Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Government of Nigeria prepared to do anything for peace in the Niger Delta

After numerous military assaults on the militants and just a few days ago offering them Amnesty in which they declined. The Nigerian government has agreed to release the leader of MEND, Mr. Henry Okah.


 


The spokesman for the Nigerian President, Olusegun Adeniyi made this statement: "Henry Okah will be offered the amnesty after the president has sent the envoy to Angola, and if Angola accepts, he will be released." Even though the president has promised clemency to Mr. Okah, his release is dependent upon the Angolan government, where he was arrested in 2007. According to General Boyloaf, the leader of MEND, "If Mr Okah was released within a week, MEND would give up all its arms, and would not keep a bullet."


Afrik.com




Monday, June 29, 2009

Oil prices rise $71. a barrel after MEND shut down Shell in Nigeria



The sudden rise in the price of oil to $71. a barrel comes as a result of Nigerian militants known as MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) blowing up oil facilities operated by Royal Dutch Shell.


Mike Sander who is an investment adviser with Sander Capital in Seattle had this to add on the issue “Nigeria exports roughly 2 million barrels a day of crude oil, which is not a huge percent of global supply, but any disruption to global supplies will cause prices to go up,”


Bloomberg


Related stories: MEND declares "all out war" in the Niger Delta


CNN shows how to contact MEND






Shell suspends operations in Nigeria


Shell has decided to suspend operations in Nigeria. According to a Shell top official,  the reason for the suspension is due to five major militant attacks on Utorogu-UPS trunk line on January 7; the Amukpe-Rapele manifold attack of January 11; the Trans Escravos-Forcados River manifold attack of February 28; the Trans-Forcados pipeline (Chanomi Creek manifold) attack of June 12; and the militant attack on Trans Ramos pipeline on June 16.


The Shell official added "These (suspension of operations) will impact on contractors; it will impact on Federal Government revenues and it will impact on our revenues."


Here are parts of a confidential document from Shell pertaining to the suspension of operations in Nigeira:



"As always, the safety of our staff and contractors is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation and continue to take all necessary measures to ensure their safety. We have evacuated non-essential staff from key facilities in the western Niger Delta in order to ensure their safety, and regrettably, this means that our community development projects in the Western Niger Delta are slowing down.


"With increasing attacks in the field, it is very unsafe for staff and contractor personnel to maintain production and also implement community development projects. It is obvious that community development projects cannot continue in this atmosphere. This does not lessen our commitment to these projects, but we will not put our staff and contractors in unnecessary danger.


"We have made good progress in the recovery of production in the Western Niger Delta over the last one year but recent attacks by militants have resulted in substantial production losses and impacted progress on this project. The production from EA field (115,000barrels per day) remains shut since early 2006 and we have no firm date for resumption of operations. We are engaging the Delta State Government, contractors and communities. We remain committed to working with the government and local communities, but as always in everywhere we operate, the safety of our staff and contractors is the top priority of SPDC.


"We will continue to assess the security situation based on information at our disposal, and input from relevant authorities, law enforcement agencies, and local people. We will resume operations, only when careful considerations of security and safety of people indicate it is safe for us to do so."



AllAfrica


Related stories: Oil prices fall on Wallstreet after Amnesty offer to Nigerian militants


New source of oil found in the Nigeria Delta by Chinese and Nigerian firms


Video report on refugees from oil war in Niger Delta





R.Kelly plans to pay tribute to Michael Jackson during African tour


R. Kelly plans to pay a special tribute to the King of Pop on the THIS DAY Music Festival Tour. The R&B singer said the tragic circumstance of Jackson's untimely death "has coincided with my current tour and I want to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the mentor and remind people of his genius and influence on all our lives".


"As a result, I have re-focused my shows set-list to include a special tribute to my dear friend when I play tomorrow in Cape Town before hitting Lagos, Abuja and London. But I also hope to collaborate and return with other artists who also knew-and worked with - Michael, to perform an unforgettable showcase in the near future".



The tickets for the Abuja show on July 5, will be sold at THISDAY Dome, Central Business District, Abuja and THISDAY Office, Plot 1,Sector 'B', Jabi Business District, Solomon Lar Way, Jabi North East, Abuja.



AllAfrica





Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nigerian Box Office from June12-14,2009


Terminator Salvation holds on to the number 1 spot in its second week running in Nigerian theatres with a total gross of $76,436. Although the new street fighter movie doesn’t have fan favourites like Ryu or Ken, nostalgia hit Nigerian gamers hard as they rushed to go see Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li which opened in second place with a total gross of $7,264 in its first week on the Nigerian box office. Angels and Demons falls a spot to third in its fifth week on the box office with a total gross of $145,316. Duplicity takes the number four spot with a total gross of $8,102, and Brendan Fraser’s new movie Inkheart opens at fifth place with a total gross of $3,313.


