July 27, 2021

GANI ADAMS COMMISERATES WITH YORUBAS OVER ADEBAYO FALETI’S DEMISE

The  National Coordinator,  Oodua People’s Congress  ( OPC) and Convener of the global yoruba  movement, Oodua Progressive Union( OPU), Otunba Gani Adams has described the late scholar and writer, Pa  Adebayo Faleti  “as a true and thorough Oodua breed who imbibed early and  exhibited the Omoluabi traits till the end”.

Condoling with the family of the late writer in particular and Yoruba people in general via a statement issued by his Publicity Secretary, Bar. Yinka Oguntimehin in Lagos on Wednesday,  Adams who extolled the virtues of the late Pa Faleti commended him for his role as a  good custodian of the Yoruba culture, adding that the late artist did his best in ensuring that the Yoruba culture continue to  maintain its enviable place of uniqueness.

Adams who said he received news of the demise of Pa Faleti with mixed feelings said “even though it was painful losing an institution like Baba, whom i would have loved to still see around longer than now, yet, i give God the glory for keeping him around for about 90 eventful and productive years which many can bear testimony he virtually lived for the establishment and promotion of the yoruba arts and culture”

According to the OPC leader, Pa Faleti could be said to have ran a good race and fulfilled his destiny because he was able to make his mark “not just as a Yoruba scholar, but as an exemplary father whose handiwork would speak for till the end of time”

Admonishing Odua children to take a cue from the late Faleti by promoting the Yoruba culture, Otunba Adams canvassed that Nigerians of the Oduduwa stock at home and the diaspora should not shy away from the responsibility of ensuring the Yoruba nation takes its place by supporting every effort that will unite her citizen and promote her culture and cause.

“It is a thing of pride to be a yoruba man or woman, it is also a virtuous thing to be an entrenched yoruba native who will not hesitate to promote the Yoruba culture and ideals, irrespective of position and status.

“It is my fervent prayer that God will give us the fortitude to bear the colossal loss of the departed, as well as give us the courage to promote the Yoruba culture, even beyond where Pa Faleti would have envisaged if he was alive” the statement concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria’s Afrobeats Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates

In Lagos, Africa’s biggest city, legitimate music stores are rare, streaming services haven’t caught on and fans are flocking to markets like Computer Village, with its rows of yellow umbrellas shading young men selling illegal downloads. Throughout the city, thousands of pirated CDs are churned out each day, and some artists even pay to appear on them, hoping the exposure will somehow be worth it. But now, members of the country’s music industry are trying to put a stop to all the pilfering, hoping they can finally turn the growing popularity of Nigerian music to their advantage.

Nigerian music — Afrobeats in particular — is having a moment. It blares in hotel lobbies, airport lounges, nightclubs and the dozens of bedroom recording studios where young men and women dream of stardom in this clogged, overheated city.

While many countries have courts or jurists focused on intellectual property cases, artists in Nigeria have only in recent years begun to pursue copyright protection. They complain that laws to protect them are so seldom invoked that some judges don’t even know they exist.

Recording artists are pressing cellphone companies for more money to use their songs, the Nigerian government recently announced a new push to protect intellectual property, and the national copyright commission created an institute to train musicians, and judges, about artists’ rights.

“We’re trying to change people’s perception about the use of music,” said Chinedu Chukwuji, chief executive of the Copyright Society of Nigeria. “Music is everywhere, but they don’t know it’s proprietary.”

 

Industry executives are trying to use Nigeria’s economic malaise as a rallying cry, arguing that legitimate sales not only benefit musicians, but could also help an economy that has plunged into recession amid low oil prices.

“We’re no longer getting revenue from oil, so we’re arguing that content is the new crude,” said Aibee Abidoye, general manager at Chocolate City Group and 5ive Music, which seeks royalties on behalf of three Lagos-based record labels.

In recent decades, music from abroad — mainly American and British hip-hop and R&B — often dominated the Nigerian scene. Yet international music distributors largely ignored the nation and its nascent middle class as a potential market. With few ways of buying the overseas music that was so popular here, illegal sales flourished.

“American artists would come here to do a show and were stunned to find thousands of people singing their songs back to them,” said Efe Omorogbe, owner of Now Muzik, a local label.

The open piracy, and few meaningful efforts to stop it, left little incentive for anyone to set up legitimate music sales or invest in streaming services. Local musicians, struggling to be heard above the international competition, often gave away their work.

“The music industry has been its own biggest enemy,” said Mr. Omorogbe, a business partner of the musician 2face Idibia. “It’s descended to a point where people who use your material almost feel like you should celebrate them. They’re doing you a favor.”

The appetite for Nigerian music is clear. International labels such as Sony Music Entertainment are setting up shop in Lagos. Musicians like Ms. Shay, who spent much of her childhood in Britain with her Nigerian parents, are being lured back.

Last year, Wizkid, one of Nigeria’s most popular artists, reached the top of the American singles chart for an Afrobeats collaboration with the Canadian rapper Drake. They released another track this year.

But for many artists, the more popular they become, the more their music is stolen. Bootlegged Nigerian music is stacked alongside the thousands of other counterfeit CDs at the Alaba International Market in Lagos.

“There isn’t exactly a proper structure for us to make money,” said Falz, a Nigerian rapper and songwriter.

