Zuckerberg In Nigeria To Witness Africa’s Tech Revolution

Facebook founder Mark ZuckerbergFacebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is in Nigeria on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, using his time in the country to visit the Yaba technology hub in Lagos, meet with developers and partners and explore Nollywood.

Zuckerberg says he will also listen, learn and take ideas back to California on how Facebook can better support tech development and entrepreneurship across Africa.

One of his first stops on the trip was to visit a ‘Summer of Code Camp’ at the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba, known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria.

At CcHub Zuckerberg met with developers like Temi Giwa, who runs a platform called Life Bank that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria. Life Bank saves lives by mobilising blood donations, taking inventory of all blood available in Nigeria, and delivering blood in the right condition to where it is needed.

After visiting CcHub, Mark Zuckerberg said: “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the start-up ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.

“The first place I got to visit was the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a summer coding camp and entrepreneurs who come to CcHub to build and launch their apps.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people in Nigeria”.

Meeting Developers At Andela

Mark then went to Andela, an engineering organisation that is building the next generation of technical leaders in Africa.

Andela is a business that recruits the most talented technologists in Africa and shapes them into world-class developers through a four-year technical leadership program.

In the two years since it was founded, Andela has accepted just over 200 engineers from a pool of more than 40,000 applicants.

Andela developers spend six months mastering a technical stack and contributing to open source projects before being placed with global technology companies as full-time, distributed teammates, working out of Andela headquarters in Lagos and Nairobi.

Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invested in Andela after being impressed by the company’s innovative model of learning and its drive to connect the global technology ecosystem with the most talented developers in Africa.

The Director of Andela Lagos, Seni Sulyman, said: “We are excited and honoured to welcome Mark Zuckerberg to Lagos. His visit reinforces not only his support of Andela’s mission, but his belief that indeed the next generation of great technology leaders will come out of Lagos, Nigeria and cities across Africa.

“Andela has created a platform for passionate, driven software developers and engineers to break into the global tech ecosystem, but the barriers to entry are still very high. Mark’s visit demonstrates to all Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs that they’ve caught the attention of the tech world, and they are capable of succeeding on a truly global level”.

At the end of the day Zuckerberg stopped by an Express WiFi stand in Lagos owned by Rosemary Njoku. Facebook’s Express WiFi lets entrepreneurs like Rosemary set up a hot spot to help their community access apps and services built by local developers.

Mark Zuckerberg and Rosemary Njoku at an Express WiFi stand

On plans to expound Express WiFi he said: “This week, we’re launching a satellite into space to enable more entrepreneurs across Africa to sell Express Wi-Fi and more people to access reliable internet. That means more connectivity and more opportunity for entrepreneurs like Rosemary everywhere”.

Zuckerberg’s presence has become the talk of the day in Nigeria’s commercial city, with lots of ‘welcome to Nigeria’ messages on his Facebook page.

In response to some of the messages, an excited Mark said: “Thanks for such a warm welcome”!

Medicine Vendors Cautioned Against Unlawful Drug Sales

Pharmacists-Council-of-NigeriaThe Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has cautioned patent medicine vendors against prescribing and selling drugs outside the approved list given to them and also stay away from injecting their customers.

It says it will not relent in ensuring that the violators are punished.

The Registrar of the Council, Nae Mohammed, gave the warning on Wednesday in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State at the opening of the orientation course for 110 newly licenced patent medicine vendors.

Mr Mohammed, who was represented by the Director, South West Zonal Office of the PCN, Mrs Yejide Oseni, said the council would not relent in ensuring that the unwholesome practices by medicine vendors were stopped.

He urged the vendors not to violate any of the laws put in place to regulate their practice.

“Anyone caught would be dealt with according to the law,” he said.

A Criminal Offence

Mr Mohammed also promised that the medicine vendors would be protected from being harassed by some government agencies, but urged them not to go outside the guidelines regulating their practice.

“The PCN has received reports across the country, of harassment of vendors by some government agencies.

