Experts: Nigeria Should Invest In Agricultural Export

Mrs Bridget Okonoha, an expert has encouraged Nigeria to invest more on exportation to boost the economy of the Nation. Nigeria with its huge potentials in agriculture and being the largest market in Africa, has the wherewithal to be self-sufficient in farm produce.
Mrs Okonoha, who is the Managing Director of Lead Unique Ventures Limited, urged the federal government, agric-sector stakeholders and cooperative societies to invest in organic produce export.
She spoke at an organic agricultural produce export forum in Lagos.
She said that the huge agricultural potentials will boost the present administration’s diversification policy.
Saying Nigeria has enough to feed the world through the agricultural sector, she said: “We should no longer be importing food items when we have enough land to cultivate and grow food and cash crops. Our perishable farm produce should not be lost to poor handling when we have investors who can establish storage facilities. Our farmers should not go broke again when we have market where our farm produce can be sold with immense profit.
“This programme is designed to set up collation of farmers that will farm certain organic produce for market in the United States. The whole world is doing export but Nigeria is not doing much in terms of export. Our aim is a big movement where we can begin to move agricultural products from Nigeria to the United States under a unified name of Ashanti Produce International, so that we can begin to clear the name of Nigeria in terms of agriculture and beat every other country.
“What we need is to get framers and investors to be part of the movement so that we can all benefit from it.”
The facilitator of the forum, Chief Executive Officer, Ashanti Produce International, Michael Griffin, said there is huge market in the production of organic farm produce which Nigeria must maximize for export.
Immediate past Vice Chairman of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Prince Wale Oyekoya, said organic produce is just about doing things naturally.
He said that about 50 percent of the produce we eat in Nigeria is organic but, the aim is to have up to about 75 to 80 percent.

Umahi Seeks U.S. Assistance To Develop Agriculture

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, has decided to seek the help of the US in the development of the agricultural and solid minerals sectors.

Umahi said in a meeting with the US Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Stuart Symington, that Ebonyi had several raw minerals, such as limestone, salt and lead, which were yet to be developed. In the meeting Umahi said,

“We are reputed for rice production in West Africa and our salt and limestone deposits are among the best in the world.

“We seek U. S. assistance in technological enhancement to develop these sectors, as we are using our three technical colleges to develop indigenous technology,”.

He thanked the U.S. government for its interventions in Nigeria, which had benefited Ebonyi.

“We solicit your cooperation to attract investment, as we have provided an enabling environment for economic investments to thrive.

“Security provision in Ebonyi is one of the best in the country, as we have invested in infrastructural development to attract investment opportunities.

“Our allocation from the Federation Account is meager and this makes us insist on quality in our construction, such as roads due to our soil texture.

“We place this emphasis on infrastructural development to solve our under-development challenges occasioned by years of neglect by the states we hitherto belonged,” Umahi said.

Symington said he was in the state to deepen the relationship between the U.S. and Ebonyi.

He added: “We are determined to ensure a more robust relationship built on trust, which will assist the state in the development of its economic and social sectors.”

Samsung’s Note 7 Disaster Won’t Stop People Buying The Galaxy S8

In 2016, few mobile tech stories garnered more attention than the Galaxy Note 7’s exploding batteries. As you likely remember, Samsung ended up having to recall the Note 7 last year after reports began to spread of the alphabet bursting into flames. Samsung knows that this catastrophe is still fresh on many consumers’ minds, but based on one recent survey, the company might not have much to worry about.

In order to determine how the Note 7 recall might affect smartphone sales in 2017, marketing group Fluent asked more than 1,500 American consumers whether or not they would consider buying a Galaxy S8.

As it turns out, 63% of current Samsung phone owners said that the Note 7 recall “had no impact on their likelihood to purchase a Samsung phone in the future.” Furthermore, only 14% of the Samsung phone owners to respond to the survey said they even had safety concerns about the upcoming Galaxy S8.

Of those who actually owned a Galaxy Note 7 before the recall, 46% said that the incident wouldn’t change their smartphone purchasing decision at all, while 52% don’t believe that the incident even had an impact on Samsung’s reputation. Samsung has apologized profusely for the exploding phones and said on more than one occasion that it would do everything it could to get back in the good graces of its fans.

