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Beyonce & Jay Z Confirmed To Perform At The 2014 Grammy Awards Among Others! [See Details]

By Adenike Gboyega

After much speculation, it has been confirmed that Beyoncé will perform at this year’s GRAMMY Awards.

She and husband Jay Z are among the artists announced for the huge ceremony this Sunday.

The US TV network CBS, broke the news in a commercial announcing the performers for the first hour.

Also among the list of first hour GRAMMY performers are Taylor Swift, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke, Katy Perry and loads more.

Daft Punk will also perform with Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, while Lorde, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Metallica, Lang Lang, Pink and Nate Ruess will take to the stage.

Bafana Bafana Labelled “Bunch Of Losers” By South African Sports Minister

South Africa have been labelled “a bunch of losers” by the country’s sports minister after they were eliminated in the group stage of the African Nations Championship.

The hosts of the tournament for home-based players lost 3-1 to Nigeria on Sunday to suffer a humiliating exit.

“What I saw was not a problem of coaching, it was a bunch of losers,” Fikile Mbalula told a news conference.

“That mediocrity that was displayed… we must never wake up to that again.”

Bafana Bafana finished third in Group A, having lost to Nigeria, drawn with Mali and beaten only Mozambique.

“We have to agree we were dismissive and even insulting to the quality of football on the continent” Danny Jordaan South African FA president.

Mbalula believes their failure to reach the knockout stage shows there are fundamental problems with the team.

“Their performance was not even lacklustre, it was useless. We must go back to the drawing board,” he said.

“We indeed have a crisis of monumental proportions. We don’t have a crisis of talent, we have a crisis of putting everything together.

“I felt like just standing up and walking out (the stadium). I saw people lining up after the game to greet them… I won’t greet them, I didn’t even call them.

“In Africa we have won nothing – we are the laughing stock. This generation of players we must forget.”

South Africa failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Brazil, and since 2008 they have only played at tournaments they have hosted, which include the 2010 World Cup.

“We aren’t going to this year’s World Cup. But Iran is going and yet there is no football there,” added Mbalula.

“We hosted the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and could not get to the final. We also hosted CHAN and ended up going out in the group stages.

“If we were united we would have done our best and won CHAN by stopping the league for one month to concentrate on this.”

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund conceded the team was not good enough, while midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala made a public apology.

“It is honestly hurting,” said Tshabalala, the man who scored the opening goal at the 2010 World Cup. “We are hurting and we know the nation is also hurting, and we are not proud of not doing well.”

South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has revealed there will be a major review of the national set-up.

“We have to agree we were dismissive and even insulting to the quality of football on the continent,” Jordaan said.

He also indicated the team’s Bafana Bafana nickname – a Zulu expression which translates as “the boys, the boys” – may be changed as part of a major overhaul.

“We must consider changing the name and we have to review the preparations, the philosophy and technical staff of the team,” he said.

Safa has been keen to change the nickname for a while because it lost out on millions in marketing after a local entrepreneur registered the name as a trademark.

Content Credit: BBC

Nigerian Woman Disowns Cat For Being Gay

A middle-aged woman (names withheld) yesterday in Lafia, Nasarawa State, publicly disowned her cat whom she had kept as a pet for seven years for what she termed “an unnatural sexual behavior” which she finds disturbing and “a contradiction of the laws of nature.”

By this, the cat has made a record as the first cat to be so publicly declared gay and disowned by its owner.

The cat, named Bull, was alleged to be in the habit of making sexual advances only to other male cats in the house even though there are several other female cats.

Neighbours attested that none of the other cats born while the cat was in the house has it’s due colour, lending credence to the fact that it has not been able to mate with other female cats in its home or anywhere in the environ.

The cat owner who expressed a strong belief in the divine purpose of creating male and female of every creature to fulfil an ordained purpose of procreation said, “anybody interested in this gay cat can have it because I have no further use of it.”

The cat’s renunciation which attracted members of the public was however dramatic as no one wanted to take ownership of such a cat.

