Our PhD Drivers and the Entrepreneurial Crisis – by Aliyu Bala Aliyu @AliyuBalaAliyu

Published:14 Nov, 2012

Our PhD Drivers and the Entrepreneurial Crisisby Aliyu Bala Aliyu @AliyuBalaAliyu

The title of this piece should have been “Our PhD Drivers and the Unemployment Crisis” but my substitution of ‘Unemployment’ with ‘Entrepreneurial’ is deliberate.

It would interest anybody who listens beyond the words spoken, and the letters written, how words are born; how slangs are churned out and how acronyms are reformed in Nigeria. I nearly laughed out my intestines when I learnt of the colloquial meaning of PhD in the south-western academic axis. The real meaning of PhD is Dr of Philosophy as the white men who introduced western education to us decreed. However, the road to becoming a Dr of Philosophy is paved in unmeasured ways, and in unusual ways, with toil, tears and sweat (to borrow from Sir Winston Churchill) in Nigeria. And like everything else, we find ways to make everything hell for ourselves. It is in the reality of the endless; tortuous road to becoming a “Dr” that the PhD has taken all sorts or renaming to capture the reality of the times. The endless years of protracted academic rigour; the never ending servitude to Supervisor and Master of one’s fate – which include but not limited to running all sorts of personal errands for him/her – in the hope that s/he will be benevolent enough to allow the student graduate in record time; has seen the PhD get rechristened to mean: P for Politics, h for hard work, and D for Dobale  (a Yoruba word for prostration). If you notice, the “h” for hard work is even in small letters! The remainder of Politics and Dobale, appear in capital letters and thus speak for themselves about the importance attached to each one.

 

Nothing is absolute about this colloquial rebirth; and the underlying construct of such beliefs which students hold of various institutions aren’t an exception. It may be therapeutic or cathartic in a way for students to carry these beliefs to heart and recite them from time to time to remind themselves of the uncertainty of their fates; or at whose mercy they are.  But there is no denying the fact that a lot about this or others sentiments hold true in a dysfunctional country as ours.

 

It was on the online forum “Dandalin Siyasa” that I saw the caption which someone had posted: “6 PhD 704 Masters among applicants for Drivers jobs in Dangote!” The arguments went back and forth for days and on both sides of the divide great points were advanced. However, my opinion is that something is certainly wrong with a system that sees nothing wrong with PhD holders and Masters degree holders rushing to take jobs as truck drivers!

In a country where paper qualification defines a wo/man, the kind of economic opportunities that will be accessible to one; or better still the kind of paid job one gets, it is not surprising therefore  that desperation defines the effort to secure a certificate – defendable or otherwise . So much has been written in the past on the issue, and it is not my intention to dwell much on the disconnect between the theories taught in our Universities and their practical relevance in a globalized 21st century; the lack of funding for the Universities; laziness, materialism and the get-rich-quick virus among youths; corruption on the part of lecturers, students and even parents who are determined to influence grades for their wards among others but the scary reality of PhD holders driving Dangote’s trailers betrays the disaster in  Nigeria’s educational and entrepreneurial landscape. To be honest, there are PhD holders driving taxis or doing some really odd jobs in Nigeria and beyond. I read some months ago of a lady with a PhD driving a taxi in Abuja. As for the Diaspora variants that we are told wash plates, toilets and dead bodies in Europe and America; sweep the streets or dispense fuel abroad is as a result of the inability of those categories of people to secure papers to grant them working permits are some of the reasons that have been advanced by the army of “hustling” Nigerians across the Atlantic or in recent times the credit crunch.

 

Preparatory to my compulsory NYSC four years ago, that fear of the unknown had gripped me; understandably so as it was for many of the prospective corps members – the anxiety of securing a job in the graduate-filled labour market – to be able to find my feet and settle down on time and begin to do for younger ones, parents, extended family members, friends, and community the little I could to impact a life or two. My father was a diligent, hardworking and honest civil servant yet his retirement wasn’t the glorious end you want to see for such rare public servants. The best way the government would repay him was in unending frustrations of his entitlements. The somber prospects of not finding a job presented itself; and the question did linger. What if I didn’t find a job like many whom I had seen, known and heard of? Although I had in the past worked as a factory hand in a bakery after secondary school; worked at a construction site as a labourer, sold books in ABU to earn extra income, and was set to embrace entrepreneurship with my big; boundless dreams – in fact it seemed to be the path to freedom – the fear of unfulfilled dreams and ambitions, the reality of the surrounding poverty, made life miserable and fearful. But in Nigeria, a country that is so unfriendly to entrepreneurship with the near impossibility of accessing sensible loans to start up small businesses, my business plans like  those of several dreamers have remained in files gathering layers of dust.

 

But then the question is why go to the University to study Microbiology, Law, Engineering, Architecture, Accounting, Physics,  etc only to end up driving a truck? Why undergo the rigours of a Masters degree to end up as an Okada rider or a barber? Why pursue a PhD and end up a tailor or a labourer at a construction site carrying cement or laying bricks? Why train to be a civil servant, an IT specialist, an Economist, a computer programmer, a computer scientist, or a geophysicist, only to end up working in a call centre picking calls and doing absolutely nothing related to the course of study? Why train to become an Urban and Regional planner, an industrial chemist, a pathologist only to end up in the banking hall working as a customer service officer or as a teller? I must say that no vocation is more important than the other. NONE! The day your toilet or kitchen sink begins to leak you’ll realize so but a system that encourages this kind of confused mix up of skills cannot make meaningful progress.  Some of these things we call jobs – the unskilled and semi-skilled – are things that secondary school leavers can be trained to do under two weeks or a month. Leavers of vocational and technical colleges can handle many things our graduates are being made to do. And  what kind of country allows people to invest time and money pursuing all sorts of degrees that end up in the “dustbin” in the end? Why is this country like this?

