UNN Produces Nigeria’s First Electric Car

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It was excitement galore at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) yesterday as the institution’s Engineering Faculty successfully unveiled its first five-seater electric car.

Christened Lion Ozumba 551, the car, made with 80 percent locally-sourced materials, could undertake a 30-kilometer distance when fully charged.

Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Charles Igwe, said the car was part of the drive to accord innovation and technology the highest attention to reposition the institution for greater heights. He commended the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, who he said laid the foundation for innovation and technology upon which the car dream was realised. Remember that the Institution is of the best Universities in Nigeria

“I feel happy that I inherited a strong institution from Ozumba and I promise to consolidate on his achievements,” he said.

Director-general, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, also commended the university for the stride, urging other institutions in the country to give priority to technology and innovation.

He disclosed that the council had on February 6, 2019, invited UNN, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Usman Danfolio University, Sokoto (UDUSOK) and the Metrological Institute to make proposals on how to produce electric cars in the country, adding that he was elated that it had become reality.

Aliyu, who was represented by Director of Finance and Accounts, David Oyetunji, said improving on the automobile industry in the country would help create more employment and reduce huge amount of money used in importing cars into the country. He also commended UNN for the recent production of the gasification plant that uses organic waste to generate electricity.

Responding, Ozumba said he was overwhelmed when he was invited to witness the unveiling of the electric car, which was initiated by his administration. “When I came on board, I said we need innovation and technology to be at par with China, United States, Sweden and other developed countries of the world.

“That was why I provided the resources and encouragement for innovation and technology because I believe that is one of the ways we can improve our country’s economy. “It was part of my desire to improve UNN’s and Nigeria’s economy and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Earlier, coordinator of UNN Medtronic team that produced the car, Ozoemena Ani, affirmed that it was produced with 80 per cent local materials, adding that it would go 30 kilometres when fully charged, The Guardian reports.

Davido Disappointed Supreme Court Affirms Oyetola’s Victory

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Nigeria’s Afro-pop star David Adeleke popularly known as Davido would certainly be disappointed over this morning’s Supreme Court judgment affirming Adegboyega Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun State.

Davido had in a reply to a tweet by fholarwealth @fholarwealth on Thursday that he had a dream that the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Senator Ademola Adeleke, stated: ”This dream shall pass in the mighty name of Jesus”.

But both were disappointed as the Supreme Court today declared Governor Oyetola as the true winner of the Osun governorship election. David Adeleke is one of the Richest Nigerian Musicians in Nigeria according to Forbes and other ranking bodies.

Wizkid and Soft For Remix Of Hit Song, ‘Money’

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After being relatively quiet for most of the year, Wizkid seems to be gaining his mojo back, as he’s featured on several jams, such as Larry Gaaga’s “Low” and ID Cabasa’s “Totori”. Now, the Starboy has teamed up with rising star, Soft for the remix of his hit song, “Money” Wizkid Ayo Balogun who reportedly The Richest Musician In Nigeria.

Last year, Soft released “Money” as a follow-up to his breakout song, “Tattoo”, proving he is no one-hit wonder. Now, he’s enlisted the biggest afropop star in the game, Wizkid, for the remix, a move that should definitely boost his visibility and put more people on to his music.

Wizkid clearly really enjoyed the original song, praising it multiple times on his Instagram. Now, he’s brought his midas touch to the remix, making it even more of a vibe. On the mid-tempo song, the two artists boast about their riches, declaring that life is all about enjoyment.

You can check it out right here:  https://youtu.be/-bXtuCws4pA

Why Ondo is in darkness, by BEDC

The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC Electricity Plc)  has assured residents of Ondo South of its commitment to providing power to their various communities.

This is however dependent on the Federal Government, through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), addressing the technical constraints that impede power distribution to the areas.

BEDC in its reaction to  Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s complaint over lack of power supply to some parts of Ondo South, appealed to the governor to put pressures on TCN and other Federal Government- related agencies to create an enabling environment for BEDC to serve its customers better by addressing these technical constraints.

