LAUTECH Students Protest School Closure in Ogbomoso

Students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, on Thursday, protested continuous closure of the school, while barricading roads from General area (LAUTECH Teaching Hospital) to Taki roundabout. The students had trooped out as early as 9.00 a.m to press home their demands, singing solidarity songs during the protest.

According to eye witnesses, the protest disrupted vehicular movement before they eventually barricaded major roads in the town.

However, when they got to Taki roundabout, attempt by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to remove the barricades was vehemently protested by the students.

Meanwhile, Officers of the Nigeria Police later brokered peace, guided the protesting students to have a peaceful protest till it lasted.Th Oyo state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed that the protest was non-violent.

SON Shuts Cement Factory in Osun

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Osun on Thursday sealed a cement factory over alleged involvement in the production of substandard products.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the factory, located on Ogo-Oluwa area of the town, was sealed by a team of SON officials and policemen.
The state coordinator of SON, Mr Sunday Badewole, told NAN during the exercise that his men had been on the trail of the producer of the substandard cements before his arrest along with others.
Badewole alleged that the producer refused to write the factory’s address on the cements packs to evade arrest.
He said that the suspects specialised in the production of substandard red and green cements being used for tiles and building.
According to Badewole, the suspects claimed to have their headquarters in Lagos and the branch office in Osogbo. He said investigation by the agency revealed that the suspects had been selling the substandard cements in Kwara, Ondo, Ogun, and other states.
“No matter the quality of the products being packaged, so long the information on it is distorted, and the address of such factory difficult to locate, such products are regarded as substandard,” Badewole said.
He said that the agency was on the trail of other suspects involved in the alleged production of the substandard cements. Badewole said that the two suspects arrested at the factory would be made to face the wrath of the law

We did Not Receive Any N82bn from FG- Osun

The Osun state Government has Thursday cleared the air on the rumours making the round that the state has received a sum of N82bn from Federal Government. 

The state described as propaganda and blatant lie deliberately cooked to incite public against government and cause disaffection among the citizenry.

Osun has been at the centre of insinuations that the state government through the information credited to one of the National Assembly legislator, Senator Dino Melaye, received N82bn from the $4bn being over-deductions on Paris and London Club Loans.

The Government, through the Bureau of Communication and Strategy, office of the Governor, said there was nothing like an N82bn paid to Osun out of an imaginary “$4bn being over-deductions on Paris and London Club Loans on the accounts of State and Local Governments from February 1990 to March 2002”.

According to the statement signed by the Director of the Bureau, Semiu Okanlawon said, “It sounds warped that such information would emanate from an interloper to Nigerians”. 

Okanlawon said if Nigeria received the alleged funds and such huge amounts are to be credited to respective states, simple logic dictates that the Ministry of  Finance, the Ministry of Information and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation would be duly involved and communicate such a development to Nigerians through the appropriate quarters.

“It is curious that since the misinformation was released and credited to a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Dino Melaye, who was reported to have manufactured the misinformation has not come out to deny making the statement.

“Much more curious also is the direct reference to the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was singled out and asked to pay his state workers from the non-existent N82bn”, the statement added. 

The state considered the insinuations as deliberate efforts sponsored by political traducers to turn people against the government.

“We consider this as a direct incitement of the people of Osun and especially the workers who have shown great understanding due to the transparency the governor has brought into his handling of the affairs of the state.”

The state therefore advised persons in positions of responsibility to be mindful of information emanating from them.

FG Seeks to Partner with ‘Game-changing’ Private Sector Projects

*Osinbajo in Sagamu, on second visit to industrial hubs in a week

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has continued his tour of industries in the country today, visiting two agric-based factories in Sagamu. This according to him is in line with demonstrating the administration’s determination to press the diversification agenda as a way out of recession and to promote private sector partnership with the Federal Government.

Only last week Thursday, the Vice President visited about six industrial firms in Anambra State delivering messages of encouragement and partnership by the Federal Government.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, while speaking at a tour of a N64B food processing industrial complex earlier today, the Federal Government is looking at some game-changing projects “such as we have here” that requires serious investment and significant investment.

He stated that the Buhari administration would support such game-changing projects such as the multi-billion Naira food processing industrial complex underway in Sagamu by the Honeywell group and the Shea-Butter Factory owned by the Lad Group in the same town.

The Vice President went on this visit in the company of other top government officials including top officials from the Ministry of Industry Trade & Investment, Bank of Industry, and the NEXIM Bank.