 

I do not belong to the school of thought that sees a University degree as a meal ticket; as an end in itself, or guaranteeing a job when you factor in the unemployability of some degree holders. A University degree, beyond the theories and researches, is evidence of having passed through a melting pot of ideas, rubbed mind with people (as iron is expected to sharpen iron), and place- the University itself, which would have sparked a thing or two within an individual to seek to bring about change to self first and foremost and then society –  by observation, which leads to intelligent inquiry which thus leads to research which in turn gives birth to discoveries. History is replete with ground breaking scientific and other discoveries with credit to such institutions as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, MIT etc. Collaborations between companies and research institutes, Universities and Polytechnics have been unbroken over decades in advanced countries and which other testimony is there for their level of advancement? But critically speaking, every University is only capable of being a great institution to the realizable extent to which it defines itself. To the University, the question is: “Do I want to be a degree-bazaar institution or one that is worth its salt?” And for the individual student the question is: “Do I just want to carry a degree about, like a badge, in the face of an absence of even common sense let alone the applicability of higher learning to every aspect of my life?”

 

One would think that an individual whom after secondary school pursued a vocation, say tailoring/ fashion design as some prefer to call it, for four or five years, would have been a master at it. Like the Igbo people’s methods of apprenticeship, they do not “waste time” going to pursue degrees only to come back to sell spare parts, building materials, or driving luxury buses. They go straight for the jugular beginning with the end in mind. Universal basic education should have naturally given such people the basic competence of reading and writing.

 

What’s the point if after four or five years, plus NYSC (assuming there are no ASUU strikes, and names aren’t omitted on NYSC call-up list) in extracting plant DNA, spending fortunes buying chemicals, peering into microscopes and centrifuges only to end up a Personal Assistant to some MD somewhere at its deceptive best or as a sales boy/girl, messenger, fuel attendant, security man or a loader at wharf off-loading frozen fish from containers?  Why study the principles of electrolysis, environmental toxicology, fractional distillation and fluid mechanics, only to end up selling wrist watches, cashew nuts, canned drinks and Gala in traffic? In which kind of country do people study taxonomy of plant and animal species, behaviour of animals, morphology of plants, clinical and industrial psychology, civil engineering, local government administration, International Relations, Economics, Law etc only to end up as taxi drivers, or butchers? Why not commit to butchery from early in life? Why not begin to raise birds from early in life and in a decade smile at a bigger and stable poultry business? What is the link between our Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Vocational schools and Universities in terms of manpower planning and development? Why the lip service to mechanized farming and its value chain; and the massive employment opportunities that lies therein?

 

A number of people have advanced the argument that the global financial meltdown is having its toll on all nations and seeing to it that unusual things are happening like people taking pay cuts instead of losing their jobs, taking up menial jobs in order to pay bills where they have lost their jobs among others but the truth is that it has never been the tradition in such societies. The undercurrent of the aberration in the Nigerian context is that it has been the tradition and has been accepted as the standard zigzag of a “career pathway” and this “norm” has been here for eons with no end in sight.

 

There is no doubt that Dangote has created thousands of jobs directly and indirectly; he has assisted individuals and institutions by way of philanthropy but to accept that PhD holders grabbing his trucks’ steering wheels is such a great thing for our country is the exact antithesis of development. On the contrary, we should be sober about this ugly trend of churning out massive graduates of not just first degree holders, but of second and third degrees with no hope of getting jobs; or creating jobs; and a failed and unimaginative government to give a slice of government earnings in compassionate welfare buffers. Is it not criminal in every way that our government supervises the looting of our collective patrimony and yet cannot provide jobs or seed capital to start small businesses?

 

Then there arises the argument about entrepreneurship. What is it about Nigerians and Entrepreneurship? The fact is that Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted. It is built on risk. It is built on the ability to see fast the things that others are yet to see and taking the initiative to fill the void. It is the conversion of an idea into a value. Earlier on in the year, the BBC’s William Smale did a feature on Smashburger (a new burger franchise in America) and asked the great question “What Drives US Entrepreneurship?” Your guess of course is as good as mine.

 

Entrepreneurship, first and foremost is built on passion – the passion to see a dream become reality; and with the access to capital, good management, innovation and an undying fire os success burning in the belly, an entrepreneur is one who would build a small business from a dream into a global brand. But Nigeria kills dreams; that’s the reality. So how and why do we have this eleventh hour crusade to turn school leavers and graduates and everybody into entrepreneurs because of the failure of government? It doesn’t work that way. Where are the mentors to mentor the “by fire by force” entrepreneurs we are trying to create compulsorily? Where is the seed capital going to come from? And this is bearing in mind that the World Bank report has said Nigeria ranks 131 in terms of ease of doing business among 185 countries. Need I say that entrepreneurship is built on passion? Where passion is missing, success cannot be guaranteed; and where success is guaranteed, sustainability cannot be guaranteed. Most importantly, not everybody is cut out for entrepreneurship so we should learn not to force it.

 

Personally, I had wanted to be a Soldier but it didn’t happen, so I gradually lost interest. I got a job as a call centre agent after NYSC and spent 3 years there. I thought going back to school for a Masters would improve not just my chances of getting a better job but prepare me for my later life ambition of teaching but it didn’t happen. Here I am rounding up my Masters programme, and like thousands of Masters Degree holders to be like me, facing an increasingly bleak prospect where people with PhDs are driving trucks!

