Thursday, October 9, 2014

Governor Fashola’s Key Note Address @ Real Estate Unite 2014…

Experts, investors, professionals and other stakeholders in the real estate sector have said that the growth of this sector, which is considered critical to the growth of the economy, is dependent on infrastructure development and sustainable financing, noting that the sector’s contribution to national GDP estimated at 7 percent is too low given its enormous potential.

In his keynote address at the conference, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, highlighted approaches that could bring about sustainable financing for the sector, citing the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS) and how the scheme underpins his administration’s ability to create a sustainable financing mechanism that could provide affordable homes for the middle class.

Fashola, who described the initiative as a typical sustainable affordable housing strategy, assured that by the scheme’s one year anniversary, it would have produced equal number of housing units which the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has struggled to produce in its 22 years of existence.

According to him, one of the sustainable mechanisms instituted by the state to drive the scheme is the monthly savings of N500 million from the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR), revealing that as part of efforts to spur growth in the real estate sector, the state government has resolved to share the cost of providing infrastructure between itself and homeowners.

“What we do is to provide some of the infrastructure such as the main access roads into private estates and LagosHOMS but for the internal roads, the cost is shared among all the residents to be paid over a period,” he said, adding that the absence of sustained infrastructure provision in any society encourages slums development.

Oracle Launches Capacity-Building Programme to Close IT Skills Gap in Africa

Strategy to develop relevant skills among youth, graduates, employees and entrepreneurs

Oracle Corporation today announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa. The four-pronged program was devised as a response to the rapid adoption of new technologies by governments and businesses in Africa, exacerbating the shortage of suitably skilled practitioners to use the systems to best advantage.

According to Oracle, the dramatic advancement of technology over the past five years has resulted in a gap in IT competencies and skills availability. Organizations in Africa are adopting new technologies at a rate which is outstripping the availability of appropriately qualified staff.

"Today IT holds the promise to promote social inclusion, combat corruption, expand the digital economy and enable stronger links between citizens and governments, businesses and customers, NGOs and the communities they serve," said Alfonso Di Ianni, Senior Vice President, Oracle East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa."They can do this and at the same time dramatically reduce costs and improve efficiency. However for technology to support such transformation, organizations must have ready access to people capable of setting up and maintaining these systems."

Consisting of four elements – employee readiness, ecosystem readiness, workforce readiness and youth readiness, Oracle is reaching out to governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations to implement a long term skills strategy that will help fulfill demand for relevant IT skills.

Supporting Quotes

"Using the materials and manpower from Oracle University, Oracle Academy, Oracle Partner Enablement, Oracle Sales Consulting and the Public Sector Center of Excellence, Oracle will, in partnership with the organization or community, create programs addressing their skills need," said Orfhlaith Ni Chorcora, Senior Director, Business Development at Oracle."Two such partnerships are already underway with the Lagos State government in Nigeria and Equity Group Foundation in Kenya to jointly drive successful initiatives tailored to the local needs.

"Building a competitive pool of IT-skilled youth in the state is a priority for Lagos State," said Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN). "To successfully achieve this goal, it takes multi-stakeholder support and long term collaboration with organizations such as Oracle who share our deepest commitment to building skills and creating exciting job opportunities for the youth of Lagos. We are off to a good start and look forward to increasing that impact in the coming months."

"In the emerging economic order, basic computer literacy means the ability not only to use software, but also to modify or create; in other words, to program," said Dr. Helen Gichohi, Managing Director of Equity Group Foundation. "For them to compete internationally we must also raise their ICT competencies to global standards and keep them intellectually curious, creative and motivated to critically think about their surroundings."

Supporting Resources

Download Capacity-Building Program Infographic

Video interview: Alphonso Di Ianni, Oracle Vice President, East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Orfhlaith Ni Chorcora, Senior Director, Business Development, describe the components of the capacity-building programme and its importance for the Africa region.

Source: APO

Omonile Free Plots In Our Value Added Estates

Omonile Free Plots In Our Value Added Estates
Price in Naira: NGN 750,000
Location: Lagos Island West, Lagos
Last update:

Vetra ventures limited is availing individuals, corporate bodies and other interested parties the opportunity to own plots in its estates free from omonile crisis and government acquisition also documentation is available for these plots. Hurry now and make Vetra ventures your partner for development. Note that all our plots are 648sqms or 60 by 120. We provide a global C of O and deed of assignment or sublease depending on the estate allocation letters and receipts of payments both for outright purchase or instalments Skygate estate ibeju lekki is beside the ibeju secretariat and it goes for 4.350m outright and 4.5m with a down payment of 1m and the rest spread for 10months crystal park estate phase 2 in mowe-ofada neighbors include sherry view estate and Christians university for 1.5m outright only. 

