Saturday, 5 January 2013

FG launches offensive against new terror sect, Jambs

The Federal Government has launched an offensive against a little known terror group, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, which roughly translates as Vanguards for the Aid of Muslims in Black Africa.

Saturday PUNCH’s investigations showed that security agents had intensified their investigation of the brains behind the new group.

It was learnt that security agents were banking on detained members of Boko Haram and JAMBS to unmask the people behind the new sect.

JAMBS is said to be in its embryonic stage, though deadly like any other terror group.

Security sources told our correspondent that intelligence reports indicated that JAMBS is an offshoot of Boko Haram – the result of the fragmentation of the deadly sect.

It was learnt that JAMBS was created by Boko Haram commanders who were disenchanted with the leadership style of the extremist group’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Shekau.

The new sect, which had claimed responsibility for various acts of hostage-taking and the November 26, 2012 attack on the Special Anti-robbery Squad detention centre in Abuja, has been under security watch, findings by Saturday PUNCH have shown.

The group, which is believed to be affiliated to the Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, said it was behind the recent kidnap of a French engineer, Francis Colump, in Katsina, citing France’s push for military intervention in Mali as justification.

The sect stressed in a statement that it would continue to launch attacks on the French government and its citizens as long as the government maintained its alleged hostile stance against veiled women in France as well as the European country’s support for military intervention in Mali.

It was gathered that the new group is engaged in low level insurgence against security agencies and the civil populace in parts of the country, but security operatives would not want to give it publicity by acknowledging its existence and capability.

“We are not closing our eyes to the activities of the new sect; in fact, they have been under our radar for sometime, but we don’t want to give them legitimacy by acknowledging them. That is why it seems as if security agencies are ignorant of their antics, but that is far from the truth,” a security source stated.

Findings indicated that while security agencies were seriously focused on rooting out Boko Haram, the new sect was not seen as a major problem because it is believed to be “a mere branch of the Boko Haram tree and once the tree is felled, the branches will wither,” a source said.

When contacted, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the police were determined to tackle terror groups and sundry criminals in the country.

“Our mission is to fight crime and fight it effectively; our approach is a holistic one and I think its high time Nigerians appreciated that our strategies are working. Our determination to fight crime headlong is unshakeable and we will continue to record success against crime and criminality in this year,” Mba said.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria has described the emergence of JAMBS as “the same finger of a leprous hand.”

According to the association, the change in name from Boko Haram to another group is to elicit attention and pave way for negotiation.

The Public Relations Officer of the 19 Northern States of CAN and Abuja, Mr. Sunny Oibe, said in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Friday that the Federal Government should not enter into dialogue with them because they are “criminals.”

He said, “Whether you call them a new Islamic group or Boko Haram, it is the same finger of a leprous hand; all of them are the same and their agenda is one. The Islamisation of this country and intimidation of Christians so that there won’t be Christianity in the Northern part of the country is part of their agenda. It is just changing from Boko Haram to another group for them to get attention.

“The emergence of the new group is to get attention and our position is that there should be no dialogue with criminals. You cannot use your left hand to point fingers in your father’s eyes and such intimidation is not acceptable.”


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

recruitment - Brand Manager

Industry                                        FMCG

                               Marketing / Advertising / Branding, Sales/Business
                                                      Development and Administration & Office Support

Company Name                           Premium Subscribers only. Upgrade to view

Company Activities                     Premium Subscribers only. Upgrade to view

Minimum Qualification                Degree

Required Experience                   5 - 7 years

Application Deadline                   2 months from now

A reputable FMCG that produces and markets beverages including bottled water and apple and soft drinks. It distributes its products under La Casera and Virgin Colours brand names. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Department :Marketing

Reports To: Brand Group Manager, CBTI

Job purpose:
To support the Brand Group Manager in the development, monitoring and evaluation of activity programmes for the La Casera trademark which deliver annual brand targets (such as volume, market share, brand awareness, brand imagery), on budget and on time, and sustain brand equity.


    Assist the Brand Group Manager CBTI in developing annual activity plans for the La Casera brand which maintain the brand as the front-runner in its category and deliver the annual brand targets.  Lead the planning process for all brand activity programmes, liaising with relevant stakeholders to ensure that planning timelines are adhered to.
    Work closely with the Brand Execution Manager, La Casera, and third-party agencies and suppliers to ensure that approved brand activities are executed on time and on budget.  Monitor activity execution through the CBTI Marketing Execution teams and recommend corrective action if/when required.
    Ensure that the appropriate information is captured for activity evaluations, with learnings recorded for future brand planning.
    Track brand marketing expenditure against agreed activities, including actual marketing expenditure per case vs. target expenditure, and provide regular reports to the Brand Group Manager CBTI.
    Ensure accurate and well-presented cost summaries are provided for all activities, including quotations, invoicing and final actual budgets reconciliations.
    Assist the Brand Group Manager CBTI in determining brand targets which contribute to the delivery of overall portfolio goals and in determining marketing strategy for the La Casera brand which achieves the brand targets.
    Maintain the marketing calendar for the La Casera brand, providing timely reports to all relevant stakeholders so that all timelines are adhered to.
    Develop highly valuable working relations with third-party agencies and suppliers in order to ensure premium service-level from them. Assist the Brand Group Manager CBTI in the performance management of third-party agencies and suppliers by contributing to regular performance reviews and highlighting issues to be addressed as these arise.  Continually identify new third-party suppliers to ensure that the Company benefits from imaginative and innovative ideas at the highest service level and optimum pricing.
    Secure regulatory approvals as required for brand activities and creative materials.
    Work closely with the Research Manager CBTI to monitor brand health and performance, tracking agreed attributes and metrics.  Ensure regular brand health reports are provided to the Brand Group Manager CBTI and the GM CBTI.
    Assist the Research Manager CBTI in identifying research needs for the La Casera brand and in producing associated research briefs.
    Monitor key competitor brands and their activities through data, research and regular market visits.  Provide regular competitor activity reports and assist the Brand Group Manager CBTI in developing response(s) to protect the position of the La Casera brand.
    Be the “Steward” of the La Casera brand, protecting the Company’s investment in the brands’ equity by tenaciously adhering to Brand Standards and ensuring all colleagues, agencies and suppliers are aware of and adhere to the Brand Standards. Ensure that the Brand Standards Manual is kept up to date.
    Maintain a Library of brand plans and evaluations to support a strong knowledge database in line with Company policies and processes.   Ensure all materials and artworks created for the La Casera brand by third-party agencies and suppliers are supplied in both digital and hard copy formats and are passed to the PA to GM for addition to Artwork Library.

Qualifications and Requirements:

    5-7 years’ work experience at a reputable company, preferably FMCG, of which at least 2 should be in the Marketing function at a Senior Brand Manager Level or equivalent.
    Upper second class Bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution, either local or foreign.
    Enthusiastic; Organised and pays attention to detail; Seeks solutions
    Proven experience in developing, executing, monitoring and evaluating brand activity plans, particularly Above and as well as below-the-line programmes such as consumer promotions, trade promotions, events, design and production of POS material and merchandising.
    Sales experience would be an advantage.
    Postgraduate qualification in Marketing would be an advantage if the first degree is not in a Marketing-related subject.
    The position will require travel within Nigeria to attend meetings and to monitor activity execution.

Apply Now

Oritsejafor backs Jonathan on crash probe

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has said the association is in support of the probe panel to unravel what led to the helicopter crash that killed late Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa, and ex-National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi, and others.

He however charged that the probe should not be treated like others before it, where actions were not taken.

Represented by National General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, on condolence visit to Kaduna Government House, Oritsejafor said: “We support the Federal Government for setting up a panel of investigation.

“We support it and we are looking forward to the report. But we have heard of panels of investigation being set up and reports submitted in the country; we hope and that pray that the Federal Government releases the report of this one and take action”.

Oritsejafor said: “It is not just setting up the panel, we want an outcome of the panel.

“So, CAN is solidly behind the Federal Government in doing this, and we are calling on the Federal Government that if the report is submitted, it should please act on the report”.

He continued: “We were shocked; if there is anything more than shock, we will use that word. We were not prepared for it.