In the absence of the job – not the dream job – which begins to give way to any kind of job anyway, I am preparing to pursue another Masters degree in the hope that things might get better and my love for learning. I love teaching and it is my dream that someday I will inspire a couple of students; to do critical thinking. Naturally, I thought that was one of the strong reasons people would go on to seek a PhD was because they would want to teach. But to secure a PhD and end up driving a truck is a scary pursuit. I don’t just want to stand in front of a class and pass down theories, I don’t just want to talk to students, I want to inspire them and it is for that reason I hope to mature real well before taking up the chalk. I also love to cook so if I end up cooking in a corner of Lagos or setting up a restaurant and growing it into a franchise, let it be because of the passion I have for cooking and not because it is such a normal thing to spend ages climbing the ladder of scholarship and getting to the top only to realize that the ladder was propped against the wrong wall. Who knows, if I had been selling dollars at the airport since ten years, I believe I would have been comfortable enough by now to go back to school and get my first degree and second.

Several application letters written with cover letters and chains of CVs have not just being futile for many of us, they have been hope-depleting. Not minding the close shave with fraudsters taking advantage of our job hunt. And as a lot of us have come to realize, if you know nobody up there, you hardly stand a chance. So this cliché makes a lot of sense in our circles– the circles of SANs (Senior Applicants of Nigeria): He who studies and passes is the serious person; the one who gets the job is the one who has been to school, or if you like the fortunate/ the connected one! And that’s it– the reality of our Nigerianness! The frustration is simply endless; so I can understand when an offer to drive a truck comes along and you have a catch to own it after covering hitting 300,000km on the mileage/ 140 trips between Lagos and Kano and such jaw-dropping salary in the offing. Who wouldn’t wash public toilets for that; dispose refuse, sweep Lagos and Kano roads and even more? It is certainly not a crime but it sure is an aberration and not one worth celebrating at all. Sure it will put food on the table quite alright and pay the bills but certainly not one to move this nation on the path of industrialization, growth and planned development. But on second thought what does industrialization matter to a hungry man with mouths to feed, medical bills to pay, shelter over one’s head and kids to send to school?

 

There is so much confusion in the air. A lot of people do not even know what they want in Nigeria and you can’t really blame them! Do people have ambitions any longer or they just want to work and get salaries on pay day? Are there counselors aiding, guiding, and moulding the interests of young students in primary and secondary schools; and in Universities? Are parents interested in, and supportive of their children’s ambitions or they just want to bask in the vicarious “glory” of those big names (Engr, Esq, Dr, Pharm, Arch…) for their own ego fulfillment? Are there still career fairs in our secondary schools and tertiary institutions? The system is so dysfunctional that we are busy struggling to accept anything slapped on us simply because there is a salary. Each time I watch National Geographic Channel, the question I keep asking myself is: “how is it that a human being dedicate his / her life time to studying butterflies, ants, birds, lions etc if not passion?” Let s/he who has a passion to bake cakes go on to become a brand; let s/he who loves flowers go on to become a brand florist; let s/he who loves to bake bread go on to become a household baker; let s/he who wants to be a great restaurateur go on to cook great meals; let s/he who sees a niche in mobile toilets go on to fill the void, let s/he who wants to be a great photographer go on to capture the memories etc. That will be Entrepreneurship and it won’t matter if you have chains of degrees or not. Passion would be the catalyst but certainly not running to grab a steering out of frustration from not getting relevant jobs.

 

I must also not fail to mention that there exist a handful of people who just love learning. The sight of books; their company, the magical feel of the pen and its ethereal dance on paper, the power of words and their getting lost in its mastery and usage cannot be dampened by monetary inducements. Money to them is only a means to an end and that end is the acquisition of more learning. The more they earn, the more they learn – having crossed the threshold of basic survival. Big money means more books, more research and more enquiries. It is never the final bus-stop. For them knowledge is an obsession. Their hearts skip beats at the sight of books and they develop goose bumps when they step into the book store. The smell of printed books is ecstatic; caressing its cover magical; flipping through its pages inspirational. And it is these kinds of people that should be in our schools, faculties, departments and institutes inspiring young men and women into becoming the next Einstein, Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, Mack Zuckerberg, Mo Ibrahim and of course the next Dangote.

While our institutions of higher learning have lost 6 PhD holders to the steering wheel of Dangote’s trucks; and countless others long lost into obscurity, the rest of us thinking of pursuing PhDs might just fill forms next time the Magnate puts up an advert to be on the reserve list for his next batch of Drivers because PhD just got a new meaning- Professional honourable Driver; and MSc- Master of Steering and clutch. I wish the PhDs and others the best in their new found jobs but no doubt Nigeria needs redemption.

 

 

Aliyu Bala Aliyu

Masters Student, Public and International Affairs,

University of Lagos

email: aliyubala.aliyu@gmail.com

blog: www.illuminationzz.wordpress.com

twitter: @AliyuBalaAliyu

 

  • http://www.olalekanakogun.blogspot.com Akogun Olalekan

    Bala, you’ve spoken elaborately and wisely too. I have taken my time to read and digest your wonderful and factual article. From the day I saw the Dangote Truck Driver advert, my heart started to bleed. Things got worse the day I learnt of the 7-PhD holders, 703 thereabout MSc, and not worth the mention BSc holders. Its a big blow to education sector of Nigeria, and a slap to the face of people who have held in high esteem these degrees. Silly enough, one of the PhD holder confessed to the fact that he choose to drive Dangote’s truck due to his love for driving. For God sake, if he so loved driving, why did he have to go all the way to bag a 3rd degree? Apalling, very very apalling. I rest my case here, as I encourage youths with a passion to follow their passion early. God help Nigeria.
    Thank you Omojuwa for publishing this.
    Twitter: @olalekanakogun

  • arisekola

    Its quite unfortunate that we continue to have the certificate mindset in NIGERIA. Educational qualifications either HND,Bsc,msc and PhD should be catalyst for self development and not acquired for the purposes of searching for the non-available white collar jobs. Methink,we can do ourselves good by looking inward for what we can engage in rather thinking inside the box. If certificates are pre-requisites for success we would not have seen the likes of steve job,bill gates,warren buffet etc

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The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, is set to retire from the Nigerian Army, having reached his retirement age. Olukolade is to hand over to Col. Rabe Abubakar next week as the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday, approved the...