While some of the results of this survey should be encouraging for Samsung, others are less positive. For example, while 89% of iPhone owners say that they will buy another iPhone, only 58% of Samsung phone owners say the same. Additionally, 33% don’t care about the potential addition of the Bixby AI assistant while 37% admitted that they don’t even know what Bixby is supposed to be.

Credit: BGR

Microsoft Disables Windows Updates

When it comes to supporting legacy operating systems on new hardware, Microsoft has just unleashed the mother of all nuclear options. We already knew that Microsoft and its hardware partners — namely Intel and AMD — will not provide official support for the newest generation of PC processors on operating systems released prior to Windows 10.

“To achieve the highest confidence in the performance of our AMD Ryzen desktop processors, AMD validated them across two different OS generations, Windows 7 and 10,” said AMD with respect to Ryzen support. “However, only support and drivers for Windows 10 will be provided in AMD Ryzen desktop processor production parts.” Intel’s stance on the matter pretty much mirrors AMD’s comments.

Microsoft is taking the drastic step of shutting down ALL access to Windows Update for Ryzen and Kaby Lake processors running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. This isn’t a matter of just missing out on driver updates to fully support the latest generation of processors on older operating systems — we’re talking about a complete blackout of Windows Update on all fronts.

Super Mario Run Is Headed On Android On March 23rd

Congratulations to all Super Mario lovers. We now know the exact release date for Super Marion run on Android and it’s March 23rd. This is according to Nintendo America who announced the news on Twitter this evening. Initially, Nintendo said the game would launch in March, but failed to give an exact date. With Android users being left out in the cold while the game ran its course on iOS — do you still even care about the game?

Our own Joe Fedewa took a look at Super Mario Run back in December and although he felt like it was a nostalgic runner game, in the end he felt the $10 price tag was a bit too steep to fully commit. According to early numbers, it seems only 5% of people who downloaded the game — more than 78 million people — ever ponied up the 10 bucks to unlock the full game. Despite this, the game still earned a cool $14 million in its first 3 days of going live in the App Store.

For those still interested in at least playing the first few levels for free, you can still register to be notified when it goes live in the Google Play Store by visiting the link below.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Might Appear in Violet

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been leaking all over the place lately, and with Samsung getting ready to announce the device in less than two weeks, that’s not a huge surprise. Now the Galaxy S8 apparently posed for the camera in violet. There’s nothing really new about the Galaxy S8 here, it matches up quite well with all of the leaks we’ve already seen of the device, the only change here is the color. As you can see in the pictures below, the Galaxy S8 has a black front with a violet back. Not the typical colors we’ve seen from Samsung. As they usually opt to make the front the same color.

You’ll also notice that there is a bit of a ridge around the camera and the fingerprint sensor on the backside. The ridge around the fingerprint sensor is likely to make it easier for users to find the sensor and use it to authenticate themselves. While the ridge around the camera is likely to protect the glass that is over the camera. As the last thing users would want it is to be taking pictures through broken or scratched glass. Everything else looks pretty much like the other leaks. Including a curved display. Although the screen isn’t on, so it’s hard to tell how large the screen really is.

Samsung does typically put their flagship smartphones out in various colors. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 both had some rather interesting colors, like the emerald green of the Galaxy S6. The violet color we’re seeing here is definitely a first, and it likely won’t be coming to the US unfortunately. As with most smartphones, the US will likely get a black, white and possibly gold color. This is due to the fact that Samsung will need to have a separate SKU for each color at each carrier. Which becomes a mess for them, and they would also need to stock them all. Hopefully they will bring it to the US as an unlocked model though. Seeing as they have been bringing unlocked smartphones to the US quite a bit in recent years.


Google Home, Now Forcing You To Listen To Adverts With Your Coffee

Imagine the scene, you’re relaxing at home about to head out for the day so you ask Google “what’s the weather like” or “what meetings do I have” and what you get back is a spoken-word advert hastily stuck in the middle of your itinerary.

Not the ideas of a dystopian fantasy novel, but a real world experience shared through a tweet by Bryson Meunier and shared via The Register:

Now, we know Google is an ad company but it makes some cool stuff too, like the Pixel, Nest thermostat and the world’s most popular search engine. But what Google makes most money on is advertising. Although it’s not all Google makes money on, it also makes money on selling people Google Home, so you would think this product would be spared this sort of indignity.