Apple Music offers streaming in Nigeria, but the service has been plagued with problems because of the nation’s currency crisis. Even concerts, profitable for artists anywhere, are being pared back here as corporate sponsors feel the pinch of the souring economy.

In Nigeria, musicians have rarely sought royalty payments. Artists complain that even the nation’s Nollywood film industry routinely uses songs in movies without permission or payment.

“When you create your content and put it out, it’s scattered,” said Harrysong, a Nigerian singer known for his hit, “Mandela.”

Many musicians pay to have their music heard. Popular music blogs like notjustok.com and naijaloaded.com collect as much as $120 from unknown musicians to promote a single song. Budding musicians also pay to have their songs featured on “latest mix” CDs hawked on the streets. A collection called “Mega Mix” contained new pirated songs from well-known musicians like Davido and Wizkid, along with songs from 43 less-known singers.

The sellers of pirated music know the artists receive nothing.

“To get the songs off the internet, it’s free,” said Ola Mide, who stared into his laptop at Computer Village as customers lined up behind him for songs from local artists like Tiwa Savage, D’Banj and Ms. Shay. “Then people come to me and give me money for them.” Henry Onunary, another vendor of illegally downloaded music, explained how the musicians might benefit, if at all. “What they get from us,” he said, “is popularity.”

The Copyright Society of Nigeria has filed lawsuits, staged protests, hosted conferences and handed out fliers to businesses explaining copyright law. Its leader, Mr. Chukwuji, said the group was currently battling the nation’s major mobile phone company, MTN, which pays artists to use snippets of their songs.

Mobile phone use in Nigeria has exploded in recent years, and ringback tunes — the few bars of music paid for by customers that play while a call is being connected — are hugely popular. As a result, MTN, with its skyscraper headquarters in Lagos, has become one of the biggest sources of revenue for Nigerian artists. In fact, Nigerian ringback tunes like Harrysong’s “Mandela” are more popular than songs by Snoop Dogg or other American artists, according to MTN.

“Music has always been part of the fabric of Lagos. What has changed is the ability to monetize it,” said Richard Iweanoge, general manager of consumer marketing at MTN, considered the largest distributor of online music in Nigeria. “It’s a privilege for us as a Nigerian company to support local artists.”

But the copyright society has accused MTN of not giving artists a fair cut from the sales. MTN officials acknowledged that the company recently renegotiated ringback deals to better favor the artists.

“Things change,” Mr. Iweanoge said. “It’s always in our interest to make sure the artist gets a fair share.”

Plenty of musicians in Lagos are still willing to sacrifice money to get noticed. Across a polluted channel from the Lagos mainland, past a sugar refinery belching smoke, is Snake Island, a serpent-shaped piece of land dotted by tilting tin huts.

Inside one of them, Sam Seyi, 24, was dreaming of stardom, sitting on a bed with Winnie the Pooh sheets as he sang into a microphone. Friends filed into his generator-powered bedroom studio as babies screamed and chickens clucked just outside the open window.

“You’ve got to believe in yourself,” he sang, eyes closed and arms pumping. “This is my time to make it.”

Mr. Seyi, whose stage name is SamSeyi Yango, has paid music blogs to feature his songs, and spent $16 this year to be Across the water, on Lagos’s affluent Victoria Island, already famous artists were getting ready to perform in a chandeliered banquet hall at the luxury Eko Hotel. Some of Nigeria’s biggest music stars gathered in the green room: Harrysong, Falz, Lil Kesh, Vector and the hip-hop duo Skuki.

None of them were being paid, even though the audience included hundreds of paying fans. The local comedians onstage were the big draw, and the musicians agreed to perform for free, hoping to be exposed to a new market.

Upstairs in a hotel room, a makeup artist was layering foundation on Ms. Shay, the room a mess of glittery blue eye shadow, shimmery lotion, fake eyelashes and a pair of Oscar de la Renta flowery high-heeled shoes carefully positioned on a shelf. She sneezed inside a tiny cloud of powdered makeup.

Even Ms. Shay has paid to be heard, forking over cash to various music blogs. She once allowed her song to be used for free as the soundtrack for a popular video game.  “I’m paying my dues,” he said. “You can’t expect them to pay you a million dollars when you’re not a superstar.”

But now fans fawn over Ms. Shay when she walks into a nightclub, taking selfies and cooing over her. She lives in an apartment in a gated community, and a driver ferries her around town.

Her entourage includes a personal assistant who calls himself a “body man” and a wig stylist. She recently flew to South Africa for performances and has scored an endorsement deal with a Chinese telecom company. Her face has been on Pepsi billboards along main roads in Lagos. Not long ago, she was signed to the British-American label Island Records.

Trying to relax at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Lagos after a recent show, Ms. Shay was sipping a margarita when a bartender interrupted repeatedly to ask how his music could get noticed. She told him to email her a demo.

“You have to put in the work,” she advised. “Nobody is going to do it for you.”

 

Opinion….How to Save Nigeria’s Economy and Stop Corruption

The collapsed price of oil is putting pressure on oil exporters around the world, from Canada to Kuwait. But perhaps no country is less prepared to survive prices at about $30 a barrel than Nigeria, which until a few years ago relied heavily on petroleum exports for its revenue. While countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia have saved past oil profits for rainy days, Nigeria has no such insulation. What’s worse is that Nigeria is especially dependent on imports of basic goods.