Related story: Nigerian Box Office from June5-June7,2009


 


New American TV Show The Philanthropist starts in Nigeria


The Philanthropist is a new TV show brought to us by American television network NBC. In the first episode set in Nigeria the protagonist Teddy Rist saves a Nigerian kid from drowning, attempts to bribe custom officials in a Nigerian airport, and barters with a Nigerian villager.


Despite a few inaccurate portrayals of Nigerians and Nigeria as a whole. It seems to be a pretty good show or at least unique compared to other shows out there. To watch the first episode check out one of the links below:


episode1


episode1




Saturday, June 27, 2009

Video report of Russian president securing billion dollar deals in Nigeria


In the midst of MEND blowing up oil wells and pipelines in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has managed to secure mutually lucrative business ventures between Russia and Nigeria.


Related story: First visit to Nigeria by a Russian President




Oil prices fall on Wallstreet after Amnesty report in Nigeria


There was a sharp rise in oil prices earlier in the week after MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of The Niger Delta) blew up a wellhead in an oil field operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).


But after the Nigerian government offered amnesty to MEND yesterday. Wallstreet indicators revealed on Friday that the U.S. price of crude oil fell from $1.07 to $69.16 a barrel.


Analyst Daniel Flynn with Alaron Trading in Chicago had this to add about the fluctuation in price of oil “The oil market is following Wall Street right now”.


The ceasefire is scheduled from August 6th to October 4th.


AllAfrica      Canada.com


Related stories: MEND set Chevron pumpin station ablaze


CNN shows how to contact MEND




Thursday, June 25, 2009

EFCC arrest 5 from Nigerian Film Corporation over N12 Million Scam

Five officials from the Nigerian Film Corporation were arrested in Jos on Tuesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for embezzling N12 Million ($81,200).


After interrogations carried out by the EFCC at their headquarters in Abuja, the five officials confessed and promised to refund the money.


Back in February, officials from the Nigerian Film Corporation proposed to the Minister of Information and Communications to move the corporation's headquarters to Abuja. Apparently N11.8 Million was issued for the movement by the ministry, but in April the approval for the move was cancelled.


The five officials from the Nigerian Film Corporation chose not to give the money back to the ministry and decided to share it amongst themselves and others in the corporation.


AllAfrica




CNN covers the Nollywood industry


With Nollywood  being the second largest movie producing industry in the world. CNN'S Christian Purefoy delves into Nollywood to uncover how movies are made on a shoestring budget and the effect piracy has on the Nollywood business model.


Related stories: CNN takes notice to booming Nigeria hip-hop industry


 Nollywood in Retrospect-Video documentary


Nollywood will win international award


Interview with the Father of Nollywood



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Russian President Medvedev first visit to Nigeria


In the first visit by a Russian head of state to Nigeria. President Dmitry Medvedev was welcomed earlier today by Nigeria's Foreign Minister Chief Ojo Maduekwe at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.


President Medvedev is scheduled to meet President Umaru Yar'Adua to sign agreements to boost trade and economic relations between both countries.



R.Kelly concert tickets go on sale in Lagos and Abuja today


The 2009 THISDAY Music Festival tickets have gone on sale today. The artists performings this year are R.Kelly, Lagbaja, D'Banj, Neto C, Wande Cole, and P-Square to name a few.


R.Kelly is scheduled to perform in Abuja and Lagos from July 3 - 5, 2009


Don't forget to leave your young teenage daughters at home for this one!...I kid :P


AllAfrica


Related stories: CNN takes notice to booming Nigerian hip-hop industry


P-Square landlord misbehaving





Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bollywood and Nollywood join forces


The first (Bollywood) and second (Nollywood) largest movie producers in the world have teamed up to have a joint film festival for Bollywood and Nollywood to commemorate the 60th and 50th independence anniversaires of the two countries.


The festival is scheduled to take place in Nigeria by January 2010 and will serve to strenghten the cultural and economic relations between India and Nigeria.


Yesterday, the Indian High Commisioner to Nigeria, Mahesh Sachdev met with the Minister of Information and communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, and expressed how the partnership would benefit the 140 million people of Nigeria and the 1.1. billion people of India.


The Guardian


Related stories: Nollywood in retrospect-video documentary            


SONY to invest in Nigeria




Monday, June 22, 2009

Nigerian criminals using Asian women as drug mules


A show on the telly in Singapore called CRIMEWATCH has aired a recent episode that uncovers the illegal drug trafficking scheme carried out by Nigerians. In the video up top, it shows the process on how the unfortunate victims of this scam are tricked into trafficking and the stiff penalties they face when caught.


Related story: Nigerian executed in China


CNN's video report on the Drug War in Nigeria


Two Nigerian drug traffickers excrete 160 wraps of Cocaine while in custody



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nigeria's Federal Fire service


Deji Badmums reports on the state of the Federal Fire service in Lagos, Nigeria. Even The Onion can't come up with this stuff, and they don't need to...because it's 4realz.


