Government Of Canada Lists Boko Haram As Terrorist Organisation

Following the United States Government’s November decision to designate Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Ansaru militant groups as foreign terrorist organisations, the government of Canada on Monday announced that it has also listed Boko Haram as a terrorist group under its criminal code.

In a statement by the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Honourable Steven Blaney, the Government of Canada said it has listed Boko Haram and Caucasus Emirate (of Russia) as terrorist groups.

“Boko Haram is an organisation that is responsible for over 300 attacks in Northern Nigeria, which have resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people. The Caucasus Emirate has carried out terrorist activities in Russia, resulting in the death and injury of many Russian civilians and security personnel. Listing these organizations as terrorist entities sends a strong message that such actions will not be tolerated,” said Minister Blaney.

“The Government of Canada is keeping our streets and communities safe. Listing terrorist entities facilitates the prosecution of perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, as well as countering terrorist financing,” added Minister Blaney.

According to MarketWired, the Criminal Code requires the existence of reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity or is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity.

The Minister explained that the listing process requires extensive analysis of intelligence and/or criminal information.

Implications of the designation include the seizure or forfeiture of assets of persons or groups listed. Also, there may be severe penalties for persons and organizations that deal in the property or finances of a listed entity.

In addition, it has become a crime to knowingly participate in, or contribute to, any activity of a listed entity for the purpose of enhancing the ability of the entity to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.

 

Nigeria’s Economy Is A Reverse Of What Is Obtainable Globally- Economist

A lecturer from the Pan Atlantic University, Dr Austin Nweze today (Thursday) described Nigeria’s economy as the “reverse” of what is obtainable in other parts of the world.

Commenting on the increase of price on products and services during the Christmas period, Dr Nweze recounted his time as a student in Canada where “Christmas time is the best time to get things cheap; really really cheap”.

He said that there were usually so many discount, as “so many items are discounted just for the period” insisting that the end of the year should be “the best time to shop”.

He noted that in such climes, the Christmas period is regarded as “spending time” after saving from January to November period, which is regarded as “saving time”. He added that “even the stock exchanges feel the impact of the expenditures that go on during Christmas”.

He went on berating the discount tactic employed by retail and wholesale marketers in Nigeria.

“They will pretend to give discounts, but what they usually do is to increase the price first of all, and then (maybe) return it to a normal level or higher than the normal” maintaining that ‘’it is not supposed to be”.

Noting that a service economy is imperative, he berated the low impact manufacturing has made to the Nigerian economy which he pegged at 2.4 to 3 per cent compared to the United States of America’s 80 per cent.

Dr Nweze, quoting statistics from the International Trade Centre, said that by 2050, 80 per cent of the minimum global work force would be in services, which means “that you have to move from production to service” adding that “even when you are producing, you are also providing service; they work hand in hand”.

He further noted that Nigerians do not produce, he said “we consume too much” because “nobody is thinking of producing anything here,” a situation which he said also “extends to policy making”.

He advised policy makers to stop indulging in the habit of making policies that would not benefit the people because of the mode of operation used in implementing the policy. He said: “they make policies to encourage businesses, but they use the other hand to collect it back through interest rates”.

He said that if given the opportunity to run the economy, he would not “worry about inflation” but he would “make sure that the productive capacity of the nation; businesses are producing at the optimal level”.

He further said that he would look at other areas in the country and put in place a “factor-endowed based development strategy” to see what could be done to encourage production and manufacturing.

It Is Our Right To Be Designated Consultants, Pharmacist Insists

The President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo has condemned Nigerian doctors for threatening to go on strike because “pharmacists and other cadres of health workers are going to be designated consultants”.

He also accused doctors of being the “biggest beneficiaries of skipping in the entire public service” in the country, adding that when he graduated thirty years ago, pharmacists and doctors used to start work at “grade level 8” in the public service.

Akintayo, noted that it was late Dr. Olukoye Ransome-Kuti “who changed the status quo in his days (as health minister) with the unfortunate Medical Salary Scale (MSS) in the early 90s” insisting that “Nigerians have not witnessed industrial harmony since then because that was what triggered the clarion call for specialised salary scale by different cadres of workers”.