Nigeria: How Policy Somersaults, Corruption, Indiscipline Plague Public Schools, By Educationists

OPEN Educational Resources (OER) programme specialist for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr. Abel Caine, has commended the management of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for its efforts towards converting its courses to OER.

When courses are converted to OER, they are delivered as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Caine who spoke during the opening ceremony of a recent two-day UNESCO-NOUN OER/MOOC's sensitisation workshop in Lagos, said the purpose of the workshop was to extensively assess six existing NOUN courses for transformation into fully licensed OER and MOOCs format.
The OER-MOOCs are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain, or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

The workshop, which is a direct follow-up of the first Africa workshop for the Globalising OpenUpEd project, according to Caine, would allow participants and NOUN to have a clear understanding of the challenges, time frames and required resources.
"OER would create a platform for NOUN to share their huge intellectual wealth so that other educational institutions within Nigeria, Africa and globally could use them free of cost, as well as with the legal freedom to adapt them," Caine stated.

"It would interest you to know that through the vision of the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof Vincent Tenebe, the institution has become the first tertiary institution in Nigeria and West Africa to have made a significant commitment to OER and MOOCs," the UNESCO chief informed adding, "MOOCs would also allow NOUN to deliver their courses in a new format especially for mobile phones so that millions of learners can access knowledge."
"If the NOUN OER-MOOCs project is successful, it could be highlighted at the 2015 World Education Forum in Seoul, South Korea in May 2015, and this will bring global prestige and partnership opportunities for NOUN and Nigeria as a country," he added.

He called on other tertiary institutions in the country to key into the vision in order to create opportunities to address the tertiary education access challenge facing the country's education system.
Caine further stated that if tertiary institutions in the country embrace the initiative, it would to a large extent, open more doors to, not only Nigerians, but also Africans yearning for qualitative education in the most stress freeway.

His words, "NOUN has made efforts to transform its course materials to OER and we all know that it is currently the only institution in Nigeria committed to this project. Meanwhile, in Africa, there are several institutions in South Africa and Ghana that have keyed into this project. Our organisation is always set to introduce OER to the tertiary education system in different countries."
He said the project allows access for personalised learning; fosters innovation; improved availability of materials; improved technical quality as well as improve coherence across courses.

Tenebe in his remarks hinted that OER has emerged as a concept with great potential to support educational transformation, adding that NOUN being a forerunner in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Africa was set to key into it.
"There is only one key differentiator between an OER and any other educational resource, which is its licence. The OER incorporates a licence that facilitates re-use and potential adaptation without first requesting permission from the copyright holder. NOUN has decided to embrace this concept and run it in order not to be left behind," Tenebe informed.

Nigeria: Navy Impounds 2,000 Gallons of Petroleum Products

The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday in Lagos said it impounded over 2,000 gallons of petroleum products from some suspected vandals' hideout at Majidun in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The products, which were concealed in 50 litres jerry cans, were lifted from the hideout by the Navy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that men of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies assisted the Navy in the operation.

The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade, told newsmen that the operation, which took his men sleepless nights, was carried out following a tip-off from the public.
He said "as you may be aware the Federal Government has been confronted with the challenges of combating illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
"These illegal activities have not only led to significant loss in revenue accruable to the Federal Government, but also cause damage to strategic installations which require colossal amount of money to repair.

"Pipeline vandalism has also led to pollution of the maritime environment and in some cases, fire disasters resulting in loss of lives and property.
"Communities like Majidun, Arepo, Ogolonto and Makoko in Ikorodu Local Government area of Lagos State are renowned for illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
"The perpetrators use self-propelled barges and wooden boats to ferry the stolen products to their destinations.
"They are also usually armed to confront anyone that attempts to stop their operation."
Alade said the operation, code-named "AWATSE", which literally means SCATTER, was aimed at dislodging the perpetrators of the illegal act.
"The operation was initiated by the Nigerian Navy and supported by the Nigerian Army and it is still ongoing.

"The operation has yielded success and so far; persons arrested after interrogation and confirmed as culprits, would be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency.
"The products will be handed over to the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) for storage, pending termination of the operation," he said.
The Naval chief said that on completion of the operation, the Navy would consider establishing a base in the area.
He appealed to residents of Majidun to be patient and assured them that the operation would soon be over.

"Whatever we are doing here is also in the interest of the residents of Majidun and the economic survival of the nation," he said.
Alade also appealed to the public to provide the Navy with useful information to assist it in apprehending the perpetrators.
He said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, had zero tolerance for maritime crimes in the country.
A resident of the area, Mrs Kafaya told newsmen that she was aware oil bunkering was taken place in the area but did not know it was illegal.
Another resident, Mr Kazeem Ariyo, commended the Navy saying its men had done 'a good job.'