The cracks are starting to show: While the official rate doesn’t reflect it, Nigeria’s currency, the naira, is the world’s worst performing this year.

The economic troubles could hardly have come at a worse time. Last year, Nigerians elected Muhammadu Buhari as president after he ran on a zealous anti-corruption platform. Unfortunately, Mr. Buhari’s insistence on maintaining the peg at the current official exchange rate is not only crippling production, it is also encouraging corruption. He should abandon it as soon as possible and allow the naira to devalue.

Nigeria has pegged the naira to the dollar for decades, adjusting the exchange rate according to international supply and demand. But even as Nigeria’s economy has faltered, since last spring the peg has remained fixed at around 198.5 naira to the dollar. This rate is being maintained at the president’s insistence, undermining any notion of central bank independence.

To keep the rate fixed, the central bank has to preserve its foreign currency reserves, a difficult task as oil export revenue has fallen. How does it do that? By making it more difficult for Nigerians to obtain hard currency at the official rate. Primarily, the central bank has restricted access to foreign currency to importers who can demonstrate that the goods they’re bringing into Nigeria are necessary.

Continue reading the main story

But Nigerians are innovative. A large parallel currency exchange has taken shape, in which importers trade naira for dollars at up to twice the official rate. The trade is too blatant to be called a black market. Last month, for example, I saw several currency exchange businesses at the Lagos airport that offered 380 naira to the dollar. Nigerian newspapers even include reports of the unofficial exchange rate.

The Buhari government hopes that the fixed exchange rate will prevent inflation. Yet inflation has risen sharply to the highest rates in almost five years. The prices of many imported goods have almost doubled, suggesting that they reflect the black market exchange rate rather than the official rate.

I recently saw this problem firsthand when I visited one of the country’s largest manufacturers of cardboard box packaging. Its production lines were either slowed or shut down. Thousands of employees were seeing their hours, and wages, cut back. In some cases, the company had been unable to import materials like labels. In other cases, the company’s customers had run out of items to box

 

This is how bad policy turns a currency crisis into a recession.

What’s more, rationing foreign currency creates the wrong type of competition. As imports become more expensive, Nigeria’s companies should be looking for new ways to produce with fewer imports. They’re not. Instead, businessmen are trying to use their political networks to compel the central bank to sell them dollars at the low official rate, to deny dollars to their competitors, or both. The Economist recently reported that bank officials levy a 30 percent charge for the favor. Not only are these schemes a bad use of entrepreneurial cunning, they also undermine hopes for the corruption-free Nigeria this president promised.

Mr. Buhari says that devaluing the naira would hurt too much, that the imports on which Nigerians depend would become expensive, and rising prices would damage households across society. Usually, the pain of devaluation comes with a silver lining of promoting exports. But Nigeria hardly exports anything other than oil and gas. In fact, it often can’t produce what it needs for itself, even goods it should be exporting, like cereals and gasoline. In other words, as Mr. Buhari notes, devaluing the naira would bring about the worst effects of a weak currency, inflation, and provide none of the best, like increased exports.

Mr. Buhari must be frustrated. His predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, enjoyed oil prices over $100 for most of his presidency and oversaw some of the highest government revenues in Nigeria’s history. He also issued three bonds on international markets in favorable global capital markets. Conditions at the time were excellent for building Nigeria’s domestic production capacity.

Mr. Jonathan also presided over a systematic looting of the public coffers swollen by borrowing and the oil surplus. In his presidency, over $20 billion is said to have vanished from the national oil company. The rest of the surplus expanded government payrolls, especially in the run-up to elections, and funded questionable building projects, often never finished.

Mr. Buhari’s administration has proposed a sensible budget, issued plans for incentives to invest in agriculture and mining, and is seeking investors to build more energy infrastructure. But none of these plans will be possible if the government maintains an artificial exchange rate. If Mr. Buhari really wants to build credible and transparent institutions, he should start by giving the central bank the independence to manage the currency and foreign reserves and get it out of the business of deciding what goods can and cannot be imported, or which firms can obtain foreign currency.

Mr. Buhari has loudly proclaimed his commitment to fighting corruption. But his view that he can protect Nigeria’s economy from global macroeconomic headwinds through an exchange rate peg borders on superstition. He has been told that his anti-corruption campaign is not an economic policy, but he may be more interested to hear that his economic policy is a petri dish for corruption.

Walter Lamberson is a senior project manager at Dalberg Global Development Advisors and an adviser to emerging market businesses and governments.

New York Times Opinion

 

NORTH MAY JETTISON  RESTRUCTURING

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, is one of the few longest serving parliamentarians in the National Assembly, having been elected as a member of the House of Representatives in 1999. The three-time senator vied for the seat of Senate President in 2015 but lost to incumbent Dr Bukola Saraki. He spoke on the defeat of key components of the constitution amendment in the Senate and the House of Representatives

PEOPLE have said that what the National Assembly achieved through the constitution amendment voting is just a token compared to all issues that deserve attention in the constitution. Is it possible for this constitution amendment to be done once in a comprehensive manner instead of choosing some key components save us time and cost?