PDP officials blew N12bn in nine months –Workers … say NWC members shared money made from nomination forms

Angry workers of the Peoples Democratic Party have accused the members of the National Working Committee of the party of squandering N12bn in nine months. Out of the total sum, the workers said N11bn was realised from the sale of nomination forms while N1bn was got from the sale of delegates forms.

I was once a danfo driver -Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has appealed to members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria against allowing themselves to be used by kidnappers to perpetrate evil. Speaking on Thursday during the swearing-in of the new State Executive of the union in Ado Ekiti, the governor, who said he was once a ‘danfo...

I’m not expecting a ministerial appointment from Buhari —Tunde Bakare

The General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said that he is not expecting a ministerial appointment from President Muhammadu Buhari. Bakare, who was the running mate of Buhari on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 presidential election, also defended the President’s style of governance,...

I had plans to impeach Ekweremadu -Ndume

The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, on Thursday, caused a stir in the upper chamber when he revealed how he collected signatures of other senators to impeach the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in the 7th Senate. Ndume stated this while raising a point of order to draw the attention of the Senate to an...

Doctor, Nurse Land In Court After Aborting 6 Months Old Pregnancy Of 31-Year Old Lady

According to Tribuneonline, a man who claimed to be a medical doctor, Taiwo Ogunlana and a nurse, Kafayat Oyekola, have been arraigned before an Ebute Metta Magistrates' Court, Lagos State, for carrying out an illegal abortion on one Miss Kemi Awoniyi. Ogunlana, who claimed to have attended Lagos State University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing between 1979 and 1983, worked with the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. He was also said to have been...

I Am Praying For Buhari That God Will Protect Him – Rev Fr Mbaka

Founder of the Enugu Adoration Ministry, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, while preaching at a special mass organized to celebrate his 20th anniversary in priesthood yesterday July 29th, offered prayers to God for President Buhari, asking God to protect him from enemies. He also offered prayers to God for the Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that God will not allow occultic men steal his vision "I am praying for Buhari, that God will protect him so that enemies...

Priest Announces On Pulpit That He Is Gay, Divorcing Wife And Marrying A Man

An Episcopal congregation in Queens was in for a big surprise recently when their priest Rev. Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, 59, came on pulpit to give Sunday sermon and announced that he is gay. The shocked congregation was further informed that he is divorcing his wife and marrying a younger man. Rev. Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, is the archdeacon of Queens and rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria, On a Facebook post this week, the...

Two Zimbabweans Appear In Court For Helping American Dentist Kill Cecil The Lion

Two Zimbabweans accused of helping an American dentist hunt Cecil the lion have appeared in court amid growing anger over the protected animal's slaughter. Professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst (right) and local landowner Honest Ndlovu (left) allegedly assisted Dr. Walter Palmer, who has since received death threats, catch and kill the lion. Dr Palmer claims he had trusted his local guides to meet legal guidelines on his trip to Africa, during which he shot Cecil with a...

DPR Collected N30 Billion Illegally – Gov. Oshiomole

Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole who has been in the news in recent times over his allegations on the misappropriation of funds in the last administration, says he will not be silent when people are abusing power and stealing government funds. Oshiomole, who was a guest at a seminar organized by the Post-Mortem sub-committee of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) yesterday July 29th , alleged that the Department of Petroleum Resources collected N30 billion illegally during the...

ISIS Release Photos Claiming Some African Christians In Libya Converted To Islam & Joined Sect

These are supposedly African Christians in Tripoli, Libya, who converted to Islam and joined ISIS in Libya. ISIS released the photos on social media. The men don't look like they willingly joined ISIS though. Looks like they told them "join ISIS or die!". More photos below...

Controversial South African Pastor Prays Gay Spirit Into Man

Remember the pastor who made his members swallow snakes and eat cloth during one of his deliverance services? Well he is in the news again. Last Sunday while preaching in his church, he prayed the gay spirit into the young man pictured above. See more photos below...

#AllsocksPantyHose: 20 Things You Should Know About Panty Hose – @Allsocks_

  Pantyhose is often called tights in the United Kingdom, some other countries call it sheer hosiery.   They are close-fitting leg wear, which cover the wearer's body from the waist to the feet.   Panty hose is considered to be a woman's/ girl's garment, it appeared in the 1960s as a convenient alternative to stockings.   Panty hose has remained an alternative to stockings and control panties. They are also gradually replacing girdles.   Pantyhose are usually made of nylon, or fabrics blended...

Governor El-Rufai Cuts Overhead by 60%, Cancels State Sponsorship of Pilgrims

Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa'i of Kaduna State, says his administration has cut down overhead costs by 60 per cent as part of measures to rescue the state from its precarious financial situation. El-Rufa'i, in a broadcast to the people of the state on Wednesday night, said that the state was broke and had a debt burden of more than N74.297 billion, comprising N28.840 billion domestic and N45.44 billion foreign debts. He said that the administration had...

PDP Broke? We Warned Earlier On That Being In Opposition Is Not A Walk In The Park – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied the allegation by the PDP that the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, is a card-carrying member of the party (APC), calling the accusation absurd and frivolous. In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party challenged the PDP to publish any evidence it may have...