These constraints, according to BEDC include repair of the faulty breaker on the 30MVA TCN transformer which affected voltage to Ondo South axis causing very poor and none useful power ‘candlelight’.

BEDC also called for the replacement of the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line and the recommencing/completion of the proposed 132/33KV, 2x 60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa which will provide capacity for up to 90megawatts of power when completed.

“In order to have a lasting and complete solution to Ondo South electricity need as well as have a lasting solution to Ondo State general power limitations, the permanent solution is for TCN to complete the proposed 132/33KV, 2x60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa project which has been awarded by NDDC and abandoned as well as replace the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line” BEDC said.

When this is completed, BEDC said it will be able to take the transmitted power and distribute same to customers in other parts of Ondo South, but noted “this will only serve an additional 25% of the power needs in this area. This is because the estimated total power supply needed is 47.6MW and only additional 11MW will be available from this TCN source, hence there would still be a shortfall of about 36.6MW”.

ent Power Project (NIPP) to restore power supply to Ode-Aye town in Okitipupa and Igbokoda in Ilaje local government area of Ondo South by rehabilitating the distribution network in a phased manner and by bypassing major load using centers.

“This was done to demonstrate to customers in Ondo South axis that the network was ready to receive and distribute power when TCN makes same available” the company added.

BEDC says since 2015, it has escalated to Ondo State Government, Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that the issue of power supply to major parts of Ondo South is largely and principally affected by TCN constraint.

It added: “TCN has not been able to transmit adequate power to BEDC in Ondo State and especially in part of Ondo South due to its technical constraints which has led to its existing problem of none availability of power in these locations.”

“We wish to state categorically that as a service provider, BEDC is not comfortable watching a large proportion of its customers located in Ondo state and most especially in several locations in Ondo South without supply for so many years.

The reality, however, is that in line with existing methodology of buying and transmitting bulk power from TCN grid, such power which is purchased by BEDC is what is distributed to our customers in all areas.” BEDC stated.

Expect 100% hike in drug prices, PSN tells Nigerians

Image result for Expect 100% hike in drug prices, PSN tells NigeriansThe Lagos State Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has warned that there will soon be at least 100 per cent increase in drug prices across the country.

The Chairman of PSN in the state, Mrs Bolanle Adeniran, who spoke at an event organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Thursday, said the price increase might take effect in about six months from now if the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control does not reverse the 350 per cent levy it imposed on drug and product registration in the country.

She said NAFDAC also needed to eliminate the delay associated with registration of drugs and related products, adding that the registration could take over two years in bizarre instances.

According to a statement by the PSN on Friday, Adeniran said the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had carried out various landmark reforms in the sector, including ISO Certification of laboratory facilities, reducing the sector’s political exposure and subjecting NAFDAC to the World Health Organisation global benchmark.

The statement quoted her as saying, “While the industry was grappling with challenges of delays, NAFDAC made the most damaging move in the last couple of weeks by increasing drug and product registration levy by a whopping 350 per cent.

“Specifically, from N350,000, it now costs N1.05m to register a prescription-only medicine, while over-the-counter drugs have moved from a hitherto expensive N1m to N4m in Nigeria.

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, has analysed NAFDAC’s 350 per cent increase and we respectfully declare that there is absolutely no basis for such, whether in terms of improvement in the economic fortunes in our industry or a propensity for drastic improvement in service, like in terms of the ease of doing health care business in Nigeria.

“If this draconian policy is not reversed or immediately remedied, the PSN, Lagos State Branch, wishes to warn through this forum that Nigeria will experience at least a 100 per cent increase in drug prices in about six months, with grave consequences of morbidity and mortality to consumers of health in our nation.

“As a matter of fact, it will incentivise fake drug dealers who will bring in their deadly merchandise at cheaper rates relative to expensive registered products.”

Sanwo-Olu continues payment of accrued pension rights

Sanwo-Olu celebrates valentine with LagosiansLagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has continued with the payment of accrued pension rights as he presented Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates valued at N821.56 million to retirees.

Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) Director-General Mrs Folasade Onanuga, who spoke at the 63rd Retirement Benefit Bond Presentation to retirees in Ikeja, Lagos, assured the retirees that the government’s interest in the well being of retirees was paramount.

