Rent-To-Own housing scheme wunderway in Lagos, December 8

…Says Scheme Targets Low Income Earners, Artisans

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In an effort to cushion the effects of economic recession in the country, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has concluded plans to start allocation of houses under the newly introduced rent-to-own policy.

The State’s Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this at a press conference ahead of the launch of the schemes at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, said the Rent-To-Own and Rental Housing Policies of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is aimed at making housing more readily affordable and accessible for Lagosians.

According to him, the schemes listed for the programme include Sir Michael Otedola Estate, Odoragunshin-Epe; CHOIS City, Agbowa; Alhaji Adetoun Mustapha Estate, Ojokoro and Oba Adeboruwa Estate, Igbogbo-Ikorodu, adding that it will be launched simultaneously on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Lawal said accessing housing units in the state has been largely on cash and carry basis which ends up excluding majority of the citizenry until when recently the Mortgage Scheme was introduced.

“Even though the Mortgage Scheme was able to accommodate more people on the home ownership ladder, a large number can still not afford to become home owners as they are unable to meet the requirement of 30 per cent equity contribution which the mortgage scheme demands”, he said.

He said Government has always been challenged by the arduous task of providing affordable and decent accommodation for the people of the state in view of its ever growing population which reflected in the various housing schemes developed by different administrations over the years.

He emphasized that shelter is one of the basic needs of man, saying that is why governments all over the world accord top priority to the provision of housing for their citizens.

Lawal said inadequate housing is responsible for so many health and social ills in the society, adding that, “The Rent-to-own policy targets the low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors. Under this arrangement, individuals are required to pay 5 per cent of the value of the housing unit as commitment fee and the balance is spread over 10 years. The programme allows the tenant to live on the property while paying towards ownership as a fixed rent within the period of ten years.

“The Lagos state rental housing policy is to further ensure housing accessibility and affordability in Lagos state. The rent for the rental housing will be collected on a monthly basis. The tenants are however required to pay one month deposit.”

On the criteria for interested applicants, Lawal said they must be primarily resident in Lagos State and will be required  to submit a copy of their Lagos State Residents Registration (LASSRA) Card and must be a first time home buyer, which must be 21 years old and above.

He also said that applicants must be tax compliant and provide the proof of tax payment and must have capacity to pay the 5 per cent commitment fee.

He explained that the rent to be paid will be determined by the prevailing rent in each of the locations while mode of payment will be direct debit by the employer/banker to ensure easy collection, just as he stressed that the rented accommodation is not transferable.

This scheme is targeted at the working class and people with regular source of income who may not want to participate in the rent-to-own or mortgage program. “Government intends to earmark 20 per cent of the available housing units in each of the dedicated rent-to-own estates for rental housing.”

Nigeria rakes in over $1.1 billion from tourism, 2015

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Sally Mbanefo, on Tuesday disclsoed that the tourism sector generated over $1.1 billion in 2015.

Mbanefo disclosed this during a two-day Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition.

The forum is being organised by the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, in collaboration with NTDC and the National Institute for Hospitality and NIHOTOUR in Abuja.

The theme of the forum is “ Tourism: Tool for Economic and Development.’’

According to her, the tourism sector generated the revenue from the related expenditure incurred from the more than 6.01 million tourists that visited the country in 2015.

She stated that another $853 million was generated from 4.8 million tourists that visited in 2014.

“In 2014, about 4.8 million people arrived and the related expenditure was 853 million dollars.

“While in 2016, about 6.01 million came into Nigeria and we generated over $1.1 billion as the expenditure related to their arrival in this country.

 

“This is an economic indication of the value that tourism can have in any economy where the government and the private corporate sector give value to it.’’

The D-G said that Nollywood had created job opportunities for more than two million persons, 30,000 were working in restaurants and over 11,000 were in the hotel business.

She, however, listed some of the challenges affecting the sector to include access to gathering statistics, epileptic power supply, inadequate infrastructure, poor access to visa, as well as absence of uniformed standardisation and classification for hotels nationwide.

She therefore stressed the need for investors to tap into the abundant opportunities that abound in the sector, adding that it had also created job opportunities and unified the diverse cultures in the country.

