Osun Speaker Distributes Seedlings To Osun Farmers

By Israel Afolabi

In its bid to ensure adequate supply of inputs in agricultural sector in the state, the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam has distributed high yielding crop seedlings to All Farmers Association Of Nigeria (AFAN) Osun State Chapter.

In his remarks at the AFAN secretariat Osogbo, Dr. Najeem Salaam urged youths to go into farming due to unstable oil price globally that is affecting the nation’s economy.

Salaam made it known that it is only farming that can bail out this nation at this critical period.

According to him, “whether we like it or not, we cannot continue to downplay the importance of farming because oil is no more booming. We want to lift farming to greater height in the state”.

He promised to give support to the farmers’ association with all things within his power to ensure good cultivation in the state.

He said, “I will support farmers with tractors because I know the problems facing our farmers in general.”

He however predicted a brighter future for farmers if given the necessary support with the required equipments and tools to cultivate.

The lawmaker also advised farmers to contribute to the Land Charge Bill before the house while promising that their views would be factored in before the bill is passed.

He noted that a Microfinance bank for farmers will be established in the state to give loans to the farmers without stress while there will be training for farmers to cultivate in line with modern systems of farming.

In his remarks, the President of Osun chapter of AFAN, Mr Kayode Afolabi noted that Dr. Salaam has kept his promise with Osun AFAN.

He commended the speaker’s good gesture towards farmers in the state while urging him to purchase tractors for farming in the state.

He charged Dr. Salaam, as one of their members, to stand up for farmers challenge for them to have better life.

He solicited his support for the establishment of farmers’ Micro-finance Bank and farmers house in the state as well.

He urged government not to drive farmers out of Oke-Osun farm settlement because of farmland scarcity in the state.

Among the crop seedlings distributed to the AFAN are cashew, cocoa, oil-palm, pepper and moringa seedlings.

Forbes Releases 2018 List Of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Forbes released today its fourth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. These 60 women, who have a record combined net worth of $71 billion, up 15% from $61.5 billion in 2017, have shattered ceilings and scaled new heights, making fortunes in everything from genetic testing to slimming shapewear. The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list is $320 million, up from $260 million last year.

Diane Hendricks, cofounder and chairman of ABC Supply, the nation’s largest roofing distributor, reclaims the top spot on this year’s list of America’s most successful women entrepreneurs, with a net worth of $4.9 billion. Marian Ilitch, worth $4.3 billion, falls to the No. 2 spot, as higher labor costs and commodity prices take their toll on her Little Caesars pizza chain. Epic Systems’ Judy Faulkner climbs three spots to No. 3, with a net worth of $3.5 billion. Rounding out the top five are Meg Whitman (No. 4, $3.3 billion) and Johnelle Hunt (No. 5, $3.2 billion).

“The most successful women entrepreneurs in the country are increasingly taking advantage of technology including social media to help them launch and grow businesses,” said Luisa KrollForbes’ Assistant Managing Editor, Wealth. “That’s one reason why we’ve seen a notable influx of Instagram-savvy moguls like 20-year-old Kylie Jenner in the ranks of America’s richest self-made women.”

ON THE COVER: Kylie Jenner, who at not even 21 years old has built a $900 million cosmetics fortune with virtually no employees or capital. This new model of extreme fame leverage is radically reshaping business, culture and politics. Kylie Cosmetics launched two years ago and has since sold more than $630 million worth of makeup. She has leveraged her mammoth social media following to build a giant business. “Social media is an amazing platform,” says Jenner. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.” Kylie Cosmetics is now worth nearly $800 million and Kylie Jenner owns 100% of the company.

There are seven newcomers to this year’s America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, with more than half earning their wealth from cosmetics, thanks to soaring beauty sales among Gen Z. Notable newcomers include Anastasia Soare (No. 21, $1 billion), founder of Anastasia of Beverly Hills; Kylie Jenner (No. 27, $900 million), founder of Kylie Cosmetics; Huda Kattan (No. 37, $550 million), founder of Huda Beauty; Anne Wojcicki (No. 44, $440 million), cofounder and CEO of 23andMe; and Kim Kardashian West (No. 54, $350 million), founder of KKW Beauty. Notable drop-offs include Diane Von Furstenberg,Patricia Miller, cofounder of Vera Bradley, and Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman.

The Top 10 Richest Self-Made Women:

 

Source: Forbes

 

Buhari Commissions Abuja Metro Line

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the Abuja metro rail line.

Mr Buhari launched the line Thursday Morning at the new metro station in Central Business District (CBD), Abuja.

After the launch, the president and other dignitaries and journalists took a ride from the CBD metro station to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The rail line is the first phase of a metro line for Nigeria’s capital city.

It will also be the first functional metro rail in the Nigerian capital.

Naira Sells At N358.5 To Dollar At Parallel Market

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated marginally against the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, exchanging at N358.50 to the dollar.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian currency was 10 kobo stronger than N358.60 to the dollar traded on Tuesday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478 and N417.5, respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira closed at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478 and N417.5, respectively.

Trading at the investors’ window saw the Naira close at N361.87 with a daily turnover of 168.74 million dollars, while the naira closed at N305.75 at the CBN window.