She reiterated that  Sanwo-Olu is an establishment person having served previously in many capacities in the state and was once the commissioner for Establishments and Pensions.

She spoke on the  benefit options available under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) dispensation and enjoined the beneficiaries to take very good care of their health, as well as desist from frivolous spending.

One of the retirees, Mr. Abayomi from one of the local government areas of the state, thanked  the government on behalf of his fellow retirees for the continuity on payment of accrued rights.

Restructuring Taxation Wil Create Better Opportunities for Growth –  Chike-Obi

Nigeria will be better if government can bring more people into the tax net, as this can unlock the hidden economic opportunities therein.
Executive Vice Chairman, Alpha African Advisory, Mustafa Chike-Obi while speaking yesterday at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Bi-Monthly Forum, with theme: Repositioning Nigerian Economy for Sustainable Growth, said Nigeria’s tax rate at 30 per cent is one of the highest in the world, adding that multiple taxation should be discouraged.
Chike-Obi, who was former Managing Director/CEO Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), also  hinted on the need for adequate infrastructure as well as intervention funds to stimulate the economy instead of relying solely on intervention funds.
He charged financial institutions to lend at lower interest rate at ar!ound 12 to 15 per cent per annum as this forms part of! considerations by foreign creditors in lending to emerging markets.
“All these intervention funds, don’t work. And let me tell you why they don’t work. If you  lend to a farmer at five per cent, you think you are helping him but everything around him is at 26 per cent. So, he gets a little bit of relief on his financing, but he doesn’t get reliefs on his supplies, diesel, food, employees, so at the end of the day, those things he gets at 26 per cent invades his five per cent,” he said.
The event was meant to set economic agenda for the newly inaugurate government and address key economic issues. 
Chike-Obi said intervention funds also don’t work because “the default rates are as high as default rates of non-intervention funds. So, they don’t work. They are not very efficient”.
According to him, what the economic managers need to do instead, is to provide capital at a reasonable interest rates that work for everyone.  
He said: “There must be access to capital at a reasonable price. With 26 per cent interest rate, you cannot do a business successfully. So, we must find a way to provide interest rate to everybody at a reasonable rate. We must have an interest rate that will support our economy. And it cannot be much higher to the borrower at 12 to 15 per cent. Every Nigerian should be able to borrow money at between 12 to 15 per cent, so, we must have capital available.
He also spoke on the foreign lenders look out for in lending to developed markets, arguing that borrowing in dollar may not be cheaper in the long-run.
He that even when one borrows borrow dollar at eight per cent for instance, the creditors will be looking at the exchange at at the time of repayment, which is unlikely to remain at N360/$. He said the foreign creditors also consider borrowers that have the capacity to generate needed funds for repayment of loans.
“The reason why they are lending money at eight per cent, instead of 16 per cent, is because they know that by the time that money matures, your Naira will not be exchanging at N360/$. This is because the Naira always depreciated by approximately 50 per cent in every five years,” Chike-Obi said.

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has read the riot act to manufacturers in Abia State on sub-standard manufacturing practices.

Its coordinator in the state, Mr. Lad-Alabi Oluyomi, who gave the warning in Aba during the week, said the organisation would apply the law if manufacturers refused to follow the standard practices.

He said the greatest challenge facing the organisation in the state was operator-inspired as a lot of manufacturers are deceitful.

“That is why there are lots of unwholesome products in the market now. If you look at it from two angles, for most products, they are either being counterfeited or produced substandard, which are actually things we are trying to fight.

“We have the enabling laws now to really help us, and that is why I have been speaking to the manufacturers on it. I need the manufacturers to help me so that we can all do much more together for their businesses, and help them to be completely out of deceit and avoid being prosecuted by SON,” Oluyomi said.

He described the challeng facing the organisation in the state as enormous because people failed to report the dealers and producers of such fake products.

“If you report to SON, we will tackle it, retrieve the bad product, and ensure that it is only the safer one that is in the society, and that will cut off the oxygen that feeds the purveyor of such bad products.