In a response for request, to Google, Tech site The Register got the following statement “This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales”.

Read that again. It contains the world “beauty.” Even the response to the press has a secret advert built in. I jest of course, I’m sure it’s just an amusing coincidence. But Google’s flippant answer doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. I’m sure users will tell Google this isn’t a good idea, and many may opt to switch Google Home for Amazon. But for many who use Android and live in the Google ecosystem, Home might be the most suitable product.

Perhaps adverts don’t bother some people. They annoy me, but in the right context, I have no problem with them. For example, I’ve always wondered why Google Maps spoken turn-by-turn directions don’t throw in the occasional ad. “At the junction, make a right, these directions brought to you by McDonald’s doesn’t worry me quite so much as an intrusion into my home by a virtual assistant.

And perhaps the problem here is that I kind of love my Echo. I feel like I’ve got to know Alexa through using it. I would dislike the experience of having it speak ads to me, but I don’t feel that same connection to spoken directions in a navigation app.

Let me know your thoughts via Twitter, or just come to my house and shout them through the front door – it won’t be as invasive as Google Home it seems.

Google Told Engadget in slightly more clear language that “this wasn’t intended to be an ad” and that it would “sometimes call out timely content”. I guess the question is, did Google get paid for this content?

Credit: Forbes

Dana Air Crash: Pilot Had Been Suspended By US FAA, Training Was ‘Hurried’

The pilot-in-command of the Dana Air jet that crashed on June 3, 2012, Captain Peter Waxtan, had previously been suspended by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for violating safety regulations, according to a report released by the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

The accident report, which was uploaded on the AIB website and examined by our correspondent, stated that the pilot, a 55-year-old as at the time of the crash, was suspended in 2009 by the FAA for misdemeanors relating to a heavy landing and fixing panels that were neither entered in the aircraft logbook nor reported by him.

The report also revealed that Mr. Waxtan submitted unsigned recommendation letters to Dana Air and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before being employed by the airline. Furthermore, his pilot’s license was stamped by the NCAA, but not signed by any NCAA official.

The AIB report further disclosed that Mr. Waxtan’s training captain in flight school gave him a negative evaluation, saying that he needed to improve his callout and operating procedures. The training captain also commented that Mr. Waxtan needed to adhere to the Abuja Company Procedures and Pilot Monitoring and Radiotelephone Procedures.

The training captain issued this evaluation on April 26, 2012, just six weeks before the deadly crash.

The regulatory body, however, could not confirm if Mr. Waxtan made the required improvements before being issued a pilot’s license.

The report also maintained that the pilot’s training was rushed.

“The captain was employed on the 14th of March, 2012. He began flying line training operations under the supervision of a training captain on the 26th of April, 2012 after completing ground school and simulator training. The background checks were said to have been done with nothing found to disqualify the pilot.

“He started flying as a checked-out captain on the 2nd of May, 2012 and had accrued over 120 hours of flight time before the accident. There was no documented evidence that the crew performed the mandatory Crew Resource Management (CRM) training.”

The AIB investigator also discovered discrepancies in the fueling records of the aircraft.

According to the AIB, fueling records indicated that the aircraft uplifted 8000 pounds of fuel before departing from Abuja while the flight crew reported to the air traffic controller on duty that they had a total of 26,000 pounds of fuel.

The AIB, in its final report, observed that “the captain was new in the company, having been employed on the 14th of March, 2012, and was checked out as a line captain on the 1st of May, 2012. The captain had previous regulatory issues with the US FAA, which led to his suspension at that time. All the reference letters presented by the captain to Dana Airlines were neither signed nor authenticated.

“The background check on the captain was inadequate. The line training given to the captain was hurriedly carried out. There was no evidence that the deficiencies observed by the checkout captain were addressed before the accident.

“The aircraft was airworthy at the time of departure. The aircraft came out from a check and was released to service on 1st June, 2012. All deferred defects were cleared during the last check. The left aileron bus cable was replaced on 1st June, 2012. A test flight was carried out on 2nd June, 2012 after the replacement of left aileron bus cable,” the report stated.