Deji Badmus is The 2008 winner of the CNN Mulitchoice Africa Journalist Award and the Nigeria Media Merit Award for TV reporter of the year.


Related story: Nation in Darkness




Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nigerian Box Office from June 5th to 7th,2009.


I guess Nigerians do like their sci-fi after all! Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins aka "TAMINATO" trounced the competition and topped the box-office in its first week of screening with a total gross of $38,929. This is a sharp contrast compared to other sci-fi franchise Star Trek which has had a dismal performance in Nigerian Theatres. Star Trek is currently 9th in the box-office with a total gross of $8,914 in 4 weeks...Ouch!


Angels & Demons holds tight to the number 2 spot with a total gross of $136,944 in its 4th week of screening. The star power of Clive Owen and Julia Roberts seems to have quite the effect on Nigerian audiences with Duplicity coming in at number 3 in its first week of screening and making a total gross of $3,696. Fast and Furious climbs a step up to the number 4 spot with a total gross of $20,751 in its 8th week. And rounding up the top 5 movies in Nigeria for June 5th-7th is Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian which drops from 4th to 5th in the Nigerian box-office with a total gross of $10,917. I’m looking forward to his 419 movie.


They need to build some more screens in Naija so we can start talking millions instead of thousands.


Boxoffice Mojo


Related story: Nigeria's movie box office receipts for May 29-31, 2009




Nollywood will win international award


According to Hakeem Kae-Kazim who has starred in blockbuster movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, X-MEN Origins and has also done some major TV in roles in 24 and Lost. The Nigerian born actor and producer shares his thoughts on the possibility of a Nigerian made movie winning an international award.


"I have not seen a Nollywood movie as yet win an international award. But it will happen!" he said, adding that, "just as the Indian film industry has now climbed to acceptable international status, it is only a matter of time before Nollywood films reach that height."


Kae-Kazim said besides telling original African stories from an African perspective, Nollywood has great potential to stand the test of time.


"That is why they have had such a reach around the continent and throughout the Diaspora. I believe in a few years, we will see some truly great African cinema, with international production values come out of the Nollywood machine."


Kazim expressed that the way to improve the Nigerian film industry will be by budgeting more money into Nollywood productions and also cutting down piracy to increase the film makers return their investment thereby increasing production value.


He also shared some of his movie making experience:


"I produced a Nollywood movie in the Nollywood style while in South Africa to see what it was like working in that way. And also to see whether it was a way of giving a voice to local film makers who had stories to tell but without the access to the local film making machine- which I felt was more interested in making Eurocentric type of films or films in a more western type of way negating the African voice, even when they had an African theme.


"The film, was called 'Coming to South Africa" and it was about two Nigerians who leave home and head for South Africa to make a better life for themselves. They both find it difficult and one decides to make his way by selling drugs, while the other decides to go and work his way up, starting off as a factory guard to pay his way through college."


AllAfrica.com


Related stories: Nollywood in retrospect-video documentary      Ben stiller making 419 movie




Friday, June 19, 2009

Video - University in Canada high acceptance rate for Nigerians despite tough immigration


University of Windsor in Canada happens to be a big draw for Nigerian students wishing to study abroad. With the Universities high acceptance rate of Nigerian students with exceptional academic credentials, the Canadian immigration process still makes it particularly difficult for these students to begin their studies after getting accepted by the University. The video report up top sheds some light on this issue that Nigerian students have been going through for quite a while.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

The New Africa Shrine back in business


Watch The Shrine reopens in News  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


After being shut down by Nigerian authorities in Lagos. Femi Kuti's club The New Africa Shrine is back in business and serving its happy  patrons with great Afro beat music and sustaining the Legacy of Afro beat legend Fela Kuti...The beat goes on.


Related stories: Nigerian authorities shut down Afro beat mecca


Femi Kuti plays live in NYC 6/4/09





Video report on refugees of the Niger Delta crisis


Due to the Nigerian military offensive on the militant groups disrupting the oil flow in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, hundreds of people of the Gbaramatu Kingdom have been forced to run away from their homes to refugee camps in the surrounding area. Deji Badmus captures their plight in these refugee camps.


Deji Badmus is The 2008 winner of the CNN Mulitchoice Africa Journalist Award and the Nigeria Media Merit Award for TV reporter of the year.




Hacker attempts to help victim of Nigerian 419 scam recover $400,000


An American female minister named Janella thought at first she was dealing with a Bank in Spain in which she has so far lost $400,000. However, upon further investigation it was later revealed to her that all her money has gone to a Nigerian fraudster who calls himself Obi. He apparently was playing the middle man in this financial exchange. Another unfortunate statistic in the Nigerian letter scam.


