2016 in Nigeria’s History Books – By Orebanwo Adewale

A wise man once said that “life itself is a learning process”. With this thought floating amidst the ocean of thoughts in my head I decided to pick it out and see why it is waving the white flag. After much pondering on the subject I understood fully well that every stage in life we get to or every part we experience teaches us something that will be needful in the coming years. With the euphoria of this newly acquired knowledge, I decided to look back and see if truly have learnt one or two lessons from the year 2016 and here began my adventure to revisit my school of thought.

The teacher employed in my school of thought decided to do a quick revision on the lessons learnt during the ‘2016 value-adding session’; he reminded me how in our quest for change, we could no longer afford, the demands Change was pushing to us. It seemed as if the change we were clamoring for was going to be our own demise but we still hanged to the hope of a better Nigeria. From this lesson I learnt “Change is not in a person’s words but in a nation’s mindset”.

He also highlighted the stress we went through trying to keep the virus of recession from eating holes into our money bag. The word ‘recession’ is on every lips whenever you try buying something below the fixed price or when you call home for reimbursement or when you even board a cab. The poor now believes it is a distant cousin that has now decided to come pay them a visit, the rich believes it is an opportunity that can be exploited to their advantage while the government believes it is a period to sell our assets. Yet with this, many are not affected by this virus because they have skills, they have added value and they have wisely utilize it to stay at the top of the food chain. I learnt from this topic that “recession is also an opportunity depending on your viewing point”.

He further explained how we were caught in the crossfire when trying to fight for what was supposed to be our right as students (reparation saga). We tried speaking out so our voices would be heard but we only ended up talking but with no sound emerging out of our mouth, we fought hard but only succeeded in beating ourselves hard in the back. I could not forget how this experience caused a university that runs two semester in a session to automatically have a third session. In this topic I learnt something important and valuable, which is; “You can’t fight a brand until you are one”.

One lesson I won’t forget is that of the President of our great nation Nigeria. Tracing back time to his interview with a news media. I remember what he said about his wife ‘belonging to the kitchen and the other room’. This harmless phrase took a toll on the social media and it was rephrased in different ways that almost could paint him as a conspirator in the discrimination of the female gender. From this short lesson I grabbed a great deal of life essentials which is; “Talk is cheap, so don’t waste it blabbing around”.

Furthermore, a lesson that most Nigerians are still learning from is the advent of online schemes and platforms to increase wealth. I won’t say much on this but I learnt something critical to living life to the fullest which is; “Not everything that glitter is gold”

In order to manage time, other lessons were overlooked but my teacher emphasized one that cannot be ignored which is the election of the “world president” as everyone has accepted them to be. Despite the distance of the country in question from the shores of my fatherland, I could see the impact of whosoever emerges on education, standard of living, technology and terrorism. I learnt two lessons from this topic, which is; “influence is a proof of greatness” and “there is no resting until you cross the finish line”.

Despite the failures and success in this year, I was made to believe that the panacea to most of the failures in the year 2016 is centered on adequate planning and willingness to accept that life is a process and must be followed one step at a time. Before my teacher relinquishes his role, he stated clearly that the central theme in the 2017 impact-full session will be more of value-adding activities and spiritual growth.

Stepping out of the adventures my thoughts took me on, I remembered the words of a wise man: “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out”.

  • Orebanwo Adewale is a fresh graduate from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is a leader with a core value in human capital development. He is a creative writer and a prolific speaker. He can be reached via Email:orebanwoadewale@gmail.com or through +2347063643099. He can also be followed on Instagram: @orebs_adex.

272 touts, thieves, others prosecuted in Lagos Airport in 2016 – Police

The Police Command, Lagos Airport, says that no fewer than 272 persons were prosecuted for various offences at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, between January and December 2016.

 

The spokesperson of the command, Joseph Alabi, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos on Tuesday that the command also made 417 arrests within the period under review.

 

Mr. Alabi said that some of the suspects were charged with assault, stealing, obtaining by false pretences as well as unlawful entry and touting.

 

He said the crimes contravened Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria bye-laws.

 

“The command was able to secure 105 convictions for the period under review while 203 cases were still under investigation and trial,” he said.

 

Alabi pledged the determination of the command to intensify security at the airport and its environs to guarantee safety of passengers, airline operators and other users.

 

He appealed to members of the public to abide by the rules and regulations of the airport, especially on the issue of restricted areas.

BloomBerg: The worst performing currency of 2016 is not the Naira.

Bitcoin, the increasingly popular cryptocurrency or digital currency, was the best performing currency in 2016.

If you were thinking the naira was the worst performing currency of that year, you are wrong on this one.

According to Bloomberg analysis, the worst performing currency for 2016 was the pound. Not the British pound, but the Egyptian pound, which depreciated by 58.84 percent.

The Nigerian naira, which fell by 36.68 percent, was the fourth worst performing currency of 2016 — just ahead of the Egyptian pound, Suriname dollar, and the Venezuelan Bolivar.

Bitcoin, according to the analysis, gained more than 100 percent as capital controls in places like China, and isolationist rumblings in the UK and US have fueled interest in alternate currencies.

At the opening of 2016, one bitcoin was less than $400, but at the end of 2016 a bitcoin was trading above $1000.

As regards currencies issued by governments and central banks, the Russian ruble was the performer of the year as oil prices rallied towards the end of the year, trailed by the Brazilian real.

Russian ruble appreciated by 21.31 percent, while the Brazilian currency gained 20.96 percent through the year.

The Zambian kwacha, the South African rand and Lesotho’s Loti were the best performers on the continent, appreciating by 11.96 percent, 11 percent and 11 percent respectively.

The currencies had played a major role in stock exchange of the countries, as the Brazilian stock had the best equity market in the world in 2016 while Nigeria’s came out the worst.

“2016 was a year of attainments, challenges for Kaduna.” – El-Rufai.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has described 2016 as a year of attainments and challenges for the state.

In his new year message to the people of the state on Saturday in Kaduna, he said his government has confronted its difficulties with the same decisiveness it used to produce results across sectors.

The governor said amidst the successes, the state has experienced security challenges especially in parts of Southern Kaduna.

He welcomed the assistance of the Federal Government in deploying additional security asset to the area.

“We have imposed discipline on the finances of our state, increased IGR and ensured that we pass our budget well before a new calendar year. We must uphold hope and a common humanity,” he said.

“We invoke the blessings of the Almighty on all our people, that harmony will prevail in our land and that the apostles of violence and division will be shamed.

“We have high hopes for 2017; that it will be a year of peace and growth for our state, and our country, Nigeria.

“For us in Kaduna State, 2016 was a year of attainments and challenges. We made tangible progress in implementing our governance agenda. Much has been done, but much more remains to accomplish,” he added.

NBC: Love him or hate him, Kanye West had a very memorable 2016.

Kanye West began 2016 floating a run for the White House in 2020. He ended the year in another dramatic flourish — strutting into Trump Tower as perhaps the most unlikely ally of the president-elect.

And through all the antics, the year for Yeezy was at times as beautiful, dark and twisted a fantasy as ever.

That’s because the “Famous” rapper managed to remain remarkably relevant, if not for his music or his fashion line, than for a string of public and erratic outbursts that propelled him into the national conversation in unprecedented ways.

Next year, West turns 40, but don’t expect anything to change. The controversial rapper remains poised to keep people guessing and just as engaged as they were in 2016.

A Year Defined by Politics

West, who never said which political party, if any, he’d be affiliated with should he ever run for president, projected the utmost confidence that he is up to the task despite never having held public office.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll from last year suggested that only 6 percent of Americans would even consider voting for West.

Although West donated to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and appeared to take shots at Trump, he retroactively endorsed the president-elect during an erratic concert in Sacramento, California, in November. He also criticized frequent collaborator Jay Z, Beyoncé and President Barack Obama — then stormed off the stage after declaring, “I’m on my Trump sh*t tonight.”