Makeup Artist Transforms Herself Into Kanye, Oprah And Caitlyn

Some of us are still trying to put on liquid eye liner without looking like an octopus shot ink into our eyes. But for Magali Beauvue, a female makeup artist based in France, no makeup challenge is too great. The beauty guru's Instagram page is a who's who of A-list celebrities: Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Eddie Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Caitlyn Jenner... Amazingly, these aren't Beauvue's clients. They're Beauvue herself, dolled up to look like just about every star you...

Khloe Kardashian Looks Slimmer Than Ever! Where Are The Curves?

She is known for the enviable curves inherited by the rest of the voluptuous Kardashian clan. But reality star Khloé looked slimmer than ever in a figure-hugging black ensemble as she posed for an Instagram snap for Popsugar on Wednesday. Showing off her slender legs and nipped-in waist, the 31-year-old looked a shadow of her former self, no doubt the result of her recently increased workouts. The fashionista, who is currently promoting her new children's wear...

Eva Longoria Demands Newspaper ‘Apologise’ For Claiming She ‘Pretended’ To Need Glasses For Specsavers Campaign

She arrived Down Under in a blaze of Specsavers glory, fronting the optical retail chain's campaign for the smartest glasses wearer. But despite Eva Longoria wearing glasses as the style ambassador and judge for the 2015 Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year hunt, a Sydney newspaper accused her of 'pretending' to need spectacles to market herself and the brand. The Desperate Housewives' star, 40, told Thursday's Kyle and Jackie O show of the Sydney Morning Herald claims: '...

Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Funeral To Take Place On Saturday

Bobbi Kristina Brown will be remembered by her friends and family during a funeral service in Atlanta on Saturday morning. The private service will take place at St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta at 11am, with family members including her father Bobby Brown, aunt Pat Houston and grandmother Cissy Houston gathering to pay their respects. Soon after her body will be flown to New Jersey, where she will be buried alongside her late mother Whitney Houston at Fairview Cemetery...

Miley Cyrus To Host VMAs, Gives Middle Finger In Her First Promo

Miley Cyrus is hosting MTV's Video Music Awards this year and we can't help but be excited and nervous about what is going to transpire on that stage! Judging from the 22-year-old's first video promo that she shared via Instagram, we expect Aug. 30 to be a night of controversy. Watch promo below: https://instagram.com/p/5sbypAwzPA/?taken-by=mileycyrus Credit: intouchweekly  

Oil Marketers Back President Buhari On Sector Probe, Split Of NNPC

The Zonal Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria, Western Zone, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, has expressed its support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s probe of the activities in the oil and gas sector. He hailed the administration’s plan to split the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, saying it would address the recurrent scarcity in the oil and gas sector. Ahmed told newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State that it was high time the sector was overhauled to...

Individual Efforts By Everyone Of Us Won’t End Terrorism – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said efforts being made by individual countries are not capable of tackling terrorism. He said Nigeria and neighbouring countries must come together and join forces if the dream of defeating Boko Haram terrorists in the sub-region must come to pass. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement on Thursday quoted Buhari as speaking at a state dinner held in his honour at...

Tompolo Hails Buhari, Calls Him A Listening Leader

Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, frontline ex-Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leaders, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Niger Delta ex-militants and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta, yesterday, hailed President Muhammudu Buhari over the appointment of Brigadier Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Niger Delta ex-militants, who congratulated the newly appointed chairman of the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, said that Buhari had made a wise and deserved...

PDP Announces Reduction Of Staff Strength, Salaries And Allowances

Barely two months into its new status as the opposition political party, having governed the country for sixteen years, the Peoples Democratic Party, has started struggling with the challenge of being an opposition, as it yesterday announced that the party will reduce allowances, staff strength by 50%. The party has also said it would reduce the salaries and allowances of its staff by 50%, even...

Kylie Jenner Had Lip Fillers & Khloe Supports It

Khloe Kardashian is throwing a whole heap of shade on anyone who has been dishing out criticism to her younger sister, Kylie Jenner recently. In an interview with Complex magazine, Khloe slams people’s criticism of Kylie well-publicized lip fillers. “Sometimes things bother her. When it comes to her lips, I knew it was one of her biggest insecurities. She used to always take pictures covering her...

Iyanya Bears It All On His Romance With Yvonne Nelson (Watch Video)

Iyanya was asked in an interview with MTV Base VJ Ehiz ‘Real Talk’ about Yvonne Nelson and their public breakup. Here is what he had to say! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PbKplHXlyY Source: MTV Base

Sharon Osbourne Speaks Out Against The Legalisation Of Marijuana

Sharon Osbourne may come across as a laid-back liberal mother, but there is at lease one issue on which she remains staunchly conservative. The former X Factor judge – whose husband Ozzy Osbourne and children Kelly and Jack have all battled drug addiction – has spoken out against plans to legalise marijuana, warning “it is going to end in tears”. Sharon, 62, told American CBS TV: “I have big resentments that this is happening. Anything...

Kris Jenner & Ex Husband, Now Caitlyn Jenner, Finally Meets In Person

The highly anticipated meeting between Caitlyn Jenner and Kris Jenner has finally happened. A source confirms that the two exes met at Caitlyn's Malibu house yesterday for their first face-to-face get together, undoubtedly an emotional moment for both. Kris, who openly struggled with the news of Caitlyn's transition on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, is the last of the family members to meet Caitlyn. And although she stayed mum about Jenner's debut in the...

Soldiers In Aba Kill Kidnapper, Arrest 2 Members Of His Gang, Including A Lady

Soldiers of the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, stationed at Asa in Ukwa West local government area of Abia State have shot dead a kidnapper, arrested two members of his gang, including a lady, and rescued a female victim. Vanguard gathered that an Aba-based business woman, Mrs. Rita Anaekwe, was last Sunday night abducted at her residence on Anaekwe Street, Umuleta village, Obinkwu in Ukwa West local government area. Family sources said the hoodlums gained entry into...