A hacker on the good side who calls himself Gray Hat has decided  to help Janella get her money back.


It's a shame that in our current generation Nigeria is pretty much synonymous with cyber crime to the point of it becoming a Hollywood movie.


Related story: Ben Stiller making 419 movie


 


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

American sighted hawking on the streets of Lagos


As part of a six moth research project on hawking and street trading in Lagos, Mr. Sean Alsilski from New York decided not to be just another observer and took it upon himself to literally walk the walk and  has been  hawking gala sausage rolls in lagos.


So far he has been attracting large crowds of Lagosians who are curious and amused at the rare sight of a caucasian male hawking food on the streets of lagos.

Mr. Alsilski was earlier reluctant to divulge his true motive for his actions and used excuses like saying he was too busy to talk to anyone as a decoy for the curious inquisitors and continued to sell his gala sausage rolls to motorists who relished the novelty as other observers giggled at the scenario.


But after persistent prompting by a reporter, he finally spilt the beans on his true motives. Here are the quotes from Mr. Alsilski:


“I have been here for five months now, hawking. I have one month to go. I am going to give a presentation to the United States Embassy about my research,”


“Hawkers here are under stress right now from the government and I am studying what the government is doing right now. We can make some recommendations. “Government is harsh on them. Some of them have had their goods taken away. I am not sure that is the best way to go about it. “In some cities, hawkers and traders are given licenses and allowed to go to certain areas to hawk. But hawkers should not be allowed to hawk in places like Oshodi,”


nigeriafilms.com




Unplanned pregnancies on the rise among Nigerian young women

Despite improvements in education for Nigerian teenagers and young women, there has been a rise of unplanned pregnancies in that particular demographic in Nigeria.


The study carried out by the Guttmacher Institute based New-York said low use of contraceptives is one of the reasons of this rise in pregnancies among Nigerian teenagers and young women. The institute also adds that the Nigerian government had failed to promote sexual health information for young Nigerians.


Prof. Friday Okonofua who is the the executive director of the Women's Health and Action Research Centre based in Benin, Nigeria and the co-author of the report had this to add:


"We have made progress in encouraging young people to stay in school, but we are failing Nigerian adolescents when it comes to providing them with the information and services they need to delay marriage and avoid unintended pregnancies,"


"Poor knowledge of family planning services leaves young women vulnerable to risks like unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV."


"advancing the sexual and reproductive health of young Nigerian women will require financial commitment from the government, as well as the political will to translate existing policies into real practices."


BBC         Guttmacher




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New source of oil found in the Niger Delta by Chinese and Nigerian firms


Chinese state owned oil firm called SIPEC and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) have found a new source of crude oil in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.


A well was drilled to a total depth of 11,150 feet before black gold was discovered. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) released this statement confirming the find:


"Initial test on the well indicates that the oil is similar to most oil discovered in Nigeria, that is sweet light crude. Production from the well ranges between 1,284 and 3,110 barrels per day and zero water content,"


NPDC and SIPEC entered into an alliance in 2004 and jointly developed the OML 64 which covers an area of about 278 square kilometres (111 square miles).


Production from the well will commence after a field appraisal is completed.


Let's hope this Chinese owned firm learn from the mistakes of other oil companies like Shell and take in serious consideration the possible repercussions ahead if they decide to conduct business irresponsibly.


Yahoo




Mr. Maguire refutes MEND advocate claim as stated by Militants


Militant group MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) finally released oil worker Mathew Maguire of from the UK who’s been held hostage by the militants since September.


Upon his release, he shared some of his experience of the ordeal with the BBC and this is what he had to say:


"It was... very hard and I had bad moments when I didn't think I'd get out."


"It was ups and downs," Mr Maguire said. "Sometimes they wanted to be friendly and then not so friendly.


"One minute we were going to be released and the next minute we weren't. It was hard, very hard and I had bad moments when I didn't think I'd get out."


"The villagers themselves aren't bad people - they are good people and I'd like to thank them."


Here’s what he had to say about the MEND letter stating that Mr. Maguire had declined to leave because he wanted to stay and help their cause.


"I've always wanted to go home. I was missing my wife and kids, so that's not true."


BBC


Related story: UK hostage now MEND advocate   Nigerian Military launches biggest offensive




Bayelsa United captain shot dead


Just hours after Abiel Tabor helped his team to win the Nigerian Premier League. Abiel Tabor was driving home after celebrating the victory when his car was approached by armed robbers near the town of Oleh, in southern Nigeria's Delta state. He was shot dead as  he tried to drive away from the gunmen.


Tabor had 3 other passengers in the car with him. They were on their way to visit Tabor's family after winning the title.


This tragedy comes a few weeks after two other Bayelsa players were killed. Bayelsa is one of the states in the oil-producing region of Niger Delta where this sort of violence has unfortunately become common place.