Insisting that pharmacists are “experts on drugs”, he wondered why the medical doctors in Nigeria would threaten to go on strike because pharmacists would be designated consultants when “it is a global norm to have pharmacists as consultants everywhere from the U.S., Australia, Canada”.

Though Mr Akintayo agrees that “the training of a medical doctor places him in a unique position to drive the clinical process in the hospital”, he was quick to add that “this is not about anybody contending space with other people”.

“It is only designed so that patient output can get better…it happens in other places.”

He berated the medical consultants of Nigeria for blackmailing the government on the condition, maintaining that they should follow due process in making their concerns known.

He called on the federal government to take a cue from the Lagos State Government and employ doctors on a ‘pay based on services rendered’ arrangement, so as to “knock sense into some skulls”.

Akintayo accused the incumbent leadership of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) of being on the “path of reducing the noble profession to a mere trade association that agitates only on the basis of the ego of its members”. He stressed that “what that means is that there is obvious compromise in moral and ethical values”.

Akintayo noted that he is a proud pharmacist because he chose to be, and would still be a pharmacist if he has to do it all over again.

Nigerian Lecturers Obey FG’s Return To Work Directive

A senior lecturer from the History and Strategic Studies department of the University of Lagos, Dr. David Aworawo today revealed that “many Nigerian lecturers have signed to return to work” following the directive of the government.

Aworawo said that different universities had adjusted their school calendars to accommodate what was left of 2012/2013 session.

Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Channels Television’s flagship breakfast show, the historian said: “Across the universities, many went to sign the register as directed by the government. The calendars specifies that people will have to wait until lectures are supposed to commence for us to actually know how many will return to class”.

He insisted that it was not totally true that the lecturers disobeyed the directive, as they never told the government to go to hell”.

He listed the universities where the lecturers signed the register noting that “if the classes were opened on Monday, you will actually see many go to the class to teach”.

He berated the loss suffered by students during the strikes maintaining that the “loss is in trillion”. He added that “there is nothing the government would give to ASUU that will make up that loss”. Citing two independent reports carried out in South Africa and Canada on Nigerian educational strikes, he insisted that the students are the biggest losers in the fight.

Canada Train, Bus, Collide In Ottawa, At Least Five dead

A passenger train collided with a double-decker city bus in Ottawa on Wednesday, killing at least five people, an emergency official said.

Television images showed a heavily damaged red double-decker bus, with firefighters and ambulances at the scene. The front of the bus appeared to be sheared off by the collision.

Ottawa Fire Services spokesman Marc Messier told CTV News the initial estimate is that five people have been killed.

VIA Rail, which operates the national passenger service in Canada, confirmed the crash and said there were no major injuries reported on the train. The crash occurred in the west end of Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Canada’s two big railroads – Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd – are reviewing safety standards after a deadly train crash on July 6 that killed 50 people and destroyed the center of a small Quebec town.

Channels Book Club Features Journalist Turned Academic Don, Otiono

This edition of Channels Book Club features distinguished Nigerian journalist, Dr. Nduka Otiono, who was recently appointed assistant professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, hence becoming the first appointee at the University’s new found Institute of African studies.

He discussed a wide variety of subjects including his personal experiences, his writings and why Nigeria must focus on encouraging knowledge production institutions and initiatives.

About Dr. Otiono

Dr. Nduka Otiono obtained his Ph.D in English from the University of Alberta where he won several awards including the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, and was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic distinction.

He is the author of The Night Hides with a Knife (short stories), which won the ANA/Spectrum Prize; Voices in the Rainbow (Poems), a finalist for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize; Love in a Time of Nightmares (Poems) for which he was awarded the James Patrick Folinsbee  Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing.

He has co-edited We-Men: An Anthology of Men Writing on Women (1998), and Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria (2006).

Politicians Have Taken Over Media Houses- Maku

Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku has accused media houses of serving as puppets to politicians in Nigeria.

Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Maku said “Unfortunately we have allowed our political biases to infiltrate sometimes the media that we own”.