“We are here representing our National President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who is out of the country at this very moment.

“He has asked to come to greet the family and the people of Kaduna State, to tell them that it is only God who can comport us.

“So, to the family, we want to say, our God is able and He will comfort them. To the people of Kaduna State, the Lord gave us Yakowa, the Lord has taken Yakowa.

“We welcome the new governor and promise to pray with him, so that the Lord will give him success.

“We are so happy to hear that he is going follow the footsteps of the late governor. We pray that the Lord will help him to do exactly what he has said.

“We enjoyed a lot of cooperation with Yakowa, we enjoyed watching him doing what he did during the short time he was governor of Kaduna State.

“We pray that the same relationship will be extended to the new governor”.

source:daily independent

Enugu commissioner arrested on state Assembly’s order

THE Enugu State Commissioner for Poverty Reduction and Human Development, Mr. Godwin Ogenyi, was yesterday arrested by the police on the orders of the State House of Assembly for allegedly showing disrespect to  the lawmakers.

Ogenyi was invited by the House to appear before it yesterday to give some explanations regarding the government’s efforts to alleviate the plight of those affected by the ban on motorcycles in the state but he failed to show up.

Although Vanguard learnt that he was seen within the premises of the State Assembly about an hour before the sitting, the commissioner could not be seen by the lawmakers until they adjourned sitting to Thursday.

Worried by the attitude of the commissioner, the lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution directing that a warrant of arrest be issued against him and the police was immediately directed to ensure that he was arrested and brought to the House on Thursday.

But soon after the House adjourned, the commissioner, who was apparently alerted about the development, was seen rushing into the Assembly complex but the police wasted no time in apprehending him.

Ogenyi was whisked away by security operatives who took him to the State Police Criminal Investigation Department where he was detained for some minutes before he was granted bail on self recognition.

It was also gathered that some top government officials who were alerted about the development stormed the Police Headquarters to ensure that Ogenyi was not kept behind bars, even as necessary contacts were made to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Musa Daura, who reportedly intervened later.

When contacted on telephone yesterday, Ogenyi confirmed his arrest but said there was nothing unusual about the development, admitting that he was wrong by not appearing before the lawmakers when he was called upon.

He blamed his absence on nature’s call which forced him to return to his office after he had arrived the house even before the sitting for the scheduled dialogue on the activities of his ministry.

source: vanguardngr

‘Twilight’ Actor Arrested For Drunken Peeing At Airport

When you gotta go, you gotta go? Actor Bronson Pelletier was reportedly arrested at LAX Airport on Monday for public intoxication after allegedly urinating in public after being removed from a plane, reports TMZ.

The website reports that airport police responded to a call about an unruly passenger on an airplane, and when they arrived on the plane, they were told the 25-year-old actor had been creating a disturbance. According to law enforcement officials, the actor, who appeared in four of the “Twilight” movies, was removed from the plane and deemed too intoxicated to fly.

The actor was reportedly allowed to sober up and take another flight, but not before police were called again when Pelletier allegedly peed by his new gate. The actor was then arrested for public intoxication, taken to jail and released shortly after.

Pelletier joins fellow “Twilight” cast member, Kiowa Gordon, who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2011.

Yakowa/Azazi : Publish air crash reports, Senate tells Jonathan

FOLLOWING last Saturday’s helicopter crash in Bayelsa State which claimed the lives of former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa and erstwhile National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi and the setting up of an investigative team to probe the incident, the Senate, yesterday, urged the executive to publish reports of previous investigations into air crashes before any new probe could attract the confidence of Nigerians.

Condemning the resurgence of air mishaps in Nigeria, the Senate said it had become obvious that the Federal Government was no longer capable of coming up with solutions to causes of air crashes.

The Senate also vowed to carry out what it described as a holistic probe into the remote and immediate causes of last Saturday’s air mishap involving a military aircraft.

The Senate decisions followed deliberation on a motion moved by Senator Chris Anyanwu, APGA, Imo East for an investigation into the  crash of the Naval Augusta 109 Helicopter in Bayelsa State last Saturday.

Moving the motion yesterday, Senator Anyanwu who is also Chairperson of the Senate Commitee on Navy, said: “Senate notes that in 2007 and 2011, there had been two crashes of similar Augusta helicopters owned by the Navy; worried at the seeming recurrence of air mishaps not just in civil aviation, but also in the Nigerian Military, despite public outcry; aware that between March and October 2011, there were three reported cases of air mishaps by the Airforce at different locations in the country, and that the causes of these crashes remain unknown.

“Further aware that on March 21, 2011, one F7-NI fighter jet, belonging to the Nigerian Airforce that was on a routine training programme, crashed in Kano, killing the flight instructor. The F7 fighter jet, which was reported to have come from Makurdi for two weeks training exercise was delivered to the Airforce by the manufacturers in China only a few days before the incident.

“Recalls that on September 17, 2006, in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, an 18-Seater Dornier 228 Airforce transport plane carrying senior army officers and  three crew members crashed, leaving only three survivors. The victims were members of a committee set up by the government to reposition the Nigerian Army and were enroute Obudu Cattle Ranch where the officers were to hold the retreat.”

Presiding Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, overruled a motion for the three committees to carry out a joint independent investigation on the crash.

Senator Abaribe had told his colleagues that the three committees could only assist whatever committee the Executive would set up to investigate the crash, adding that the committees which were saddled with responsibilities of investigating similar air crashes in the past, never came out with any reasonable results as findings.

About 15,000 lives lost in two years

Following deliberation on the motion, the Senate resolved as follows:
“That the Senate condemns the resurgence of air mishaps in Nigerioa and the seeming inability of government to unravel the causes of the incidents.

“That the Senate do mandate the Committees on Navy, Airforce and Aviation to investigate the frequency of these mishaps with a view to finding a permanent solution.

“That Senate observes a one minute silence in honour of the victims of Saturday’s air crash in Tombi, Bayelsa state.

“The federal Government should publish past reports of investigations into Air mishaps.
Summarising the debate, the deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who presided said: “I think we have recorded too many deaths in this country in the last two years, from 2010 when terrorism reared its ugly head in Nigeria. And since then, we have had too many deaths in Nigeria, some arising from terrorism, some arising from kidnapping, some from armed robbery, and some from ritual killings, accidents, road mishaps, air disasters, boat mishaps and all kinds of incidents that have visited us over the years.


“The truth is that people are dying on daily basis in our country, which is very regrettable. I believe within the last one to two years, we have lost over 15,000 people, which is about the population of some countries. Yes, Nigeria is a big country with so much population but this population is depleting by the day by all these incidents, so this calls for all of us and leaders in this country to see what we need to do to halt this trend.

“As we have said here, I think our regulatory agencies need to wake up, to ensure that only airworthy planes take off and land in this country, ensure that the pilots are well trained and where maintenance needs to be done is done. And of course, some of the people have died because of security lapses.

“That is one area that I will emphasise that we should also wake up because the protection of lives and property is the primary purpose of governance. We, as leaders, need to buckle up to ensure that we take care of these problems before we lose our dear population.”

He announced the setting up of two committees, headed by Deputy Senate leader, Abdul Ningi, PDP Bauchi Central, and Minority Whip, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, ACN, Lagos West. Ekweremadu added that members would visit the bereaved families.

Azazi: Family begins burial arrangements

ARRANGEMENTS for the interment of former National Security Adviser, NSA, the late Gen. Owoye Azazi, who died in the ill fated helicopter crash at Tombi, Bayelsa State, last Saturday, alongside Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa and four others, have begun, with burial tentatively fixed for this month by the family.

Family sources hinted, yesterday, that the late General was likely to be buried in his home town, Yenagoa in Bayelsa State. His first son, Owoye Azazi Jnr, however, said the date was subject to change, as plans were just at its preliminary state. Family sources also hinted that they would have loved to bury him next week but were constrained because of the position he held before death came calling unannounced.

Meanwhile, sympathizers, among them dignitaries from all walks of life have continued to throng the Ikoyi home of the late Azazi, to commiserate with his widow and children. Callers, yesterday, were  Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, former Chiefs of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Paul Dike and General AO Ogomudia.