Traders expressed optimism that the naira might appreciate further at the market as the CBN continues to boost liquidity.

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated marginally against the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, exchanging at N358.50 to the dollar.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian currency was 10 kobo stronger than N358.60 to the dollar traded on Tuesday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478 and N417.5, respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira closed at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478 and N417.5, respectively.

Trading at the investors’ window saw the Naira close at N361.87 with a daily turnover of 168.74 million dollars, while the naira closed at N305.75 at the CBN window.

Traders expressed optimism that the naira might appreciate further at the market as the CBN continues to boost liquidity.

Buhari Signs Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill

President of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law.

This was confirmed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

Enang said, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is the Nigerian arm of the global Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) which was before now domiciled within the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) as an autonomous unit and operating in the African Region.

“The Act creates NFIU to be domiciled in the Central Bank but to work autonomously and independently. The Act is intended to allow this agency to collate and disseminate financial intelligence to security agencies, intelligent agencies and other agencies which are entitled to receive it.

“And what they collate is for instance transfers of money where money comes from, where it goes and other suspicious transactions including transaction relating to terrorism financing.

“What the law also does is to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the Money Laundering Prohibition Act and the Terrorism Prevention Act so that all these functions of financial intelligence which were performed by each of these agencies or which allowed the provision of money for illegal purposes or laundering would now be handled by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit independently.

“And when they collate it they make it available to enforcement and enforcing institutions and that is the essence of the Act and it is available for every person, it has now become law.’’

He said that the NFIU sought to comply with international standards on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Enang emphasized that with the signing of the new Act, the NFIU would now be excised from the EFCC.

World Bank Approves $2.1bn Loan For Seven Projects In Nigeria

The World Bank has announced the approval of $2.1bn loan for seven projects to be executed in Nigeria.

A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday said the loans were approved in Washington on Wednesday and are for seven projects to support Nigeria’s investment in nutrition, access to electricity, states’ fiscal transparency, polio eradication, women’s economic empowerment, public finance and national statistics and reducing vulnerability to soil erosion.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, was quoted to have said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies human capital investment, restoring growth, and building a competitive economy as its key pillars.

The projects approved by the International Development Association, the bank’s low-interest arm, are expected to support Nigeria’s economic growth plan.

Growth rates in Nigeria have bounced back since the third quarter of 2016, when a recession, its first in 25 years, bottomed out. Growth returned largely due to higher oil prices, with the country relying on crude sales for much of its revenue.

However, growth slowed again in the first quarter of 2018, as the country’s non-oil sector struggled.

The government expects growth to rise to a pre-recession level of 7 percent by 2020.

The World Bank said more than half of the loans would be used to fund power and climate change projects and boost fiscal transparency. It also approved a $7 million grant for nutrition.

Nigeria privatised most of its power sector in 2013 but retained control of its dilapidated monopoly transmission grid, often blamed for hobbling growth.

The country intends to raise $2.8 billion of debt offshore to help part-finance its 2018 budget and plans to explore all options to lower costs, the debt office head told Reuters.

The debt office said it could tap capital markets or concessionary loans from the World Bank after the 2018 budget had been approved.

(Additional reports from agency)

Apple And Samsung Settle Lengthy iPhone Patent Battle

Apple and Samsung have ended a years-long patent battle over copied iPhone design with an undisclosed settlement, according to a US court filing Wednesday.

The world’s two biggest smartphone makers reached a truce in their seven-year-old court battle a month after a federal court jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple some $539 million for copying patented iPhone features.

That award was seen as a victory for Apple, which had argued in court that design was essential to the iPhone.

Financial terms of the settlement were not revealed and neither company elaborated on the brief court order which dismissed the litigation dating back to 2011.

“Whereas the court has been advised by the parties that the above-entitled action has been settled, all remaining claims and counterclaims in this case are hereby dismissed with prejudice,” US District Court Judge Lucy Koh wrote.

When contacted by AFP for comment, Apple referred to a statement released last month after the jury announced the damages award.

“This case has always been about more than money,” the statement read.

“It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.

South Korea-based Samsung declined to comment.

Apple’s lawsuit claimed Samsung, now the world’s biggest handset maker, copied the design and other features of the iPhone as the smartphone market was exploding.

The case was keenly watched as a precedent for whether design is so important that it could actually be considered the “article of design” even in a product as complex as a smartphone.

The case had been sent back to the district court following a Supreme Court decision to revisit an earlier $400 million damage award.

The jury had been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them — or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components.

The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone’s black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed.

Two utility patents also involved apply to “bounce-back” and “tap-to-zoom” functions.

An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents preceded a lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone.

The retrial regarding damages was one element of a $548 million penalty — knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award — Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents.

AFP

Facebook, Google ‘Manipulate’ Users To Share Data Despite EU Law – Study

Facebook and Google are pushing users to share private information by offering “invasive” and limited default options despite new EU data protection laws aimed at giving users more control and choice, a government study said Wednesday.

The Norwegian Consumer Council found that the US tech giants’ privacy updates clash with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which forces companies to clarify what choices people have when sharing private information.