Is Trump’s meeting with Kanye West important or a distraction?2:26

West went on to have an unexpected face-to-face meeting with Trump at Trump Tower earlier this month to discuss “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago.” He left with a handshake and a signed copy of Trump’s TIME Person of the Year cover.

Trump has insisted that he and West are “great friends.”

“Kanye West hugging President-elect Trump is not how most of us expected 2016 to end,” said Zack O’Malley Greenburg, a Forbes entertainment writer and author of the Jay Z biography “Empire State of Mind.”

“Yeah, I think it’ll lose him some fans, but will it kill his career? I don’t think so. Kanye has made a brand out of making people uncomfortable, for better or worse.”

Meanwhile, West walked away from their conversation with an apparently different perspective on his political future, simply tweeting: “#2024.”

A Year Defined by Scandals

The Chicago rapper’s embrace of Trump, who has been dogged by criticism for racially charged and anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, amused and alienated many of his fans and peers in the music business.

But it was just one of several controversial episodes from 2016.

“I think this was supposed to be the year that Kanye got his affairs in order. But what kind of ended up happening was something very different,” Greenburg said. In the end, 2016 ended up being a year of missed opportunities for him.”

In February alone, Kanye said that embattled comedian Bill Cosby was innocent of the numerous allegations of sexual assault lodged against him (Cosby has also denied the charges), and he asked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to help him pay off a purported $53 million debt.

In a video leaked from a “Saturday Night Live” rehearsal, the rapper boasted that he was “50 percent” more influential than any other artist living or dead, including Pablo Picasso, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

Speaking of Picasso, West named his latest critically acclaimed album, “The Life of Pablo,” after the iconic painter. But that LP’s botched rollout — it was initially supposed to be released exclusively on Jay Z’s music streaming platform Tidal, but was undermined by leaks and eventually found its way onto iTunes — somewhat overshadowed its content.

On that album, West resurrected his years-long feud with singer Taylor Swift, rapping that he made her famous and that, despite being a married father of two, he “might still have sex” with the singer.

West and his reality star wife, Kim Kardashian, would later provide audio of a phone conversation with Swift as proof that she signed off on the lyrics, an assertion the Grammy-winning pop star has called into question.

A Year Defined by Health Concerns

Public feuds aside, there have been legitimate worries from fans about West’s well-being.

His November concert rant in Sacramento preceded an extended hospital stay for exhaustion, according to his representatives. The rest of West’s ongoing “Life of Pablo” tour (21 arena dates) was canceled indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean he will be slowing down.

“Trying to predict what Kanye will do next is kind of a fool’s errand,” Greenburg added. “I think the only thing you can predict is that he is going to be unpredictable.”

In other words, the road to #2024 could be the start of a whole new West — and not just a White House run.

74 Journalists Killed In 2016

At least 74 journalists and other media workers were killed worldwide in 2016.

53 of the victims died as a result of targeted attacks, media watchdog, Reporters without Borders (RSF) said Monday.

RSF Germany director, Christian Mihr, told journalists in Afghanistan that Mexico, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia were countries where media safety and freedom were particularly at risk in 2016.

“Afghanistan is a classic example, even if Germany does not want to hear it, because there are always attempts to portray it as being safe, “the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Mihr as saying to journalists.

“This year the number of emergency requests from journalists in Afghanistan, who turned to us to ask for assistance, rose.

 

“It was clearly compared to the previous year as the state no longer had control in many regions and regional warlords were in charge.”

The remaining 21 journalists died while they were working in areas such as war zones, and five of the total victims were women.

Credit:

74 journalists killed in 2016

Nigeria Lost Over N1.5 trillion To Attacks By Niger Delta Militants, Oil Vandals In 2016

The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on its facilities in 2016, an official has said.

Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated this on Wednesday.

In a statement ?signed by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Baru said that the exploration and production subsidiary of the corporation lost the amount due to attacks on its facilities from January till date.

Mr. Baru disclosed this when he declared open the 2016 NNPC Security Awareness week with the theme:? “NNPC Security: A Task for All Stakeholders”.

He ?lamented the rising spate of criminality in the society at large and in the oil and gas industry in particular leading to loss of much needed revenue.

”At industry level, we are all conversant with the seriousness and frequency with which national assets in form of pipelines, flow stations are vandalised and crude oil and white products stolen with impunity.?

”In 2016, January to date for example, NPDC alone recorded 59 security incidents resulting in crude production shut down/deferment and revenue loss of over N1.5 trillion,” he said.

Read More:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/217964-nigeria-lost-n1-5-trillion-attacks-niger-delta-militants-oil-vandals-2016.html

25 Best Films Of 2016, Watch The Epic Supercut

From Beyoncé’s Lemonade to the much-hyped La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, it’s been an incredible year for film. And in order to properly celebrate it, Indiewire critic David Ehrlich has created a supercut of the 25 best films 2016 had to offer.

For his fifth consecutive year, Ehrlich totally nails it: The list includes some of the most beautiful, emotional, weird, terrifying, and epic films of 2016. Every choice is well worth a watch, and his artful supercut is guaranteed to have you running to the theater.

And just in case you wanted to make a checklist out of it, here’s Ehrlich’s ranking for the year:

25. Weiner
24. High-Rise
23. Lemonade
22. Kate Plays Christine
21. Things to Come
20. Always Shine
19. Manchester by the Sea
18. Swiss Army Man
17. Silence
16. Hail, Caesar!
15. The Witch
14. American Honey
13. Indignation
12. Toni Erdmann
11. The Handmaiden
10. The Love Witch
9. The Lobster
8. La La Land
7. The Fits
6. Kubo and the Two Strings
5. A Bigger Splash
4. O.J.: Made in America
3. Jackie
2. Sunset Song
1. Moonlight

Credit: cosmopolitan

TIME Announces 2016 Person Of The Year, Meet The 11 Finalists

The shortlist of candidates for the 2016 Person of the Year—TIME’s annual selection of the person who most influenced the news, for better or for worse—was revealed Monday morning on NBC’s Today.

In alphabetical order, the 11 candidates chosen by TIME magazine’s editors are:

Simone Biles

Making her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, the talented 19-year-old gymnast earned four gold medals and one bronze, leading her “Final Five” team to victory and affirming her status as the best in the world.

Hillary Clinton

The former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State became the first woman to receive the U.S. presidential nomination of a major political party, going on to lose the election but win the popular vote—the culmination of a hard-fought, divisive presidential race.

CRISPR Scientists

These scientists have developed a groundbreaking new technology that can edit DNA, a technique that has the potential to transform science and the human experience, as it could be used to find and remove mutations responsible for incurable diseases.

Recep Tayyip Erdo?an

After an attempted military coup failed in July, the Turkish president has tightened control over the country, arresting political opponents, firing thousands of state employees and shutting down news organizations.

Nigel Farage

As head of the U.K. Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.

The Flint Whistleblowers

Local residents, along with civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards and local pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, blew the whistle on the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Mich., drawing national attention to an environmental crisis that still has yet to be fully resolved.

Beyoncé Knowles

With a headline-worthy Super Bowl halftime performance, a world tour and a powerful second visual album, Lemonade, Beyoncé continued to surprise and provoke a global audience, using her platform to speak out about racial injustice, police violence and feminism.

Narendra Modi

At the head of a powerful government, the Indian Prime Minister has guided his country’s economy into position as the “emerging-market world’s most positive story.” Late in the year, however, he also stoked concern when he unexpectedly banned 500- and 1,000-rupee bills—a move that aimed to curb untaxed wealth but now threatens to slow the country’s economic growth.

Vladimir Putin

The Russian president made headlines this year with his country’s intervention in Syria and evidence showing that Russian operatives were responsible for the hack of Democratic National Committee servers.

