YouTube Toughens Rules Regarding Which Videos Get Ads

YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content.

“There’s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners,” YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post.

“The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018.”

Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Muret.

Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more.

“We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behaviour into consideration to determine eligibility for ads,” Muret said.

YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post.

Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos.

YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, according to Muret.

The changes were expected to affect “a significant number” of YouTube channels eligible to run ads.

YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers and went public with a vow to greatly increase the ranks of workers focused on rooting out content violating its policies.

The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos.

“We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors,” Muret said.

“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.”

AFP

Osun To Map Out 10-Year Development Plan

The Osun State Ministry for Economic Planning, Budget and Development will today (Monday) begin a five-day retreat/capacity building workshop to create a new 10-year State Development Plan.

The retreat is aimed at consolidating the gains of the Rauf Aregbesola administration and other founding fathers of Osun since its creation.

The state’s development plan (2018-2028) is hinged on creating a focus on how to achieve the development objectives and goals for the state with a view to improving the living conditions of the residents in the next 10 years.

A statement by the commissioner, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa, said the development plan is expected to be a public document that will list the state’s overarching policy position and the strategies for achieving it.

Yinusa said the workshop would build the capacity of state officials, who will champion the process towards the development and implementation of the State Development Plan, when delivered.

The commissioner said the envisioning/capacity building workshop is expected to end on January 19.

The workshop will hold at the Royal Park Hotel, Iloko-Ijesa.

The statement reads: “I wish to intimate you of the approval of Mr. Governor on the five-day envisioning/capacity building workshop on the formulation of the State Development Plan (2018-2028).

“The State Development Plan is expected to be a public document outlining the state’s overarching policy position, outcomes and impact of the activities of the present administration and those of previous administrations. It is not about a particular person; it is not about a political party! It is about the future of our state and those unborn or still to be born children of Osun! Consequently, all hands must be on deck to ensure its success.

“The next important step is the envisioning/capacity building workshop for various stakeholders, who are key to the process of crafting and implementing the State Development Plan.”

Those expected at the workshop include Governor Aregbesola, his deputy, Iyaafin Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, Osun House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon Kamil Oyedele among others.

Economic Growth: Osun Lawmaker Advocates Loan Restructuring For States

A member of Osun House of Assembly, Mr Babatunde Olatunji, has called for the restructuring of States Government loans with the Federal Government until the country’s economy fully recovers.

Olatunji (APC-Ife North) made the call in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Osogbo.

“In view of the lean federal allocation and the huge impact of federal government monthly loan deductions on the state finances, I will advocate for restructuring of the state government loans with the federal government.

“Such that no state services national debt with more than 15 per cent of its allocation pending when the country’s economy fully recovers”, Olatunji said.

The lawmaker said this would be achievable by reducing interest rate and elongating tenure of existing loans.

According to him, with this sub-national governments can be more liquid, able to pay salaries and meet other statutory obligations.

“This will serve as another form of fiscal stimulus by the federal government to reflate the economy.

“However, our institutions, governance and public management process and structures must be strengthened at all tiers of government so as to ensure value for tax payers’ money,” he said.

Olatunji, who is the House Committee Chairman on Commerce, Cooperatives and Youths Empowerment, said with the early passage of 2018 budget, Nigeria would consolidate on the previous economic growth.

Electricity From Wind, Solar Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel

New onshore wind and solar energy projects are set to deliver electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels plants, with other green technologies also rapidly gaining a cost advantage over dirty fuels, a report published Saturday said.

According to a new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), within two years “all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range, with most at the lower end or undercutting fossil fuels”.

It expects renewables will cost between three and 10 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2020, while the current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges from five to 17 US cents per kWh.

“This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm,” said IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Amin, in a statement.

“Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now — overwhelmingly — a smart economic one,” he added.

Continued technological advancements are not the only factor helping drive down prices. The report found that the market was becoming more competitive and a number of experienced project developers had emerged in the sector.

The best onshore wind and solar PV projects are expected to deliver electricity for three US cents or less by next year.

But onshore wind and solar are not the only sectors becoming more competitive rapidly. The study found that new bioenergy and geothermal projects commissioned in 2017 had global weighted average costs of around seven US cents per kWh.

IRENA said auction results suggest that two other technologies –concentrating solar power (CSP) and offshore wind — will provide electricity for between 6-10 US cents per kWh by 2020.

“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system,” said Amin.

The report was released on the first day of the eighth assembly of IRENA, which aims to be a global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by its 154 member countries.

Osun Is Sustainable If……………… Finance Commissioner

The economic challenges facing Nigeria as country are not hidden and the State of Osun being an integral part of the Federation is not isolated from the effects of such challenges.

Therefore every right thinking State government and by extension state’s ministries on whose shoulders the responsibility of managing finances at that level rests must chart a new course for itself in order to sustain government businesses and aspirations. 

Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji made this remarks while addressing the Management and the entire staff of the Ministry at the conference hall of the Ministry, Finance building, government secretariat, Osogbo. 

