World Bank boosts FG’s youth empowerment scheme with N756m

The World Bank, under its Growth and Employment (GEM) project, has approved N756.3 million for disbursement to 81 young Nigerian innovators who participated in the 2016 Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD). World Bank approves N756m for federal government's youth empowerment scheme. The AVDD is one of the economic empowerment initiatives of the present administration. A document obtained from the World Bank-funded GEM project on Monday in Abuja, showed that the money would be disbursed to the beneficiaries in two tranches after a grant signing ceremony earlier scheduled for end of March The AVDD, in collaboration with GEM project, invited business plan submissions from candidates that participated in its regional pitch screening events that took place in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja from which the 81 beneficiaries emerged. WBB According to the document, “the GEM project requested for submission of business proposals from eligible applicants of the AVDD 2016 programme of which 289 applicants were screened before the final 81 were eventually picked after a rigorous process of vetting’’. The GEM document showed that all 81 submitted applications passed the 50 per cent cut off point and environmental and social compliance check. Other details contained in the document showed that the beneficiaries were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Delta, FCT, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Rivers states, while 20 others were yet to be registered on the portal. A breakdown of the grant disbursement process shows that submission of company registration documents for validation is ongoing. The document showed that “a total of 36 of the 81 applicants have submitted the required company registration and legal documents to date. “The registration of applicants on the Business Innovation Growth (BIG) portal is ongoing with 61 of the 81 applicants fully registered on the portal’’. The World Bank indicated in the document that verification of implementation and milestone achievement would be conducted as condition for the second disbursement while subsequent surveys would be conducted on the firms for impact evaluation. The World Bank said that a mechanism to ensure full implementation of objectives contained in the selected proposals was already in place while a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation work plan had been designed. The idea behind the GEM programme, the World Bank noted, “is to further support the presidency’s drive to celebrate and empower the most promising and highly scalable indigenous technology start-ups who are providing innovative solutions to local challenges in Nigeria’’. The Aso Villa Demo Day is an initiative of the Buhari presidency that targets young Nigerian entrepreneurs with innovative business models that could contribute to the growth of the economy. The winners of the 2016 AVDD emerged from a national technological innovation competition held in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. The Federal Government initially gave grants to the best three of the 30 innovators that emerged from the regional competition who were invited to participate in the grand finale of the AVDD 2016 held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Chimamanda Adichie, Bill Gate make list of 50 world leaders

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie has been named amongst the 50 greatest world leaders in the 2017 Fortune magazine ranking. The ‘Half of a yellow sun’ writer was ranked at number 42 on the list with Chicago Cubs baseball team president Theo Epstein at number one. Business mogul Jack Ma of AliBaba group of companies appears at number two and Catholic leader Pope Francis is in third place for his social integration projects as a clergy. Melinda Gates is number four in recognition of the impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which she co-chairs. chimamanda1 chimamanda Adichie The list also features celebrated basketball player, LeBron James at 11, comedienne Samantha Bee at 19. Colombian music superstar Shakira is at 27 for her philanthropic work through her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) school foundation. Just outside of the top five is Ava DuVernay recognized for her directorial work in Academy Award winning film, Selma and her forthcoming Disney adaptation, A Wrinkle in Time. Chance the Rapper checks in at number 46, the 23-year-old hip-hop star is commended for his willingness to remain an independent artist and release his music for free and his education philanthropy in his Illinois, Chicago hometown. Adichie’s book ‘Americanah’ recently won the “One Book, One New York” campaign from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in partnership with BuzzFeed.

First woman in space, Tereshkova, honoured on 80th birthday

Russian cosmonaut-turned-lawmaker, Valentina Tereshkova, who in the early 1960s became the first woman in space, turned 80 on Monday. Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, posted on his website that Tereshkova was a model of courage and patriotism, and praised her for the feat. Valentina-Tereshkova2 She is now a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, flew a solo three-day mission in June 1963, orbiting Earth nearly 50 times at the age of 26 years old at the time. Initially a skydiving enthusiast from a modest working-class family in the central Yaroslavl region, Tereshkova was honoured with the highest national award — “Hero of the Soviet Union.” She became a prominent member of the Communist Party during the Soviet era and now serves in the ruling United Russia party. Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said “President Vladimir Putin, who recently honoured her with an award `Merit to the Fatherland’, was set to meet her for her birthday. “Knowing Tereshkova, we can expect her to use this possibility to discuss certain issues related to the work she continued to do.”