Also speaking, the National President, Association of Royal Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Thomas Obiefule, reiterated the commitment of traditional leaders towards improving the tourism sector.

“We are living in a challenging time, yet tourism continues to bring us hope. In spite of slow and uneven global economy recovery, growing geopolitical challenges, health scares and security concerns, there is hope.

“In spite of the Nigerian economic recession facing us, there is hope for tourism to create jobs, reduce poverty and make life meaningful to the rural dwellers.

“We the traditional leaders will join hands making the Change Agenda work for the tourism industry in spite of the economic recession, culture and tourism will help Nigeria to come out from recession,” he said.

Obiefule also commended the efforts of the organisers in providing a platform for stakeholders to exhibit their wares and proffer solutions to revamp the tourism sector.

(NAN)

A new social media platform, TalkStuff.com, underway in Nigeria

 

Nigeria to witness a step further in the internet land space with a new social media platform, TalkStuff.com is set to hit the Nigerian social network scene with an official launch on December 8 in Abuja.

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Expected at the event are the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, members of ICT and Communications Committees in the two chambers of the National Assembly and other major stakeholders in the ICT sector.

 

TalkStuff, according to the promoters, will be a better choice that will be more appealing for the Nigerian business owners and provide value for regular users.

 

Ms. Racheal Ogbonna, Founder/Chief Executive of the platform stated that TalkStuff will bring Nigerian social media users closer to their friends, families, and communities. It will also ensure that businesses reach their target audience without any frills and at an acceptable cost to the Nigerian business men or women.

 

The TalkStuff market share, she stressed will comprise of personal users, business users, groups, and communities who want all the features of several networks in one powerful and versatile social platform.

 

“TalkStuff will be combining all the amazing features of several social networks into one. We are not looking to replace Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media network. We are simply going to grab our market share”, she added.

 

Ms. Ogbonna who was optimistic that TalkStuff is going to be a success, assured that despite the steady slide into an economic depression, the need for the average Nigerian to communicate and interact on social platforms has not dissipated, rather, she said the majority of Nigerians now find solace in the online communities they are connected to and look forward to the few moments of escape offered by these platforms.

 

The promoters of the platform, she further stressed were excited to float the social network in Nigeria because of the interest of the present administration in the development of local content as a way of diversifying the economy and drive foreign investments into the country.

 

“With the current high foreign exchange rate, it has become vital that all products and services being provided to Nigerian users and businesses, be mostly home-grown solutions.

 

“TalkStuff will be a platform where people of all ages, social status, and interests will meetup to discuss issues that interest them. The content will be mostly user-generated and will serve as the main form of engagement for current and prospective users”, she said.

 

She said the platform will be affordable to all strata of the Nigerian society and users will have access to information that they need in a simplified setting, and businesses will have access to their target audience easily at more affordable rates.

“A robust website, iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry apps will be used to achieve our mission. The vision of these web applications is … to get Africa talking. She concluded.

Guinness Nigeria begins local manufacturing of spirits in Benin, Nigeria

In a move aimed at reducing the import dependent profile of the Nigerian economy, creating more jobs and boosting the local sourcing of raw materials, a leading manufacturer and Nigeria’s only total alcohol beverage company, Guinness Nigeria Plc, has commissioned a new production line that will support the local manufacturing of some of its spirits brands in Nigeria. Some of the brands to be manufactured locally include Smirnoff X1 intense chocolate vodka, Smirnoff Extra Smooth Vodka, Gordon’s Dry Gin, Moringa Citrus Blend, McDowell’s No. 1 Reserved Whisky, McDowell’s VSOP and Royal Challenge Finest Premium Whisky.

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L-R: Non Executive Director, Bismark Rewane; Vice-Chairman, John O’Keffe; Company Secretary, Rotimi Odusola; Chairman, Babatunde Savage, and Managing Director/CEO, Peter Ndegwa all of Guinness Nigeria Plc at the 66th Annual General Meeting of the company which held at the Flamingo Hall of the Best Western Hotel, Benin, Edo state.