It would be recalled that the Dana Air aircraft crashed in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, roughly 5.8 miles north of Lagos Airport.

All 153 persons on board, including six crew members, perished while another six died on ground.

During the impact sequence, the airplane struck an uncompleted building, two trees and three other buildings.

The wreckage was confined to a small area, with the separated tail section and engines located at the beginning of the debris trail.

The airplane was mostly consumed by post-crash fire. The tail section, both engines and portions of both wings, representing only about 15 percent of the airplane, were recovered from the accident site for further examination.

Credit: Sahara Reporters 

ASUU Threatens To Shut Down NDU, RSU, Others Over Unpaid Salaries

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Port Harcourt zone, says it might be compelled to go on indefinite industrial action soon if government continues to implement what it called ‘policy of starvation’ by either paying fractional salaries or non payment of salaries, among others.

Briefing newsmen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, after its zonal meeting, ASUU said academics have become the major recipients of government’s inhuman and abhorrent policy of starvation.

ASUU zonal coordinator, Professor Beke Sese, said the briefing was necessitated by the need to inform students, parents and Nigerians, about the provocative actions of government, which he said were threatening the peace in Nigerian universities.

Sese said: “Since last year, the Federal Government and some state governments as proprietors of universities have been implementing an implicit policy of starvation in our universities, by either paying fractional salaries or outright non-payment of salaries.”

He decried the situation, especially at Niger Delta University (NDU), Ammasoma, where lecturers were not paid cumulative six months salaries and the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where fractional salaries were been paid since last year.

“It is pertinent to point out that the Niger Delta University has not paid salaries for a cumulative period of six months since last year. With such imposed deficit in an already inadequate income, how are they expected to feed their families, pay children’s school fees and even meet transportation costs?” he queried.

Jigawa To Access $16m Loan From CBN For Agriculture

The Government of Jigawa has revealed plans to access a N5 billion ($16 million) loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to finance agricultural developments in the state.

Bala Ibrahim, the State Commissioner for Information, Youth and Sports, who disclosed this during a news conference in Dutse, said the decision was taken by the state executive council. The facility is aimed at helping the state achieve its desire to develop agriculture in the state by providing agricultural loans to support farmers and procure fertilizers for them, amongst others.

According to him, the loan would be accessed under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme of the CBN at an interest rate of 9% per annum. This is to be repaid over a 96-month period through the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).

Ibrahim disclosed that the loan facility is subject to the approval of the state House of Assembly.

“Why Buhari Can’t Re-present Magu’s Name to Senate” – Melaye

Chairman, Senate  Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye has said that following the Senate rejection of the nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) on two different occasions, President Muhammadu Buhari cannot validly re-nominate the same candidate again.

Melaye while commenting on the debate in the media about whether Magu can continue to act as EFCC boss in spite of his failure to be confirmed by the Senate or if the President can renominate him, Melaye said there is a provision of the Senate rules which would not allow members consider Magu for the same position again.

Citing Order 131 of the Senate Rules, Melaye said after the rejection of Magu’s nomination, his candidacy is considered lapse and therefore advised the President to consider a fresh nominee who is qualified, in terms of experience, integrity, knowledge and temperament to lead the anti-graft agency.

Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that “nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of Ministerial nominees shall be returned by the clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again be made to the Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

In a release he personally signed, The Senator who insisted that Magu did not impress anybody including those Senators who would have been sympathetic to his cause during the confirmation hearing in the Senate urged President Buhari to look for a replacement and avoid actions that may result in violation of the laws of the land.

“Those suggesting to the President that after failing to scale the confirmation process twice, the President should leave Magu to be acting are only recommending violation of the law, disrespect for due process and perpetration of illegality. All these will only undermine democracy and constitutionalism in our country.

“Those drafters of the law who made the provision that the Senate should confirm the nomination of the EFCC chairman did not make any mistake and nobody should observe the law in the breach by getting a person into that office who has not been confirmed. Magu is not greater than the law creating EFCC. Magu is not the last messiah. He can’t be the only competent person for the job out of 170 million Nigerians. Should he voluntarily decline the appointment today, will EFCC fold up?”, the Senator asked.

Senator Dino Melaye
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT

Credit: Time News