In the words of Osinbaho, “Anyone who knows the pedigree of the chairman of Honeywell will agree that he is one of those who has contributed to the indigenous growth of the Nigerian economy very seriously over the years. So when he spoke to me about this project, I was quite certain that it will be a worth while project; a serious enough project for the Federal Government to be interested in and to at least want to partner with him, one way or the other, and that is the primary reason why I am here today.”

He reiterated the fact that FG does not have the capacity to turn around the economy without the support of the private sector, explaining that  “Our entire budget size for 2016 is something in the order of just over six trillion Naira, and we will probably be moving to about seven trillion in the 2017 budget. But seven trillion is certainly not the kind of money, it does sound like a fair amount of money, but certainly, its not the kind of size that can really make a huge difference in a ninety trillion Naira economy such as we have.

“The real contribution is going to come from the private sector and that’s why these partnerships are absolutely important to us, and what we are looking at is some game-changing type of projects, such as we have here. The types of projects that can make a real difference, because when we are talking about backward integration, the whole rural value chain. When we are saying agriculture is the way to go, from agriculture, we can employ a lot of people and then the whole value chain, from farm to table; we can do so much…

I think that this project is one such investment that I believe will make a significant difference. From listening here  today (to what has been said) especially all about the local products, the crops and grains that are going to be used in this factory; Sourgum, the feed mill factory, wheat; all these are for us right on point…

At the moment there is a shortage of animal feed everywhere, especially because of the shortage of maize. So the feed mill is going to be absolutely important in achieving some of our objectives. The sorghum mill is really a big attraction, so we think that what you are doing is really spot on, it’s really the right way to go and we certainly are committed to supporting the Honeywell Group in ensuring that this happens and we ‘ll do all that is required to make sure that this projects succeeds.

We certainly will be looking at all of the various ways that we can assist with ensuring that this project comes to conclusion in very reasonable time, and that we are able to take advantage of the benefits as quickly as possible.

Osun Govt Recruits 100 Youths into OIRS to Boost IGR

In a bid to boost the revenue base of the government, Osun State Board of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has absorbed 100 of its revenue marshals into the service of the state.

The revenue board; had secured the approval of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in absorbing the revenue marshals into the service of the state government.

The newly recruited revenue marshals were selected across the 30 Local Government Councils of the state including the Area office, Modakeke based on their performance in revenue generation in the last year.

It would be recalled that they were recruited as revenue marshals to assist the board in generating revenue for the state for its growth and developmental projects.

Addressing the newly recruited revenue staff at a three day intensive training programme held in Osogbo, yesterday, the Board’s Director of Finance and Strategy, Mr. Oluyemi Oni, said the essence of the training was to give the newly employed tax marshals basic knowledge of revenue generation and tax assessment of the people.

The training he added will brace them up in principles of taxation that will aid them to diligently discharge their duties.

He explained that those recruited were absorbed into grade levels 06 and 08 base on their educational qualifications adding that many of them were NCE, OND, HND, B.SCS and Masters Degree holders.

According to him, “now that 100 trainees have been absorbed into the Board, they would soon be integrated into the state civil service, as another batch of the staff would be recruited from the remaining revenue marshals.

 “As part of efforts to improve on the state IGR, the board had to secure the approval of the government to absorb 100 officers into the board as staffs so as to assist the state in its quest to improve on its revenue generation”.

Oni implored the beneficiaries to see the appointment as a call to service by living up to their responsibilities in making the state to realize its objectives on robust revenue generation.

Earlier, Chairman, Osun Board Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Dayo Oyebamiji commended the state government for empowering the youth through jobs creation.

Oyebamiji said Osun has always been atop among its peers in wealth creation and employment generation as the developmental policies of the state had impacted positively in the lives of the citizenry.

He therefore called on the newly recruited tax officers to live to state’s expectations by championing the laid down tax principles and guidelines aimed at improving the status of the state IGR.

Former Minsiter of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi is new APC spokesman

Subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, a former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi has been picked as spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress.
This followed his endorsement by the North Central Zone of the party at a special meeting held in Abuja on Thursday.
The next step is for the party’s National Working Committee to name him as Acting National Publicity Secretary preparatory to his ratification during the National Convention.
Abdullahi was the sole contender for the position which was occupied by the current Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Abdullahi like Mohammed hails from Kwara State where the position was zoned to during the last National Convention of the party.