Meanwhile, the remains of the Warrant officer, Mohammed Kamal, would leave Dodan Barracks today for his home town, Ile Odeshile, Ora town Kwara State for interment.

Governor Amosun while speaking to the bereaved family, described the late Azazi as one who reached the apex of his career in the Military. He said:  “Azazi might not have died in the war front but he died in service to the nation and in a military helicopter. We are here to remind you that we share your pains. In things that belong to the government, there is usually the tendency to wave off things and presume that it is alright. From primary investigations, there is every need to look at our maintenance culture. It is a sad occurrence.”


Eagles can’t stop Chipolopolo - Renard

NATIONAL team coach Herve Renard says it will be difficult for Nigeria’s Super Eagles and any team to beat Zambia at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa.

And Renard says Saturday’s match against Tanzania is an opportunity for local players to show they can deliver.

He insisted that the team has enough time to prepare for the continental championship kicking off on January 19.

Renard said in an interview in Lusaka Monday that the team will swing into full preparations on December 26 in South Africa.

“We have a lot of time to prepare but like I have said before what is important is for the team to be ready on the D-day. We have about a month before we play our first game of the tournament against Ethiopia,” he said.

Zambia face Ethiopia on January 21 in a Group C match before taking on Nigeria and Burkina Faso on January 25 and January 29 respectively.

Renard said the results from friendly matches are not important because his aim is to ensure the team is ready for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The 2012 Africa Cup winning coach said it is good that almost all the players are in and will train together for a month.

He said the team will not be under pressure in South Africa because they will be ready for the challenge.

Renard said the team’s aim is to go to South Africa and defend the Africa Cup trophy.

“The year 2012 was a fantastic year for Zambian football. The football spirit is very high at the moment in the country. Just look at the Zone Six final between Zambia and South Africa. The stadium was full and some people were outside. This is very good but I think even 2013 will be the same,” he said.

And the coach said young players will have a platform to show their potential when Zambia plays Tanzania on Saturday.

The charismatic coach said he intends to use senior players only for 45 minutes.

source: THE NATION

we rejects oil Bill - North

The North has rejected the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) – the much vaunted magic pill that is expected to clean up the oil sector.

The bill contains some provisions, which are against the North’s interest, according to the Northern Governors Forum, senators and members of the House of Representatives from the region.

They also protested against the establishment of the Host Community Fund and asked the North to use its majority in the National Assembly to scrutinise the bill and protect the North’s interest.

The planned debate on the bill suffered a setback at the Senate yesterday.

Other key grouses of the North border on the new institutional structure being proposed for the country’s oil and gas industry; the fiscal provisions; divestment of equity and gas supply to the North and alleged arbitrary discretion given to the Minister of Petroleum Resources to determine royalty

The grouses of the North are contained in a document prepared for the Northern Governors Forum, Northern Senators Forum and Northern Caucus in the House of Representatives.

The document, which was obtained by our correspondent, showed that the North is angry that the PIB’s provision for divestment could “lock the people of the region out” of ownership of oil and gas resources.

The North said any plan to divest equity in the new National Oil Company and the National Gas Company may favour the South because most businesses and communities in the North are not active players in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The three key bodies also alleged that the establishment of the Host Community Fund is being skewed to give oil producing states, especially those from the Southsouth, more revenue than all the 19 Northern states.

They added that the PIB does not create a framework for any serious or effective exploration for hydrocarbons in the frontier acreages of the country’s six sedimentary basins, four of which are in the Northern sections of the nation.

The document reads in part: “On top of the 13.5 per cent statutory derivation from the Federation Account, the mandatory Federal budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy of 3 per cent of oil operations and the massive amount of Federal funds being spent on the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, the new PIB is adding 10 per cent of the profit of all oil and gas companies to the Niger Delta States and Communities.

“Currently, without this new addition, four states (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers) earn more than the 19 Northern states combined. One wonders what kind of federation we would end up with, if this situation is escalated by the new PIB. In any case, what really is the constitutional standing of this particular provision in the Bill?

“These and many other issues in the Petroleum Industry Bill need very close scrutiny by the Northern Governors Forum. Without this exercise, it is very possible for the states in the region to be legally short-changed through the process of legislation despite having the majority membership in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

On plans to divest equity in the proposed new National Oil Company and the National Gas Company, the Northern leaders said there is no provision for safety net to protect the interest of the region.”

They said the PIB ought to protect the North’s right to invest in these two companies because of its low participation in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The document said: “The plan to divest equity in the new National Oil Company and the National Gas Company is not in itself an issue, the problem is to implement this provision of the law without any safeguards for equity and national spread.

“The communities and businesses in the Northern States are not very active players on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In this regard, simply off loading the equity of these national assets on the stock market could lock the people of the region out of ownership of these critical resources.

“The region must, therefore, insist on legislating guarantees for equity and national spread on whatever divestment plans there are for oil and gas assets.

“The new institutional structure being proposed for country’s oil and gas industry does not create a framework for any serious or effective exploration for hydrocarbons in the frontier acreages of the country’s six sedimentary basins, four of which are in the Northern sections of the nation.

“The New Petroleum Technical Bureau to be located in office of the Minister of Petroleum, which takes over the responsibilities of NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services, cannot really be a substitute for the National Frontier Exploration Services (NFES) that was earlier proposed in the version of the Bill sent to the National Assembly by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

“While the need to attract the required investment into the sector through the fiscal device must be recognised, it should not be at the expense of an appropriate and legitimate Government take of the total petroleum income.

“The scaling down of the Hydrocarbon Tax and the reinstatement of many incentives and allowances, among other things, would certainly impact negatively on the inflow into the Federation Account and further stress the already overburdened treasuries of the State Governments.”

The North also faulted the PIB for leaving the issue of royalty to the discretion of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

They said such a discretionary power will breed corruption.

The document said: “Of great concern, however, is the issue of royalty or lack of it in the Bill. Leaving the question of the determination of royalties to the regulatory discretion of the Minister of Petroleum is not only dangerous for the nation, but also an open invitation for phenomenal corruption in the future.

“One of key challenges in the management of the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria is the consistent inability to prioritize gas supply to the North. While many of the other sections of the region enjoy the benefits of cheap, clean and effective energy source, the North continues to wallow in extreme energy poverty.

“For instance, out of the sixteen thermal power stations in the country only one (Geregu) is located in the region. The Ajaokuta – Kano gas pipeline has consistently remained in the back burner of all gas utilisation plans in the country.

“The only way to ensure that gas supply to the North is prioritized over more export oriented gas projects by operators in the industry is ensure that the terms of the Domestic Supply Obligations and Pricing Regulations signed by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua administration are incorporated in the new Petroleum Industry legislation.”

They queried why all the states were not consulted for broader input before the bill was drafted.

The document said: “The new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was recently forwarded to the National Assembly by the Presidency is one piece of legislation that would impact on the constituents’ part of the federation in a very profound manner. It is, in fact, truly remarkable that a key legislation that only affects assets of the whole federation, but would also seriously impact on the inflow of revenue into the Federation Account could be drafted and forwarded to the National Assembly without the input of, or due consultations with, the federating states.

“More specifically, there are many provisions and issues in the document that should be of serious concern for the Northern States in particular.”

source: THE NATION

Rain of tears as Yakowa’s body arrives in Kaduna

WITH the arrival of former Governor Patrick Yakowa’s body in Kaduna yesterday, the grim reality of his death was fully felt.

The city was thrown into mourning as the AirForce aircraft carrying the body — and the late Yakowa’s friend Dauda Tsoho’s — touched down at the Kaduna Airport in a golden casket draped in the green-white-green national colours.

The body was conveyed from the airport through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Western Byepass to the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, accompanied by the widow and three of their children — all clad in black dresses.

The airport was filled with sympathisers. Many wept profusely as the plane hovered before landing.

The huge crowd defied the security barricades and rushed on to the tarmac as the casket was being brought down from the plane to catch a glimpse of it.

Women fellowship groups and church societies were praying and singing choruses at the airport and when the casket was brought out of the aircraft, they burst into tears.