After its rejection, many residents of the area have been the onging the house located on Gboko Street, Tudun Gwandara area of Lafia, the state capital to see things for themselves

Content Credit: LEADERSHIP

Rivers Crisis: CNPP Seeks President Jonathan’s Intervention

Rotimi Amaechi PHOTO CREDIT: PUNCH NEWS
Rotimi Amaechi
PHOTO CREDIT: PUNCH NEWS

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) on Monday appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the face- off between the police and some politicians in Rivers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the face-off which began in 2013 has continued to gather momentum with allegations and counter allegations from the oppossing sides.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the South-West Secretary of the CNPP, Mr Austin Nnorom, urged Jonathan to use “his good offices as the father of the nation” to bring the crisis to a peaceful end.

“Our reason for this appeal is to stop the situation from degenerating and spilling over to other parts of the nation.

“Many people are already taking advantage of the situation to perpetuate their selfish aims by fuelling the crisis.

“We are not after who is right or wrong, what is more important is that the situation is resolved speedily.

“We, therefore, urge the president to set up a committee to look into the matter with a view to bringing those involved to a roundtable.”

According to him, there is no situation that cannot be resolved through dialogue.

The CNPP scribe, however, warned those involved in the matter not to sacrifice the peace and development of Rivers for superiority contest.

Meanwhile, the CNPP has commended the president for signing the Gay Bill into law.

“We are in support of this action by Mr President and want to state that those who feel otherwise should limit such rights to their country.

“Nigeria is a sovereign nation and cannot give in to a culture that is un-African.”

INEC Solicits U.S Support On Electoral Process

NAN

Credit: Thisday
Credit: Thisday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for more collaboration with the U.S on electoral process in the country.

The commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attaihiru Jega, made the call on Monday when, Mr James Entwistle, the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, led a delegation to his office in Abuja.

According to him, INEC is doing everything possible to improve on the electoral process to ensure that elections in the country are credible and transparent.

Jega assured the ambassador that INEC would organise better elections and announced that “the commission will be having a retreat soon where we will discuss issues concerning the 2015 general elections.

“It is at the retreat that we will discuss the election timetable and other issues concerning the voter register,’’ Jega said.

He also said that the commission would continue to partner with relevant development agencies to help train its staff.

Earlier, Entwistle said that the U.S government would stand by Nigeria as it moved to organise “open and transparent election’’.

He said the U.S government would be willing to help INEC improve in the area of its technical capability and support observer groups that monitor elections.

Entwistle advised politicians that would want to overheat the polity to desist from doing so.

“I advise politicians to shun overheating the polity with politics of bitterness. All politicians have the responsibility to be responsible to what they say,’’ he said.

Former Bauchi Governor, Adamu Mu’azu Confirmed PDP Chairman

The National Executive Committee, NEC, of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has approved the election of a former governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Mu’azu, as the new chairman of the party.

The party NEC say the confirmation of Mu’azus’ appointment will be pending the election of a new chairman of the party.

Uche Secondus, the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, who presided over the election of Mr. Mu’azu, quoted section 47 (6) of the party’s constitution which empowers the NEC to elect a new official to fill vacancy created by the resignation of an elected official.

The motion for the nomination of Mr. Mu’azu was moved by the Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, and was seconded by Senate Leader, Ndoma Egba.

Peter Obi Is New APGA Leader And National Chairman

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has appointed the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, as its National Leader and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) to replace the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

The NWC made the appointment during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party which held on Saturday in Awka, the state capital.

APGA National Chairman, Victor Umeh, had in early December 2013 read a communiqué after the NWC meeting, stating that the choice of Obi was due to his contributions towards keeping the party alive in the past 11 years and for particularly ensuring that an APGA member succeeds him on March 17, 2014 when his tenure ends.

According to the APGA National Chairman, “the National Working Committee noted the great contributions made by His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi (CON) towards keeping the party alive in the past 11 years of his membership of our great party and particularly for ensuring that an APGA governor will succeed him on 17th March 2014, a promise made and faithfully kept.