I have destroyed my ‘green card’ – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has destroyed his green card just like he said he would, should Donald Trump win the keenly contested 2016 presidential elections, and become the next President of the United States (POTUS).
With a victory that has been plagued with controversy from many sides, Donald Trump is set to become the next president.
“I had a horror of what is to come with Trump… I threw away the (green) card, and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been” — meaning his homeland Nigeria.
The prolific playwright, novelist and poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 and has been a regular teacher at US universities including Harvard, Cornell and Yale.
At the same time he said he would not discourage others from applying for a green card.
“It’s useful in many ways. I wouldn’t for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card… but I have had enough of it,” he said.

Meet Laolu Senbanjo, the Nigerian Artist Who Uses the Skin as His Canvas

“A lot of my work is heavily influenced by the culture of my Yoruba heritage… Your melanin is the paint.” Laolu Senbanjo said

Laolu Senbanjo stood silently, head slightly bent to one side. Clothing and arms speckled with white paint, he studied his muse a few feet away. With a scratch of his chin and a nod, Mr. Senbanjo glided in his socks toward the actress Danielle Brooks. His ever-present white marker in hand, a combination of body paint and other materials, he resumed adorning her face with continuous patterned lines.
“A lot of my work is heavily influenced by the culture of my Yoruba heritage,” said Mr. Senbanjo, a Nigerian-born visual artist and musician, in a recent interview at his Brooklyn studio. “I like to see the world in that lens.” His most recognized work, a form of body painting that he calls “the sacred art of the Ori,” draws on those cultural influences and was made famous through its appearance in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” visual album.

An important aspect of Yoruba culture, Ori means “head” or “essence,” and Mr. Senbanjo’s artistic depictions of it have elevated him from Instagram celebrity to appearances at New York art institutions like the Brooklyn Museum and to music festivals like Afropunk. “If you tap into your Ori you can move mountains,” Mr. Senbanjo said.

Drawing from personality traits of deities in Yoruba culture with words as well as patterns, Mr. Senbanjo says he conveys various attributes of the gods onto his subjects’ bodies, based on conversations before painting them. The process requires an average of six to eight hours to complete. For Ms. Brooks, he created a small crown on her forehead in a nod to royalty, and the idea of beauty and knowing one’s worth. Mr. Senbanjo said the triangles he paints on himself are symbolic of a religious trinity: father, son and Holy Ghost, and the idea of stability.

“For the Yoruba, as well as in several African cultures, the head is the wellspring of wisdom and seat of divine power,” Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, curator of African art at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, said in an email. With the head also a source for creativity, Dr. Nzewi said Mr. Senbanjo’s work is “pushing the boundaries of indigenous art traditions through recuperation, appropriation and reinvention, and combining them with formal ideas.”

“I tell a lot of people ‘your melanin is the paint,’” Mr. Senbanjo said. “When you look at the negative space and see what I do with it, what shines through is the darkness of your skin. It gives it the contrast.”

Ms. Brooks, who plays Tasha Jefferson (known as Taystee) in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” said in a telephone interview that the experience, which she likened to a ceremony, is an exercise in mutual trust. “When he is so intimately close to your body in that way, he’s seeing all of your scars, all of the things you deem beautiful or all of the things that you don’t like.” She continued: “There’s a part of him that he’s also sharing with me, the things that he’s writing on my body are a part of his culture.”

Mr. Senbanjo, a former human rights lawyer in Nigeria, found himself yearning for a life beyond the constraints of the corporate world. In 2013, he changed careers to focus full time on his art and relocated to New York. The struggle to break through the gallery scene led him to embrace the idea that everything could be his canvas, from murals to custom-designed clothing.

While the collaboration increased demand for his work, Mr. Senbanjo’s mission remains unchanged: to increase the attention paid to African artists both living and dead, including Prince Twins Seven-Seven, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Nike Davies-Okundaye and Tola Wewe.

“Laolu brings something that is necessary right now for art and black empowerment,” said Seun Kuti, a musician, collaborator and son of the Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. “Laolu’s work is unapologetically inspired by our ancestors, so I think that’s what makes it so unique and powerful, especially in the times we are in.”

Mr. Senbanjo said his work offers a history lesson in Yoruba culture. “There’s a lot of codes and writing in what I do, and I want people to study it. I want it to end up in libraries and textbooks,” he said. “This is a movement. If I know Picasso’s life story, why shouldn’t you know mine?”

Adapted from the New York Times.