While handing over Yakowa’s remains to Governor Multhar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State, the leader of the Bayelsa State government delegation and Deputy Governor John Jonah said the government yesterday held a valedictory executive session in memory of the late governor who he described as a bridge builder. He urged the people to support Yero to enable him carry on with the foundation laid by the late Yakowa.

Yero praised the government and people of Bayelsa State for their prayers. He assured the people that he would continue with the foundation laid by the late Yakowa for the sustenance of peace, unity and progress in the state.

The Arch bishop of Kaduna Diocese of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Mathew Ndagoso, Bishop George Dodo of Zaria Diocese and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah prayed.

A Valedictory Executive Council meeting will hold today (Wednesday) at the Government House by 10am. The wake-keep will hold at the Government House later in the day by 3pm

The body is expected to leave St. Gerald Catholic Hospital on Thursday for the Fadan Kagoma, for the interment after a funeral mass at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Fadan Kagoma.

The bodies of Yakowa and his friend, Dauda Tsoho, arrived in Kaduna yesterday aboard a Nigeria AirForce cargo plane at about 2.45 pm. They were received by Governor Mukthar Ramalan Yero and the widow, Amina Patrick Yakowa.

The bodies were accompanied by former Governor of Bayelsa State and other top government officials.

Others at the airport to receive the bodies were Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Bukola Saraki, family members and top government officials.

The bodies were later conveyed in a St. Gerard Hospital ambulance and driven in a motorcade through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Western bypass to Saint Gerald Catholic Hospital where they were deposited in the mortuary.

Senate President David Mark and his wife later joined the others at the hospital from where they proceeded to the Government House to see Yakowa’s family.

Senator Nenadi Esther Usman and the Southern Kaduna People in the United States said yesterday that the death of Yakowa has robbed the state of a bridge-builder and a unifier.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Federal Government would not increase the price of petrol in the New Year -Abdulwahed Omar

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwahed Omar, on Tuesday assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would not increase the price of petrol in the New Year.

Omar, who gave the assurance in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said that already the masses were facing a lot of hardship, adding that the government would not want to add to their sufferings.

According to him, any further increase in the prices of petroleum products could result in violent protest by the masses, and the government would not want that to happen.

“Generally, Nigerians should expect a good year in 2013. We don’t expect sudden surprises from the government like we had early this year.

“I don’t think government would be disposed to doing that because if you look at it, the hardship Nigerians are enduring now is slightly higher than what they were enduring at the end of last year.

“So, I think it would be unthinkable for government to want to compound the problems of the common man.

“So, let us hope that 2013 is going to come with good hopes and with a lot of prospects for everybody in this country,’’ Omar told NAN.

The union president said Nigerians should not expect anything from the NLC, but should hope for many good things from the government.

He urged the government not to sack any worker, saying that it would not solve Nigeria’s economic problems.


FC Barcelona Agree New Deal With Messi, Xavi And Puyol

messi, xavi, puyol

Barcelona trio Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Leo Messi are all to sign new deals at the club, securing that three of the club's "reference players" will remain at the Camp Nou far into the future.

Puyol, 34, is to extend his deal for a further three years until June 2016; Xavi, 32, will extend his contract another two seasons up to 2016, while Messi, 25, will add two extra years to his deal, keeping him at the Camp Nou until June 2018.

Barca announced the news via their club website on Tuesday morning.

"FC Barcelona can announce that it has reached agreements with Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Leo Messi for the renewal of their respective contracts," the official statement read. "This news means that FC Barcelona has secured its ties with three of its most important players. Over the course of the next few weeks, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Leo Messi will all be signing their respective new contracts."

The news came after club captain Puyol told reporters on Monday that ideally he would like to play until he was 40, as long as he could keep contributing to the cause.

"I want to continue playing, but I do not want to be a passenger," he said. "The moment I do not feel okay, I will stop, regardless of my contract."

Puyol said that his contract negotiations had been put on hold recently while he concentrated on getting back in shape to help the team after a suffering a string of injuries in recent months.

"I was concentrating on getting back to fitness," he said. "It was a difficult time, but you have to learn from these experiences and they make you stronger. I feel fine now. The moment I stop enjoying it, I will stop playing".

Puyol played all 90 minutes in Sunday evening's 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid, which stretched Barca's lead in the table to nine points over Atletico and 13 over Real Madrid. 'Tarzan' said he still considered Jose Mourinho's Madrid a dangerous challenger for the title.

"If there is one team who never give up, it is Real Madrid," he said. "They have shown that in other seasons. We cannot become complacent, we still have to go to the Bernabeu. If you were told about 13 points at the start of the season, you would not believe it. But our numbers are very good and have been won on the field."

When asked about his plans for his career once he eventually hangs up his boots, Puyol joked that he would not become Barca club president and his fellow centre-half Gerard Pique had his eyes on that job.

"I do not want to be Barca president, like Pique," he said. "I will let him have that job, as he is my friend."


Katongo Named BBC’s African Footballer Award

Christopher Katongo has won the 2012 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.
The 30-year-old Zambia captain beat off competition from Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Younes Belhanda and Yaya Toure to become the first winner from southern Africa in the history of the award.
Katongo told BBC Sport: “This is a fantastic moment for me. I thank the people who voted for me. It is something I will never forget in my career.

“This means a lot for the young people and the young players who look up to me. I could not have achieved this without the support of my team-mates.”

The shortlist for the award was drawn up by football experts from every country in Africa, who based their choices on players’ skill, technical ability, teamwork, consistency and fair play.
And a record number of people nominated their favourite online or by text message with just over 40% of the votes going to

Katongo, who plays his club football in China for Henan Construction.
While all the players on the shortlist have enjoyed a superb year, with four of the players picking up silverware, it is Katongo whose performances and achievements have been considered by African football fans to be the greatest.

“I think the things that they (the fans) like about me is my discipline and that I am the kind of player who can fail one day but pull up his socks and keep going. I think that is why they voted for me,” added Katongo.
“To be among the top players who have won this award, I will go to sleep with a smile on my face.
“I did my best and the people have spoken. That’s the beauty of this award.”

Katongo, who is also a soldier in his home country, was inspirational as he led Zambia to their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February.

He scored three goals en route to the final of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon and then struck a successful penalty in an 8-7 shoot-out victory over favourites Ivory Coast to lift the trophy in Libreville.
2011 – Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew (Marseille & Ghana)
2010 – Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland & Ghana)
2009 – Didier Drogba (Chelsea & Ivory Coast)
2008 – Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)
2007 – Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal & Togo)
2006 – Michael Essien (Chelsea & Ghana)
2005 – Mohamed Barakat (Al Ahly & Egypt)
2004 – Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton & Nigeria)
2003 – Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton & Nigeria)
2002 – El Hadji Diouf (Liverpool & Senegal)
2001 – Sammy Kuffour (Bayern Munich & Ghana)
2000 – Patrick Mboma (Parma & Cameroon)


Oil and Gas Pipeline Explosion Shakes Lagos

An explosion occurred at the site of a vandalised NNPC oil pipeline yesterday in Lagos. Some oil thieves were feared to have been burnt to death while scooping fuel at a vandalised pipeline at Ije-Ododo, near Ijegun in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria.

According to a witness, the raging fire started around 9 p.m. yesterday when about 30 oil thieves loaded in two canoes arrived the scene and started scooping fuel into hundreds of 50 kilogramme jerry cans.

However, nemesis caught up with them when fire was ignited and consumed the whole environment, including the thieves, their jerry cans and other materials.

A source told P.M.NEWS at the scene of the fire that the oil thieves usually came to the area in canoes and after scooping fuel, they travelled on the stream to the Festac axis.

As at the time of filing this report, the fire was still raging and a thick smoke enveloped the area. No fire fighters were available. But some men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) and NNPC officials were at the scene to assess the situation. The NSCDC leader, who identified himself as Baiye, said his team was facing serious challenges. “You can see that the fire is still raging. We can’t go far to examine the damaged pipeline or know the number of people killed because the pipeline is buried under water,” an NNPC official stated.