It’s like suggesting that we should make all the laws that we need to have in Nigeria at once. You know that is not possible. The idea of legislation is to transform society for the best. When you notice that society faces some challenges, then you try to legislate to ensure that those challenges are addressed properly, that they don’t continue to constitute stumbling blocks to development or the wellbeing of citizens. So, it’s not possible that you will review or amend the constitution at once, because challenges appear from time to time. You may amend a section today, thinking you have addressed the problem. But that will be maybe addressing the problem of that day. After some years, perhaps the challenges may be different and, therefore, you may still go back to amend that section that you have amended. Some sections may never require amendment, because maybe as a people we have reached not only consensus but we are stable on that, we are happy with what we are doing or what the government is doing. So, I think the answer to your question is it’s possible; but to me it’s not practicable because if you want to achieve the desired result, then the amendment of the constitution should be based on the necessity of the time, on the challenges of the time, on the needs and imperatives of people and the time.

Some years ago, some people were not talking about independent candidate. All of a sudden, it became an issue and in the Assembly, we’ve tried to address it. Some years ago, people were never talking about age qualification. Now, it has become a topical issue and a necessity to address the age frame within which someone will have to achieve before he runs. So, these things are only addressed when they come up as issue or challenges to our development. I don’t think there is any parliament in the world that will just sit and say we must amend the constitution or the whole of the constitution. How do you do that? That means you are writing a new constitution. So, I think any right-thinking parliament will always be looking at those issues that the society or the country or citizens face and have become hurdles and impediments to the wellbeing of country, of the people and, of course, the wellbeing and overall development of the country. I believe that the Nigerian parliament, whether at the state level or National Assembly, will be doing these legislations to ensure that we achieve socio-economic and political stability of our country to ensure that we grow as a country and provide everybody the opportunity to actualise his or her dreams.

 

Talking of independent candidacy, was it meant to protect the legislators against the antics of godfatherism and how does this strengthening the quest for free and credible election in 2019 if implemented?

We didn’t do that in 1999 – 2003; we didn’t do that in 2003 – 2007. Certainly, the idea is to open up the political space for people who feel they don’t have to belong to any political party to go to citizens to run for whatever office they choose to run. I’m sure this is going to give the political parties a run for their money because now, individuals who do not want to belong to any political party can run. Political parties are supposed to be based on ideologies or philosophical backgrounds. It’s some kind of good reason for something to happen. Maybe someone wants to see everywhere green; he doesn’t want to see any blue card and, therefore, he belongs to the green party. Some would like to see affirmative action in the society and therefore would just be campaigning for equality of s3xes and so forth. There are some individuals that, maybe, don’t believe in all these things that the political parties and therefore, they have their own beliefs of what they want their country to look like or to be. Therefore, they rather stand as independent candidates.

So, when you don’t provide the platform, it’s like they are being denied. For me, I think by 2019, this segment of our democratic evolution would have been 20 years between 1999 and 2019 and I believe that political parties would have had sufficient time to be on ground to preach whatever they believe in and campaign for people to belong to their fold. Now, if you still have people who don’t think they have any choice between all the political parties and therefore they would rather stand as independent candidates, so be it. You open up the space.

The only thing I fear is that INEC may face some initial challenges. In some cases, you may find very many independent candidates and I don’t know how the ballot papers will look like. The same thing with the INEC when it comes to local government elections for the offices of the chairman and councillors. You may end up having a very long list of independent candidates and then you have to think on how to manage the process, especially the ballot papers and so on and so forth. But if our electoral commissions are able to overcome those challenges, if they ever emerge, and I think they may emerge eventually, once we have the bill of independent candidacy passed by the legislators. Otherwise, once they pass and the INEC and the SIECs are able to handle those logistic challenges, I think Nigerians will be better for it that you have so much choices because there is going to be so many choice for you with all the political parties that are participating and then you have a very long gallery of independent candidates. So, you choose from whatever you want. Nobody will complain that his choices are limited. The choices will be so much that definitely, you will find whatever you are looking for.

 

With the failure of affirmative action for women during the constitution amendment, what will be the fate of women in the 2019 election?

I think that throws up some challenges for everybody, not only women, but particularly, I think the challenges will be more for the women. Women constitute more than 50 per cent of the population of Nigeria, slightly ahead of men. When you have women running for certain offices, I think our women should consider the possibility of queuing behind the candidates. Most of the political parties have tried to be fair by giving free nomination forms to women and I think that is affirmative action in some ways. Some political parties will define clearly and say for this particular constituency or particular office, we need a woman or even appointments. But I think when you are working for a political office or political power, you cannot just rest your hopes on someone who you are supposed to compete with. You are supposed to try your best to compete and maybe you could find some doors open, some people changing their minds. But I believe that it was not going to be easy for the 35 per cent to easily pass.

I for one want to be recorded as someone who feels that we all have different ways of looking at issues. The majority of members of the National Assembly looked at that issue in a negative way and what that means is we need to talk and dialogue and interact more and more on that. That is to say, the majority of members of the National Assembly have not been convinced that you need to just say we allocate minimum of 30 per cent of elective or appointive offices to women. But no one single member of the National Assembly will tell you that he is against women. So, what that means is something is missing; we haven’t really talked so much between ourselves, whether this is the starting point, whether we should start from 35 per cent or a minimum of 35 per cent and upwards, whether we should look at another percentage and then build it up. In some cases, some people may even like to have more than 35 per cent. It’s like we need to converge somewhere and we have not been able to converge at that point yet. But I’m sure that everyone in this National Assembly supports Affirmative Action. Everybody supports that; but we have not been able to reach an understanding on exactly 35 per cent upwards.