Donald Trump

After campaigning as an anti-establishment, populist candidate, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States—a stunning end to a presidential bid that repeatedly broke with political precedent.

Mark Zuckerberg

In the year that Facebook surpassed the 1 billion mobile daily users mark, the social-media titan has an unprecedented global reach. The CEO has also faced pressure to take responsibility for the site’s role in spreading fake or misleading news, amid criticism that those stories influenced the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

The 2016 Person of the Year will be unveiled on Today on Wednesday morning, when the news will also be shared on Time.com.

Credit:

http://time.com/4589502/person-of-the-year-2016-shortlist/

See The Top 10 Celebrity Models Who Gained Most Instagram Followers In 2016

Gigi Hadid gained a shit-ton of followers on Instagram in 2016. So many, in fact, that she tops a list, made by Instagram themselves, of models and designers who gained the most fans this year.

Gigi more than doubled her reach this year, increasing her follower count by 16,033,757. That means that over 26 million people get her daily updates on the social media platform.

She’s not the only model with a gain over 10 million though. Cara Delevingne got over 14 million new followers in 2016, bringing her total up to 35.6 million.

Check out who else made the top 10 list — and the surprising person who didn’t — below.

1. Gigi Hadid

Followers added: 16,033,757

Total followers: 26 million

2. Cara Delevingne

Followers added: 14,333,714

Total followers: 35.6 million

3. Hailey Baldwin

Followers added: 5,935,909

Total followers: 8.4 million

4. Bella Hadid

Followers added: 5,849,699

Total followers: 8 million

5. Emily Ratajkowski

Followers added: 5,685,483

Total followers: 9.5 million

6. Victoria Beckham

Followers added: 5,173,409

Total followers: 13 million

7. Chrissy Teigen

Followers added: 4,840,896

Total followers: 9 million

8. Gisele Bündchen

Followers added: 3,880,496

Total followers: 10.6 million

9. Taylor Hill

Followers added: 3,624,222

Total followers: 5.6 million

10. Candice Swanepoel

Followers added: 3,480,158

Total followers: 10 million

Interesting that Kendall Jenner isn’t even featured on the list at all. Her break from the app must have really hit her follow count hard!

Only Two Nigerians Win 2016 National Merit Award

Only two Nigerians would be conferred with the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) this year, the Chairman Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA) Prof. Etim Moses Essien has said.

He told reporters on Thursday in Abuja that the award which is a separate Order of Dignity is in four categories of science, medicine, engineering/technology; and humanities including arts and culture.

He said the two recipients Prof. Sadik A. Omowunmi and Prof. Tanure Ojaide won in science and humanities respectively bringing the total of awardees to 73.

While Omowunmi A. Sadik is a Professor of Bioanalytical and Environmental Chemistry and inventor working at the Binghamton University New York United States, Prof. Tanure Ojaide is a prolific poet and writer.  Both are multiple international award winners.

While 71 recipients were awarded since 1979 when it was instituted, there was no award in 2015 due to the non-constitution of the governing board of the NNMA by the federal government.

“One of the unacceptable activities of various Nigerian scholars had been the tendency to concentrate their researches on problems and issues that might not have been relevant to the needs and aspirations of the country, except mainly those of a political nature and whose essential criteria and consideration were politically driven.

“As prescribed in the law governing the NNMA, the investiture will be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari next Thursday 1st December 2016, as the first Thursday of every December is stipulated for the investiture, at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa at Mr. President’s pleasure,” Essien said.

He said that each recipient would be given N10m each apart from other paraphernalia of the award and that recipients after their investiture can append NNOM after their names.

He said the names of the awardees were submitted to the President on September 1 as stipulated by law after the painstaking process of the assessment committee who recommended the recipients.

He said that this year’s NNOM Laurette forum themed “Mono-Economy, Diversification, Exchange Rate Stability and the Development of the Nigerian Nation” would hold next Tuesday and would be followed by the NNOM Laurette Award Winners’ Lecture instituted in 2007.

The lecture would be delivered by a 2013 Laurette Prof. Hilary Inyang Inyang titled “Configuration of Policy and Technical System for Improvement of Nigeria’s Environmental Security”

Credit: dailytrust

Smugglers kill 70 Customs officers in 2016 – Ali

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has disclosed that the service has lost 70 officers to smugglers this year.

Ali said this when members of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria visited on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the biggest problem Customs had was the issue of smuggling. According to him, rice smuggling is counterproductive to health, adding that the life span of rice is two years.

He said most of the smugglers re-bagged the rice and changed their life span to three to five years.

“The borders are porous and they are long. All the smugglers and rice millers are targeting December, and I can assure you that we have alerted all our men and also working with police, military and para-military to make sure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum.

“All we need from you is information, because it is key to what we do; we cannot achieve much without correct information.

“You (millers) have said that you have identified some routes; all we need is the correct information about this route to track these smugglers.

“I was in Benin Republic few months back to speak with Benin customs and identify areas of collaboration and see what can be done to make sure that the trade between us does not jeopardise Nigeria’s economy.

“The Benin economy is dependent on Nigeria and the only thriving business there is the port,” he said.

Ali urged rice millers to work effectively with Customs to complement the area of information.

According to him, “Customs will deploy every possible means to fight because most of these smugglers are highly technically organised.

#PhotoNews: Images From Polling Stations Of The 2016 US Election

Eager voters crowded into polling stations to choose a new US president Tuesday after a wild and bitter contest between the billionaire populist Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Democrat seeking to become the first woman to win the White House.

Though the tone of the campaign leading to the election day was rather caustic, the election has been very orderly across America, according to media reports.

Trevor Noah pulls out of 2016 MTV MAMA Awards.

South African comedian Trevor Noah has announced his inability to host the 2016 MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA).

The Comedy Central host made the announcement earlier on Friday, explaining he has been suffering from a severe respiratory and ear infection.

“Due to the infection and strain on my vocal chords the doctor has ordered me to rest. I desperately wish I could dismiss the doctor but the added risk of flying means the decision would be highly irresponsible  and may cause further damage,” he said.

trevor-noah-note

MTV, organisers of the show has announced television and radio personality Bonang Matheba as his replacement.

Bonang who has less than 24 hours to prepare, said, “….. Feels a bit UNREAL!! Thank you @MTVBaseAfrica for trusting ME!! Here we go…. 24 hours to prep!!”

The 2016 MAMA will hold on Saturday October 22nd in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Halifax International Security Forum Releases 2016 Topical Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC – Halifax International Security Forum, North America’s leading foreign affairs and defense conference, announces the release of its topical agenda for this year’s gathering in Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 18-20.

 

For the agenda, click here.

 

The Halifax International Security Forum’s annual agenda has earned a global reputation for identifying and addressing the issues that security officials must confront today and into the future.  As far back as 2013, the plenary session “Free Radicals With Return Tickets” addressed the urgent issue of Western youth joining radical terrorist organizations in increasing numbers and the potential for attacks in our own cities.  The international community is still dealing with this threat.

 

This year’s agenda aims to be equally prescient.

 

“Brexit, populism in continental Europe, the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, and the recent referendum in Colombia turning down the peace deal demonstrate a real disconnect between elites and the public across the democratic world,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of Halifax International Security Forum.  “If local politics forces democracies to look inward, will we be capable of meeting the global security threats ahead?  We must have a conversation at Halifax that leads to a better understanding of the challenges in our own democracies so we are fully equipped to continue to look outward.”

 

Halifax International Security Forum will be hosted by the Hon. Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence.  It brings together individuals who are on the ground facing consequential local threats, writers who challenge and influence the world’s thinking on security, and global decision-makers who make the tough choices.

 

The Halifax International Security Forum is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC.  The Forum is made possible by the generous support from its partners, including the Government of Canada, and the Halifax Canada Club.