Some residents of Ije-Ododo who spoke with our correspondent claimed they suspected oil thieves who vandalised the pipeline in the community conspired with the police in their nefarious activities.

The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, at Isheri-Oshun Division could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.

Some churches located near the scene of the fire have been moving their movables out of fear that it might spread to their churches and consume them.

When P.M.NEWS visited the Area Commander, Area ‘E’ Police Command, ACP Dan Okoro, he was not available in his office.

Speaking with P.M.NEWS, the Information Officer, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for  Southwest, Ibrahim Farinloye said NEMA was informed of the fire at about 9 p.m. on Monday night. Farinloye said both state and federal fire fighters called at the scene of the fire but could not do much because it requires a technical way to handle. He likened the manner of the fire incident to the vandalisation of the NNPC pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State.

According to Aluko Olanfemi, leader of the Apostolic Church at Festac, the residents got wind of the plan of pipeline vandals activities because such fire occurred in 2002 and the people have always been at the alert. Aluko said residents have contacted the police and State Security Service, and even wrote the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola to assist nip in the bud the nefarious activities of the bunkerers.

P.M.NEWS correspondent reported this morning from the fire scene that there was sporadic shooting by the vandals while the fire was still raging and security agents had to seek reinforcement.

source:PM News

REVIEW: Far Cry 3

It has been an incredible year for gaming and Far Cry 3 has ensured 2012 ends with loads of explosions and bullets whizzing through the air. After the mixed response of Far Cry 2, I am happy to say that Far Cry 3 has returned to its island roots and has overcome the hiccups experienced by its predecessor. An amalgamation of FPS, Sandbox and RPG, this descent into madness will offer you longevity and a desire to never leave this deadly paradise.

You’re introduced to Rook Island, the setting where the game takes place, through a montage of adventure and youthful exuberance. This home movie features you, Jason Brody, as well as your brothers, girlfriend and friends. The good mood is soon shattered, however, when your character is shown watching the video from behind bars, being taunted by a truly fantastic villain known as Vaas. Vaas is a pirate leader and he has taken you and your companions hostage in order to ransom you back to your families. Being the dirty, vile pirate that he is, he intends to sell you into slavery anyway. You escape but sadly your brother is killed by Vaas, which is incredibly powerful as you literally feel him dying. Subsequently you begin a personal journey to find the strength to save your friends and loved ones.

You join forces with the local tribe known as the Rakyak, who subsequently initiate you into the tribe. Their teachings and guidance help you to find the mental and emotional fortitude to accomplish your goals and more. Jason starts off as a frightened boy but the farther he falls down the rabbit hole, the more he embraces the madness that is Rook Island. You can expect a number of hallucinogenic sequences, particularly when you fight bosses. Far Cry 3 is an engaging tale about an ordinary man who will go to great lengths and sacrifice much to save those he cares about. Wonderfully interesting characters are scattered throughout your journey and each help to shape you in their own interesting and insane way. It seems sanity has abandoned Rook Island and before long you realise it has left Jason too.

From the outset you are introduced to the basic mechanics and let loose on the island. Teeming with plant and animal life (both on land and in water), the island feels alive and treacherous. Some animals are incredibly dangerous and unless you have a powerful weapon, it is better to avoid them than try and take them on. The RPG inspired crafting uses various plants and animal skins. It is very rewarding and will keep you busy as you hunt various animals for their skins. You can create things like bags, wallets and ammunition pouches. Using the various plants on the island you can make a number of injections to help you with combat, exploration or hunting. One of my favourite aspects of the game has to be swimming. The water is murky and feels completely authentic and I would have spent most of my time in the ocean if it wasn’t for the sharks.

The island is populated with radio towers and outposts. You are required to climb the radio towers and activate them in order for the stores to get more stock and reveal a section of the map. Outposts are essentially bases controlled by the enemy and in order to gain control you need to murder all of the inhabitants to take over. A large amount of time is spent doing these two activities and thankfully it only gets stale towards the end of the game. You’ll be happy to know that unlike Far Cry 2, outposts remain captured. There are also scores of side quests available, each one offering something different, which is a welcome change of pace.

The visuals and audio both work hard to draw you in. Rook Island feels natural and (madness aside) looks like you could enjoy a wonderful tropical holiday there. Bright blue water and gorgeous greenery, with frequent explosions thrown into the mix, epitomises your visual experience. The epic vistas you see from the top of radio towers educate you on how big the island truly is. Fire makes a return and is completely dynamic, taking on a life of its own. A well placed Molotov can create havoc for your enemy and for you if you don’t pay attention. The sound was truly phenomenal and the game's voice acting is of the highest quality. My favourite feature, however, was the music, which was unique to each mission and mirrored your actions. For example: burning marijuana fields while awesome Reggae beats grace your ears, which seemed appropriate. When the music picks up you feel empowered and it gives you the 'oomph' you need to conquer any obstacle.

The single player alone clocks in at around 15-30 hours depending on how much of a completionist you are. Far Cry 3 also offers a large range of multiplayer modes to add value and extend your game time. This includes a wonderful four player co-operative mode. It has its own unique story and characters but being swarmed by pirates and completing objectives reminded me of Left 4 Dead. It felt very familiar which to be honest, is not necessarily a bad thing. There are a staggering amount of unlocks available through an experience system. The unlocks include weapons, support weapons, perks, accessories and even battle cries to help change the tide of battle. At the end of each map the best player on the winning team has the option to punish or show mercy to the top losing player, a nice touch and an interesting ego boost...or humbling experience.

Many gamers are still trying to catch up with all the incredible releases this year and Far Cry 3 certainly doesn’t make our lives any easier. Its compelling story, gorgeous visuals, powerful soundtrack and rewarding game play make this one of the best FPS games of the year. Far Cry 3 is more than likely an indication of what is to come within the genre, going beyond simple point and shoot to create an engaging rich experience with loads to offer. I for one am happy about this. Far Cry 3 is one of those games you cannot afford to miss.


Increase in fuel price can result to violent protest, NLC warns

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Abdulwahed Omar on Tuesday assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would not increase the price of petrol in the New Year.

Omar, who gave the assurance in an interview in Lagos, said that already the masses were facing a lot of hardship, adding that the government would not want to add to their sufferings.

According to him, any further increase in the prices of petroleum products can result in violent protest by the masses, and the government will not want that to happen.

“Generally, Nigerians should expect a good year in 2013. We don’t expect sudden surprises from the government like we had early this year.

“I don’t think government will be disposed to doing that because if you look at it, the hardship Nigerians are enduring now is slightly higher than what they were enduring at the end of last year.

“So, I think it will be unthinkable for government to want to compound the problems of the common man.

“So, let us hope that 2013 is going to come with good hopes and with a lot of prospects for everybody in this country.’’

The union president said Nigerians should not expect anything from the NLC, but should hope on many good things from the government.

Omar urged the government not to sack any worker, saying that it would not solve Nigeria’s economic problems.

He advised the government to tackle the unemployment problem in 2013, saying that it would be a major yardstick for measuring the country’s development. (NAN)

Intrigues cloud nominations for new Kaduna Deputy Governor

 The possible nomination of the widow of the late governor of Kaduna State, Mrs. Amina Yakowa as the new deputy governor of the state was Monday caught in a web of geopolitical permutations and political horse trading.

The office of deputy governor became vacant following the inauguration of the erstwhile holder of the office, Mukthar Yero as the new governor of the state.  The immediate past governor of the state, Patrick Yakowa died in a helicopter crash last Saturday.

Top on the list of those under consideration are Yakowa’s widow, a former deputy director in the Ministry of Defence. She retired from service only after her husband became deputy governor in 2005.

Her possible nomination Vanguard learnt yesterday was already facing stiff opposition from some political stakeholders from Southern Kaduna, who allege that a woman could not have the strength of will to stand up to the political intrigues that shadow politics in Kaduna State.

Opposition to her nomination, Vanguard learnt, is seriously being opposed by some from Southern Kaduna who believe that she would not be able to stand up to represent the interest of Southern Kaduna in government.