419 Girls Scam ISIS on Social Media For Travel Money

If you’re low on funds for that big vacation, you could always ask to borrow money, make a Kickstarter campaign… or swindle a couple of Islamic State recruiters. It may not be the safest way to make money, but that’s what three girls from Chechnya, a Russian republic in southeastern Europe, did. The Chechen girls are under investigation for fraud after they allegedly scammed ISIS members into giving them money on the pretense that...

Director General Of The DSS, Lawal Daura Is An APC Member – PDP

Press statement from the PDP... The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today thoroughly considered a number of very important issues pertaining to the state of affairs in our nation. The NWC brings to the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to some disturbing development in the polity which, if not nipped in the bud, might significantly affect our democracy and stability as a nation negatively, and that is the growing...

ISIS Plans To End The World By Provoking The US To War

According to a recruitment document understood to be written by ISIS militants,the terrorist group plans for an all-out war to bring about 'the end of the world'. Follow the jump for the full story and discovered document: The Urdu document seen by USA Today, passed to the American Media Institute by a Pakistani citizen connected to the Taliban, reveals the scale of the ambition of ISIS, including targeting India to provoke...

Oil Worth $13.7bn Stolen Under NNPC, Says NEITI

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna-Ahmed, on Wednesday said between 2009 and 2012, about 160 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7bn was stolen under the watch of the national oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. She also said that subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 indicated that $11.63bn had been paid to the NNPC but that “there is no evidence of the money being remitted to the federation...

Oil worth $13.7bn stolen under NNPC, says NEITI

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna-Ahmed, on Wednesday said between 2009 and 2012, about 160 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7bn was stolen under the watch of the national oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. She also said that subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 indicated...

Port Harcourt And Warri Refineries Commence Preliminary Operations

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has announced that the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have been successfully re-streamed after a nine-month rehabilitation exercise conducted by its in-house engineers and technicians. The corporation, in a statement, noted that both plants commenced preliminary production of petroleum products after successful test-runs, adding that while PHRC was ramping up its operation to about 60 per cent of its 210,000 barrels per day capacity, WRPC production was projected to hit 80 per cent...

FG Overrules JAMB On New Admission Policy

The Federal Government has overruled the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on its new admission policy that recently sparked off protests in parts of the country. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday, after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of his ministry’s activities and challenges at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. JAMB had, at its 2015 Combined Policy Meeting, adopted a policy whereby candidates of universities with...

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 Plane Wreckage Found Off The Coast Of Africa?

Almost a year since the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight vanished mid-air during flight to China, wreckage found of the coast of Africa Officials revealed might be that of the missing plane. The debris, discovered near to the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, is that of a Boeing 777, investigators confirmed. The Malaysia Airlines jet - also a Boeing 777 - is thought to have come down in the same ocean on March 8 last year. Officials at...

Police Arrest Fed Poly Oko Graduate For Beheading Friend in A’Ibom

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command on Wednesday arrested a 32-year-old graduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Mr. Stephen Onona, in connection with the death of his close friend and employee, Mr. Daniel Solomon. Onona is from Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State while Solomon was from Uruan LGA of Akwa Ibom State. Onona was said to be an employee of Africana First Publisher, Uyo, where he worked for four years. The Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom...

Buhari commends Father Mbaka’s courage and patriotism in run-up to 2015 elections

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended fiery Catholic priest, Revd Father Ejike Mbaka, for his patriotism in the run-up to the 2015 general elections, saying his courage has earned him a mark in the sands of time. In a statement Thursday to congratulate the leader of the Adoration Ministries Enugu, Nigeria, on the occasion of his 20th priestly ordination, the President said history would favour Mr. Mbaka for courageously speaking truth to power, even at great risks. In the statement signed by...

Nigeria has taken ICJ’s ruling on Bakassi in good faith -Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Yaunde, Republic of Cameroon said to Nigerians to accept the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the oil-rich Bakassi penisular to Cameroon in good faith. “Since Nigeria allowed the case to go to court and we lost, we have to abide by it” he said

Massive shake up in Nigerian Army , as Buratai appoints new GOC

There is massive shake up in the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army as the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai appointed new General Officers Commanding the Divisions of the Nigerian Army as well as new Principal Staff Officers to run the affairs of Army headquarters. Also appointed were...

Air force intercepts Boko Haram’s fuel supply

The fuel supply route of the Boko Haram militants has been intercepted, and their new fuel supply seized by the fighter pilots of the Nigerian Air Force. The Director, Air Force Information, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, said in a statement on Wednesday, July 29,  that the Air Force seized 4,000 drums and jerry cans of...

FG goes after ‘super rich’ civil servants over corruption

Federal Government’s anti-corruption operatives have been sent after ‘super rich’ public officers who have multiple properties and other assets suspected to have been the rewards of graft. The searchlight of the anti-corruption agents is on civil servants that possess many properties in the Federal Capital Territory.

Photo Of The Day – D’banj

D'banj looks smart in his suit, designed by Okunorenhe.  He Wore a black suit, paired with neck chain, a wrist watch and shoes to blend the look. He wrote on his Instagram #SALUTE = Dress code + Work mode - Boss Mood #theKingIsHere #TheKingIsHere ...feels good to be Bag in Lasgidi. Week 3 get ready..   Lagos are you ready for the...

El-Rufai Nominates 13 Commissioners

The governor of Kaduna State, mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has nominated 13 persons as members of the state executive council. In a letter to Aminu Shagali, Speaker of the Kaduna State...