 

2016 DRAFT TOPICAL AGENDA

 

Plenary Sessions (On-the-Record)

 

  • Make Democracy Great Again
  • The Superpower’s Enduring Priorities: Trade, Justice and the American Way
  • Great Continent, Great Responsibility: Finding China’s Role
  • Because Syria: I’m Your Friendly Neighborhood Terrorist
  • NATO: Necessary
  • Climate Security, Energy Security and the Politics of Slow Moving Threats
  • Spies Love Us: Protecting Information in the Age of Openness
  • Return of the Nation State

 

Small Group Sessions (Off-the-Record)

 

  • Are We All Being Served?: Women and the Importance of Being Inclusive
  • Beneath the Waves: Submarine Surge
  • Can Liberal Institutions Survive Democracy?
  • Catastrophe in South Sudan
  • Colombia’s Peace: Latin Lessons for All
  • Defense, Development, Diplomacy: Difficult
  • Democracy Lost: When Allies Go Astray
  • Drugs: America’s Addiction, Mexico’s Affliction
  • The End of Secrecy: The End of Diplomacy?
  • Energy as a Weapon: An Idea Whose Time has Passed?
  • India: Last BRIC in the Wall
  • ISIS in Africa
  • London Calling, Europe Falling
  • Maidan, Crimea, and the Obstacles to Democracy in Ukraine
  • Middle East Mess: Who Should Clean It Up?  Who Can?
  • The New Battlefield: Where Is It?
  • Old Enemies, New Friends?: Realignment in the Middle East
  • Operation: Peace
  • Power Corrupts, Corruption Corrodes
  • Reconciliation or Escalation: The Korean Conundrum
  • Refugees Passing Borders, Nations Passing the Buck
  • Russia: Putin’ the Bloc Back Together
  • Sea, Cyber, Space: The Long Game in Asia
  • Securing Afghanistan, Losing Pakistan
  • Terror: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
  • Top Cop: Fulfilling the UN’s Eternal Promise
  • TPP: Toward a New Liberal Order in Asia
  • Turkey’s Failed Coup and the Consequences for the Rest of the World

For media inquiries, please contact communications@halifaxtheforum.org. Please direct other inquiries to info@halifaxtheforum.org

This Dead Celebrity Earned More In 2016 Than Any Living Celebrity

At a certain point, the amount of money that a celebrity makes is just a number. However, even the most aloof individual has to admit that £675 million is a pretty big one. That’s how many dollars the highest-paid celebrity of 2016 took home. The plot twist? He’s not even alive.

On Wednesday morning, Forbes announced Michael Jackson as the highest-paid dead celebrity of 2016, earning £615 million after the March sale of his half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, which notably contained The Beatles library. He paid just £39 million for the catalog back in 1985, eventually splitting it with Sony ten years later, proving that he’s not just the King of Pop, but also the King of Investments. The sale put his total pretax earnings at £675million, which is the most earned in one year by any celebrity dead or alive.

For comparison, the highest-paid celebrities in 2015, like Katy Perry and Floyd Mayweather Jr., made £110 million and £245 million, respectively.

Michael Jackson also topped the 2015 list of highest-paid dead celebrities, but with a noticeably “smaller” sum at just £95 million. In fact, he has remarkably continued to earn nine figures every full year after his death. Now that’s something to dance about.

Michael Jackson tops the 2016 Forbes list of top grossing deceased superstars, earning a whopping $825 million.

Credit: yahoo

10 World’s Best Airports For 2016 Announced (SEE LIST)

For the fourth year in a row, Singapore Changi Airport has clinched the World’s Best Airport title at the annual SkyTrax World Airport Awards, announced Wednesday in Cologne, Germany.
The Skytrax awards are based on millions of votes collected in passenger surveys.
Many of those passing through the island city-state are clearly pleased with the airport’s innovations, such as two 24-hour movie theaters screening the latest blockbusters for free, a rooftop swimming pool and a butterfly garden.
“To be named the World’s Best Airport by SkyTrax for the fourth year running is a significant achievement for Changi Airport and a clear affirmation that we continue to hit the right notes in our pursuit of service excellence,” airport CEO Lee Seow Hiang said in a statement issued by SkyTrax.

2016 SkyTrax World Airport Awards

1. Singapore Changi Airport
2. Incheon International Airport (South Korea)
3. Munich Airport (Germany)
4. Tokyo International Airport Haneda
5. Hong Kong International Airport
6. Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya, Japan)
7. Zurich Airport (Switzerland)
8. London Heathrow Airport
9. Kansai International Airport (Osaka, Japan)
10. Hamad International Airport (Doha, Qatar)
Read More: CNN

Economy Will Be Better In Remaining Part Of 2016- FG

The Presidency has said that the nation’s economic ?outlook remains bright notwithstanding the drop in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the Federal Government said the remaining part of the year would be better.

The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday released the long-awaited GDP figures for the second quarter of 2016 with the GDP growth rate sliding further from -0.36 per cent in the first quarter to -2.06 per cent year-on-year.

Quoting the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Adeyemi Dipeolu, the statement said the recession would not last because many of the challenges faced in the first half either no longer existed or had been eased.

The statement noted that  the just released GDP figures for the 2016 second quarter by the NBS, while? confirming a temporary decline, has also indicated a hopeful expectation in the country’s economic trajectory.

It also said that apart from? the growth recorded in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors, the Nigerian economy, in response to the policies of the Buhari presidency, was also doing better than what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had estimated with clear indications that the second half of the year would be even much better.

The statement said the Buhari presidency would continue to work diligently on the economy and engage with all stakeholders to ensure that beneficial policy initiatives were actively pursued and the dividends delivered to the Nigerian people.

Read More: thisdaylive

JAMB Withdraws 2016 Admission Lists Sent To Varsities, Others

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has withdrawn the list of recommended candidates for admission earlier sent to the tertiary institutions, the Board said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is to ensure that the University Senate perform its statutory responsibility of conducting the selection of candidates and refer it to JAMB for confirmation in line with the admission criteria of merit, catchment and educationally disadvantaged states as directed by the Minister of Education at the policy committee meeting,” Fabian Benjamin, the organisation’s head of media, said in a statement.

“The earlier list was sent to help fast track the process of admission so as to allow other tiers of institutions also conduct their admission.

“Candidates should not panic because this is part of the process of the 2016 admission exercise. JAMB regrets any inconvenience this decision would have caused the tertiary institutions

“The Board regrets any inconvenience it’s proactive step would have caused the tertiary institutions.”

Credit: Sun

Lagos State Govt. Generates N101.69bn In First Quarter Of 2016

The Lagos State Government generated a total revenue of N101.69bn in the first quarter of 2016 out of which a surplus of N4.85bn was realized as against an expected N29.92bn deficit, the State’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade said on Monday.

 

Speaking at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja to commemorate Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s first year in office, Ashade said the generated revenue was above that of 2015 which stood at N97.28bn in the first quarter, adding that in absolute terms, the revenue performance was N4.4bn more than comparative period of 2015.

 

Ashade said the remarkable feat was achieved despite the diminishing statutory allocation from the federation account, adding that same was due to Governor Ambode’s purposeful and visionary leadership.

He expressed optimism that with the implementation of multiple revenue collection channels and broadening of the revenue base, the State Government would achieve tremendous progress in its revenue drive.

 

Giving a detailed breakdown of the budget performance, the Commissioner said N76.06bn was the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State in the first quarter representing 72 percent of the estimate for the quarter and 75 percent of the total revenue, as against the N67.21bn generated in first quarter of 2015 representing 74 percent of the estimate and 69 percent of the total revenue in the corresponding period for last year.