Mr Oyebamiji explained that the essence of the meeting is to sensitise the staff as a major stakeholder in the generation of revenue to the state government. He urged the staff to see themselves as revenue marshals of the government. 

He noted the fact that the state like every other states are facing serious financial challenges at this critical period since the one-way traffic sources of revenue from Federal Government coffer are either getting tighter or seriously drying up,hence the need for the Ministries and the State in general to put on the thinking caps and double her efforts towards opening new revenue channels and intensify the exploration of the old or traditional revenue sources. 

Finance Commissioner who expressed the hope that if all concerned stakeholders and the citizenry are committed to paying taxes and other levies due to the state, then the state would be freely fulfil it’s responbilities of developing the state. 

He then assured the staff that there are rewards such as promotional and financial incentives that await every outstanding officer in the Ministry especially those that participated in the Internal Generated Revenue as reward of hard work is hard work. 

He therefore commended the governor ,Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his ingenuity at managing the state resources  to give the state a new look .

Nigeria Records 140m Phone Subscriptions In Third Quarter

Nigeria recorded a total of 140 million active voice subscriptions and 93.26 million active Internet subscriptions in the third quarter of 2017.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said this in a report on “Telecoms Data: Active Voice and Internet per State, Porting and Tariff Information for the Third Quarter of 2017’’ posted on its website.

The bureau said that total active voice subscriptions fell by 8.73 per cent from third quarter 2016, and by 2.21 per cent from second quarter of 2017.

It, however, stated that total active internet subscriptions increased by 1.22 per cent from third quarter 2016 and declined by 0.55 per cent from second quarter, 2017.

According to the report, both voice and internet communication subscriptions in third quarter, 2017 were dominated by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

Meanwhile, the report stated that the four largest voice communication providers in the third quarter were Airtel Nigeria, 9mobile, Globacom Limited and MTN Nigeria Communications.

According to the report, the providers’ contributions are 24.75 per cent, 12.30 per cent, 27.70 per cent and 35.96 per cent of the total telecom communication subscriptions respectively.

It said that the top four specialised in GSM, while Globacom Limited also hold 0.01 per cent of the total active voice subscriptions in the form of Fixed/Fixed Wireless Telecommunication.

By the end of the third quarter, the report indicated that Southwestern and North central states recorded higher than average number of voice and internet subscriptions than other states in the country.

By the end of the third quarter, the report stated that Southern and Southwestern states recorded the highest active voice subscriptions.

It said that Lagos, Ogun and Oyo, the top three states recorded altogether 26.10 per cent of the total voice subscription of the country.

The report said that Lagos led in telecommunication usage with 20.39 million active voice subscriptions and 20.12 million GSM users by the end of the third quarter, equaling to 14.58 per cent of the total nationwide subscriptions.

It stated that FCT, Kano and Kaduna established another cluster of heavy voice subscription, each of which reported more than six million active voice subscriptions in the quarter under review.

In addition, the report said that most states recorded negative growths in active voice subscriptions in the third quarter on both year-to-year and quarter to quarter basis.

It stated that FCT, Edo, Adamawa, Ondo, Lagos and Oyo were the only states which recorded positive year-on-year growths in active voice subscriptions in the quarter under review.

VON

Ikpeazu Rejects Cattle Colony Plan For Herdsmen In Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected plans by the federal government to establish “cattle colonies” for Fulani Herdsmen and their cows in Abia State saying that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani herdsman as cattle colony.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, governor Ikpeazu has indicated that Abia state will not accept that any of its land will be used to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen.

“We reject such plan . We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land. “Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.

He added that “such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not a party to it.”, the press release concluded.

Osun Position As Second Wealthiest State Justifies Aregbesola’s Financial Prudence

The recent report of the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) that ranked Osun as the second wealthiest state in Nigeria in 2017 has been described as the manifestation of delivery of good governance by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Osun was declared as the second wealthiest amongst its peers in the country.
Speaking on the development, Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said the report was a sincere and professional assessment of economic activities and development in the state in terms of income and expenditure and how it positively affects the people in general.

According to Baderinwa, Osun could not have been rated less going by the prudence and judicious management of the little resources accruable to the state by Aregbesola, who has demonstrated to be a good and prudent manager of resources.

The FDC in a report released by its Managing Director, Bismark Rewane titled: “How the States Performed in 2017,” on Tuesday said in one of the top three economic analysts in Nigeria, Osun had the lowest net Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation but was not delinquent in the payment of salary arrears.

Osun, according to the report, is the second best in the measured “Misery Index” with a 16.37 per cent inflation rate, which also sums up with the rate of under-employment and unemployment.

The report noted that despite the financial quagmire all states across the federation experienced in the last financial year, the ingenuity of the Modulated Salary Structure by the state government yielded positive results.

Baderinwa maintained that the projects, programmes and policies being put in place by Aregbesola have no doubt developed the economy of the state, improve the wellbeing of the people and guarantee security of life and properties.

