Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Seek homegrown solutions to West African problems – Senator Saraki

Nigeria’s senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki, has urged ECOWAS parliamentarians to seek African solutions to African problems.

Senator Saraki represented by his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, at the 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament commended the legislative institute’s recently enhanced powers from an advisory to legislating body, specifically in the areas of community budget oversight and the review of programme implementing agencies of ECOWAS.

He however, stressed that parliament deploy its acquired powers towards strengthening regional citizenship and to improving the lives of peoples of the region.

Identifying myriads of issues plaguing the region – hunger, displacement and humanitarian crises, terrorism and insecurity and, environmental degradation – he advised parliamentarians while noting western steps to peace and security resolutions to Syria and Somalia, to focus on African driven solutions to her problems.

“It is my hope that this assembly’s newly enhanced capacity and authorization, regional lawmakers can better work towards African solutions to many challenges bedeviling the West Africa territorial space,” Saraki said.

Reaffirming Nigeria’s support to the ECOWAS via the implementation of the various protocols aimed at heightening regional integration, Saraki said the National Assembly looks to amending laws necessary to smoothen the election of Nigeria’s 35 delegates in the regional parliament.

Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cissè Lo, addressing the MPs and representatives of member states national assemblies from Togo, Hon. Dama Dramani, and the Republic of Niger, Hon. Ousseini Tinni, assured the parliament’s determination to effectively exercise its new powers.

He said the session devoted in entirety to the review of the community’s budget will pave the way for the first extraordinary session in 2018 in Dakar, Senegal, where the legislative organ will hold an international forum on the challenges of migration and free movement of persons and goods in the ECOWAS region.

Rivers govt to host National Wrestling Championship

The Rivers Government on Tuesday said that it was set to host the first Gov. Nyesom Wike National Wrestling Championship for the junior and senior cadets in the state.

Boma Iyaye, Rivers Commissioner for Sports and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the championship disclosed this to sportswriters at a press conference in Port Harcourt.

Iyaye said that every necessary thing required for a successful hosting of the championship had been put in place.

He disclosed that more than 600 athletes from 24 states had registered for the championship while the registration was still on.

“We have already booked 11 hotels in a good area in Port Harcourt to accommodate the athletes and technical officials,” he said.

Honour Sirawoo, President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and a member of Media sub-committee, said that the competition would hold between Nov. 23 to Nov.30.

Sirawoo said that state teams and technical officials would arrive on Nov. 23 while the secretariat would be opened on 24.

Princewill Chikere, Rivers Commissioner for Health and Chairman, Medical sub-committee, said that the team was ready for dope testing and other medical challenges.

The Chairman of Security sub-committee and Rivers Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said that adequate arrangements had been made for a peaceful hosting of the championship.

The LOC disclosed that 90 Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals each were up for grabs in the competition.

It said that winners in the championship in both categories would represent Nigeria in the forthcoming African Wrestling Championship in Rivers

Uber paid hackers to cover up massive data breach

Uber Technologies Inc paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret a massive breach last year that exposed the personal information of about 57 million accounts of the ride-service provider, the company said on Tuesday.

Discovery of the U.S. company’s cover-up of the incident resulted in the firing of two employees responsible for its response to the hack, said Dara Khosrowshahi, who replaced co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in August.

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Khosrowshahi said in a blog post. The breach occurred in October 2016 but Khosrowshahi said he had only recently learned of it.

The hack is another controversy for Uber on top of sexual harassment allegations, a lawsuit alleging trade secrets theft and multiple federal criminal probes that culminated in Kalanick’s ouster in June.

The stolen information included names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of Uber users around the world, and the names and license numbers of 600,000 U.S. drivers, Khosrowshahi said.

Uber passengers need not worry as there was no evidence of fraud, while drivers whose license numbers had been stolen would be offered free identity theft protection and credit monitoring, Uber said.

Two hackers gained access to proprietary information stored on GitHub, a service that allows engineers to collaborate on software code. There, the two people stole Uber’s credentials for a separate cloud-services provider where they were able to download driver and rider data, the company said.

A GitHub spokeswoman said the hack was not the result of a failure of GitHub’s security. “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes,” Khosrowshahi said.

“We are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of our customers.” Bloomberg News first reported the data breach on Tuesday.

Khosrowshahi said Uber had begun notifying regulators. The New York attorney general has opened an investigation, a spokeswoman said.

Regulators in Australia and the Philippines said on Wednesday they would look into the matter. Uber is seeking to mend fences in Asia after having run-ins with authorities, and is negotiating with a consortium led by Japan’s SoftBank Group (9984.T) for fresh investment. SoftBank declined to comment.

Uber said it had fired its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and a deputy, Craig Clark, this week because of their role in the handling of the incident. Sullivan, formerly the top security official at Facebook Inc (FB.O) and a federal prosecutor, served as both security chief and deputy general counsel for Uber.

Sullivan declined to comment when reached by Reuters. Clark could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kalanick learned of the breach in November 2016, a month after it took place, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. At the time, the company was negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over the handling of consumer data.

A board committee had investigated the breach and concluded that neither Kalanick nor Salle Yoo, Uber’s general counsel at the time, were involved in the cover-up, another person familiar with the issue said. The person did not say when the investigation took place.

Source: Reuters

Buhari Inaugurates Audit Committee For Recovered Loot

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated the Audit Committee on recoveries of assets by government agencies.