 

said the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) revenue for the first quarter of 2016 stood at N67.25bn representing 90 percent estimate for the quarter and 88 percent of the total IGR and 66.12 percent of the total revenue, compared to N60.58bn (87 percent of the estimate for Q1 Y2015), representing 90 percent of total IGR and 62 percent of total revenue in 2015.

“This performance was N6.67bn more in absolute terms compared to corresponding period in Y2015 and due largely to more participatory structural and systemic re-engineering.

“Over the course of the first quarter of Y2016, Federal transfers contributed N25.64bn (83 percent of the estimate for the quarter) and accounted for 25.21 percent of total revenue. Further breakdown showed that statutory allocations contributed N7.48bn while VAT contributed N18.16bn,” Ashade said.

Speaking on performance of capital expenditures for the period under review, the Commissioner explained that in the regard, the government expended N48.88bn on capital projects which represented a 51 percent better performance of N15.08bn (24 percent) as at the first quarter of 2015.

He also revealed that as at the end of first quarter of 2016, the ratio of capital expenditures to recurrent expenditures closed at 50:50, better than a ratio of 21:79 recorded for the same period in 2015 but short of the ratio of 58:42 projected for 2016.

He, however, expressed optimism that capital expenditure performance would experience significant improvement in the second quarter of 2016 based on the projections and expectations of revenue inflows.

Ashade, whose Ministry is also responsible for managing the State’s existing relationships with development partners as well as identify new potential ones to drive further development, disclosed that the State Government has gone into partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to invest in a possible monorail project that will link Marina to Oniru in Victoria Island and Ikoyi, and later connect to the Lekki Rail Line project which is also in the works.

 

He clarified that the monorail project is an urban mass transportation project different from the ongoing Blue Line Rail project that will connect Mile 12 to CMS, and the Red Line Rail Project.

According to him: “A detailed feasibility study has been commissioned on the monorail project to validate the initial survey, which will eventually lead to an investment of US$1billion (about N300billion) in the project if the results of the feasibility study are positive, amongst other conditions.”

Ashade further disclosed that under the Eko Urban Project, the State Government, in partnership with the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) would soon embark on the upgrade of slums in Amukoko in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the State and Ilaje-Bariga in Bariga Local Council Development Area of the State, as well as the provision of modern waste disposal facility in Epe.

He said projects would soon take off as the AFD has already committed a US$100m loan for the projects, while the State Executive Council has equally approved the upgrade of the slums.

 

Why I Won’t Sign 2016 Budget In A Hurry- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday explained why he would not hurriedly assent to the 2016 passed by the National Assembly.

He said he would critically review the document before assenting to it, according to a statement by Femi Adesina the special adviser to the President on media and publicity.

Speaking at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC, President Buhari said in view of the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the appropriation bill to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.

“Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposal and replaced it with what they wanted,” Mr. Buhari said. “I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission.”

Declaring that his administration will continue to vigorously prosecute its war against corruption, President Buhari sought and received an assurance from Mr. Kerry that the United States Government will facilitate the repatriation of all stolen Nigerian funds found within the American banking system.

“It will greatly help our country if you assist us to recover all our stolen funds which we can establish to be within your financial system,” the President told Mr. Kerry.

Responding, the Secretary of State said that he has been told that the stolen Nigerian funds were in “billions of dollars”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Malnutrition: Nigeria To Lose 300,000 Children In 2016 – UNICEF

It is feared that Nigeria stands to loose a total number of 300,000 children within the ages of 0-5 years to acute malnutrition in 2016 if drastic measures are not swiftly put in place to tackle the menace.

Zakari Fusheni, a nutrition specialist in UNICEF Abuja office, on Wednesday disclosed this at a retreat on malnutrition with the theme: “Malnutrition: the major cause of under five-5 mobility and mortality in Kaduna state: call for action” which was organized by the Kaduna state ministry of local government, health and human services, in collaboration with UNICEF Kaduna field office, also disclosed that over 1.6 million Nigerian children are malnourished.

He said policies need to be put in place to prevent children from dying as malnutrition is beyond poverty and educational status, with more emphasis on the enlightenment of mothers.

“Over 1.6 million Nigerian children are suffering from acute malnutrition and this means that the children are nine times likely to die than normal children and if nothing is done about it, we will likely loose 300,000 of these children.”

“So what it means also is that we need to get the interventions right, and we need to treat them because they need attention. UNICEF has been working with the government in providing ready to use therapeutic foods and this is very important for the children so that they can be treated of severe malnutrition.”

“Nigeria is trying but still has a long way to go because we still have a standing rate ?of about 30% -47% in acute malnutrition which is still quite high compared to other countries. This calls for more efforts.

“If you look at breast feeding which is important for the survival of the child in the first six months, we still have it at low rate especially in the north. Most of the states have less than 10% in breast feeding rate and it’s not good for the children because it is their first food.”

“Nigeria knows what the problems and solutions are; we just need to come together because nutrition goes beyond poverty and even beyond educational status. In rich homes, there are still presentations of malnutrition. It also has to do with how it is been tackled, using the multi- sectoral approach.”

Credit: Leadership

Oil Prices Hit 2016 High, Rise Above $40/bl

The price of Brent crude monday rose for the sixth consecutive trading day in a row, hitting a 2016 peak of over $40 a barrel, as buyers were encouraged by talk that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was targeting a higher anchor price after a sell-off that has lasted nearly two years.

The rise in oil prices coincided with comments by the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who advised Nigerians to stop viewing the low oil price environment as a setback, saying that the situation offers the nation an opportunity to diversify its revenue base.

Reuters reported that oil prices also got a boost from data showing a smaller-than-expected build-up in stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for United States crude futures.

Despite the rebound in crude price, some analysts cautioned that the global crude glut remained a huge challenge.

Global crude prices have risen more than 40 per cent since hitting 12-year lows less than two months ago.

The rebound from oil price lows of around $26 a barrel has also been driven by chart-related buying and asset rotation by investors that resulted in higher allocations into commodities such as oil and metals, as well as equities.

Brent, the global benchmark crude, rose by $2.18 at $40.90 yesterday, while its session peak was $41.04, the highest since December 9, 2015. United States’ WTI crude was also up $2 at $37.92 a barrel, after hitting a two-month high and closing at $38.11.

Traders said price gains accelerated after market intelligence firm Genscape reported a smaller-than-expected rise in crude stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub.

Major OPEC producers are privately starting to talk about a new oil price equilibrium of $50, New York-based consultancy PIRA told Reuters.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said last week that as part of measures to stabilise crude oil prices, some members of the OPEC were scheduled to meet with swing producer, Russia on March 20 in Moscow to fine tune collaborative strategies.

Kachikwu said the cartel would target a new oil price equilibrium of $50 a barrel.

Credit: ThisDay

FIRS Sets Strategies For Increased Tax Collection In 2016

The Executive Chairman,The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it had set specific strategies to increase tax collection to drive its proposed targets in 2016.

 

Mr Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of the Service, stated this in a document he signed which was made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

 

He said that the overall target was to ensure that Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) became the largest contributors to tax collection in 2016.

Fowler said that in ensuring that VAT and CIT contributed more, the service would also ensure that collection from other taxes were significantly increased.

The chairman said that the strategies to achieve its targets included ensuring a minimum of 90 per cent compliance across all tax types and all taxpayer categories.

He said that the service would achieve 90 per cent compliance by increased focus on sector based audits to ensure that all audit backlogs were cleared.

Fowler said that the service would ensure maximum possible registration of taxpayers and would ensure the use of technology to block leakages and improve efficiency in collection.

He said that the service would strengthen tax administration by appointing new sector heads to drive tax compliance in the identified sectors, to improve performance management.

Fowler said that the service planned to improve in-house capacity building by training and re-training of staff sectors to improve working relationship with state boards of internal revenue on data sharing and joint audits.

He said that the service would increase use of taxpayer education, publicity and enlightenment to achieve improved compliance.