He said: “The FDC report is a welcome development; it actually reflects the social and economic development in the state. This type of report is coming for the fourth time in six months from veritable and independent sources – the first from the United Nations (UN) Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index 2016, second from the National Bureau of Statistics, the Renaissance Capital, a leading emerging markets investment bank in Africa and now the FDC Misery Index 2017.

“We make bold to say that all the three reports, the last of which is that of the FDC, confirmed Aregbesola’s ingenuity, vision and ceaseless efforts in transforming the State of Osun to an Eldorado, socially, economically and in terms of infrastructure.

“Programmes like Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) which provides job for 40,000 youths, Osun Free School Feeding progamme named ‘O MEAL’ which employs over 3334 women who prepare meals for the school children, Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Program (ORAEP), designed to empower the farmers have contributed immensely to the development of the state.”

Baderinwa said Osun economy will in no time receive boost when the $30.5million contract won by the Osun RLG/Adulawo Technology Company for the supply of Terrestrial Broadcast Set Top Boxes flows into the market.

Osun Assembly May Not Pass Agencies’ Estimates If…

By Israel Afolabi

Some agencies and parastatals in the State of Osun might face difficulties in the course of cosideration of their 2018 budget estimates, as the House of Assembly has declared that any Ministry, Department and Agency of government and tertiary institutions with unresolved audit queries would not have their estimates considered.

Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Kamil Oyedele who made the declaration said that such organisations would have to obtain clearance from House Committee on Public Accounts before their estimates could be considered by the legislature.

While stating the readiness of the lawmakers to speed up the process, he noted that agencies without enabling laws would have their estimates merged with that of appropriate ministries.

The lawmaker charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to submit 35 copies of their proposed estimates to the House through the office of Economic Planning, Budget and Development.

He also required for submissions of the 2017 budget performance reports for each of the component heads and sub heads of revenue and expenditure as well as work plan and strategy to realise projected revenue by revenue generating agencies.

Hon. Oyedele also stated that necessary machineries’ should be put in place to ascertain the status of some agencies such as Osun State Planning Commission, Reality Radio Vision Services, OSSADEP and OSSADEC.

He disclosed that the committee has put in place mechanism to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations by different organisations when they come to defend their estimates before the legislature.

According to him, the agencies of government in the state must come with last year’s budget performance and their 2018 estimates defence as a measure to get their estimates approved.

He said part of the consideration for the budget is the proposed minimum wage review, as well as allowing the international financial practice standard to form the guideline in passing the budget.

He maintained that the house has given the committee four weeks to meet with heads of ministries, department and agencies with a view to ensuring compliance with the set rules and regulations.

Tax: Osun Govt. Warns Defaulters Against Severe Consequences

By Nofisat Marindoti

The State Government of Osun has urged those who have property and businesses in the State to fulfill their tax obligations in order to avoid running afoul of the state’s tax laws which carry severe consequences.

In a statement issued at the end of the state weekly Executive Council Meeting, signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, the State Government urged those indebted to pay up immediately.

The Council also commended the organisers of the recently held Regional Youth Summit and appreciated the participants.

“Council received the report of the successful hosting of the Regional Youth Summit in Osogbo by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission and the State Government, between January 9 and 10, which attracted participants from all the states in the region.

“Council commended the organisers of the summit and thanked the participants, particularly the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who delivered the keynote address; Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Governor of Oyo State; Ondo State Government ably represented by the state’s deputy governor; Ogun State Government that sent a delegation; and the youth organisations and individuals that attended the programme.”

Rice Importation Drops By 91 Percent

Official figures on rice exportation from Thailand to Nigeria between 2014 and 2016, has revealed that the volume of rice imported to Nigeria has dropped.

According to the figures, the importation dropped from 1.24 million tonnes in 2014, to 58,260 tonnes in 2016, representing a 91 per cent decline. The drop in importation has been attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari New Year broadcast, to ban the importation of rice import in 2018.

Industry sources believe that the reduction in Nigeria’s importation trend was facilitated by the successful implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), from which many states had benefited.

He said: “We have got to get used to discipline and direction in economic management. The days of business as usual are numbered. Two years ago, I appealed to people to go back to the land. “I am highly gratified that agriculture has picked up, contributing to the government’s effort to restructure the economy.“Rice imports will stop this year. Local rice, fresher and more nutritious variants would be on our dishes from now on.”

According to Buhari:

“Great nations are built by enterprising people who turn their hands to anything that circumstances dictate.”

To intensify local production, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture (NIRSAL) is deploying an innovative nation-wide field structure to support 225,000 farmers under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme.

However, the report added that Benin Republic’s rising rice export figures is posing a challenge in its border with Nigeria. A USDA review of the agricultural situation in Benin, published in March 2014, stated: “Benin serves as a delivery corridor for West Africa, reaching more than 100 million people in the landlocked countries of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and the northern states of Nigeria.”