Maku who claimed to be a journalist further said “if you pick newspapers today, from the headlines you will know which one is pro-PDP, which one is ACN, which one is APC, which one is CPC”

He expressed worry over the bias displayed “not just on opinion pages, not just on editorial pages but right on front page including the casting of headlines”.

The minister likened the reporter to a doctor in the hospital who should not be told how to treat his patients be it owned by a politician or a businessman.

He charged Nigerians to set up an international panel to review media houses in other countries such as the England, USA, Canada, India, and South Africa with Nigeria quarterly.

These countries he said have “the traditions of our own liberal democracy”.

He said many journalists will be in jail if journalism is practiced the same way as in the aforementioned countries.

He also cleared the air on the controversy between the Leadership Newspaper journalists and the federal government.

BlackBerry To Ask Regulators To Probe Report On Returns

BlackBerry plans to ask securities regulators in Canada and the United States to probe what it said is a “false and misleading” report that consumer return rates for BlackBerry’s new Z10 smartphone have been especially high.

The Canadian company, which has pinned its turnaround hopes on its new BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones, went on the offensive on Friday after the report from Boston-based research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton sent its stock tumbling on Thursday.

BlackBerry said return rates for its flagship Z10 devices have been at, or below, its forecasts and in line with industry norms.

“To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation,” Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said in a statement. “Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged.”

BlackBerry said Detwiler Fenton had so far refused to share its report or its methods. It said it would present a formal request for an investigation to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and to the Ontario Securities Commission, which is Canada’s major securities regulator, over the next few days.

Detwiler has had run-ins with regulators in the past, documents reviewed by Reuters show. But none of the cases involved questions about the accuracy of Detwiler’s research or were linked to BlackBerry.

The OSC said it would review the matter once it receives a formal complaint.

“After the first 14 days, quality performance of the Z10 has been in line with similar devices we’ve launched,” said Debra Lewis, a spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless.

A spokeswoman for Detwiler did not respond to a phone call and an email from Reuters seeking comment. The director of research also did not respond to a call seeking comment.

“We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before,” its report said. Detwiler Fenton gave no details on how it had gleaned this information.

While a number of brokerage firms have in recent weeks published reports saying Z10 sales in the U.S. market are slow, none of them have flagged any major concerns about returns.

Since 2007, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the industry body that oversees broker-dealers, has fined Detwiler over $250,000 and has cited it for several compliance violations over the past decade.

In December 2011, FINRA sanctioned Detwiler for failing to properly supervise its employees and for allowing its brokers to make more trades than necessary in clients’ accounts to boost commissions during a period between 2006 and 2009.

In 2007, the firm, which was then called Detwiler Mitchell Fenton & Graves, settled administrative proceedings that the SEC brought against it for failing to supervise Bradford Bleidt, a former employee who had been simultaneously running a $30 million Ponzi scheme.

TURNAROUND PLAN

BlackBerry is attempting to claw back market share lost to rivals such as Apple Inc’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy line of smartphones with its new line of devices, powered by the revamped BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The new Z10 touchscreen smartphone, the first of its new devices, hit store shelves earlier this year. And the Q10, with BlackBerry’s famed physical keyboard, will go on sale in Canada and the United Kingdom before the end of April.

BlackBerry, which has changed its name from Research In Motion, has yet to prove to the market that its new devices can trigger a turnaround. The company expects to report break-even results in the current quarter, but a true picture will not emerge until later this year.

BlackBerry stock has remained highly volatile as analysts are split on whether the turnaround plan will succeed. Research reports often bring major swings in the company’s share price.

Shares of Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, which fell 7.7 percent on Thursday, closed up less than a percent on Friday at $13.64 on Nasdaq.

Naeto C Shows off New Baby On Instagram

Award winning rapper, Naetochukwu Chikwe, who welcomed his first child on Tuesday posted a picture of his son on Instagram.

Naeto C, who tied the knot with Nicole took to the social media to appreciate his fans and well-wishers for the congratulatory messages.

“Thanks 2 every1 for all the messages…words arent honestly enuff to express this moment…its ironic especially for some1 like myself who is used 2 putting words 2gether…mayb later…but right now i’m just Thanking God w/my Family and enjoying my son’s company! I wish u all similar moments at some point(s) in your lives!.” He wrote.