According to him, the service had begun extensive nationwide tax audit to enable the service to ensure strict compliance with the provision of tax laws.

Fowler added that the service had also planned to carry out extensive nationwide tax compliance in 2016.

He said that the service had started the pasting of non-compliance stickers on business premises of identified companies that had not filed and paid taxes for the last six months, including the newly registered companies.

The chairman said that more than 24,500 non-compliance stickers had been pasted to date and the exercise would continue through the year.

Fowler said that significant drop in oil prices in 2015 fiscal year had led to significantly lower collection from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), adding that the service would focus on non-oil taxes to meet the shortfall in the revenue collection.

NAN recalled that FIRS boss in February proposed a revenue target of N4.957 trillion for the service.

 

 

(NAN)

2016 Appropriation Bill Was Not Predicated On Zero-based Budgeting- Auditor-General

The 2016 budget was not predicated on the zero-based budgeting system as widely claimed by the federal government and Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Samuel Ukura, shockingly disclosed yesterday.

Ukura, who made this disclosure while defending the budget of his office before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, admitted that though the federal government had chosen zero-based budgeting as the template for the 2016 budget, it was later forced to jettison it because the reality on ground did not favour its implementation.

However, the auditor-general’s claim was dismissed last night by officials of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, who said Ukura did not know what he was talking about and wondered how he could have made the assertion given that he does not work in the Budget Office of the Federation.

Disclosing that the federal government was forced to return to the traditional envelope system, Ukura said the N2.9 billion budgeted for his office this year, just like other proposals in the 2016 budget, was drawn up using the envelope system previously used by the Ministry of Finance.

“The budgets of all ministries, departments and agencies of government this year are all enveloped-based and not zero-based as has been the case over the years, including that of my office, which was even largely done for us by the supervising ministry (budget and national planning ministry),” Ukura, who by virtue of his office is independent and reports directly to the president, said.

His disclosure shocked the committee and compelled Senators Akpan Bassey (Akwa Ibom, North-east) and Foster Ogola (Bayelsa, West) to remind Ukura how his revelation contradicted the submission before the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 22, 2015 while presenting the budget.

But Ukura insisted that the zero-based budgeting system was dropped from the outset and proceeded to throw more light on the intricacies on the zero-based budgeting process.

Credit: Thisday

Nigeria’s Power Generation Will Increase By 2,000MW In 2016– Fashola

The minister of ?p?ower, ?w?orks and ?h?ousing, Babatunde Fashola, says the power generation will increase this year by 2,000 megawatts.

This is contained in a statement sent to ?the ?News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja by Etore Thomas, an assistant director in the ministry.

According to the statement, Mr. Fashola made the statement while defending the ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Power and Mines.

It added that a lot had changed in the management of power in the country in recent times.

The statement said ?the ?distribution of power was no longer ?the ?government?’s? business, but had been taken over by private companies.

It stated that government privatized power generation with transmission aspect being managed by Manitoba International of Canada at present.

According to the statement, the 2016 budget focuses more on the transmission, completion of on-going projects, refurbishing power plants and tackling gas supply issues.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Read Saraki’s Comments On 2016 Appropriation Bill At Senate Plenary Today

Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, shares his comments on the 2016 Appropriation Bill today at the Senate Plenary on his facebook page. Read his comments below:

My comments on the 2016 Appropriation Bill today at the @NGRSenate Plenary:

On Oil:
“For the first time in the history of our great nation, 77% of our expected revenue is non-oil based. This represents a great foundation for the future.”

On Borrowing:
“In general summary, we were all leaning towards the fact that it is not the amount that we borrow that matters, but the projects that the money is used for. Right now – as a percentage of GDP – we are still within the limits and parameters of fiscal responsibility.”

On Economic Diversification:
“A lot of Senators raised observations on the fact that in the allocations to the agricultural and mineral resources sectors, the message of economic diversification was not particularly reflected. Those are the areas that we should look into.”

On Wastage:
“Based on our experiences in the past, we have talked about not playing the blame game. However, the issue of blocking all loopholes and leakages is key. Hence, we must pay attention to the present, to address the potential for leakages in the future.”

On the Role of the Legislature:
“The Executive has played its role; it is time that we as the legislature do our part.”

On Revenue Benchmarks:
“The issue of revenue estimates must be gotten right particularly by the Finance and Petroleum Committees. The committees must particularly scrutinize this budget so that at the end of the day we can all be proud of it.”

On Zero-Based Budgeting:
“The Zero Budgeting means that projects will be critically assessed to go across all zones.”

On Legislative Malpractice in the Budgeting Process:
“Let me make this categorically clear: there will be no room for money-for-budget in the 2016 appropriations process as sanctions will be taken. We will ensure to report all inconsistencies to the relevant agencies of the executive branch.”

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Abubakar Bukola Saraki's photo.

Senate Proposes 30 Bills For 2016– Saraki

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Monday announced 30 bills for the 2016 legislative year.

Bukola noted that the Senate has 30 bills of interest that will address governance, economic reform to fast track necessary changes.

According to him, the 30 bills to reform critical sectors of the country have been submitted by ‘my colleagues and now awaiting consideration and passage’.

“The 30 bills when passed would give backing to necessary reforms in area of security, judiciary, anti-corruption, taxation and poverty eradication.

“They are meant to drastically change business environment and promote inclusive growth especially in agriculture & other non oil sector.

“Also we have National Assembly Budget & Research Office Bill as part of the #30Bills that will be debated.

“It is our beliefs in National Assembly that diversification can only happen if we provide the necessary regulatory and legislative framework.

“The 30 bills will encourage private sector participation in railways, road construction & other transport infrastructure to create jobs.

“The bills will establish a framework for agencies of government to set goals, measure performance and submit related plans and reports to NASS,” he said.

The Senate President also added that it is the National Assembly’s belief that diversification can only happen if we provide the necessary regulatory and legislative framework.

Credit: Nation

With Saint West Out Of The Way, Kim Kardashian Flaunt Body In Sexy Swimsuit (See Full Photo)

In the spring 2016 issue of Editorialist magazine, Kim Kardasian opens up about the business side of her life and turns out, she knows what she’s talking about. She offered a preview of the feature, which includes some pretty flawless beachside photos, on her website.

Kylie Jenner’s New Year Resolutions Are Not What You Are Thinking

Kylie Jenner has revealed her plans for 2016 on her app this week, following the footsteps of her sisters. See her 2016 new year resolutions below:

1. Stay home most of the year. “I’m kind of a homebody. I decided for 2016 that I want to be home as much as I can. Actually, I want to go to Jamaica.”

2. Appreciate friends more. “In 2015, we all kind of got disconnected. I really didn’t appreciate my friends as much as I should and they keep me grounded, and if I didn’t have them, I feel like I really wouldn’t be myself. I see more of myself when I hang out with them.”

3. Create a successful makeup line. “What I want to accomplish in 2016 is a successful makeup line. I’m really feeling like this is my thing and I have more colors coming out, hopefully the end of January, beginning of February.

4. Don’t read the comments. “I feel like I’m happier when I don’t read comments and I’m not on Instagram and I’m not focusing on what other people think about me. It makes me happier. I just don’t want to be on my phone.”

5. Tone down the look. “I kind of want to tone it down. I feel like 2016, everybody’s on the natural wave. I just want to take my nails off. No hair. No makeup. It’s too much to maintain sometimes. It’s hard being a girl.”

6. Go red. “Every time I think of colors, I only think of hair colors, and I would say burgundy. I really want to do burgundy or, like, red hair. Red vibes.”

7. Feel the good vibes. “I feel like every year has a new energy. I feel like this year is really about the year of just realizing stuff and just coming into your own and finding yourself. I feel like al my friends around me and everyone around me are just realizing things. Things are coming to light. We just want to be good people and do good things and have fun and just have no stress.”