 

Many believe that the Land Use Act amendment failed because it could put some sections of the country, particularly from the South at advantage. What is your take?

Who showed you how we voted? How did you draw this conclusion?

 

The undertone on why it failed tends towards the fact that it will benefit people from the South and that was why it failed alongside devolution of power. What really killed that section?

You see, if you want something to pass in the Senate and you require two-thirds, that means you require 73 Senators to vote for that, while like section nine, if you have to amend Section 9 of the Constitution, you require four-fifth that is about 88 Senators. So, the task is always herculean for anyone that wants something to pass. Someone who doesn’t want something to pass in the Senate, the requirement is 45, 46 and he is home and dry. Once you are able to get to that level, you stop someone from getting what he wants.

The Land Use Act is like any other controversial bill. We didn’t achieve any consensus. Those who wanted it did not reach out to explain sufficiently to those who were sceptical about it and I used the word sceptical in its entire ramification. If you are not sure of the outcome of something, then you are better off maintaining the status quo until you get better and more information and education and enlightenment on that thing, when you would have been sufficiently informed that this thing has no harm or this thing benefits this man this way, it benefits you this way, it benefits another person this way. Everybody is going to be a winner. I believe that those who wanted it to be passed should have talked to those who were sceptical, because it’s not like anybody who voted against something didn’t like it. You may like it, but you are not sure about it. So, you are sceptical. Therefore you needed someone who was sure about the benefits for himself and for you to tell you how it is beneficial to him. If he doesn’t tell you how beneficial it is to you but he thinks it is beneficial to him, then you start to doubt a lot whether this thing is only beneficial to him. Otherwise, I cannot see any reason why it should be limited to South East alone. It’s not an issue of South East or the rest of Nigeria. I think an issue can start with one individual liking it, but that individual is able to talk to as many millions of Nigerians through all the means available, the social media and whatever trying to explain the benefits and maybe also trying to be as truthful as possible to come out with disadvantages. But if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, I think people can buy into it. But I think they haven’t done enough work.

 

 What of devolution of power?

Well, again because we go back to my position that people who wanted devolution took for granted that everybody would just go for it like that. Meanwhile, whoever you are talking to about devolution will give you his or her own side of what devolution is. Therefore, nobody was able to capture the imagination of most members of the National Assembly. If someone simply because he has privileges to appear on television and talk threateningly, and say if you don’t pass this, the world will end, Nigeria will finish. That is not the way to convince anyone. You talk to people with specific target and aim of enlightening them, educating them, making them see the issues through your eyes, not threatening. Most of those that were said to be clamouring were threatening.

Members of the National Assembly are not Abuja people. Only Phillip Aduda in the Senate is representing Abuja. The rest of us come from different parts of the country and we belong to those communities that sent us to Abuja. So, if where I come from, people think I shouldn’t vote for devolution, there is nothing you can say on your television that will make me vote for devolution, because, ultimately, I will go back to my people and, in fact, I’m supposed to be the eyes, the ears and everything of my people here. So, people who want devolution or indeed constitutional amendment to be presented later, my advice is you need to take people out of suspicion; you need to convince people on the necessity, on the advantages of whatever it is that you are preaching and do little or no more of threatening, because when you threaten that Nigeria will break, it’s like blackmailing and it doesn’t work. It has never worked anywhere else and it will never work here. Try to make people understand. If you want to give me the best in the world and the way you are putting it is like scaring me, I won’t allow you to come close to me.

So, we need to talk more. There is nothing that is impossible, including devolution. But we need to do the right things first. If devolution failed in the Senate and House, that is not the end of devolution. You could present devolution, but what you need to do is to campaign more to talk to people more in the language that they understand. If you think you know too much, your understanding is so high and mine is so low because maybe you need to educate me, you don’t speak from that your level. Come down to my level and talk to me so that I can understand it. If you think you have already reached the crescendo of whatever it is, I am not there yet. Talk to me from a level that no matter how low it is, I can easily understand, assimilate and maybe say okay I will calm down a bit, let’s meet at the middle and when we meet, you don’t get exactly what you want. I would let go some of the things I think are very important to me and that spirit of give and take, that trade-off to me is what is essential.

 

Looking at the way the voting on the amendment went, do you think that members of the National Assembly actually studied the documents before voting? Some people who came on air have also said that lawmakers are to study the documents and go back to their constituents during the annual legislative recess. 