“We cannot be everywhere because we have issue of personnel shortage; although, we are doing all that we can under the limitation of our work.

 

Shittu Tasks Nigeria on Harnessing e Government Benefits

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The Minister of Communications, Dr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has said that more hard work must be carefully done by all stakeholders in the ICT Sector for the implementation of the e-Government Master Plan, to fully harness its promised benefits.

The Minister said this recently during the official launching of the Nation’s e-Government Master Plan held at Trancorps Hilton, Abuja.

In his words, “while there have been some e-Government services implemented, I daresay, for Nigeria to fully harness the promised benefits, there is still a lot more work to be done both at the Federal level as well as by the various State Governments”, he said.

Earlier, he enumerated the benefits of the e-Government Master Plan being launched by the Federal Ministry of Communications to include cost savings, efficiency in service delivery, enhanced transparency and accountability.

Improved public administration, growth of the ICT sector, leading to employment opportunities, and improved economic development according to him are the benefits the nation stand to harvest from the newly launched e-Government Master Plan.

He reiterated that in recognition of the several benefits accruable from the adoption of the e-Government practices, the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2003 encouraged member nations to adopt e-Government Practice and as well strive to improve the quality and scope of its adoption.

Dr. Shittu explained that UN survey shows that there is a correlation between the National income of a country and the level of e-Government development. Consequently, he said the Federal Government believes that a holistic adoption and implementation of the e-Government Master Plan will inevitably result in an increase in the sector’s contribution to the national GDP.

The  Minister in a statement by the Deputy Director of Information in the ministry, Phil Oshodin noted that the Government is aware of the fact that such a huge project , as the holistic implementation of e-Government might encounter resistance  amongst some civil servants and have consequently prevented this probable hitch by putting in place a robust “ Capacity Building Programme”, in collaboration with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

He further said that in a bid to ensure effective implementation of the Master Plan, Several e-Government courses have been instituted, with over 1200 officials drawn from across the public service trained.  Dr. Shittu disclosed that an e-Government Training Centre situated at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) will facilitate continuous e-Government training and reorientation for all public servants.

Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Musa Istifanus disclosed that the e-government Master Plan was developed based on three phases, pre-implementation, implementation phase and post implementation phase which is carefully designed to stand the test of time.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Communications adopted “think big” start small and scale fast” mindset, as a feasible plan to achieve instant success and keep a positive driving force both internally and externally.

ITF: 20.9m Nigerian youths unemployed

20.9m Nigerian youths unemployedThe Industrial Training Fund (ITF) yesterday said 20.9million  youths are currently unemployed.

It blamed the development on lack of skills acquisition and  advised  the unemployed to go for skills acquisition instead of depending on white collar job.

It said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report stated that between the fourth  quarter (Q4) of 2017 and Q3  of last year, said this is in spite of the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the Q3 of 2015 to 68.72 million in Q3 of 2016 to 69.9 million in Q3 of last year.

ITF said what the report indicated is that although government efforts to creating jobs may be having impact, the number of unemployed is still on the rise.

It is also estimated that Nigerian tertiary institutions produce up to 500,000 graduates every year with only a fraction able to secure employment.

The Director-General, ITF, Joseph  Arii, who spoke  during an interface with stakeholders on strategies for job creation by the  government  in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.

He said:  “Today, across the length and breadth of the country are visible evidence of government’s efforts to get Nigerians engaged. From Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power initiative, Tradermoni, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and Home Grown School Feeding Programme to the numerous skills acquisition programmes being implemented by agencies like the ITF, the government has done enough to be applauded.

“ITF has for instance equipped over 450,000 Nigerians with life skills and empowered all the beneficiaries with start-up packs within the last two years. “Over 80per cent of this number today are earning sustainable livelihoods either in paid employment or successful entrepreneurs who are employing others.” The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan said President  Buhari has strengthened the resolve to stem rising unemployment by creating jobs through the provision of employable skills for our teeming youths.

It is on this basis that the ministry urged ITF to come up with revolutionary multi-faceted job wealth creation strategies that would lead to a lasting solution to this hydra-headed problem.