Others being mentioned include the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Jonathan Asake, Mr. Mark Jacob who is presently a director in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and the chairman of Jema‘a Local Government Area, Mr. Dan Amos.


FG bans importation of raw sugar from January 1

Olusegun Aganga

MINISTER of Trade and Investments, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Monday, said the Federal Government has concluded plans to ban the importation of raw sugar with effect from January 1, 2013.

He also disclosed the government expects to generate $17.4 billion in 2013 from planned introduction of weight measuring in some sectors of economy, in 2013, while also saving the nation $3 billion within the same period.

Aganga who spoke at the Ministry of Trade & Investments’ second annual seminar for Industry Correspondents and Group Business Editors in Abuja said the proposed ban on all sugar in retail packages was part of the federal government’s National Sugar Master Plan. Currently, there are two major investors in sugar industry which are Dangote Sugar Refinery and Bua Sugar Refinery.

The minister noted that objectives of the National Sugar Master Plan include raising local sugar production to attain self sufficiency, stemming the tide of high level importation, creating of huge number of job opportunities, as well as contributing to the production of ethanol and generation of electricity.

He explained that currently 98 percent of brown sugar which are refined into white sugar is imported into the country from Brazil, adding: “All these are going to change next year as only investors who are committed to backward integration in the sugar sector will be given licence to import certain quotas into the country in order to augment local production.

“We want to replicate the success story of backward integration policy in the cement industry in the sugar industry. We won’t allow the importation of brown sugar again from 2013.”

Elaborating on the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Abuja, Dr. Latif Busari, emphasised that the council would adopt high graduated tariff structure on sugar importation, mandatory backward integration programme for refineries, provision of investors-specific incentives to discourage importation of raw brown sugar and attract investors into the sector.

He listed other strategies to include regulation of the entire regime of sugar importation through quota allocation benchmark on local; production, robust monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure compliance with milestones and time-lines and enlargement of the sugarcane value chain players.

Foreign direct investment
Busari said the ban was expected to attract an estimated $3.1 billion foreign direct investment into the country, deepen banking sector via increased loan syndication, savings of foreign exchange on sugar imports and earnings on sugar exports to be deployed to other critical sector.

He said that with backward integration in sugar, 1.8 million tonnes of sugar and 161.2 million litres of ethanol annually would be locally produced per annum. It is also expected to create 37,378 permanent jobs and 79,803 seasonal jobs, save $65.8 million in foreign exchange on fuel imports annually, and $350 to $500 million in foreign exchange on sugar imports annually.

On metering through weights and measures, Aganga said that the regulation was introduced to checkmate cheating of Nigerians both in public and private sectors, stressing that it would first be implemented in the oil and gas and will extended to  other sectors later.

He said: “The regulation if well implemented will save the economy more than $3 billion and $17 billion in revenue by 2013. Before now, we have been relying on UNCTAD data for information on new investments that come into the country, but from January 2013, we will no longer rely on UNCTAD data.”


Nollywood Heartthrob Ramsey Nouah

The film industry in Africa is blessed with an abundance of talent. From Nigeria through to Kenya, South Africa and Ghana, the continent continues to produce quality actors and actresses. Year in year out, Africa’s impressive database of screen lords and goddesses increases with an appreciable level of quality, style and presentation.

So it is no wonder that Nollywood, Africa’s most successful movie industry (at least for now), is getting all the applause from across the divide of the filmmaking world. From very humble beginnings to its present state, Nollywood has stated its case as a global force to reckon with. In an impressive string of good results posted over the decade, the Nigerian film industry, despite its problems, is still leading the rest of the pack, in a clear unassailable manner that would take the rest of the continent to catch up.

Countries like Ghana, South Africa and Kenya are giving Nollywood a hot chase but given the fact that numerical advantage would always favour the Nigerian film industry, it makes it hard to even suggest or try to explain that, all others can or may catch up in terms of revenue flow. Nollywood will be around for a long time to come, and its key payers including the actors and actresses will ensure that.

Ramsey Adetokunbo Nouah is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s most successful actors. To say that Nouah is a cult figure in Nigeria, would be stating the obvious, and to imply that he is one of Africa’s finest actors of all time, would echo the thoughts of many movie lovers across the continent. In the early 2000s when the Nigerian movie industry began making strategic inroads into other African countries, it was the likes of Nouah, Genevieve Nnaji, Liz Bension and Pete Edoche among others, who graced the screens.

Those days, it was pretty hard to come across a Nigerian movie without a certain Nouah. He constantly featured in almost all of the titles that were produced at the time, becoming a figure most young people would look up to. The respect and quantum of appreciation he earned from fans and industry players alike, aided his gradual growth to the top of what can be said to be, in all fairness, a career well lived.

And even though the film industry in Nigeria has gone through phases, accommodating other young hopeful, and carefully placing the likes of Ramsey in the backroom, he’s managed to go through all that unscathed, holding on to what he’s been known for over the years – quality. A career full of awards and accolades, the 39 year-old actor debuted on the local scene, with his appearance in the soap opera Fortunes.

Around 1990, a friend who had always dreamt of seeing Ramsey act, urged him on to try auditioning for a role in Fortunes. A year later, he found himself as one of key actors in the series. Fortunes, which later became Mega Fortunes, aired in 1993 on the Nigerian Television Authority, and to a larger extent, gave birth to what is currently referred to as Nigerian Home Videos.

Nouah would later go on to achieve nationwide fame, as one script after the another from major film production houses poured in. As many as they came, Nouah made good use of them, proving the fine actor he is. Born in Edo, Nigeria to an Iranian/Israeli father and a Yoruba mother, Nouah has featured in over hundred Nigerian movies notable among them being Dangerous Twins, and The Figurine, which won him a, 2010, Best Actor in a Leading Role recognition at the African Movie Academy Awards.


Helicopter Crash - ANPP Urges Thorough Probe

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)  has asked the authorities of the Nigerian Navy to carry out a quick and conclusive investigation into last Saturday’s helicopter tragedy that claimed six lives in Bayelsa State including the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.

ANPP’s charge came just as the book launch meant to galvanise the views of opposition political parties on a common manifesto  for the 2015 general election got postponed as a mark of honour to the victims of the plane crash.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, the party said investigating the cause of the crash will help to restore confidence in the masses and also blaze the trail for aviation operations’ best practices in the country.

The party said it received the news of the crash of the naval helicopter which killed Yakowa and the former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd) and four others, with deep shock and concern.

“At this distressing hour for the bereaved families, there could be nothing more comforting to them than a thorough investigation into the cause or causes of the accident, and the unraveling of the mystery behind the Navy Agusta helicopter crash and other plane crashes in the country. As human beings it will go a long way in giving them vent for their pain and a sense of equanimity that such disaster would not happen again,” it said.

The ANPP described the death of the governor and the former NSA as a great loss to the whole nation, and a sad statement on the nation’s air transport.

“We join the good people of Kaduna State, Bayelsa State, andthe family and friends of the deceased to mourn at this hour of sorrow. This is indeed a sad moment for Nigeria,” he added.

Last Saturday’s unfortunate incident has also taken its toll on several important events billed for the week as members of the opposition parties have cancelled two key events that would have brought them together to chat a common cause.

Following the death of the Kaduna State Governor in the helicopter crash, the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), said he had postponed his birthday anniversary earlier scheduled for yesterday.

In the same vein, organisers of a book launch on  the prospects for  a common manifesto of the Nigerian opposition political parties announced a cancellation of the event in honour of the victims of the crash.

The author of the book whose launch was to have provided an platform for the convergence of the opposition party leaders in Abuja, Mr. Salihu Muhammed Lukman, told THISDAY yesterday that the event has been shift to January 15, 2013 in keeping with the mood of the nation.

“We have to respect the memory of the victims of the last Saturday’s helicopter crash.  On account of the death of Governor Yakowa, we just cannot go on with the event. We have postponed it till January 15, next year,” he said.


Messi Extends Barcelona Contract to 2018

Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract with Barcelona, keeping him at the Spanish club until 2018.

The Argentina international, 25, has enjoyed a record-breaking year for club and country, scoring 90 goals in 2012, reports the BBC.