Let me tell you that most of the issues maybe up to 29 or 30 of the issues, out of the 33, are issues that we had considered in the previous Assembly for constitution amendment. Consensus had already been built. We conducted several levels of public hearing, at the zonal level, at the state level. You recall that in the seventh National Assembly, we had zonal public hearings. Our own was held in Gombe. Then House of Reps members had their own at the state level as well and we had one big one in Abuja and we educated the people. So, we had the responses of people. No member of the National Assembly will tell you that he needed more time to go and tell people that this is what we have voted for. Majority of us, I won’t say everybody, but a majority of us were at home with the issues; we had conducted public hearing but not as profound as we did in the Seventh Senate and we also were mindful of the fact that we needed to pass this thing on time so that it doesn’t come close to 2019 when people will start to interpret the provisions as self-serving or were targeted at some people. So, we passed this thing. We definitely reflected the views of our people. Those 29 bills that passed showed across the country, there was consensus. Those four issues that failed showed that Nigerians are yet to form consensus on them and what that requires is let’s tarry a while, but let’s continue to engage each other. Let’s continue to talk with each other maybe if we could achieve consensus on those, we could achieve consensus on this as well. But it requires that everybody talks to his neighbour; if you don’t want it this way, how do you want it to be like? I want it to be like this; we can allow some percentages go; we can introduce this; let’s accommodate everybody. Then we do it. How did we manage to pass the petroleum industry bill? You have been with us for a long time. In the sixth Senate, that was when I came to the Senate in 2007, the Senate considered only the first clause of the bill. Senator Lee Maeba was then the Chairman of Petroleum Upstream; he was the one who introduced it. By the time we came to the second clause, the entire thing collapsed and that was the end of it. In the seventh Senate, it was almost like a full-blown war.

In the eight Senate, having suffered all these and having learnt so much from what happened in the previous two Senates, the Senate this time round decided to split that single bill into about three or four bills and we passed all of them, because we were able to build consensus. Those who didn’t want the host community development fund, how does everybody go home as a winner because we represent different people. I will not support something that when I go home, I will tell my people we have lost this much to this side of the country. They will say you are bad at representing; come back home. But when I say we have allowed this to go, but we have also gotten this, this is how it’s supposed to be and we have passed all the four bills.

 

The 2017 budget is possibly going to last only six months, how do you intend to measure its performance within such a short time?

Let me congratulate the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari on budget performance. In the 2016 appropriation year, we spent almost fourfold what the PDP appropriation of President Goodluck Jonathan spent in the 2015 appropriation year. We cash backed our budget with about N950 billion, almost N1 trillion. This 2017 budget of course took off from May of this year and by design, ‘we hope’ that it will end in December. Why that is because we want to bring back our budget period of 12 months beginning from January to December. So, both arms of government are talking and we have reached a serious understanding and position that the executive should present the 2018 appropriation bill sometimes in September or early October latest and of course we work on it and make sure that we finish processing the bill for presidential assent. Before the end of December, the president signs it so that by January 2018, the budget for 2018 will start at the right time and that will bring to regularity the timing that we should have for implementing our budget. So, if we implement the budget up till December, we still have the rolling over of this budget to 2018 budget. It’s not like it will stop and nothing will happen or the budget will be abandoned. The budget that will be ongoing in 2017 appropriation year will be funded in 2018. So, it’s going to continue. But the advantage there clearly is that we will now bring back our budgetary period to begin in January and end 31st December.

 

 

 

Mixed reaction have greeted the emergence of 9Mobile Network as some subscribers urge the service provider to improve on its service, while others say the quality of service delivery has remained stable. Newsmen on Thursday in Abuja spoke with subscribers in separate interviews on their experiences with the new 9Mobile network.

Meanwhile CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday said that new investors to the newly unveiled brand 9Mobile would emerge latest December. He said that the current board is an interim one and was not supposed to last beyond 90 to 100 days from inception. Etisalat Nigeria Ltd., Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunication firm had been facing some financial crisis since Mubadala Development Company of United Arab Emirates, the company’s largest shareholder pulled out its investment from the country. Etisala changed its name to 9Mobile after the resolution of the crisis to reflect the new management led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Boye Olusanya. Mrs Juliet Omere, a civil servant told NAN that since the change, the network had not been very stable and urged the new management to improve on the service as soon as it settled down. Omere said that Etisalat data used to be the cheapest and very effective but in recent times, some subscribers had been experiencing some difficulties with the network. “Since this change to 9Mobile, the network has not been very good but I believe that as the management settles down to work, there will be an improvement. “It may be part of the fallout of the crisis and we expect improvement soon,’’ she said. Another respondent and an etisalat subscriber, Mrs Janet Obike, a teacher decried the undue hardship the network was creating for its customers in recent times. “For about a week now, I have been finding it difficult to load the credit I bought even when I want to attend to some urgent issues. “The problem of this network provider is too much since this Etisalat problem began; I as an individual have been at the receiving end of their inadequacy. “My boy called from school to give me an urgent message, I bought air-time to be able to reach him only for the credit to refuse to load. “I tried several times only for it to tell me `unknown application’ eventually I had to use somebody else’s phone to make the call. “Even now I still cannot load my airtime which is quite frustrating. I appeal to 9Mobile to quickly address the problem.’’ Mr Bassy Ukong, a lawyer also complained about the trouble he was facing in loading his internet data in the network. Ukong said loading his data credit was now problematic and this had made it impossible for him to access the internet. “I feel completely shut out as this network is my only internet network, I cannot do Facebook or Whatsapp and other apps.’’ He urged 9Mobile to quickly address the issue because porting  to another network would not address it, saying “they are the same, it is just a matter of time before they start their own `wahala’’. Ukong therefore called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Government to bring up policies that would ensure that Nigerians were not short changed by operators. Mrs Rose Ibeh, another civil servant said that she was happy that her line was intact, adding that 9Mobile should quickly start working for effective service delivery. “I am happy that my line is safe because as I heard of the change, I was afraid that I may lose my Etisalat line. “My appeal to the new management is that it should work hard to give subscribers good services,’’ she said. Mr Felix Osundu, a businessman said that he was happy with the government for intervening in the issue of Etisalat and the 13 banks as this had helped stakeholders in the industry. Osundu urged the new management of 9Mobile to ensure that it  did its best in ensuring that customers were not disappointed. “I am happy for the quick intervention of government on the issue but the new provider should make sure that subscribers get value for their money,’’ he said. However, Mr Joseph