Lagos recorded 2,252 rape cases in two years

No fewer than 2,252 rapes cases were reported at the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre in two years and seven months. According to the centre Manager, Juliet Olumuyiwa-Rufai, the centre recorded less than 20 convictions in all the cases. According to punch, Rufai spoke during a press briefing to inaugurate a booklet by a non-governmental organisation, Project Alert on Violence Against Women and Children. The booklet, ‘Sexual Violence in Nigeria: A silent epidemic,’ documents rape cases in Lagos. Rufai said most of the cases involved real penetration of the victims, adding that rape had become an epidemic. rapes She said, “Between July 2014 and February 2017, we have treated about 2,252 cases. They involved real penetration of the victims’ private parts. The youngest person was a four-month-old baby, and the oldest was a 70-year-old woman, who was a stroke patient and was raped by her landlord’s son. “The challenge, however, is that some victims face a lot of stigmatisation and they are not free to come out. Also, they don’t want to press charges because of pressures from their families, religious institutions and landlords. “The factor reinforcing rape is impunity. If we have enough convictions, it will serve as a deterrent to others. We have not recorded up to 20 convictions since we started. Because of this, intending perpetrators are emboldened. Also, there is no support for the victims.” The Executive Director of Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, called for a review of the criminal justice system.

South Africa vows to pay 17 million welfare grants despite crisis

A South African cabinet minister vowed Sunday that welfare grants to 17 million beneficiaries would continue to be paid despite confusion over a new payment process.
South Africa pays out around 140 billion rand ($10.7 billion) a year in grants to vulnerable people including pensioners, unemployed mothers and the disabled. The payment had for years been outsourced to a private company Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), whose contract expires at the end of March. Fears have mounted in recent days that the government might fail to pay the monthly grants from April after it failed to announce alternative arrangements. Jacob-Zuma-974x548 South African President Jacob Zuma arrives to deliver the speech for 2017’s State Of the Nation Address(SONA), on February 9, 2017, at the Parliament in Cape Town.
But Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told reporters in Pretoria on Sunday, “No-one will go unpaid. We are sure about that.”“We will continue paying social grants beyond March 31 when the contract with the current service provider comes to an end,” she said, without divulging details. The current welfare payments system, administered by CPS was in 2014 ruled unlawful by the Constitutional Court which ordered a new one to be negotiated. Opposition parties and non-profit organisations have led calls for the minister to step over the grants debacle. The main opposition the Democratic Alliance said in a statement that it was taking the minister to court for placing “the livelihoods of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans at risk” over her “failure to table a clear plan to resolve this crisis.” Welfare grants are pivotal in the country of 56 million people, where poverty and inequalities are widespread. Analysts say the payouts, particularly in the rural areas, help the ruling ANC maintain its support. Source:Guardian

Woman gives birth to strange creature after 3-year pregnancy

After a three-year pregnancy, a woman, Ijeoma, gave birth to a horse-like creature, in february, in Rumuowha village, Eneka community, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. The development, Vanguard learned, left the residents of the area in awe and confusion. Ijeoma was said to have been married for seven years and reportedly gave birth to the strange creature after three years of conception. Vanguard gathered from onlookers at the scene of the incident that the woman went into labour shortly after she was induced by workers of a health organisation, which visited the area to offer medical services to residents of Eneka and the woman was one of the beneficiaries. goat Ijeoma, who narrated her ordeal during the three-year period of the pregnancy to Vanguard, noted that it was her first conception. She regretted that she did not seek proper ante-natal care or any other medical care even when she experienced bleeding at the ninth month of the pregnancy. Ijeoma said: “I am still in pain. I have been pregnant for about three years now. When I came to give birth, I gave birth to a strange thing. It is evacuation. I did not go for any ante-natal care.” Meanwhile, the youth leader of the community, Mr. Simeon Chukwu, assured that the community would give its support to see that the woman receives good medical attention. God have mercy!  

Building colapse, Lagos kicks off training of 4,000 artisans

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has affirmed his administration’s commitment to resolving the incessant building collapse in the state through upgrading the skills of artisans. Speaking in Lagos at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of the 4000 Master Craftsmen to be trained by the Ministry of Housing, Ambode, represented by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, said use of skilled labour would help reduce rate of building collapse. BUILDINGS He noted that the empowerment has exposed the craftsmen to various skills and correct ignorant practices. The initiative, which was flagged off eight months ago, intends to train 4000 artisans in the state to bridge the competitive and technological gap. Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has said that senior civil servants must continue to mentor younger colleagues to ensure consistent and efficient service delivery. Speaking at the opening session of a two-day workshop on leadership, Ambode represented by the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Dr Akintola Benson Oke, said that one of the key tenets of leadership is the need to pass on knowledge and experience to others. Source: Guardian

Nigerian couple arrested for trafficking women to Italy 

Joint operation of police team on Thursday, March 2, arrested a Nigerian couple, Michael Uyi Aigieator, 34, and Pamela Aigieator, 27, in Cagliari, Italy for trafficking Nigerian women to Italy for prostitution.