Why We Reversed Data Price Hike- NCC

AFTER suspending the planned increase in data price, the Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday said the decision to rescind its earlier directive to telecom operators to commence charging the new floor price rate for data from December 1, was to allow for further consultation with industry interest groups.
“Following concerns that visited the directive to introduce price floor for data segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended any further action in that direction,” the director, Public Affairs at the NCC, Tony Ojobo said in a statement.
“The decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders and the general complaints by consumers across the country.”
Mr. Ojobo said the Commission has already asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in the country.
Prior to the suspension, Nigerians had raised concerns about the impropriety of the decision by government to hike price of data at this time.
Several Nigerians accused the NCC of insensitivity, considering the high cost of living in the face of the current economic recession in the country.
Social media users expressed fears the government planned to limit citizens’ access to the Internet.
In its reaction, the Senate passed a vote asking the Commission to immediately halt the proposed Internet data tariff hike.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly, in a motion under matter of urgent importance by Bala N’ Allah, the Senate Deputy Leader, condemned the planned data tariff hike, and asked the NCC to halt the increase immediately.
On November 1, the Commission, after a consultative meeting on October 19 with all mobile network operators in the country, wrote to them on the need to determine an interim price floor for data services.
In the memo, the telecom sector regulator justified its decision to have a price floor, claiming it was primarily to promote a level playing field for all operators in the industry, encourage small operators and new entrants.
The price floor of N3.11 kobo per megabyte of data in 2014, it recalled, was removed in 2015, pointing out that the price floor that was supposed to flag off on December 1, 2016 was put at 90 kobo per megabyte.
Although the Commission said smaller operators, by virtue of their small market share, were exempted from the now suspended price regime, it said the decision on the floor price was to protect the consumers who are at the receiving end.
The commission said the decision was equally to save the smaller operators from predatory services likely to suffocate them and push them out of business into extinction.
“The price floor is not an increase in price, but a regulatory safeguard put in place by the telecommunications regulator to check anti-competitive practices by dominant operators,” Mr. Ojobo clarified.
He denied the regulator had fixed prices for data services, pointing out that “the NCC does not fix prices, but provides regulatory guidelines to protect the consumers, deepen investments and safeguard the industry from imminent collapse.”
Prior to the now suspended price floor of N0.90k/MB, the industry average for dominant operators, including MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, EMTS Limited (Etisalat) and Airtel Nigeria Limited was N0.53k per megabyte.
Etisalat offered (N0.94k per megabyte), Airtel (N0.52k per megabyte), MTN (N0.45k per megabyte) and Globacom (N0.21k per megabyte).
A comparison of the data prices by the major operators with that initially proposed by NCC shows that but for the reversal, majority of Nigerians would have had to pay between 90 and 300 per cent increase in data prices.
The smaller operators/new entrants, including Smile Communications, Spectranet and NATCOMS (NTEL) were allowed to charge N0.84k, N0.58k and N0.72k per megabyte respectively.
Courtesy:Social Times

Senate Has No Power To Probe Bailout Fund – Osun Assembly

The Osun State House of Assembly has affirmed that the Senate has no constitutional power to question how Governor Rauf Aregbesola spent the bailout given to the state government by the Federal Government.

The state lawmakers made the declaration in a statement made available to newsmen by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, after the plenary of the assembly.

The lawmakers said this following a matter of urgent public importance raised by Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr. Kamil Oyedele, on the propriety of the Senate’s plan to probe the bailout.

Oyedele said by the provision of Section 128 of the Constitution, the state assembly was the arm of government empowered to carry out such probe, saying, the senate was only attempting to usurp the power of the state parliament.

The speaker, Mr. Najeem Salam, said the state lawmakers were not at war with the Senate but stated that the two must work in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Emulate Afolabi Akinwumi- PS Tells Osun Workers

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Bimpe Ogunlumade has charged workers in the State to put in their best while in the service as hardworking persons will always be rewarded.
Mrs Ogunlumade gave this charge at the valedictory and sent forth programme organised for a retiring officer in the Ministry.
She said God has a special way of compensating the diligent and hardworking people even in the time of economic recession.
She therefore advised other workers in the service of the State government to emulate Mr Afolabi Akinwumi’s commitment to service.
Earlier, the retiring officer,Mr Afolabi Akinwumi who was full of happiness and praise to God thanked the Permanent Secretary for organising such a befitting ceremony for him at this critical period.
Mr Afolabi then prayed for all his colleagues who are still in service and advised them to diligent in duty and dedicated to service.
Highlight of the event were presentation of gifts and commendation from Directors and other staff in the ministry.