What stakeholders are saying about 9mobile brand

 

Olusola, an engineer said that he had not been experiencing much change in the service of 9mobile since the change of name and management. He said that it was his belief that the new management would quickly settle down to work and improve on their services. It has been speculated that many telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel of India, Vodafone of UK, and France’s Orange Mobile, were jostling to grab the 65 per cent shareholding open to new investors from the exit of Mubadala and Emirates Telecoms of the UAE.

Meanwhile CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele describe the newly unveiled brand 9Mobile as a class brand. Etisalat Nigeria Ltd., Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunication firm had been facing some financial crisis since Mubadala Development Company of United Arab Emirates, the company’s largest shareholder pulled out its investment from the country. Etisala changed its name to 9Mobile after the resolution of the crisis to reflect the new management led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Boye Olusanya. Mrs Juliet Omere, a civil servant told NAN that since the change, the network had not been very stable and urged the new management to improve on the service as soon as it settled down. Omere said that Etisalat data used to be the cheapest and very effective but in recent times, some subscribers had been experiencing some difficulties with the network. “Since this change to 9Mobile, the network has not been very good but I believe that as the management settles down to work, there will be an improvement. “It may be part of the fallout of the crisis and we expect improvement soon,’’ she said. Another respondent and an etisalat subscriber, Mrs Janet Obike, a teacher decried the undue hardship the network was creating for its customers in recent times. “For about a week now, I have been finding it difficult to load the credit I bought even when I want to attend to some urgent issues. “The problem of this network provider is too much since this Etisalat problem began; I as an individual have been at the receiving end of their inadequacy. “My boy called from school to give me an urgent message, I bought air-time to be able to reach him only for the credit to refuse to load. “I tried several times only for it to tell me `unknown application’ eventually I had to use somebody else’s phone to make the call. “Even now I still cannot load my airtime which is quite frustrating. I appeal to 9Mobile to quickly address the problem.’’ Mr Bassy Ukong, a lawyer also complained about the trouble he was facing in loading his internet data in the network. Ukong said loading his data credit was now problematic and this had made it impossible for him to access the internet. “I feel completely shut out as this network is my only internet network, I cannot do Facebook or Whatsapp and other apps.’’ He urged 9Mobile to quickly address the issue because porting  to another network would not address it, saying “they are the same, it is just a matter of time before they start their own `wahala’’. Ukong therefore called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Government to bring up policies that would ensure that Nigerians were not short changed by operators. Mrs Rose Ibeh, another civil servant said that she was happy that her line was intact, adding that 9Mobile should quickly start working for effective service delivery. “I am happy that my line is safe because as I heard of the change, I was afraid that I may lose my Etisalat line. “My appeal to the new management is that it should work hard to give subscribers good services,’’ she said. Mr Felix Osundu, a businessman said that he was happy with the government for intervening in the issue of Etisalat and the 13 banks as this had helped stakeholders in the industry. Osundu urged the new management of 9Mobile to ensure that it  did its best in ensuring that customers were not disappointed. “I am happy for the quick intervention of government on the issue but the new provider should make sure that subscribers get value for their money,’’ he said. However, Mr Joseph Olusola, an engineer said that he had not been experiencing much change in the service of 9mobile since the change of name and management. He said that it was his belief that the new management would quickly settle down to work and improve on their services. It has been speculated that many telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel of India, Vodafone of UK, and France’s Orange Mobile, were jostling to grab the 65 per cent shareholding open to new investors from the exit of Mubadala and Emirates Telecoms of the UAE.

 

 

 

WE CAN NEVER LOSE OUR DREAM-Ehiliz

 

 

Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe, popularly known as Ehiliz is a business woman, talk show host, TV producer, financial consultant and philanthropist. She is also a crusader for social engagement using media and empowerment programmes to improve the quality of lives of young people.

She is the brain behind the much followed TV talk show; Vivid View with Ehiliz airing on DSTV 225, GOTV 94, STARTIMES 119, MiTV,ITV BENIN, and other stations across the country.

Vivid View is a project with the objectives of raising awareness and exploring issues on the front burner of national discourse – and especially those that affect young people directly, in respect to their empowerment.

In 2014 she founded the Ehiliz Support Initiative which seeks to discover young talents and provide financial and mentorship support for their actualization through training, workshops and provision of soft loans.

A graduate of Accounting, with a masters in finance; both from the University of Benin, Ehiliz is also an alumni of Rapid Result College in London where she has a certificate from the Associate Chartered Institute of Bankers in the United Kingdom. She also has other certifications from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany and has attended conferences in Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Lagos Business School, etc.

She is the managing director of Micro Investment Support Services Limited, a social enterprise that supports startups and people to improve the quality of their lives. Ehiliz is also a renowned gospel singer and have collaborated with notable artists as, Pat Uwaje Kings, Mike Abdul, Monic and a host of others.

