, we are sure that those mentioned will respond appropriately. It is a sad day for Nigeria and the economics profession that someone like Soludo, a former CBN governor should write such an article. If Soludo wants to regain respect, he should return to the path of professionalism. He certainly needs something to improve his image from that of someone whose sojourn into National Economic Management ended in disaster for the banking sector, his sojourn in politics, ended in overwhelming rejection by the electorate, and more recently, his sojourn abroad, has put him out of touch with the reality of the Nigerian economy.

- Paul C Nwabuikwu
Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance.

Kaptive - Friendly (Prod. by Enaps)

Kaptive returns with this classy tune and a sure potential hit. When you hear a good song you’ll know and this is not an exception. The message of this awesome record is one for a thought . oh yeah right!  

Produced by Top rated beat maker Enap ,Hit the download button below and take a listen.