Monday, June 15, 2009

Nation in Darkness


Deji Badmus reports on how Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua's objective to have 6000 Megawatts of electricity generated in Nigeria by December,2009 has gone so far and what the people of Nigeria think about the electricity crisis in the country.


Deji Badmus is The 2008 winner of the CNN Mulitchoice Africa Journalist Award and the Nigeria Media Merit Award for TV reporter of the year.


Related story: Video report on Nigeria's fire service in Lagos


CNN reports on Nigeria's electricity crisis



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nigeria's movie box-office receipts for May29-31, 2009

Alright ladies and gentlemen! The box office receipts of Hollywood movies screening in Nigerian theatres has been tallied and the winner of box office supremacy in the month of May is Angels and Demons.


In its third week of screening in a whopping 6 theatres, Tom Hanks and co-star Ewan McGregor have Mesmerized Nigerian audiences in their virtuoso performance in the Ron Howard epic Angels and Demons. The movie has retained its number 1 spot and has so far grossed a staggering $123,985 in its combined 3 week screening in 6 theatres in the entire nation of Nigeria.


Race to Witch Mountain starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has rebounded to take the number 2 spot with a respectable total gross of $20,436 in its 7th week of screening. X-Men Origins maintains its number 3 position with a total gross of $34,041 in its 5th week. Night at the Museum falls from its 2nd position to the 4th highest grossing movie in the last weekend of May with a total gross of $9,786 in its 2 week showing, and the return of  Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast and Furious complete the top 5 list with a solid $19,167 gross in 7 weeks. Sci-Fi Epic STAR TREK drops from 4th to 6th in the list with a total gross of $8,441 in 3 weeks. Be like most Nigerians don’t care much for the Sci-Fi!


My apologies if this report comes off a bit too sarcastic. With those numbers it makes you wonder why distributors even bother...I’m glad they do though :)


Box Office Mojo




Deji Badmus reports on electricity crisis in Nigeria

 



VS














After watching the CNBC special coverage on investing in Nigeria. It's rather interesting to juxtapose Deji's recent report on the electricity crisis in Nigeria and CNBC's Erin Burnett special on investing in Nigeria. How does not being able to provide basic infrastructure needs like 24/7 electricity and MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) misbehaving anyhow weigh against potential lucrative investments in Nigeria...lets watch shall we.


 


Deji Badmus is The 2008 winner of the CNN Mulitchoice Africa Journalist Award and the Nigeria Media Merit Award for TV reporter of the year.


Erin Isabelle Burnett is a business news anchor, reporter and interviewer for CNBC television.


Related stories: MEND set Chevron station ablaze    


Global recession bringing Nigerians back home


 


Nuhu Ribadu, Nigeria's Obama

I came across this great article written by the folks over at The Nigerian Village Square. From time to time I think about Ribadu and Okonjo taking office! Nuhu Ribadu as President and Ngozi Okonjo as Vice President or vice versa. It might be a pipe dream, but after reading this article I have a feeling there is a glimmer of the dream becoming reality.


Hope you enjoy the article written by Jideofor Adibe of The Nigerian Village Square:


 


It is difficult to meet Mallam Nuhu Ribadu without having some sort of likeness for him. I saw the embattled pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the first time at a ‘state of the nation’ symposium organised by the Nigerian Liberty Forum at the Metropolitan University, London, on May 29, 2009. A man whose slender frame and boyish looks often mask his lion heart and iron resolve, Mallam Ribadu easily stole the show at the gathering. He was literally mobbed as he entered the hall, and as he stood to speak, almost everyone, as if by some sort of invisible instigation, stood up in respect, and remained standing for a long time.


I was never a fan of Nuhu Ribadu’s methods as the EFCC chairman. I still hold the EFCC under his watch partly responsible for the joke that was the 2007 elections. I had written about his recent travails as a comeuppance for his misdeeds as chairman of the financial crimes buster. I had strongly disagreed with arguments that he meant well despite his obvious excesses, noting that even the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Mallam Ribadu spoke on Nigerian unity, making what some people would regard as a populist appeal for Nigerians to overcome their differences and come together to reclaim the Nigerian state from a corrupt and visionless elite. He argued that there was really no substantial difference in the needs and aspirations of ordinary Nigerians, irrespective of their ethnicities and other primordial differences, because “all they ask for are the basic necessities of life.” For Ribadu, the Nigerian elites like to harp on the differences among Nigerians, because it is in their interest to do so, to “keep us divided”. He called himself a simple Fulani man, whose role model had always been Gani Fawehinmi, a man he said he would name Abuja after, if he had his way. He rhetorically asked, to thunderous applause, whether we are being fair to the likes of Wole Soyinka and Anthony Enahoro, who had given over 50 years of their life in the struggle to make Nigeria better, but are still forced to remain in active service because the problems of the country appear to remain intractable.