She is married to Mr. Godwin Eseiwi Ehigiamusoe (PHD); the founder and Chief Executive Officer of LAPO Microfinance and has the blessing of five children and a grandchild.

 

 

If you’re considering modelling as a career or just a fun hobby, it’s important to know what it all entails. Many
people think modelling is just standing in front of a camera looking pretty (or manly) and having your photo
taken, but to be a good model there’s so much more to it. Good models are worth more because there are simply so
many people (especially girls) wanting to be models; so to be competitive you need to have better skills than
anyone else. So what are these modelling skills? First of all there’s the range of poses you can do. You have to learn poses so
that whenever you need another pose, there’s one in your head ready to get into. A lot of photographers will ask
you to give them a different pose for each click of the camera. Sometimes they’ll guide you into a pose they
want, generally by demonstrating it, so it still helps if you are aware of your physicality (how your body moves).
A good range of facial expressions linked to emotion keywords is also useful – for example despairing, sad,
happy, elated, joyful, excited, coy or seductive. Posing for photos is a lot like stage acting – you often have to
over-emphasise in order to convey all the expression of feeling or emotion you need for the shot, which lasts
less than 1/100th of a second. As a rule of thumb, if it hurts or makes you feel like an idiot, it’s probably
going to look great on camera. Lastly you may be asked for moving poses, so that a sense
of movement can be recorded in the image. One of these is walking; not the walking you do down the high street, but
the sort of walk you’d do in a catwalk show. These moving poses are the most difficult to learn, but are a lot
easier if you’ve had some dance training or do sports. Of which more later…
There’s all a point to this, and that is to create an image. What the image is trying to show depends upon the
genre of the modelling job. In catwalk modelling, you’re showing the clothes, and it’s the clothes that are
important, not the model. Photographically you’re either trying to show off clothes, or a catalogue product, or
your hair, or facial beauty makeup, or an emotion orconcept.
But modelling isn’t just about what happens in front of the camera or on the catwalk. As a model you’re a self-
employed person running a business, and there are a whole load of skills you need to survive and thrive in
business. Firstly you need to be able to find yourself work. That means making good contacts, networking,
marketing, and above all good written & spoken communications. You need to actively market yourself,
which means maintaining a strong, varied and up-to-date portfolio showing the full range of everything you can
do. But you have to get your portfolio seen, and that means getting a web site, maintaining profiles on social
networking and modelling sites, and making sure the right people get to see them. Sitting back and waiting for
people to come to you is never going to ensure success in a crowded market, so you have to be proactive, actively
seeking out people you want to work with and building professional relationships with them.
An agency can help by finding jobs for you that you wouldn’t be able to get by yourself. But equally you’ll
be able to find work for yourself that the agency wouldn’t even be interested in looking for. It’s
important to cast your net as widely as possible, so by all means seek agency representation but don’t expect
that it’s the answer to everything. It’s also a matter of getting the right agency. There are of course charlatans,
and lots of them. Some are after money, but some are much worse. The legitimate ones aren’t all good either – some
of them charge you to join, which means they get their model directory/register paid for by wannabes who’ll end
up as “filler”, just making up the numbers. The good ones generally don’t charge anything, but their entry
requirements are strict. They tend to be specialists in one field or another; perhaps catwalk fashion models; or
teenage models; or plus-size models; or glamour models. Don’t waste everyone’s time by applying to agencies where
you’ll be unsuited to their specialism. As a photographer, when I’m selecting models for a job, I
tend to go with models I’ve worked with before because they’re known and reliable, and I already have a good
working relationship with them. Next in line are the ones who have been talking to me for a while, perhaps having
written me a really well-worded introductory email. Models I don’t know come way down the list, whether or
not they’re represented by an agency. So very often it’s not just what you look like, but how you communicate and
the professional relationships you maintain. Some models are so good at this, they’re first in line whenever an
opportunity comes up, they’ve keep in touch so frequently.
Other modelling skills wouldn’t be classed as skills by most people, but they’re really important nonetheless.
For example, looking after yourself – knowing how to eat properly, doing the appropriate exercise to keep yourself
healthy… These are essential skills for the successful model. You only have one body, and your body and mind are
the tools of your trade, so don’t mistreat them. Whatever your dress size, you need to be toned and physically fit.
Reliability deserves a mention all its own. It’s important to turn up for a shoot or show on time,
properly prepared for work, and carrying everything you’ll need. Part of reliability is honesty. People tend
to talk to each other, and the truth tends to surface all to easily. We all understand if you can’t make it because
of something bad that’s happened, but one girl seemed to have had five grandfathers, all of whom either died or
were rushed to hospital on the day of one shoot or another. Another girl destroyed her entire reputation for
reliability by cancelling two shoots at the last minute with different photographers on consecutive days giving
inconsistent excuses to do with college exams and then even having the audacity to turn up on MSN Messenger at
the times she was supposedly unavailable. This brings me to what I consider the most important and
valuable modelling skill of all: intelligence. There’s nothing more attractive in a person than a burning
intelligence, even better if combined with creativity, and if great good looks are part of the package too then that’s fantastic.
So, if you thought modelling was just standing in front of a camera looking pretty, think again.