According to Ansa English, the couple would subject their victims to voodoo rites after which they were forced into prostitution. Police also freed the victims of the couple, who are suspected of people trafficking and aiding illegal immigration aggravated by placing people at risk of their lives in unseaworthy boats.

3.67 million Nigerians lost their jobs in one year

The harsh economic situation currently facing the country may have forced about 3.67 million Nigerians into the unemployment market within a one-year period covering October 2015 to September 2016, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

According to an analysis of the unemployment report for the period, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51 million in the beginning of the October 2015 to 11.19 million at the end of September 2016. As reported by Punch, the unemployment report for the fourth quarter of last year covering October to December 2016, which is still being prepared by the NBS, is due for release on March 29 based on the data release calendar of the bureau. download The report added that while the number of those employed rose from 55.21 million in the beginning of the fourth quarter to 69.47 million as of the end of September, the labour force population rose from 75.94 million to 80.66 million. A breakdown of the 3.67 million unemployed Nigerians showed that about 522,000 people became jobless within the fourth quarter of 2015; while 1.44 million people joined the labour force in the first quarter of 2016. For the second and third quarters of 2016, further analysis of the unemployment report of the NBS showed that about 1.16 million and 550,000 people entered the labour market in search of jobs. The NBS report explained that unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, which represents the ‘youth’ population in Nigeria. Unemployment-in-Nigeria For instance, it said the unemployment rate was highest for those within the age group of 15 to 24 rising from 17.8 per cent in the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2015 to 25 per cent as of the end of September 2016. For the 25-34 age group, the unemployment rate, according to the NBS report increased from 10.8 per cent to 15 per cent as of the end of September 2016. It noted that unemployment and underemployment were higher for women in the third quarter of 2016. It said while 15.9 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the end of the third quarter of 2016, a further 22.9 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed during the period. On the other hand, the report said 12 per cent of males were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016, while a further 16.7 per cent of males in the labour force were underemployed during the same period. “Given that the nature of rural jobs is largely menial and unskilled, such as in agriculture, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas where more skilled labour is required. “The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white-collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres,” the report said.  

Nigerians excited over return of Nokia 3310

Nigerians are excited about the recent announcement of the release of a revamped version of the popular Nokia 3310. The phone which was first produced in the year 2000 was known for its durability and long battery life. It was unveiled during HMD Global press conference at on Sunday, Feb. 26. The phone which will be released by the new Finnish producers of Nokia known as HMD Global, is expected to be sold in markets across the world in the second quarter of the year. According to vanguard, some of the residents who spoke said they were happy that such a phone was being revamped giving reasons why they would be patronising the model. New Nokia 3310 Clement Okoro, an entrepreneur, said that he was surprised to hear that the Nokia 3310 was being brought back to the market and that he planned on purchasing it once it was available. new-nokia-3310 “The Nokia 3310 was an amazing phone that could not be affected by anything. “I remember my mother had the phone when I was a child and it fell into a pool of water twice, not to mention the countless times it fell on the hard floor, but it kept working. “I am excited to hear that the phone will be in markets soon because I need such a phone for my business and it is nice to learn it’s been upgraded with a camera and 16 megabyte internal memory. “I currently use an iPhone and anyone who knows an iPhone well knows that the battery does not last and the phone is very fragile, yet, the phone is extremely expensive. “Everyone who has a Smartphone should have a phone like 3310 for backup’’ Okoro advised. Also speaking, a civil servant, Susan Iyaye said “I am happy that this durable phone is back in production and it has been designed to fit the current digital age trend. “I struggle with my phones most times because of the poor electricity supply we all deal with in Nigeria. “The 3310 of those days could last up to four days, if not more, without being charged so I am eager to see how this revamped version will perform. “I am definitely purchasing this phone once I hear it is in the market. I’m sure it will sell well in countries like Nigeria because the product is highly dependable,” she said. Another resident, Glory Anyawu said that she was excited at the news because the re-emergence of the phone would meet the needs of low-income earners. “I am very happy about this news because it is a phone that fits my lifestyle and income. “This phone will help people like me who struggle financially. I will also not have to worry about my phone not being charged when there is no electricity. “We always made fun of how 3310 could be used as a weapon during fights and how it could survive under water but in reality, the phone was extremely durable and dependable. “I will make sure I get this phone for myself and my siblings’ because it would help us in our business communications.’’ The phone, which is expected to be slimmer and lighter with full colour display, would be made in four colours; red, yellow, blue and grey.