“Obi’s recommendation to step into Ojukwu’s shoes as the National Leader and Chairman of the BOT is based on his performance, financial discipline, and commitment to APGA in the past 11 years. He never contemplated leaving the party, his sterling performance led to the superlative performance we recorded in the Anambra governorship election, which also led to the landmark victory APGA recorded in the Anambra elections”, he added.

Also appointed were 25 members of the Board of Trustees with Peter Obi as the chairman.

 

Content Credit: Oodera.com

No Cause For Alarm! NNPC Must Account For Missing $10.8 bn, NOI Assures Nigerians

The Co-ordinating minister of the economy and finance minister, Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala at a session with the South South professionals on Sunday revealed that her job is to make sure every money owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria goes into the Federation account. She also revealed that her ministry will make sure that the missing $10.8 billion will be  accounted for by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC).

She said her ministry did the right thing in the case of missing oil money which was raised by CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi by reconciling the revenue shortfall to $10.8 billion.

She said she is not the petroleum minister but she had a duty as Coordinating Minister to bring the other ministers together to resolve issues.

“It is not my duty to do the job of other ministers, but to bring them together to resolve issues.
“We have the Federation Allocation Accounts Committee, FAAC, which is chaired by the Minister of State for Finance, with state commissioners for finance, NNPC, and FIRS as members.
“Whenever there is a case of revenue questions we turn to the FIRS and NNPC for explanations, and we don’t need to make noise about it on the pages of newspapers.
“And that is what we did in in the case of the missing oil revenue. We have reconciled the accounts and we are still reconciling, and the outstanding is $10.8 billion. The NNPC said that the money was used for operational expenses, but we have asked them to account for how the money was spent and what it was spent for, so as to ascertain that there is no case of unauthorised spendings.
”So we played our role, and the ministry should be credited. We are for professionalism and transparency.
Our job is to ensure every money belonging to the federation comes in, so we will ask NNPC to account for the $10.8 billion.
”On budget implementation, the Minister noted that there were challenges in the nation’s budgeting process, which must be resolved.
“Sometimes you get budget that is not easy to implement because of the way things have been solved around.’’
She further stressed that the budget also needed to be submitted on time and approved on time, so that implementation would commence at the beginning of the year.
Responding to the issue of state of infrastructure, especially the East-West Road, Okonjo-Iweala said that the present administration had come under serious attacks, but noted that efforts were being made to complete the road before the end of the current administration.
 “The President has always insisted that the ministry in charge works very hard to complete the East-West road.
“We agree that more work needs be done, and I think the Minister of Works is taking the issue of the road construction seriously. This is the most difficult road network, but also the most strategic.
“We have been able to get about N50 billion from African Development Bank to ensure this project is completed before the end of this administration.
”Even with all the efforts put in place so far by this administration towards a better Nigeria, it has come under serious attacks. These attacks especially from the opposition make us stronger. This administration is on the right path towards transforming this nation, therefore we need not be distracted.
“We have always appealed to Nigerians that, ‘let us leave our parochial interests but let us come together to make this country a better place for all.’”

Some of those present at the event were: Traditional rulers from the South-East and South-South, President of the SESSPN, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), Professor Green Nwankwo, Governor Peter Obi, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Dr. Goddy Uwazurike, Chief Fred Agbeyegbe, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Gari Igariwey, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Professor Anya O. Anya, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Professor George Obiozor, and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

Content Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

Minister Of Health To Authorize Foreign Medical Trips By Government Officials

As a result of increasing foreign trips by political office holders for medical trips abroad, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a strict measure in the approval of medical trips.

This was disclosed in Benin, Edo state on Saturday by the Federal Minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu who said he has be directed to authorize such trips henceforth. The minister expressed concern over the amount of Nigerians detained in hospitals in India and other countries as a result of inability to foot medical bills. On a daily basis, the Minister’s office was receiving so many letters which all sought assistance Prof Chukwu claimed.

The Minister was speaking while in Edo where he had travelled to for the burial of the father of the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele. He was also in the Southern state to commission some projects at the University of Benin teaching hospital. The minister called on Nigerians to exploit the advantages of the National Health Insurance policy of the Federal Government for their health needs.