The production line, with a design capacity of 1.2 million cases, is located within the Guinness Brewery, Ikpoba Hill, Benin city. It was commissioned by the Executive Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki on November 29, 2016 in at amidst pomp, fanfare and commendation for this landmark stride by Guinness Nigeria. Governor Obaseki, who nostalgically recalled his long personal relationship with the brand as a stockbroker, commended the board and management of Guinness Nigeria for this feat, and urged other companies to see the current economic recession as an opportunity for backward integration and expansion of their business horizons.

“This is a company I am very close to and very fond of, and so, I am quite excited that one of my first official corporate functions as Governor is to commission the new spirits line for the company. We are very pleased that Guinness is part of the landscape of Benin and Edo State, and has been so since 1974. And so, for us, you are a partner, and as a state, we will take our partnership very seriously. Even though the economic environment in Nigeria today is quite challenging and difficult, for us in Edo State, we see opportunities embedded in those challenges,” Obaseki said.

Governor Obaseki also used the occasion to announce that the Edo state government would like to partner with Guinness Nigeria to create a minimum of two hundred thousand jobs over the next four years in line with his administration’s agenda.

In his remarks, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria, Babatunde Savage described the commissioning as part of the company’s rich and prestigious legacy and a testament to its long term commitment to Nigeria.

 

“Guinness Nigeria has a strong heritage in Nigeria and in Benin since we built our brewery here in 1974 with a robust portfolio of global brands like Guinness and Johnnie Walker to boot. Today, we add to that strong heritage with the commissioning of our spirits production line in Nigeria – a first for Guinness Nigeria. With this line, we are now able to produce previously imported spirits locally and we are able to offer a wider variety of products to our consumers at a more affordable price point,” Savage enthused.

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L-R: Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Babatunde Abayomi Savage; Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Peter Ndegwa;Governor, Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; and Guinness Benin Brewery Plant Manager, Kingsley Imade at the commissioning ceremony of the new Guinness Spirits Production Line at the Guinness Benin Brewery, Ikpoba Hill, Benin.

Savage also reiterated the company’s commitment to making a marked and positive difference in the lives of Nigerians via strategic social interventions.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, Guinness Nigeria is interested in more than running a profitable business, we are also enriching our communities with investments in the areas of provision of water, health facilities and education scholarships to mention a few. As an example, in the water sector to date, we have impacted over 1.5million people in Nigeria through the provision of potable water to 25 communities in 14 States across Nigeria,” Savage said.

President, Diageo Africa, John O’Keffe, noted that the commissioning reinforces Guinness Nigeria’s position as the first and only Total Beverage Alcohol (TBA) Company in Nigeria.

“Guinness Nigeria is now able to offer a truly broad portfolio of beer, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks to consumers at every category and price point. Innovation is a competitive advantage for us in this market and we have a strong innovation pipeline with plans to introduce some exciting new products for our consumers to enjoy.

Also our commitment to local sourcing is further strengthened by the commissioning of this plant that will produce preciously imported spirits, using locally supplied raw materials.  As part of our broader local raw materials (LRM) sourcing, we are looking to increase our locally sourced production inputs to 70% in the coming years,” O’Keffe mentioned.

Some dignitaries present at the occasion include Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Peter Ndegwa, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, Edo State Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor,  the Chief of Staff, Edo State Government, Taiwo Akerele.

 

 

Oluwasegun Abifarin At 50

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein

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Oluwasegun Abifarin, Media and Content Manager, TPT International

I woke up today to the miracle of breasting the golden tape. It has been a dramatic race shaped by God, people and events. I have crossed many paths and in the process, crossed the path of so many people who have greatly helped my race. The journey has taken me from primary school to the university and through the ranks of journalism/communication profession. Apart from the huge gratitude to God Almighty, I also want to use the day to acknowledge/appreciate those people our paths have crossed in the race of the last fifty years

Right from my first day at United Anglican Primary School, Ekan Meje, Oke Ero Local Government of Kwara State in 1973, I can still remember Amos Oludare, Segun Olajide, Ezekiel Olayemi, Thomas Adekeye, Victor Alao and the rest. At Fatima College, also at Ekan Meje, some of them include Jide Ogunsola, Patrick Dawodu, Anthony Bamigboye, Femi Abidoye, Oye Raphael, Tony Ashaolu, Tobi Osinowo, Kayode Ajibola, Michael Olajire Ipe, Simeon Abiodun Kolawole, etc

After I moved to Igbobi College Lagos, for my HSC, I met Chris Kehinde Nwandu, CKN, Kayode Jackson, Seun Anifowose, Fashola (can’t remember the first name) Segun Osinaike and the rest.