I respected Mallam Ribadu for not using the forum to get back to the Nigerian government, his current traducers. He wisely focused on positive messages, admitting that mistakes were made when he was boss of EFCC. There was something about the way he spoke that touched most people in the audience, including those of us who are his ardent critics. It was easy to believe that he spoke from his heart rather than from his head.


As Mallam Ribadu spoke, I noticed that a Nigerian lady sitting next to me was struggling to hold back her tears. “This is a very honest man, a very rare Nigerian”, she muttered, more to herself.I tried to engage her in a discussion. I agreed that Nuhu was obviously an honest man, who meant well and had a lot of passion for the job he did as EFCC chairman. I however disagreed that his good intentions were enough excuses for some of his unacceptable methods. Her facial expression changed as if I had uttered a heresy.


“Whether any one likes it or not, he will be our next president”, she muttered and moved farther away from me as if to clearly indicate that she did not want to pursue that discussion any further.


Nuhu Ribadu for president? Though not his supporter, I have always believed firmly that in Nigeria’s game of musical chairs, his rehabilitation would be only a matter of time, and his traducers would inevitably one day take their own turn of being painted as villains. This is one of the iron laws of our politics: there are no permanent messiahs or permanent villains. Just think of Abacha, the poster boy of Nigerian dictatorship and corruption, and the efforts made not long ago by a section of the country to rehabilitate him.


In the Tube (underground train) on my way home from the symposium, I found myself standing next to three gentlemen who had apparently also attended the event. The discussion was again on Nuhu Ribadu.


“He is very inspirational. He is our Obama”, one of the three men, who looked Caucasian to me, declared. I decided to barge into the discussion but resisted the temptation to ask the gentleman if he was indeed Nigerian. I asked whether the genius of Obama was because he was inspirational or because he was post-racial, and a reconciler, with wisdom and good organisational sense.


“Nigeria needs an enlightened leader who can inspire confidence in Nigerians, whom Nigerians will be proud of, and who genuinely wants to transform the country,” he declared.


I agreed that Ribadu inspires confidence and will make a genuine effort to transform Nigeria if he becomes president of the country but again expressed concerns about his democratic credentials. I reminded them that when he was boss of the EFCC he virtually kidnapped or forced some House of Assembly members in Plateau state to impeach their Governor. I also reminded the three gentle men that during the 2007 elections Ribadu appeared to sit in his office and decide people to disqualify from running for office before finding evidence against them.


“I don’t think you will vote for him, will you? Your question to the founder of Sahara Reporters [the online blog] gave you away”, the bulkiest of the three, with obvious Nigerian features asked, with a smile of superior wisdom.I had asked Omoyele Sowore if he ever saw anything good in the Nigerian government. I also accused him of appearing to romanticise the Niger Delta militants, and of failing to distinguish between the cause they espouse (which most Nigerians support) and their methods (which many find abhorrent).


“Look brother”, began the third man, “we Nigerians made Obama President of the United States. More than 25 percent of the people who organised and knocked on doors for Obama are Nigerians. Nuhu is not perfect. But do you think any of the people currently being touted as presidential candidates in Nigeria will be better than Nuhu”. He had a slight Igbo accent.


I agreed with him that if Nuhu ever becomes Nigeria’s president, it would never be business as usual and that he will be prepared to give his life to make a difference. I however once again reiterated my concern about his antecedents, including a tendency to be carried away by emotions.


As we disembarked and went our different ways, what became obvious to me is that Nigerians have not heard the last of Nuhu Ribadu.


Related stories: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo for President


Nuhu Ribadu testifies before U.S. Financial Services Committee




Saturday, June 13, 2009

CNBC covers investment Nigeria

As part of a one-hour television special called "Dollars & Danger: Africa, The final Investing Frontier", CNBC'S Erin Burnett visits Nigeria to reveal investment prospects in the country. Below are a series of insightful interviews with Erin Burnett and a number of movers and shakers in the business sector of Nigeria.














 














 














 














 














 














 














 














 




























Minister wants Abuja in the top 20 cities in the world


The minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, Senator Mohammed Adammu Aliero is attempting to position the capital as one of the 20 best cities in the world.


The secretary of the Social Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Authority, Senator Bala Adamu had this to add on the Minister’s objective:


"Immediately he assumed duties it was clear he wanted Abuja re-branded. He came with the vision of making Abuja one of the greatest cities in the world. He wants to make Abuja one of the best 20 capital cities in the world in line with Mr President's Vision 2020 project",


Gotta commend his spirit and enthusiasm. Check allAfrica for more details on this delusion of grandeur.