Credit: Cosmopolitan

Read Lagarde’s Prediction On Nigeria’s Economy In 2016

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde, has predicted that the Nigerian economy will recover marginally in 2016, notwithstanding low oil prices.

Lagarde, in a statement posted on the fund’s website yesterday at the conclusion of her visit to Nigeria, said Nigeria experienced a decade of strong growth, averaging 6.8 per cent a year, “in 2015, however, growth is expected to slow to about 3 1/4 per cent, with a slight recovery in 2016”.

She stated that her visit to Nigeria was extremely fruitful and informative and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for meeting with her to discuss Nigeria’s achievements and its outlook.

She also thanked the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and Governor Godwin Emefiele of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for “their insights. In addition, I had the honour to address members of the National Assembly, chaired by Senator Bukola Saraki”.

On the Nigerian economy, she added: “Nigeria is the largest economy in aub-Saharan Africa, with the largest population, and its important role at the regional level has become increasingly recognized.

“The economy is well diversified, no longer dominated by agriculture and oil, with services accounting for almost half of GDP, including a significant home-grown film industry and innovative startups from fashion to software development.

“Nigeria has also experienced a decade of strong growth, averaging 6.8 per cent a year. 1n 2015, however, growth is expected to slow to about 3 1/4 per cent, with a slight recovery in 2016.”

She said during her meetings with the authorities, discussions focused on how to maintain economic progress while making the transition towards more inclusive and sustainable growth.

Credit: ThisDay

Fire Razes Dubai Skyscraper Hotel, Site Of 2016 New Year Celebrations

A huge fire ripped through a luxury Dubai hotel Thursday night as people gathered to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations, injuring at least 16 people, authorities said.

Dubai’s government media office tweeted that a “fire has been reported in the Address Downtown hotel. Authorities are currently on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely”.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

The 63-storey building, which is close to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, was engulfed in flames across several floors as sirens wailed and helicopters hovered overhead, witnesses said.

Dubai’s police chief said all the hotel’s residents had been evacuated from the scene of the blaze, which had still not been extinguished some two hours after it broke out.

“All the residents are out,” General Khamis Matar al-Mzeima said.

“Until the fire is put out, we will not have information on what caused it,” he added.

“At least 14 people have been slightly injured, along with one medium injury, and a heart attack case registered due to people pushing” amid the smoke, the media office tweeted.

Witness Raphael Slama told AFP the fire started at around 9:30 pm (1730 GMT) and rapidly spread upwards across dozens of floors.

The government tweeted that the fire erupted on the 20th floor and affected only the outer facade of the building.

“Four firefighting teams have been deployed” to fight the blaze, it added.

Authorities said earlier Thursday that they had deployed thousands of security personnel to ensure visitors and residents could enjoy the New Year’s festivities safely.

Credit: Vanguard

How FG Intends To Generate 1 Million Jobs In 2016

In its bid to tackle unemployment as one of its major achievements this year, the Federal Government is targeting the provision of over one million jobs. In his 2016 budget presented to the joint session of the National Assembly last Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari emphasised his determination to tackle unemployment. His words: “As we focus on inclusive growth, we are conscious of the current rate of unemployment and underemployment. This is a challenge we are determined to meet; and this budget is the platform for putting more Nigerians to work.

I can assure you that this administration will have a job creation focus in every aspect of the execution of this budget. Nigeria’s job creation drive will be private sector led. We will encourage this by a reduction in tax rates for smaller businesses as well as subsidized funding for priority sectors such as agriculture and solid minerals”. According to the president, as an emergency measure, to address the chronic shortage of teachers in public schools across the country, we also will partner with State and Local Governments to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates and NCE holders.

These graduate teachers will be deployed to primary schools, thereby, enhancing the provision of basic education especially in our rural areas. He added that the government intends to partner with State and Local Governments to provide financial training and loans to market women, traders and artisans, through their cooperative societies. We believe that this segment of our society is not only critical to our plan for growing small businesses, but it is also an important platform to create jobs and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs. Besides, he said through the office of the Vice President, the government is working with various development partners to design an implementable and transparent conditional cash transfer program for the poorest and most vulnerable.

His words: “This program will be implemented in phases. Already, the compilation of registers of the poorest persons is ongoing. In the coming weeks, we will present the full programme, which will include our home-grown public primary school feeding and free education for science, technology and education students in our tertiary institutions. Indeed, this will mark a historic milestone for us as a nation. Also, Transport Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, declared that the federal government will embark on a massive railway infrastructure development across the country, and that about 250,000.

Credit: DailyTimes

PDP Accuses Buhari Of Planning To Borrow N5 Billion Daily In 2016

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of planning to borrow at least N5 billion per day to finance the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget.

The spokesperson of the party, Olisa Metuh, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, said a breakdown of the N1.84 trillion to be borrowed by Mr. Buhari to fund the budget shows that Nigeria would be borrowing N5 billion a day for the next 365 days, starting from January I, 2016, without corresponding provision for economic production and a clear repayment plan.

“Some people may be wondering why we raised an alarm about the budget. The reason is simple. When we analysed the budget, we discovered it is a misshapen attempt at a Keynesian economics of applying deficit spending to stimulate growth even when studies have proven that GDP growth rates decrease by over 50% when debt goes from low or moderate to high. But then we know the borrowing here is to pay huge campaign debt and fund a political war chest.

“By every standard, this budget is a booby trap against the nation. When you break down the proposed N1.84 trillion borrowing, you discover that it amounts to borrowing N5 billion every day for the 365 days in 2016. The questions are: for what specific projects are they borrowing N5 billion per day and how do they intend to pay back?” Mr. Metuh said.

The PDP spokespersons said Mr. Buhari should explain to Nigerians how his government intends to pay back the loan.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Buhari To Present 2016 Budget On Tuesday

President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow, Tuesday December 22, present the 2016 national budget before a joint session of the National Assembly.

This was disclosed to state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting which held on Monday in the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, designed to fine-tune the document.

The 6.07 trillion Naira budget proposal for 2016 was predicated on $38 per barrel oil benchmark; 197 Naira exchange rate.

It is an increase of about 40 per cent from the previous budget of 4.357 trillion Naira which was presented to the National Assembly in 2014 by ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The budget presentation by President Buhari is coming just as the National Assembly approved the Medium Term Framework Expenditure (MTEF).

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on December 7 approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which pegs the 2016 Budget at six trillion Naira.

Credit: ChannelsTV

CBN Bans Street Trading Of Forex From January 1, 2016

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its latest circular which sets out the new guidelines for the operations of Bureaux de Change (BDCs) operators, has said that hawking of foreign exchange on the streets, common in Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt, and which has endured for over three decades, surviving civilian and military administrations, will no longer be accommodated.

 

Though the circular did not outline how it will deal with hawkers, it stated that from January 1, 2016, street trading of the dollar is “non-permissible” and will be severely punished by the bank.

 

“Similarly, it shall be a ground for the revocation of licences should any street trader in foreign currencies be found to have any business relationship with a licenced BDC,” the guideline reads.

 

The circular, titled “Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux de Change in Nigeria,” prescribes that for a BDC to be considered valid in 2016, its must meet the financial requirement of depositing N71.45 million with the CBN.

 

 

 

Credit : Leadership

NPC Rules Out Possibility Of Census In 2016

The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday said the conduct of a comprehensive National Census in 2016 is not feasible due to factors beyond the commission.

Addressing a media forum in Abuja, the Federal Commissioner representing Enugu State on the Board of the Commission, Dr Festus Uzor, said the commission needs more time to prepare for the census as it requires 1.1 million enumerators and over 50, 000 supervisors to effectively cover the country.

He said the earliest feasible time for the census will be in 2017twenty-seventeen.

Dr Uzor, therefore, appealed to Nigerians and the federal government to support the National Population Commission? in its effort to conduct a credible population census that will be generally acceptable by all.