In the minister’s words:

“We have people who go abroad and they are in two classes: One, people who are spending private money, whether well-earned or not too well-earned.

“Some are people who are sponsored by other persons, including religious bodies, the others are the ones sponsored by government, whether at local, state or federal level.

“Recently we have done something which the President decided with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, at least at the federal level.

“At the federal level, what has been done in the last two weeks is that rather than the old system where the permanent secretary wrote to the Head of Service, now the Minster of Health must sign, but as a minister, if what you are going for can be done in Nigeria, we would not spend public money.

“But we must also recognise the individual rights of human beings, if you have your own money you are free to seek medical care anywhere. If it is clear that we cannot help you in Nigeria, it would be wicked of us not to allow you to go outside the country. So, that is what in the last weeks the President had directed and the head of service had written me, so, we are going to start implementing that now.

“There are so many reasons why Nigerians go abroad; one reason which is not my business is that we love things which are foreign. People who go outside the country don’t patronise government hospitals.

“There are some Nigerians detained in other countries because they could not pay for their medical bills, some of them, their communities have sought financial assistance because they cannot come back to Nigeria because they are owing. It is a big problem.

“There are things we have achieved in the last one year. For more than 10 years, we couldn’t do an open heart surgery in Nigeria, now two hospitals are doing it; in Enugu and Ibadan.”

Chuba Ezekwesili: The Economic Effect Of ‘I-No-Get-Change’

As I boarded a bus to work last week, the driver announced that he didn’t have any change for anyone with N500 and more, so he expected everyone had the right amount: N50. The woman beside me promptly got up and left the bus. I presume she didn’t have any smaller denomination either. Since I moved to Lagos, I’ve taken into cognizance the effect of not having ‘change’ on transactions. Although it might seem unremarkable, the issue of ‘change’ significantly affects the success rate of a myriad of transactions; especially those at Small and Medium Enterprise levels. Might I be exaggerating the effects? No. Not when one aggregates these effects to a macro-level. Let’s get to these effects.

Effects

First, as illustrated by my anecdote, the issue of finding ‘change’ creates a wedge in business transactions. It halts the exchange of goods and services. The seller’s willing to supply the commodity, the buyer’s also willing and able to purchase, but the deal never goes through…cause no one’s got change. To illustrate the net effect of this scenario, I’ll use simple demand and supply curves.
Diagram 1

Diagram 1

For those who have no recollection of such curves, I’ll explain. Our supply curve (S) is horizontal because no matter how much demand comes, the supply isn’t going to drastically change. The bus driver will still have a set number of seats irrespective of the demand; the groundnut (peanut) seller will still have one tray of groundnut to sell and the ‘pure water’ guy will still have a bag of water to sell. The demand involuntarily falls from D to D1 because some of the buyers can’t pay for the products with their N1000 or N500 notes. Consequently, the quantity of goods sold falls from q to q1. The shaded region indicates the seller’s lost profit. That’s never a good thing.

Interestingly enough, the issue of change might have a smaller counter-effect of increasing the exchange of goods and services. In scenarios of ‘change deficiency’, people end up buying more than they originally planned to. Most of us have experienced cases where we have to buy another bottle of coke or plate of rice because the seller didn’t have change. In spite of this counter-effect, the aggregate net-effect would still be a reduction in commercial activity.

Moreover, buying more than one bargained for also constitutes waste and misappropriation of scarce resources. It might mean reallocating money to less useful goods. Moreover, buying a N300 plate of rice when your appetite-capacity is N100 constitutes a reduction in utility. After the 100 Naira point of satisfaction, one’s marginal utility of rice plunges to zero. As he forces himself to finish the large 300 Naira plate of rice he unwillingly purchased, his utility takes on a negative value. Every spoon of rice he shoves into his mouth is no longer rewarding, but rather feels like a punishment. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in such a situation.

Also, you lose money when you decided to leave the remaining ‘change’ with the corn seller or taxi driver. Some of us don’t mind, but frankly, a lot of us do. Having no spare change on you gets incredibly expensive when you run into those pesky Abuja policemen who cajole you to ‘betta’ their night…and all you’ve got is a N1000 note.