Mikel Obi responds to Super Eagles boycott rumour


After the Nigerian press released reports rumours of the Nigerian football star wanting to boycott playing in future matches for the Super Eagles. Mikel Obi has released this statement in response to the allegations:


“That is far from the truth. How can I or any other sane player harbour such a bad feeling when what we are all fighting for is the common good. Tell me, what would I gain if I say I am going to stop playing for Nigeria or boycott the game against Tunisia? Nothing! I want to play at the world cup and I can only do that by giving my all to Nigeria,’’


dailytrust




Friday, June 12, 2009

Mikel Obi MIA for Super Eagles

English FA Cup champ and Super eagles player Mikel Obi has been reported MIA by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), apparently this is most likely due to the troubled relationship between him and Super eagles coach Shuaibu Amodu.


It was gathered that Mikel Obi was unhappy with the way he was treated by the team coaching crew in the World Cup qualifier against Kenya and subsequently did not play in the match.


He has also deliberately made himself unavailable to take photographs for his new international passport according to this statement by the NFF:


“ He did not show up for his new passport that’s his business”


“We have not used him in the last three matches, so we will not miss him at all. If he fails to turn up, it simply means he has ruled himself out of the team.”


AllAfrica






Thursday, June 11, 2009

What recession? Real Madrid bid £80m for Ronaldo


Real Madrid have officially set the world record for the highest bid in football history. Manchester United have accepted the £80m bid that Real Madrid have put up for Ronaldo.


The spanish club  realeased this statement:


"Real Madrid confirm they have made an offer to Manchester United for the acquisition of the rights of the player Cristiano Ronaldo"


With the recent signing of AC Milan hero Kaka and now Ronaldo. Real Madrid are doing all they can to return to the glory days of the Galacticos era and literally giving current Barca champs a run for their money!




Poison Fire-Video documentary on the Niger Delta


Watch Poison Fire in News  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


Poison Fire is a video documentary made by film maker Lars Johansson. It explores the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta of Nigeria and also shows in vivid detail the repercussions of exploiting a land where the most valuable commodity in the world is found.




Wednesday, June 10, 2009

African entrepreneurs launching social network called Naijaborn


Our current generation is beginning to shape the future of Africa. And from the looks of things so far, it's going to be one pretty face. With the inherent creativity and ingenuity ingrained in most Africans DNA, a crop of very internet savvy Africans have taken the internet by storm. I had the privilege of chatting with one of the creators of the new social network that's about to hit the interwebs and here's how the interview went down:


 


NAIJAFEED How far, can you tell us who you are and what Naijaborn is all about?


Interviewee My name is Mambe Churchill Nanje. I'm a 23yr old African who is currently the CEO/Creator of AfroVisioN Group www.afrovisiongroup.com. I'm also the co-founder and president of technology at Naijaborn. I've been in the software development business for four years.


 


NAIJAFEED What's your inspiration for starting Naijaborn?


 


MAMBE Naijaborn stands for Nigerian born, so basically we realized there wasn't any platform out there that's been able to present all the Nigerian talent to the world and in turn helping them make more of their talents. So Naijaborn is here to fill that void. A lot of people wish to do business with Nigerians, but they don't know who, where, or how to go about it. So Naijaborn is a place where Nigerians can introduce themselves to the world, showcase their various talents, and it also just serves as a platform where Nigerians and the rest of the world can communicate with one another.



NAIJAFEED So is it okay to call Naijaborn the Nigerian Facebook?


 


MAMBE Please no, Naijaborn is Naijaborn and Facebook is Facebook. We are not the Facebook clone of Nigeria and we strive to get into major inroads and business ventures that are more into media and technology. With time people will begin to see the difference. So it's not okay to call Naijaborn the Nigerian Facebook.


 


NAIJAFEED Besides Naijaborn being a social network for Nigeria in particular, what else sets it apart from other social networks out there?


 


MAMBE Naijaborn is a naija talents database, Naijaborn is a people/business search engine for Nigerians. Naijaborn is a business marketing tool, magazine, media platform, and last but not least Naijaborn is proudly Naijaborn, and it's built from scratch, making it unique and very easy to adapt to future market trends. So we stand out because we will be able to rewrite our system any day anytime while most won't because they don't build from scratch.


 


NAIJAFEED How old are you?


 


MAMBE I told you my age in the beginning of this interview. I'm 23.


 


NAIJAFEED Dis guy, you're young!


 


MAMBE Hey, come on. Must one be old to make money in Africa or must one be old to achieve great things?


 


NAIJAFEED Am I going to be able to hook up with fine babes on Naijaborn?


 


MAMBE Man I see a lot of South African babes already on the platform...seriously. Also a lot of naija babes in Europe and the UK, and some in Nigeria. The advantage is you get to know what they are doing and then you can see if your ideas match with theirs. So let's say you're crazy for a Nigerian female doctor, you simply search for a Nigerian female doctor and then you can hook up buddy. So sure, you can catch babes ooh! It's all yours.


 


NAIJAFEED Will Naijaborn have a feature for Nigerian artists to showcase their work like how Myspace does?