Nigeria: Flood Affects 200 People in Katsina

The Katsina State Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday said 200 people had been affected by flood in the state this year.
The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Alhaji Hassan Rawayau, disclosed this Katsina at the opening of a 3-day workshop on "Strengthening Sub-National Humanitarian Co-ordination".
The workshop was organised by the Agency in collaboration with Coalition of Civil Society for Poverty Eradication (CCSPE), an NGO.

Rawayau said the affected persons were from Bakori and Musawa local government areas, adding that there was no injury or loss of lives during the disaster.
He said the state government had distributed relief materials worth N5 million to the victims.
He said about 4,000 people in 21 local government areas of the state were affected by simialr disaster last year.

The Programme Coordinator of CCSPE, Mr Peter Egwudah, said in his speech that the group had selected 30 stakeholders for the workshop.
He said the event was organised to prepare participants for effective disaster management.
Egwudah urged the participants to improve their coordination during emergency situations to save lives and property. (NAN)

Google explains why it shut down Linda Ikeji’s blog

Over the weekend, Linda Ikeji was accused by a number of people of constantly plagiarizing and lifting articles from websites without giving credit to original sources.  As a result, the blog was shut down yesterday. The action has since sparked lots of controversies as many of her fans took to the various social media pages to lament and blame ‘witches’ and ‘haters’ for the tragedy.

Clearing the air on the misconception, Google’s Manager for Communications and Public Affairs, Anglo-Phone West Africa, Taiwo Kolade-Ogunlade, in a chat with Punch newspaper, explained why the blog was taken down.

Nigeria: Enough of Crocodile Tears for Adekunle

The demise of Brigadier Benjamin Maja Adekunle, the commander of the 3rd Marine Commando of the Nigerian Army during the civil war between 1967 and 1970, has exposed further the hypocrisy of the Nigerian elite. History is replete with the exploits of Adekunle in the war, but for his truculence, the war would have dragged on for years. However, he was not acknowledged by the government of his days because of his larger than life personality, his brilliance, and fame, which overshadowed those of his peers and superiors in the Army. His unceremonious retirement might have resulted from envy rather than allegations levied against him. Unfortunately for him, he was neither here nor there after the cessation of hostilities, because the Nigerian side, which he laboured to keep one, did not reward him, and the Biafran side, which he helped in taming, detested him.

The refusal of some Igbo members in the House of Representatives to observe a minute silence to honour him was symbolic of hatred for him, even in death. In actual fact, Adekunle belongs to the class of Nigerian heroes and heroines who were denied recognition by the State for their lofty contributions to the development of the nation. Inversely, many Nigerians of shady characters with no clear cut contributions to the development of the nation except being political office holders or close to the corridors of power, either at the state or federal level are honoured with the national awards.

What an irony?

Eulogies and tributes trailing the demise of Adekunle from eminent Nigerians are surprising because he had been bedridden for quite some time, with very few people paying attention to him. But for one of his juniors in the military, Gen. Alabi Isama, who brought his pathetic condition to the open through an interview he had in some national dailies, Adekunle would have died in solitude, and this is the way the hypocrites would be hailing his dead body.

It is pathetic that providence had foisted on Nigeria its second eleven in major positions of responsibilities. The travail of Adekunle in the hands of the military and the government of his day could be understood in the above context.

One takes solace in the words of the ex-Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, in a letter he wrote to Luis Conte Aguero in 1953, "Epitaph is not at the moment a monument to the martyrs who have fallen. We cannot even speak of peace for the dead in this oppressed land, but posterity which is always more generous with the good will build these monuments in their memories, and in due time, future generation will revive the tribute/honour owed those who saved the fatherland's honour in the time of infinite shame".

Sad Business for T.B Joshua as Religious Tourists Shun Synagogue

These are not the best times for T.B Joshua's Synagogue church of all Nations.The Church was was a mecca of sorts from people around the world ,is said to be seriously affected after the collapse of it's lodging quarters which resulted in the death of 115.Usually ,people from all over ,book months ahead for a chance to gain entry and meet the man of God for healing.

According to a report by Punch ,the premises was desolate during the Eid-Kabir holidays a there were no visitors that were milling around the gates for enquiries.

    "The Ejigbo-Ikotun Road, a major access to the religious centre, was also free of the typical gridlock that welcomes visitors to the Synagogue.The parking lots were also unoccupied just as roads leading to the car parks and offices were bare.

    A security guard said the church was not deserted but affected by the “panic people expressed when there is a disaster at a location.”He said those who were faithful to the church still turned up for programmes as usual.But a resident of the area, Kazim Owolabi, said things had never been the same since the September 12 incident.

Owolabi, who is a part-time hotel agent, said,

     “I have not brokered any business in the past three weeks. I think a lot of people have misunderstood what is happening here. Somebody even asked me on the telephone whether it is true that the government has taken over the place. Since many people who come from outside Lagos are not sure of the true situation, they called off their appointments.”