“These companies manipulate us into sharing information about ourselves,” the council’s director of digital services, Finn Myrstad, said in a statement.

“(This) is at odds with the expectations of consumers and the intention of the new Regulation,” the 2018 study, entitled “Deceived By Design”, concluded.

Myrstad said the practices showed “a lack of respect for their users, and are circumventing the notion of giving consumers control of their personal data”.

The case for the new laws has been boosted by the recent scandal over the harvesting of Facebook users’ data by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica for the 2016 US presidential election.

Information for the report was collected from mid-April to early June, a few weeks after the EU rules came into force.

The report exposed that Facebook and Google often set the least privacy-friendly option as a default and that users rarely change pre-selected settings.

Privacy-friendly choices “require more clicks and are often hidden,” it said.

“In many cases, the services obscure the fact that users have very few actual choices, and that comprehensive data sharing is accepted just by using the service,” the study said.

The EU has billed the GDPR as the biggest shake-up of data privacy regulations since the birth of the web.

The social media giant and Google separately already face their first official complaints under the new law after an Austrian privacy campaigner accused them of forcing users to give their consent to the use of their personal information.

Companies can be fined up to 20 million euros ($24 million) or four percent of annual global turnover for breaching the strict new data rules for the European Union, a market of 500 million people.

(AFP)

Buhari Inaugurates Rice Factory In Calabar, Says FG Making ‘Giant Agricultural Strides’

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government is committed to boosting Nigeria’s economy through Agricultural revolution and is already recording progress.

The President made this statement on Tuesday while commissioning the automated rice seed and seedling factory in Cross Rivers State capital, Calabar.

He applauded the Cross Rivers state Governor, Ben Ayade, over his contribution to Federal Government’s Agricultural revolution.

“When we assumed the reins of leadership of our dear country, this administration launched a zero oil economic roadmap as a way of making our country less dependent on oil while encouraging investment in other sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture.

“Indeed this factory speaks loudly about the giant strides we are making in agriculture as a country. This monumental project for which we are gathered here today is a marvel to behold.”

 

The automated seed and seedling factory is believed to be the first in Africa and the President is confident that the seedlings from the factory will improve rice production and sufficiency nationwide.

“The factory which is said to be the first in Africa is an automated plant with a capacity to produce high yielding vitaminised and disease resisting rice seedling.

“What we expect is that the seedlings from this factory will improve rice yield from current nation three to four tonnes to about nine to 10 tonnes per hectare to ensure rice sufficiency in the country,” he said.

President Buhari said further Governor Ayade is establishing various people-oriented projects because he has keyed into the Federal Government’s revolutionary vision.

“I must say that visiting the state (Cross Rivers) for the second time within three years in connection with people oriented and the flagship project of Governor Ayade is very welcomed and very satisfying to me.”

Oil Prices Rise On Uncertainty Over Libyan Crude Exports

Oil prices rose, Tuesday due to uncertainty over Libyan oil exports, although there are plans by producer cartel OPEC to raise output loom.

Brent sweet crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at 74.95 dollars per barrel at 01.04 GMT, up 22 cents, or 0.3 per cent from their last close.

The United States West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at 68.33 dollars a barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.4 per cent.

Traders said prices were mostly driven higher by uncertainty around oil exports by Libya, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Eastern Libyan commander, Khalifa Haftar’s forces have handed control of oil ports to a separate National Oil Corporation based in the East of the country.

 

The official state-owned oil company based in the capital Tripoli, also called NOC, will not be allowed to handle that oil anymore, he said.

In comments later confirmed to the Media, Ahmed Mismari, spokesman of Haftar’s Libya National Army, said on television that no tanker would be allowed to dock at eastern ports without permission.

The permission must be from a NOC entity based in the main eastern city, Benghazi.

Oil markets have tightened significantly since 2017 when OPEC and its partners started withholding supply to prop up slumping prices at the time.

“Despite the OPEC agreement (last week) we believe that tight supply is likely to drive oil prices higher during 2018,’’ Jason Gammel of U.S. Investment Bank Jefferies said in a note.

Oil has been predicted to rise to 100 dollars before the end of this year by an analyst.

(Reuters/NAN)

Facebook Reveals European User’s Data Was Not Shared

Facebook has revealed that no European Facebook user’s data was shared in the privacy scandal involving the data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, Steve Satterfield.

According to Facebook’s director for privacy policy, who spoke to EU lawmakers on Monday, Facebook had previously said that data from up to 2.7 million EU users had been improperly shared with the firm, which had been hired to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum in Britain as well as the U.S. election campaign that year.

“The best information we have suggests that no European user data were shared,’’ Satterfield told an EU parliamentary committee.

“Facebook won’t be able to conclusively confirm this until it conducts a forensic audit of Cambridge Analytica,’’ he noted.

Facebook admitted in April that it improperly shared personal data of 87 million of its users with Cambridge Analytica.

Company chief Mark Zuckerberg has since sought to make amends, apologising in a hearing before the U.S. Congress and to EU lawmakers, as well as pledging to apply new European data protection rules globally.