Messi has scored two goals in each of the last eight games that he has started for Barcelona.

Defender Carles Puyol, 34, and midfielder Xavi Hernandez, 32, have also agreed new deals that will keep them at Barcelona until 2016.

"In the coming weeks Puyol, Xavi and Messi will sign their respective new contracts," the club confirmed.

"This news means that FC Barcelona has secured its ties with three of its most important players."

Messi's current deal expires in June 2016, with Puyol's running until 2013 and Xavi until 2014.

Messi, who has been with Barcelona since he was 13, made his league debut against RCD Espanyol on October 16, 2004.

He has been in the best goal-scoring form of his career in 2012 and surpassed Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals scored in a calendar year with a brace in a 2-1 win over Real Betis on December 9.

Messi took his tally for the year to 90 on Sunday with another two goals as Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid 4-1.

He is in contention to be named World Player of the Year for a fourth time, having been named on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Andres Iniesta.

We Won’t Bend Contracting Procedures for IOCs - NNPC

NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said it would not compromise on its established processes of awarding contracts for major pending projects in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to the benefit of International Oil Companies (IOCs).

Apparently raising eyebrows over media reports credited to some IOCs which had accused it of deliberately stalling the execution of some multibillion dollar projects in the petroleum sector, the acting General Manager Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple, said in a statement in Abuja that the corporation will only adhere to established procedures in its contracting cycle than been made to compromise.

Pepple stated that the corporation will not be intimidated to abandon its firmly established process of contract award because of what it termed calculated media blackmail ostensibly by the IOCs and other interested parties.

He said in the statement that while the industry concern is normally expected in the processes leading to the award of major oil and gas projects, the NNPC has an established procedure of contract and project approval which includes conduct of economic analysis to establish project viability as well as the Federal Government’s interests from investments in the upstream.

Pepple explained that: “This procedure must be followed and IOCs cannot stampede the corporation into taking decisions that may be inimical to the nation because of their pecuniary interests.”

Commenting on the claim that the NNPC has not held its periodic Group Executive Committee (GEC) meetings to discuss some major projects like the Total Egina deep offshore project and endorse same to its board for approval, Pepple said: “This claim is untrue as GEC meetings are being held weekly or fortnightly. However, Erha North Phase 2 and Egina project contracts have not been discussed yet at these meetings because NNPC management is critically reviewing the overall economics of the project in view of their high cost estimates in order to establish their validity, maximise Federal Government’s take andensure comparative price competitiveness vis-a-vis benchmarks.”

The corporation also defended its Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production (GED, E&P), Abiye Membere, who was alleged to be behind a phantom contract splitting attempt of the Egina project as he allegedly did with the previous Bonga South-west project, saying that such allegation was totally misplaced and untrue.

Pepple informed that the alleged contract splitting of Bonga South-west was never in the cards as there was never a time that Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) proposed three Floating Production Storage Production Offloading facility (FPSO) for Bonga field development.

“Membere also did not scuttle Bonga Southwest/Aparo Project six years ago. He was the GM, PSC Division of NAPIMS in 2006 and helped to move forward the strategy for a leased FPSO project for Bonga Southwest /Aparo project. He was deployed from this position to another position in NNPC’s Engineering and Technical Directorate in 2007 during a routine management re-organisation exercise,” he added.

NNPC noted that Bonga South/Aparo was recycled for concept re-evaluation in 2009 when dearth of bidders were recorded on the major packages at the technical stage and witha potential of only one bidder emerging to the commercial stage of the FPSO tender.

Pepple said: “This decision to recycle Bonga was taken by NAPIMS top management and not Engr. Membere”

Pepple also described as untrue the report that the NNPC had blamed lack of funding as the reason behind lull in the execution of the project.

He explained that: “This claim is untrue as there is no funding challenge in PSC because operators fund the investment 100 per cent.”

He said that despite the spate of attacks, the NNPC remains focused on its core mandate of ensuring that the Federal Government and the Nigerian people derive maximum benefit from the proceeds of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.


Nigeria, Cameroun to Speed up Boundary Demarcation

Nigeria and Cameroun have agreed to expedite the process for the demarcation of land-based areas, which are yet to be identified in the Bakassi Peninsula.

This was after a United Nations-backed meeting between officials of both countries in Abuja ended last weekend. The meeting was the 30th in a series of meetings on the implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement on the demarcation of the peninsula between the two countries.

According to a statement by the UN headquarters in New York, the joint technical team of surveyors and other experts would be in the peninsula by February 2013 to speed up the process and to commence the pillar emplacement project.

The Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Ambassador Said Djinnit, at the meeting, said addressing the needs of the affected citizens of both countries should be given priority.

This, he said, would not only give a human face to the technical and political processes of the demarcation but would help to foster lasting peace among the communities in the region.

He called for intensified projects in infrastructure, food security, energy and environment, as well as education and capacity building for employment for the affected population.

“The meeting in Abuja also stressed the importance of the fourth component of the mandate, which is addressing the needs of the population affected by the demarcation through confidence-building initiatives and cross border socio-economic projects,” the statement said.

Djinnit, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, congratulated Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and his Camerounian counterpart, President Paul Biya, for their unwavering commitment to the peaceful implementation of the ICJ judgement.

To date, more than 1,845 kilometres out of a total boundary distance believed to exceed 2,000 kilometres, have been located on the ground by the joint technical team.

The demarcation of the land boundary is the third component of the mandate of the commission, UNOWA noted. The two countries agreed on the delimitation of the maritime border in 2007, and the withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area, along the land border and in Bakassi Peninsula, was finalised in 2008.


Lablet Manager, Lagos – Nokia Job

Nokia Research Center (NRC) is chartered with exploring new frontiers for mobility, solving scientific challenges to transform the converging Internet and communications industries. Our teams are strategically located worldwide to collaborate with leading universities and research institutes in the mode of Open Innovation. NRC has been exploring and developing mobile technologies for over 25 years. We have a variety of personal and technical backgrounds, but we are all researching topics related to the future of mobility in the merging physical and digital worlds. Read more of us at 
On African continent NRC is present at selected regional hubs and NRC focuses on understanding the unique needs of the African mobile phone user and creates concepts and visions to fulfill these needs. NRC is working e.g. with University of Nairobi (Kenya) and University of Cape Town (South Africa) to solve the unique African language, cultural, educational and infrastructure challenges that can all be improved through mobile technologies.
We are now looking for a Lablet Manager in Lagos, Nigeria to build up NRC presence in this regional hub with universities and other collaborators.
General Purpose
You manage Nokia’s research collaboration with universities and other collaborators in Nigeria & larger Western Africa and link the research work into wider Nokia context

Main Responsibility Areas
1.       Managing research projects that are done in collaboration with universities to ensure the collaboration provides Nokia relevant results
·         Identification of Nokia relevant research topics with universities and selecting topics and students performing the research work with the academic staff
·         Managing the student research work
·         Linking the collaboration universities work to other Nokia’s research work in Africa and globally as well as Nokia’s business
·         Assessing and developing the commercial potential of the research projects
·         Planning the further deployment steps for the research results
2.       Contributing into NRC’s research projects Africa wide & globally

You should have strong experience in mobile research in Western Africa and excellent communication and collaboration skills to be able to work with and network widely within the university and mobile community in Western Africa

An ideal candidate also has:
·         6-9 years research experience, preferably in mobile industry and related research.
·         B.Sc degree in relevant field.
·         Strong links to and knowledge of relevant local university ecosystem
·         Strong drive & track record for innovation creation and transferring ideas into business
·         Capability for creative problem solving in various fields, like technology & business planning
·         Strong communication skills