At the University of Lagos, the long list include Ademola Olajire, Abiodun Enayon, Kingsley Johnson, Grace Awodu, Tola Fashoro, Bola Olawuyi, Ose Osamendan, Salami Shuiabu, Femi Akorede, Biodun Bayo, Simon Kolawole, Waziri Adio, Gbenga Olawepo, Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, Ola Abiola, Segun Mayegun, Kenneth Nwachukwu, Emman Onyeche, Silas Abayomi, Kunle Akinjogbin, Femi Owoeye, Doyin Adewunmi, Temitope Jinadu , Agboola Alphonso, Bolaji Abdulahi and numerous others

My taste of journalism at Business Today Newspaper brought me in contact with Ted Iwere, Edem Vindah,  Doifie Ola etc, before I moved to The News Magazine at inception in 1993. The Journey at The News at Osolo way, Oshodi brought my path across that of Dapo Olorunyomi, Bayo Onanuga, Seye Kehinde, Idowu Obasa, Ayo Arowolo, Muyiwa Adekeye, Jenkins Alumona, Akin Adesokan, Ebenezer Obadare, Semiu Salami, Peju Sanni, Biodun Fagunjade, Simon Kolawole, Demola Olajire and other members of that great team.

At Financial Standand, Ayo Arowolo came my way again, just like Simon Kolawole, Yemi Ajayi, Uche Chris and Haniel Ukpakure. When I moved with Simon Kolawole to The Week Magazine in 2001, my path crossed that of Clement Okitikpi, Laurence Ani, Dayo Thomas, Gregory Nwaknuor, Anayo Okorie, Alex Ogundadegbe, Ismaila Adebowale, Femi Kolawole, Deji Ademigbuji. Others include Adeola Yusuf, Anietie  Ekong, Kunle Olafioye, Olawale Abideen, Jude Atupulazi, Aliyu Askira, Nneka Okoli, Tola Odusote, Nta Daniel, Faith Akagha etc

The journey to The Source brought my way across that of Dame Comfort Obi, Igho Akeregha, Yakubu Yusuf, Bayo Bernard, Osas Ogbonwan, Stephen Ubana, Marcel Okoro, etc

The Communication profession has also brought me in contact with Adetokunbo Modupe, Charles Igbinidu, Joe Okonmah, Oladele Olakunle, Onos Akusu, Kufre Ekanem, Patrick Olowokere, Emeka Aniukwu, Ifedayo Adegbenro, Ify Odita, Abiodun Ayodeji, Tosin Tiodunmo. My media partners in the Print, Broadcast and Online media are just too numerous to mention here

The membership of my professional groups has brought me in contact with Olufunke Fadugba, Funke Egbemode, Baba Dantiye, Wahab Oba, Deji Elumoye, Slyva Okereke, Femi Adesina, Angela Agoawike, Garba Shehu and others.

Above all, the journey has been very dramatic: my enrollment in primary school; my admission to college; my admission to Unilag; my union activism in the school; the attempt by Unilag to stop my Master’s degree admission; my marriage and the coming of the twins – all dramatic stories still waiting to be told.

Today is a day of gratitude – to God and to man. This is my story; this is my song

COWBELLPEDIA WINNERS REVEAL METHODS AND TACTICS TO BEAT MATHEMATICS PHOBIA

Winners and teachers in the just concluded 2016 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz Show have revealed the various strategies to ‘arrest’ the Mathematics phobia.