The commission had earlier made known its intention to adopt the use of bio-metric data technology for the 2017 population and housing census.
The technology will involve the capturing of facial impression and fingerprints of respondents.

Credit: ChannelTV

FG Proposes N6trn Budget For 2016

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday approved a budget proposal of N6 trillion for the 2016 fiscal year. The proposal is predicated on 38 dollars per barrel of crude oil and a production output of 2.2 million barrel per day. The approval by council followed the adoption of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for three years presented to it by the Planning and Budget Ministry.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, disclosed this to State House correspondents while briefing on the outcome of the council meeting which lasted for about three hours. He said besides crude oil sale, the budget would be financed through increased revenue drive by government agencies, efficiency in income tax collection, keeping down recurrent expenses while the difference would be sourced through borrowing. The minister also disclosed that capital expenditure had been increased to 30 per cent in the current proposal down from about 15 percent in the last budget.

According to him also, all the increases made to next year’s budget which brings it to six trillion from over five trillion budgeted this year were on capital expenditure. He said the details of the proposal would be made public after a feedback from the National Assembly on the MTEF which would be forwarded to the legislature. On the exchange rate used in the proposal, the minister said they had relied on the rate given by the Central Bank of Nigeria. “We want a prudent, credible budget. We are working on the exchange rate given by the CBN. We’ll reduce recurrent,” the minister said.

Credit: DailyTimes

Watch: The New ‘Batman v Superman’ Trailer Confirms That Major Villain

https://youtu.be/yViIi3gie2c

The Internet finally got a little bit of justice.
There has been a lot of speculation about “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” since the first trailer came out. Some think The Joker will show up in the film, others think Lex Luthor is manipulating Batman or Superman and some people believe that a new villain is being mysteriously left out of the footage.
Well, it turns out you were right … about all of it.
A new trailer debuted Wednesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and it has everyone freaking out. In
addition to showing Batman and Superman meeting for the first time, we see Lex Luthor putting himself at the center of the conflict between the superheroes. Also, though there isn’t a Joker appearance, Joker is referenced when Bruce Wayne says, “Maybe it’s the Gotham City in me. We just have a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns.” (Dang. Chills.) And finally, Doomsday is confirmed!
Doomsday is the monster that kills Superman in the infamous “Death of Superman” storyline. An appearance has been rumored for a while, and now that the villain is here, it might be time to start worrying about The Man of Steel.
Can it be March already? This needs to come out now.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” hits theaters March 25, 2016.

Source: HuffPost

Minister Of Youth & Sports Confirms Payment Of N5,000 To Unemployed Nigerians Begins 2016

The federal government has assured that it would commence payment of N5,000 promised unemployed Nigerian youth during the electioneering campaign, from 2016 .

The minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalong, made the commitment on Wednesday when he paid a condolence visit on the national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, over the death of the party’s governorship candidate in the recently held inconclusive election in Kogi state, Abubakar Audu.

Mr. Dalong, who spoke to journalists during the visit , said the APC government was fully committed to fulfilling all campaign promises made before the last elections.

He said the payment of the promised N5 , 000 can only begin after it had been included in the budget.

“I would want the youth to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So, definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that,” he said.

“We are committed to the campaign promises of creating jobs, providing wealth and combat poverty. We have embedded in our manifesto things that we are translating to reality .”

Credit: PremiumTimes

N5,000 Unemployment Benefit Starts In 2016

The Federal Government has started the process of fulfilling its promise to pay N5,000 monthly allowance to 25 million unemployed youths in the country with 2016 as the take-off date, investigation has revealed.

A motion to compel the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to fulfil the campaign promise of paying the unemployed youths was recently rejected in the Senate.

It was learnt however that the Federal Government had, however, commenced plans to start the payment of the allowance while it had also taken steps to capture the free school feeding programme in the 2016 budget.

It was further learnt that the government had saddled some officials with the task of ascertaining the number of the unemployed youths, who would benefit from the scheme.

A top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, said that the compilation of data was necessary in order to ensure that the programme was not sabotaged.

The source said, “You know that if the scheme is left open-ended, even Nigerians, who are employed and are by no means vulnerable, will still struggle to benefit from it.

“You also know that if not properly handled, politicians will hijack the scheme and it will become a means of settling their constituents, whether they qualify to benefit from it or not.

This is why the government will come up with data on the beneficiaries very soon.”

Credit: Punch

Nigerian Airports To Become Africa’s Hub In 2016- FAAN

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, says ongoing construction at five major international airports would make the country the hub of aviation in Africa, when completed in 2016.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos after an Annual General Assembly Conference and Exhibition of the Airport Council International (ACI) in Panama.

It quoted the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, as saying that the terminals which were being constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) are in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port- Harcourt and Enugu.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

JAMB To Begin Sale Of 2016 UTME Forms On Aug. 31

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says arrangement has been concluded for the sale of its 2016 application documents.

This is contained in a statement by the board’s Head of Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

According to the statement, the sales is to prepare candidates early for the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

It said that candidates were urged to purchase the examination scratch cards from Zenith Bank,  Sky Bank and First Bank .

”The registration fee for the UTME is N5,000 and candidates are also to pay  N500 to obtain the textbook, The Last Days at Forcados High School’.

Read More: leadership

#Automobiles: 2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Pricing Starts At $120,825

When we got the first details on Mercedes-Benz’s 2016 G-Class range, it wasn’t clear the specifications that would be available in the United States. Now we know what will be on offer here, and how much they’ll set you back.

Opening bids for the G550 will start at a heady $120,825, including a $925 destination charge. As we learned in May, motivation will be provided by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which is both more compact and more powerful than the 5.5-liter mill of the outgoing model year. The new mill pumps out a healthy 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

Predictably, the body and ladder frame construction, permanent all-wheel drive, and triple shot of differential locks remain, and the suspension now gets Sport and Comfort modes not found on current models.

Prices for the G63 AMG will begin at 140,825, including the $925 destination charge, and the additional $20,000 provides for the familiar twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, which delivers 563 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. The extra grunt shaves half a second off the big rig’s zero to 62 mph time, meaning it needs just 5.4 seconds to get the job done.

Read More: yahoo

2016 Census To Cost N273bn As Buhari Orders Govt Agencies To Harmonize Biometrics

The 2016 national population census will cost N273bn, with N10bn needed urgently to ensure the fidelity of the process. Chairman, National Population Commission, NPC, Eze Duru Iheoma, SAN, who led other National Commissioners to the Presidential Villa yesterday, stated this in his operational briefing to President Muhammadu Buhari. Curiously, only about N4bn is allocated for the purpose in the 2015 budget.

Consequently, as part of measures to ensure cost-effective governance, President Buhari has charged government agencies to harmonise collection and usage of biometric data in the country.

The president wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data, when such data could easily be shared.

He said: “It will be more cost effective if you work together. It helps even the credibility of the election process, as Nigerians of voting age can be identified easily.”

Several government organisations that currently collect biometric data include the National Population Commission, NPC, National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, among others.

President Buhari added that all the agencies should work collaboratively, instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country.

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Jonathan To Get Severance Pay In 2016

Investigations have revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan; his deputy, Namadi Sambo; immediate past ministers and presidential aides as well as non-returning federal lawmakers will be paid their severance allowances in 2016.

The Ministry of Finance in Abuja said that the allowances amounting to N3.24 billion of the political office holders, who  left office last Friday, were not captured in this year’s budget.

An official of the ministry while explaining the reason why the severance pay was not captured in this year’s budget, said as of last year when the 2015 budget was being prepared, the outcome of the April 2015 elections could not be ascertained.

He said since the outcome of the elections could not be predicted, there was no way the Budget Office could have determined the number of political office holders that would not be re-elected.

Read  More: Punch