#AkwaIbom: Okori VS Akpabio: No election took place, Okori’s witnesses tells tribunal

...insist Akpabio not PDP candidate ...ex Governor's camp in disarray, Paul Usoro, Nwoko missing in court The trial in the legal battle between Chief Inibehe Okori of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Godswill Akpabio of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) commenced on Wednesday at the Customary Court, Dutsen Alhaji, Abuja. Three witnesses testified on Wednesday against the former Governor. At the...

Governor El-Rufai nominates 13 Commissioners

Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has nominated 13 persons as members of the state executive council. In a letter to Hon. Aminu Shagali, Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, El-Rufai requested the legislators to consider and approve his nominees. The governor also attached the indicative portfolios of the nominees in the interest of a transparent screening process. The nominees are: NamePortfolio 1 Professor...

Beyonce Finally Pregnant After Months Of IVF Treatments

Beyoncé, 33, and her hubby Jay Z‘s, 45, are more than ready to expand their family it seems. A new report claims that the famous duo turned to IVF to get pregnant for a second time. It’s been three years since they welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy, 3, so the timing couldn’t be better. Speculation that Beyoncé is pregnant is back with full force! A new report claims that the singer is with child thanks to multiple rounds of IVF treatments. “Even though...

‘They Call Him Timaya; “Getting Down” Higher’ By Charles Novia

Charles Novie who is known for his controversial articles is back.  Read below; Dancehall cum Afropop star act, Timaya, has been trending for a few days for the wrong reasons, perhaps. A lady in Atlanta, America took to social media to accuse him of rape. Initially when I read the news on a blog, I thought it was one of some crazy publicity stunts some Nigerian artistes pull up and didn’t give it a...

Only Palace Chiefs Can Announce Monarch’s Death, IDB Debunks Oba’s Death Reports

The President of Ife Development Board (IDB), Prof. Muib Opeloye, on Wednesday debunked reports of the death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. Mr. Opeloye, who addressed a crowd that had besieged the Ooni’s palace to confirm the veracity of the reports, said: “Although Baba is advanced in age, he is still hale and hearty in London. “lf anything of such happened, there is no need spreading the news and moreover, if it...

Yar’Adua Cancelled Sale Of Refineries, Refunded Dangote’s $750M – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has explained that the sale of two of the nation’s oil oil refineries had been concluded before he exited office in 2007, saying his successor, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, reversed the sale due to “pressure”. Obasanjo said this in his serialised interview with ‘Book Club’, a programme on Channels Television, monitored in Lagos on Wednesday. The ex-President said business mogul, Aliko Dangote, leading a consortium of investors, had paid $750m for...

Bobbi Kristina’s Boyfriend, Nick Gordon, To Be Charged With Manslaughter

Nick Gordon, who was the boyfriend of the late Bobbi Kristina, is now in serious trouble as prosecutors want to charge him with involuntary manslaughter, and are trying to use one of Nick's friends to turn him in law enforcement sources told TMZ. TMZ's sources say authorities believe Nick's alleged crime is arranging to get drugs for Bobbi Kristina the day she almost drowned in her bathtub. Nick already confessed to the fact that both he and Bobbi...

Tyler Perry Speechless After Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Death

The news of Bobbi Kristina Brown’s tragic death is absolutely devastating, and those close to the daughter of Whitney Houston are absolutely reeling with sadness. That includes Tyler Perry, who was an extremely close friend of Whitney and Bobbi for many years, and the actor released an tear-inducing...

UNIBEN Bans Students From Wearing Earpieces, Headsets Following Death Of Student

Following the death of the UNIBEN student, Rita, the school has banned students from wearing headsets and earpieces outside of their rooms. Information coming out of the school says this is a security measure to ensure that students are alert at all times. This was posted yesterday at Tinubu Hall in the school.

#BelieveItOrNot !! Hotel Where Perverts Pay to Have Sex With Animals Busted By Police

Three men have been jailed after being convicted of running an animal brothel in Swansea, Wales. The hotel specializes in getting animals and grooming them to become good in having sex with humans. Their animal catalog includes domesticated female white lions, mountain nanny goats, Irish pigs, Himalayan gentle donkeys and other species of animals. Some animals that are not dangerous like female sheep's and some breeds of dogs are also trained to give oral sex and receive full...

Kim And Khloe Come For Caitlyn Jenner?

Kim Kardashian has a tense conversation with Caitlyn Jenner in an extended preview of I Am Cait, accusing her of “bashing” her family while speaking publicly about her transition to living as a woman. Viewers will be able learn a lot more about how Kim and the Kardashian-Jenner clan are coping with Caitlyn’s new reality as the docu-series continues. “Khloe is upset,” Caitlyn admits in the episode. “She didn’t like the Vanity Fair article.”

Sight And Scenes From DA Music Room’s Denim Party As Premiere Show Records Huge Success In Abuja #AboutLastWeekend

The city of Abuja were not sure what to expect from a Christian party especially since its being hosted at one of Abuja most conspicuous club and lounge. Regardless of the mixed reaction the attendees were perplexed with the variety of entertainment and fun experience they got.     Da Music Room had earlier invited young, trendy, music and party people...

U.S. Indicts Borno Govt. Over Use Of Child Soldiers

Despite efforts by Nigeria’s central government to combat human trafficking and servitude, the Borno State government in the country’s north east, plagued by Boko Haram insurgency, actively supported the recruitment of child soldiers in the last one year, the United States government has said in its latest report on human trafficking. The report, released Monday, praised the Nigerian government for its efforts at fighting trafficking and ranked Nigeria in its Tier two category – the same...