Research & Development

Primary Location



CTO Office



Job Type


Employee Status



Yes, 25 % of the Time

Unposting Date

Jan 15, 2013, 8:59:59 PM


Nigeria Service Manager Job – GE Oil & Gas

Job Number: 1615934
Business: GE Oil & Gas
Business Segment: Oil & Gas
About Us: GE is a diversified technology, media and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging and plastics, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. Oil & Gas, part of GE’s Infrastructure business, is a world leader in advanced technology turbo machinery products and services, with engineering and manufacturing centers of excellence throughout Europe and the United States. We offer complete one-stop solutions for production, LNG, transportation, storage,
refineries, petrochemical and distribution systems, as well as total pipeline integrity solutions including analysis and pipeline asset management. Oil & Gas products include gas and steam turbines, compressors, turbo-expanders, pumps, valves, reducing and metering systems, fuel dispensers and steering tools for drilling and exploration.
Posted Position Title: Nigeria Service Manager
Career Level: Experienced
Function: Services
Function Segment: Field Services
Location: Nigeria
U.S. State, China or Canada Provinces:
City: Port Harcourt
Postal Code: 0
Relocation Assistance: No
Role Summary/Purpose: The Nigeria Service Manager demonstrates accountability for functional, business, and broad company objectives. In this role you will integrate and develop processes that meet business needs across the organization, manage complex issues within functional areas of expertise, be involved in long-term planning, and contribute to the overall business strategy.
Essential Responsibilities: -Establish outstanding level of quality in execution phase,taking the ownership of the site activities
-Execution and implementing the procedure described in QMS for Operation Excellence.
-Manage and report the EHS issues to the EHS manager.
-Ensure that all ground rules and guidelines are properly followed
- Lead the growth strategy for development of the field service organization in Nigeria (ie. Hiring plan and number of resources, training plan, logistic, Direct Hires Vs Fresh Graduates, technical support need, planning etc.)
-Establish relationship with local suppliers selecting local Manpower / tooling / consumable / equipment.
- Develop local talent, assuring the achievement of O&G FSEs Certification, develop training plan to enhance the technical competency, assign and mobilize the resources on time and in compliance with immigration regulations in other countries
-Interact with other Africa SM and with FSEs Assignment COE in HQ to support the global FSEs demand and guarantee the assignment of adequate and appropriate skills.
- Support the Nigerian Field Coordinator and Expat FSEs for all the logistic (ie: guest house, pick up, transfer, Visa application in country if applicable, etc…)
- Maximize the FSEs utilization; manage the budget to minimize the hourly cost,playing a proactive role to increase the productivity and to identify area of further improvements.
- Interact with Local Finance team to track and report properly the cost of Field Service Nigeria.
- Support the Project Manager in the execution of Field service & Installation activities for On Call and Turn Key projects across TurboMachinery, CSA, Solutions and Core P&L’s.
Qualifications/Requirements: - Degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent qualifications
- Five years or more of experience in managing workforce
- Excellent Project Management Skills
- Demonstrable skill in resource planning and cost analysis
- Strong EHS mindset
- Excellent leadership and motivational skills
- Ability to work at all levels of the organization and cross functionality
- Fluent in English language
- Proven financial acumen
-Willingness and ability to travel within assigned region
Additional Eligibility Qualifications:
Desired Characteristics: - Experience in Installation and field service activities of the following equipment: – Installation of New Turbo Machinery – Heavy-duty gas turbines module overhaul – Centrifugal compressors overhaul – Reciprocating compressors overhaul – Steam turbines casings, nozzles and accessories overhaul – Six Sigma Black Belt or Master Black Belt (GE Employees Only) – Technical or operations background – Previous technical Advisor experience – Training experience.
Apply Now

AMS Manager Job – GE Energy

Job Number: 1648992
Business: GE Energy Management
Business Segment: Energy Management
About Us: GE Energy’s Power Electronics business, formerly Lineage Power, traces our heritage to Bell Labs. Today, we deliver Total Efficiency™ power conversion solutions carrying on the tradition of patented innovation with energy-efficient AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC circuit-board mounted power modules, telecom energy systems, and custom power products backed by local field expertise in 25+ locations worldwide. Designed for decades of reliable operation, our power conversion solutions enable voice, video, and data communications while assuring investment protection, energy efficiency, and significantly reduced total cost of ownership.
We obsess over details to exceed the highest quality standards. The company holds hundreds of global patents and has invested over US $1 Billion in research and development. We want to earn the right to your business by delivering on our promises on-time and on-budget.
Our customer service and sales locations around the world deliver in-depth technical knowledge and a personalized support experience. Our TL9000-certified professional services team consists of experts in every aspect of power conversion with the resources and experience to handle large turnkey projects along with custom approaches to complex challenges. Our training offerings help you become subject matter experts in the planning, design, implementation, and optimization of our products through hands-on labs in our facilities or on-site courses customized to your specific requirements.
Large enough to be global, yet focused enough to deliver personalized support, we live by the philosophy “There is nothing more important than our customers.” Our goal is to help you do your job better, spend less time doing it, and become your favorite vendor by delivering on our promises. We measure our success based on your satisfaction.
We are committed to clear and attractive technology upgrade options that leverage your existing investments while avoiding forklift upgrades. We will compete fairly on value, technology, industry expertise, and customer support to maintain the honesty, integrity, and respect that you would expect
of a world-class company. Ultimately, the driver in all of our decisions will be the needs of our customers. Who We Are:
- Bell Labs heritage of innovation in
power electronics
- Global provider of hardware, software, and services that deliver high-efficiency power conversion solutions to OEM customers,
telecom service providers,
and large enterprises
- 2300+ employees with in-depth technical expertise in 25+ locations worldwide
- Thousands of customers in more than
75 countries
What We Do:
- Energy Systems solutions for telecommunications, wireless, and cable broadband service providers leveraging turnkey project management, engineering, installation, and maintenance services experience
- AC-DC OEM embedded power supplies for datacom, telecom, medical, and industrial applications leveraging personalized service and support
- DC-DC OEM embedded power conversion solutions designed for the most demanding board mounted power applications in communications, computing, storage, industrial, medical, and military markets leveraging patented Tunable Loop™ technology
- Global manufacturing base provides
world-class quality and delivery at competitive prices
Why We Are Different:
- Industry’s best customer experience built on a foundation of world-class operations
- End-to-end Total Efficiency™ architecture that dramatically reduces utility and cooling costs
- Technology designed for decades of reliable use in extreme environmental conditions
- Services for complex site engineering and deployment programs; to full operations and lifecycle management
- Standards-based, open-architecture solutions to address diverse needs, accelerate ROI, and lower TCO
Posted Position Title: AMS Manager
Career Level: Experienced
Function: Services
Function Segment: Field Services
Location: Nigeria
U.S. State, China or Canada Provinces:
City: IIkoyi – Lagos
Postal Code: 101233
Relocation Assistance: No
Role Summary/Purpose: -Good knowledge on Power electronics products
-Knowledge on Telecom Power Systems, Rectifiers, AC to DC converters, AMF panels Etc.
-Ability to demonstrate the understanding of business’ environment, products, and customer needs
-Familiarization with local markets
-Ability to focus on growing and maintaining customer base
Essential Responsibilities: -Responsible for achieving the milestones, ensure On- time deilivery committments-
-Responds quickly to customer’s feedback and drives for quick resolution
-Act as the single point of contact to the customer for timely and satisfactory resolution of concerns covering a wide variety of support services offered for each of the assigned product lines
-Establish and maintain contact to provide on-going technical and business support to assigned customers in designated geographic region
-Ensure prompt service delivery which includes Field Support, customer training, maintenance planning, spare parts tooling, advice on operation and seminars and symposiums
-Effectively handle technical queries from assigned customers and be knowledgeable of and sensitive to business, social and cultural issues significant to their customers
-Initiate and maintain service billing and tracking including issuance of service dispatch orders
-Negotiate applicable concessions as they arise balancing maximum benefits / satisfaction for the customer with minimal acceptable financial impact to GE
-Responsible for building strong long-term relationships with specific customers within the region
Qualifications/Requirements: Bachelors in Engineering ( Electronics / Electrical )
5 + years handling after market support in power electronics domain in Africa region
Additional Eligibility Qualifications:
Desired Characteristics: - Good Leadership and Customer Management Skills – Strong interpersonal skills – Good Communication and presentation skills – Teamwork oriented and collaborates to solve problems – Ability to learn and adopt new ways of doing things and embraces change – Ability to travel regularly to territories / regions
Apply Now