The committee has three members and is to submit its report in four weeks.

Members include Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, Mrs. Gloria Chinyere Bibigha and Mr. Mohammed Nami.

The committee is to audit all recovered accounts upto April 10, 2017.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Central bank injects $210 million into forex market

As the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) commenced its last meeting for 2017 on Monday, the apex bank intervened in the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market to the tune of $210 million

Figures obtained from the Bank revealed that the interventions were in the wholesale, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows.

Confirming the figures, Acting Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said the Bank offered the total sum of $100million to the wholesale segment, while the SMEs segment received the sum of $55 million.

He said the invisible segment, comprising tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, also received an allocation of $55 million.

According to him, the releases were aimed at boosting liquidity, trade and ease of remittances for legitimate personal commitments.

Okorafor said the Bank was quite pleased with the rate of N360/$1, noting that the continued intervention by the CBN in the inter-bank forex market had largely checked unwholesome activities of currency speculators.

He, however, stressed that the CBN would not relent in its monitoring of the market in order to ensure that authorised dealers abide by the extant rules.

It will be recalled that the CBN in its last intervention outing, intervened in the inter-bank foreign exchange market with the total sum of $195,000,000.

Meanwhile, the naira maintained its steady rate against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Monday.

Inter agency security face off occurs in Asokoro

The simmering inter agency war between the anti-graft agency, EFCC, on the one hand and the State Security Service, SSS, and the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, burst into the open early Tuesday morning when a combined team of EFCC officials and police officers attempted to arrest the former heads of the two agencies.

The EFCC officials tried to arrest the former head of the NIA, Ayo Oke, and former head of the SSS, Ita Ekpeyong, from their homes on Mamman Nasir Street in the Asokoro district of Abuja but were resisted by armed security agents of the two agencies.

This has led to a continued stand off between armed security officers from all the four agencies as at the time of this report causing a traffic mayhem in the area and an uncertain security outcome from the situation.

Davido buys a Rolex for each member of his crew in celebration of his 25th birthday 

The Singer who turned 25yrs old today, received a watch from a friend earlier today and seems it spurred him into getting the designer Rolex watch for everyone of his crew. Emi ni baller  !

Davido buys a Rolex for each member of his crew in celebration of his 25th birthday tomorrow.

Fayose okays death penalty for convicted cultists in Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has signed into law, the bill prohibiting secret cults, terrorism and prescribing death sentence for anyone caught in the acts. While appending his signature on the bill at the government house in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said the singing was a confirmation of the unwavering commitment of the state government towards combating terrorism across the tertiary institutions in the state.

"From now, any person who is a member of a secret cult, whether or not the person is in possession or in control of any offensive weapon but commits the offence, is liable to conviction to death. Any person who gives financial or material support or assistance to a secret cult or in any manner sponsor the activities of a secret cult, commits an offence under this law and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life" he said

The governor further explained that anybody who facilitates secret cult meetings or activities in places such as houses, nightclubs, hotels and other residential areas would be committed to life imprisonment. 

He added that buildings, where any cult related activities are held, would be forfeited to the government while the owners of such structures would be sentenced to five years imprisonment without an option of fine.

The Ekiti state governor who re-emphasized his administration's zero tolerance for cultism and terrorism in the state said lives and property of the people would continue to be protected.

Photos of items recovered from the house of dreaded cultist/militant Don Wanny

Here are some of the items security operatives discovered from notorious ex-militant Don Wanny’s multimillion naira estate at his home town, Aligwu, Rivers state.

He was reportedly shot last night alongside other militants, by the Local Security Taskforce during a joint operation in the are. Various items including human skulls, arms and ammunition, life jackets among other things.

In October last year, he embraced the Rivers State Government amnesty program. He has been accused of continuing in with crime even after receiving the state pardon. His death has not been confirmed.

FG petitions Italy over the hasty burial of 26 girls

The FG has expressed dismay over the hasty burial of the 26 girls who were found dead on the Mediterranean Sea by Italian authorities, 9 days ahead of the slated date.

The bodies of the girls were found on a sinking vessel in the Mediterranean about two weeks ago and there where reports that they may have been sexually abused before they were murdered.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa told journalists in Abuja on Monday that the Italian Embassy had earlier indicated to the Director-General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons that the burial would take place in Salerno, Italy on November 26, 2017.

But the Italian authorities, she said, went ahead with the burial last Friday without informing the Nigerian government, adding that the NAPTIP director is currently in Italy to engage with the Italian authorities ahead of the scheduled burial date.

According to Punchng, the SSA explained that a protest letter had been sent to the Italian envoy in Nigeria over the matter.

“Why were they (the bodies) hurriedly buried nine days before the date communicated to the DG, NAPTIP by the Italian Embassy without any information to Nigerian Government?

Why the rush to bury the bodies without carrying out post-mortem to determine the causes of death?,” she queried.

Dabiri-Erewa said that information indicated that only three of the girls were identified as Nigerians, noting that the identities of the other victims had yet to be ascertained before they were interred.

She noted that another issue of concern was that the victims’ families may have wanted them buried in their countries of origin.

The SSA also condemned the reported sale of Africans in a Libyan slave market as broadcast by CNN, saying this was unacceptable, despicable and inhuman.

Oritsefemi - My wife thinks i'm down to earth

Singer, Oristefemi Majemite Ekele, otherwise known as Oristefemi, opens up about how he met his wife How did you meet your wife? I met her...