President Buhari Arrives Cameroon For Talks On Boko Haram

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in neighbouring Cameroon on Wednesday for talks on how to combat the escalating regional threat from Boko Haram Islamists. Security was tight for the 24-hour visit, after a surge of Boko Haram violence in Cameroon including an unprecedented series of five suicide bombings in the far north. Presidential guard soldiers were posted on rooftops of houses and along the route from the airport to the presidential palace in Yaounde, while vehicles armed...

Ijaw youths task FG on economic plan for Niger Delta

The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide have tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on economic plan for the people of the Niger Delta. The youths said they are not against the president’s moves to curb oil-related theft in the region, but advised president Buhari to do the needful before deploying soldiers in the region.

Saraki Shocks Nigerians, Names Four Senate Committees

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has shocked Nigerians, by naming four Committees at Wednesday plenary. The committees include: 1. Selection Committee to be headed by the Senate President. 2. Rules and Business Committee with Senator Babatunde Omoworare representing Oshodi East Senatorial District as Chairman 3. Ethics and Privileges Committee with Senator Samuel Anyanwu representing Imo East Senatorial District as Chairman 4. Ad-Committee on Publicity is to be headed by Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi West Senatorial District. Read More: 

Obama warns world leaders to change attitude towards Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama in his visit to Ethiopia on Tuesday urged world leaders to change their attitude toward Africa. In a historic speech at the AU, Obama spoke strongly against corruption, bad leadership and economic exploitation of Africa by foreign powers, without naming any countries. He, however, sent a strong message to African leaders against extending term limits to cling to power indefinitely. He said “Africa’s progress is at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end. “No person...

Drake Comes For Meek Mill On Diss Track

Round 2. Just four days after dropping his diss track “Charged Up,” Drake takes aim at Meek Mill once more on his “Back to Back” freestyle. On the three-minute track, the 6 God addresses the ghostwriting controversy head on, rapping, “This for ya’ll that think that I don’t write enough / They just mad ’cause I got the Midas touch.” Drizzy goes on to bash Meek, who is currently opening for Nicki Minaj on her “Pinkprint Tour.” “You love...

New Terrorist Group In Kaduna, Police Arraigns 120 Suspected Members

Kaduna State Police Command yesterday arraigned 120 suspected members of a new terrorists group known as Sara- Suka before a Kaduna court. The suspects who were taken to court in large number, were later assigned to various magistrate courts by the Chief Magistrate court One, Awaulu Musa Aliyu, for the continuation of the case. However the suspects were taken back to police custody. It would be recalled that, Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, had...

Incredible! Man Cuts Off Wife’s Hand Over Adultery Allegations

Man, identified as Jacob Nwachukwu from Abala in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, has cut off his wife’s left hand over allegation of infidelity. The man’s wife, Mrs Nwadiokeonu Nwachukwu, is now at a hospital in Aba, while her severed hand had been taken to her husband’s village at Abala for burial. The incident happened, Monday, at Ogbor Hill Area of Aba, where the woman had lived for years, while the husband lived at...

Nicki Gets Intimate With Meek Mill In Sexy Video

All eyes are on Meek Mill and Drake’s beef. But the Dreamchasers rapper turns the spotlight on his relationship with Nicki Minaj in the video for “All Eyes On You,” the first single off his chart-topping album Dreams Worth More Than Money. In the Benny Boom-directed clip, Meek and his boo show why they’re hip-hop’s hottest new couple, putting their love on display for the world to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut9ThAbfde0 Credit: MeekMillTV

Man Kills 41-Day Old Baby Just To Divorce Wife

A 41-day-old baby, Zainab Olajide, has died after she was allegedly poisoned by her father, Kazeem Olajide, in a desperate attempt to divorce his wife. The incident happened at about 7am on Friday at Toluwalase Estate, Ijoko-Abule, in the Lemode area of Ogun State. Punch Metro learnt that the mother, Abosede Ogundare, had left Zainab with Kazeem to sweep the compound only to come back and met the baby with foams gushing out from her...

Nicki Minaj’s Ex Safaree Samuel Comes After Her, Labels Meek Mill Fat

Nicki Minaj's ex-boyfriend has taken a new dig at the superstar, claiming he ghostwrote some of her hits and slamming her current boyfriend Meek Mill as fat. Safaree Samuels blasts The Pinkprint rapper, 32, saying in new song Lifeline that he wrote lyrics for her hit album. In the track, Samuels raps: 'My bars on The Pinkprint no one will ever match'. Queens-raised...

Man Dies After Drinking 20 Sachets Of Gin In N500 Bet

A middle-aged man, identified as Chucks from Imo State, has died after consuming 20 sachets of gin in a N500 bet with a woman. The deceased, said to be a barber, is married with a child and lived along Ngwa Road area of Aba, Abia State. An eyewitness said the deceased had on the fateful day, gone to a nearby local shop situated within the area to take a sachet of his usual brand of gin and boosted to...

Letter To President Buhari: A Tripartite Solution To Terrorism In Nigeria By Olawale Rotimi

Dear President, Terrorism which was alien to Nigeria has become an intrinsic challenge to the country. This challenge has led to serious infrastructural damage in the areas of education, health and social welfare facilities, poor economy particularly in affected areas, while millions are left homeless. Terrorism in Nigeria did not develop from a vacuum; there are some social and political factors that gave birth to terrorism in Nigeria. Though the terrorist group, under the name “boko...

Air Force Unveils Unmanned Bomb Detector, Light Surveillance Aircraft

The development is part of the force’s contribution to the fight against insurgency in the troubled north-eastern region. Commandant of the AFIT, Air Vice Marshal Toni Adokwe, introduced the device at a gathering ahead of the institute’s 44th Convocation Ceremony coming up on Friday. The Commandant demonstrated how the device could dictate and pick up Impoverished Explosive Device to safer locations for disposal. The device has a frequency jammer to distort GSM signals and...