I’m not even delving into the issue of time wasting that also happens when the seller’s trying to find change and you’ve just got to wait and wait…for N200. The time spent looking for change, you could be somewhere else doing something more productive and the seller could be selling another of his/her product to someone else.

Pseudo-Philosophical Implication?

The issue of change also raises a pseudo-philosophical question. Does money retain its value all the time or could less money in smaller denominations be more valuable than more money in larger denominations? Most of us have been in situations where we’d prefer to have N100 than the N500 currently in our possession, simply cause there’ll be change with the lower denomination. At that point in time, N100 is more valuable than N500.

This might seem obvious, but money only holds value if it can be spent. For example, it’s like holding a legitimate form of currency in a different country. In spite of how internationally recognized the dollar is, it can’t be used to buy ‘Suya’ from the Mallam at the street side. To get its true value within that context, one would need to convert it to Naira: same with the issue of change. No matter how valuable or recognized your N1000 is, if you plan on buying ‘pure water’ from a street vendor, you would need to either change it to lower denominations or hope he has change and is willing to part with it.

Such emphasis on holding change explains why sellers and buyers jealously hoard their N50 and N100 notes. Ironically, such behavior reduces the amount of small denominations in circulation and only worsens the situation.

Solution?

Fear not, a market solution might exist. One could create a market that corrects for this wedge in transaction and simultaneously creates revenue, i.e. a derivative of a currency-exchange market where conversion of foreign currency to domestic currency is based on a certain rate. When you go to convert money, the money changer charges you when he converts your legitimate, but useless money into legitimate and useful domestic currency. Likewise one could charge for changing high denominations to smaller denominations. Perhaps, charge N20 for every N500 converted? I’ll leave the entrepreneurially-minded to take care of the logistics or feasibility of such a market. Wait…or maybe the Government should just print smaller denominations in place of the larger ones. On the bright side, pause for a second and imagine how much worse the ‘change’ situation would have been if the plans for N5000 notes went through.

Am I the only one who finds the issue of ‘change’ really stressful or is it all in my head? Or perhaps I need to get richer so I’ll be able to say cool ‘rich people’ remarks like “Keep the Change”. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Article originally published on Naijanomics

Bamanga Tukur Explains How Tough Being PDP Chairman Was

The former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has made it clear that it was very tough for him as the Chairman of the ruling party. He urged whoever will be his successor to be consistent, fearless and focused

Tukur was speaking when clerics visited him at his residence in Abuja on Saturday as they prayed with him. Tukur made it known that he does not regret the decisions he made in office.

 “I did my best to bring PDP to good standard and international best practices on politics. I came in with the mindset to reform the party by promoting the principle of election instead of selection and the idea of consensus instead of imposition.

“Alas, I was proved wrong by those who believed that the old order in PDP must be retained, not for any good thing, but for their selfish interests”, Tukur said.

Herevealed that the doggedness and wisdom of President Goodluck Jonathan in managing the affairs of the party is the only reason the party has not collapsed after “evil plots” by certain members to destroy the party.

Tukur pledged to always support the President and the PDP in anyway he could and at any given time.

He also made it clear that he never collected any bulletproof car from any governorship aspirant as speculations had suggested.

“Some members got so desperate that they turned to the media and funded all negative reports against me. If you are familiar with all the negative media reports, none attributed any wrongdoing to me. The reports only echoed the views of the sponsors that I was unbending in my desire to change the bad situation in PDP.

“They even attempted to use the media to set me against Mr. President. I never spoke to anyone about issues, yet the media would attribute some reports to me.

“But we knew those who were behind it all. They had forgotten that whatever goes round surely must come round.

“To put me on the spot, they sponsored another report that governorship aspirants were buying me bulletproof jeeps so that I can give them governorship slot in their states. I understood that the authors of such reports had denied what they wrote.

“It is wickedness when the media distort facts against you, just to please their pay masters.”

Army Denies Retirement Of Officers

Reports just reaching us says the Nigerian Army Monday denies news reports that senior officers have been retired.

Details shortly.