The Chikwes are currently in the U.S where Nicole delivered the baby boy.

Naeto is expected to continue his North American tour in Winnipeg, Canada.

African Nations Increase Farm Spending, Winning Poverty Battle

President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of four African nations this week, all of which are cited in a new report for effectively increasing spending on agriculture to combat extreme poverty and hunger.

The report by the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group co-founded by Irish rockers Bono and Bob Geldof, said Senegal, Malawi, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone either met or were close to meeting targets for increased budget spending on agriculture.

All of the countries, except Cape Verde where there is little data, are also on track or close to meeting a U.N. target of halving extreme poverty by 2015, the report said.

The African leaders will visit the White House on Thursday to showcase their fledgling democracies, but also their potential in a region where strong economic policies are attracting increased investment.

A recent World Bank report said Africa’s agricultural sector could become a $1 trillion industry by 2030 if farmers modernized their practices and had better access to financing, new technology, irrigation and fertilizers.

“Despite record improvements by select African countries, Africa overall is still far from realizing its agricultural potential,” said the ONE Campaign report, which assessed progress by 19 African countries and donors that send them aid.

“For African governments, donors and the private sector alike, 2013 is the year to deliver on these building blocks that impact farming and expand economic opportunities for farmers,” the report said.

This year marks a decade since African governments committed to allocate 10 percent of national spending to boost agricultural production, reversing decades of under investment in the sector. The so-called Maputo commitments expire this year, giving world leaders the opportunity to lay out a bold new plan with targets, the report said.

According to ONE’s analysis, at least four of the 19 African countries analyzed – Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Malawi and Niger – met or exceeded the target of 10 percent total expenditure on agriculture. Senegal and Sierra Leone are close to the target.

Meanwhile, the laggards are Nigeria, Liberia and Ghana, which spend less than 2 percent of their budgets on agriculture.

The report also called on industrialized nations – the United States, France, Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany and Russia – to make good on their various funding promises to help African nations increase agricultural production.

The G8, which meets in June this year, has repeatedly promised to support Africa-led initiatives, yet G8 agriculture investment plans have only secured about half of their required financing, and many donors contribute only a small fraction of their agriculture aid to poor countries, the report said.

The report shows that European Union institutions, Canada and Germany increased their share of foreign assistance to agriculture, while Britain, Japan and France cut theirs.

Canadian Envoy Urges FG To Protect Foreign Investors

The Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr. Ed Fast has urged the federal government to ensure that foreign investments in Nigeria are protected as part of efforts to further attract foreign direct investment into the country.

Speaking in Abuja at a Bi-National Trade Meeting, Mr. Fast, who led a trade mission to Nigeria, gave the assurance that the Canadian government will provide the necessary technology and expertise that can help developing countries advance and manage their natural resources responsibly while fostering prosperity, job creation, poverty reduction and good governance.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who played host to Mr Fast, said Nigeria will continue to explore trade relations with friendly nations as part of federal government’s efforts to transform the nation’s economy.

He added that Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the federal government will explore the strength inherent in the economies of both countries.

 

Nollywood actress Omotola receives BEFFTA award in London

Popular Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde also known as Omosexy recently received the Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts (BEFFTA) awards in London.

Omotola has become the first Nigeria movie star to be awarded with the special BEFFTA honorary award in the film category, other high profile personalities who received BEFFTA special award this year included Sir Trevor McDonald Obe recipient of BEFFTA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Addressing the press in London, with so much excitement Omotola said, “this is the best award I have received on a global level, it is such an honor and I’m truly humbled that 16 years of my work in the film industry has been rewarded in a special way internationally.”

BEFFTA founder Pauline Long commended Omotola for her contribution to the film industry and also for her great charitable work.

BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film, Fashion, Television and Art) award is a special inclusive award ceremony that is committed to celebrating both unknown and known actors under one roof. It is an award ceremony that aims to inspire the community to achieve at the highest level. It also intend spreading its tentacles into the Caribbean, Africa, Canada and USA in the near future.

The BEFFTA Film Icon Award was presented to Omotola by Theodora Ibekwe.