 


MAMBE Yes, Naijaborn already has music upload and we will strive to make a vibrant way for indie artists to showcase their music and later on it will include a sales system where someone can launch his/her album exclusively on Naijaborn. So www.naijaborn.com/beta/music is something that will evolve beyond the naijaborn.com domain. So sure, we're going to get something like Myspace but it will be a 100% naija way of doing it.


 


NAIJAFEED A friend of mine who's a musikshan asked me to ask you about that!


 


MAMBE Oh great, the website has an ideas section under "posted items", so please ask him to register on the site and try to post his ideas so we will discuss it and add to our specifications. That's how the site has been shaping itself in the last month and we are still listening. We are building the community; in short i'll say the users are the PRODUCT OWNER. So he/she can give us the specifications on how the Naijaborn music section should grow and expand...it's all open


 


NAIJAFEED Alright Mambe, you're a very busy young man and I know your time is valuable. Thanks for speaking with Naijafeed and best of luck with Naijaborn and your future endeavours.


 


MAMBE Thanks buddy, we are all working towards a better Africa. Now let me get back to my codes for villagediary.org so I can do more coding on Naijaborn later tonight.


 





MEND set Chevron pumping station ablaze


MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) announced earlier today that it had set a pumping station owned by US oil company Chevron on fire. The group warned of a fresh batch of attacks last weekend.


In its stated objective of creating a fairer distribution of oil in the Niger Delta region, MEND has been carrying out a barrage of attacks on foreign owned oil companies for years. Due to these attacks, oil production in Nigeria has been cut by more than a quarter. The daily output of oil has been cut to 1.76 million barrels as opposed to 2.6 million barrels produced in January 2006. Angola has now surpassed Nigeria as the top oil producing country in the continent.


Related stories: MEND declares all out war           CNN shows how to contact MEND




Ogoni denizens give their opinion on the Ken vs Shell case


Christian Purefoy of CNN goes to Ogoni, Nigeria to guage the response of the Ogoni people on the Ken Saro-Wiwa vs. Shell and observes the peaceful activism started by late Ken Saro-Wiwa that still resonates with the people of Ogoni.


Related stories: Shell pay $15.5 M to Wiwa family and other victims   


Video documentary - Wiwa vs Shell




Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jose Mourinho coming to Nigeria


Ex Chelsea coach and now Inter Milan coach, Jose Mourinho, will be paying a visit to  Nigeria between July 3 to 6.


 The Kwara Football Academy (KFA) Ilorin in north-central Nigeria will have the "special" privilege of hosting the EPL and Seria A league winning coach.


Jose Mourinho has groomed young African football talent such as Nigerian superstar John Obi Mikel who's now an FA Cup winner in the EPL at Mourinho's former club Chelsea FC.


So the young promising players at the Kwara Football Academy better polish their boots and make sure they have their A game on when the "special" one comes to visit.


Goal.com


Related stories: Mourinho ruffles feathers in Ilorin,Nigeria


Tickets go on sale as Jose Mourinho arrives Nigeria




Nigerian military capture major militant camp


Christian Purefoy has just reported that the Nigerian military has successfully captured a major militant camp. This is part of the Nigeria's  biggest offensive on the militants that have significantly impeded on the oil flow in Nigeria.

Related stories: Nigerian military launches biggest offensive in Niger Delta                   Fire in the Delta





Monday, June 8, 2009

Shell pays $15.5m in settlement of Wiwa vs Shell Case


After the report of the surprise cancellation of the case by Judge Kimba Wood, it was later reported that the plaintiffs were giving more time to gather more information on their case against shell as announced in a press release on June 3rd from the Center for Constitutional Rights, co-counsel on the lawsuit against Shell:


"Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court decision dismissing the Wiwa v. Shell plaintiffs’ claims against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Ltd. (Shell Nigeria). The District Court had dismissed the case against Shell Nigeria on March 4, 2008, finding it did not have jurisdiction over the company because the plaintiffs had failed to establish that Shell Nigeria was doing sufficient business in the United States to justify trying them in U.S. courts. The effect of the appellate court decision is to permit the plaintiffs to seek further information to establish Shell Nigeria’s connections to the United States."


Information required from the plaintiffs was apparently received and today Shell has agreed to pay $15.5 to settle the lawsuit accusing the the firm of complicity in the executions of human rights activists in Nigeria.


Shell still insists it did nothing wrong and the settlement is part of a "process of reconciliation".


Malcom Briinded from Shell had this to add:  "This gesture also acknowledges that, even though Shell had no part in the violence that took place, the plaintiffs and others have suffered."


A great victory for the late Ken Saro-Wiwa's family and the rest of the other victims families. Some justice has finally been served.


BBC


Related story: Fire in the Delta         Video documentary-Wiwa vs Shell