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Juliet Ekoko and Ayooluwa Oguntade, both of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun, winning the star prize

Mathematics, regarded as the bedrock of science, spreads phobia in the minds of several students that has resulted in the below average performance in the subject at the Senior School Certificate examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO).

The mental ‘warfare’ over the 2016 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz Show 2016 which started with a qualifying written examination in March 2016 ended recently with Juliet Ekoko and Ayooluwa Oguntade, both of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State winning the star prize in the Junior and Senior categories respectively.

Oguntade who ascribed his success to his teachers and the Cowbell class that was organised by his school before the competition, however advised his colleagues who have phobia for mathematics to confront their fears for the subject. ‘Mathematics phobia is about attitude, the solution is to face and resist your fear and it shall flee from you,” he said.

Ekoko who aspires to be a medical doctor, also noted that the Mathematics phobia exists in the mind and only a positive mental attitude can defeat it. “It is an unreal fear, and the moment you don’t give in to its intimidation, you have conquered it. It is like a toothless roaring lion, which looks dangerous, but in the final analysis, harmless,” she said.

Oluwatunmise Idowu, a finalist in the junior category, hinted that only a constant practice of the subject can erase the fear. “A proverb says familiarity brings contempt. It is like that for Mathematics; the more you get yourself familiar through constant practice, the more you rise above the fear. I spent an average of four hours on Mathematics daily, and it has worked for me,” Idowu who set a new competition record by answering 17 questions in 60 seconds, said.

Idowu’s sentiment was reiterated by Adegoke Aromolaran, a finalist in the Senior category, who disclosed that the subject has become a sort of analgesic for him, through constant practice. Aromolaran, an Ijesa Prince added that he practices Mathematics for five hours daily.

Aside the students, the teachers also revealed their methods and tactics of handling the phobia. Kola Bello, a Mathematics teacher with The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, who is also the teacher of Oguntade, explained that since a lot of students see mathematics as difficult subject, he advises them to attack the subject, because, like in football, attack is the best form of defense.

He added that Mathematics is about mentality and that both the teachers and the students must be in a proper frame of mind to excel.

“I not only teach, but I inspire my students. I behave like Coach Jose Mourinho, formerly of Chelsea FC, but now with Manchester United FC of England. Mathematics is about mentality; once you believe it is difficult, it will become difficult. That is why I tune the mind of my students and advise them to have a winning mentality.

Wasiu Oladimeji, a Mathematics teacher at Ota Total Academy has likened solving of Mathematics problems to the simple mechanism of driving a car. He added that Mathematics equation is about rules and methods that apply in any part of the world.

Also, Essien Bassey, a Mathematics teacher at Pegasus High School, Eket, Akwa Ibom State disclosed that her method of “preaching Mathematics like a church sermon” has helped greatly in sustaining the interest of her students in the subject.

Bassey explained that Mathematics is a subject that requires a lot of emotions on the part of the teacher, and on the part of the students.

Ambassadors College Proprietor, Mr. Samson Yomi Osewa, credited the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show for helping the school put a system in place to improve the performance of its pupils in Mathematics.

Osewa said the school started its improvement strategy as far back as 2006 when its first representative to the then sponsored Mathematics Competition by Cowbell placed over 100th position in the first stage examination in Ogun State.

The pharmacist-turned-educationist said putting regular training for Mathematics in place and providing incentives for both teachers and pupils had a ripple effect on the overall academic performance of the school in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the Cambridge IGCSE.

“Here, we believe anything worth doing is worth doing well. One of our secrets for Mathematics is that we have trained teachers that we remunerate well. And for the students, apart from the Cowbellpedia prizes, we give our own prizes and even scholarship

“This TV Quiz Show played a significant role.  We can’t forget Cowbell in the school.  They helped us to focus – to do one thing or the other.  And we said if we can achieve in Cowbellpedia, why can’t we do same in WASSCE, and Cambridge?” he said

Osewa also said Ambassadors School has 17 Mathematics teachers – and it is normal for more than one teacher to be in a class at once.

“We have more than one teacher teaching a class.  In our Senior classes, we have nothing less than three teachers teaching Mathematics at the same time.  As one is teaching, one is marking what they are doing,” he said.