“The registry has initiated talks with some of the government agencies, with the aim of ensuring that patent and proprietary medicine vendor licence holders are protected from every form of harassment from any agency provided they abide by the list, display their licence and signpost,” he told the vendors.

Also addressing the gathering, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services at the Osun State Ministry of Health, Mrs Adepeju Ojo, advised the vendors to always get their drugs from licensed pharmaceutical outlets.

Mrs Ojo said they would be able to assist in tracing the source of such drugs in case they were found to be substandard or expired.

She urged them to be law abiding and to renew their licences every year while also appealing to them not to sell drugs outside their lists.

Ojo said that the licence of any vendor that violates the law may be revoked.

“Don’t prescribe drugs to anybody. Don’t inject them. Don’t even treat wound. You have not been trained to do these. If you go against the law, your shops will be sealed.

“It is a criminal offence for you to break the Federal Government’s seal. If your shop is sealed, liaise with the PCN office and they will tell you what to do. If you break the seal, you may be prosecuted,” she warned.

CBN Asks Nigerians To Report Cases Of Illegal Charges By Banks

Bank-AtmsThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked banks’ customers to report cases of excessive and in some cases illegal charges by Deposit Money Banks.

In a statement on Saturday by the CBN’s spokesman, Ibrahim Mu’azu, the apex bank said it had received series of complaints from customers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) alleging excessive charges from their respective banks.

The bank reiterated that the Revised Guide to Bank Charges clearly specified allowable charges for all banking services, warning that it would not in any way condone the fleecing of banking customers under any guise.

“It was in the quest to provide a strong voice to banks’ customers and moderate the arbitrary charges that the CBN in 2012, established its Consumer Protection Department,” the statement read.

The apex bank said it had investigated over 6,000 complaints relating to unauthorised bank charges brought to its notice and that banks had been compelled to refund over 6.2 billion Naira to affected customers in 2015 alone.

It expressed its resolve to continuously enforce the provision of the Revised Guide to Bank Charges and urged members of the public to report cases of infringement to enable it investigate and apply sanctions on any erring Deposit Money Bank (DMB).

Bank Customers are urged to forward their complaints to the Director, Consumer Protection Department through an email the apex bank provided – [email protected]

Cross River State To Get Pharmaceutical Company

Cross River-AyadeThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has announced plans by his administration to site a pharmaceutical company in the state.

He said the company would be in operation on or before the first quarter of 2017.

According to the Governor, the initiative emanated from not only the conceptualisation of two of his major projects – the deep seaport and the superhighway – but the peace and tranquillity in the state.

He said that the peaceful atmosphere had attracted large foreign participation at the just concluded Carnival Calabar, culminating in investors pouring into the state.

The Governor, who was visited on a courtesy call by the would-be investors, Healthage Nigeria limited, disclosed that, his administration would continually support any investor interested in the state with provision of land in a best business location to invest on.

Governor Ayade urged investors to also consider adding up a cosmetic section to an aspect of the factory for larger sales, considering the high demand of cosmetics by households.

He assured the investors of huge turnaround of their products in the state and country at large.

The Governor commended the team for the commitment shown towards the course, assuring them of the state government’s total support towards its realisation in the shortest possible time.

Making a presentation to the governor and some of his aides on the company’s mandate, the Director, Operations, Healthage Nigeria limited, Farhan Ahmad Khan, expressed his firm’s readiness to carry out the job aimed at emulating Pakistan in showcasing the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) approved factory with registered products from the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control.

Mr Farhan said the pharmaceutical company would among other things; prevent capital flight by producing drugs that were hitherto being imported into the country, thereby replicating their wealth of experience in Cross River State.

Bayelsa INEC Official Lists Challenges Ahead Of Polls

taraba electio has been termed as the voice of the peopleThe Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner has listed insecurity and logistics as major challenges facing the commission ahead of the governorship polls that will hold in December.

Baritor Kpagih raised the concerns at a meeting with the Civil Society Organisations in Abuja on Wednesday.

The meeting also attended by other officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police was held to assess the preparedness of the electoral body and security agencies ahead of the polls.

Baritor Kpagih said gunboats may be needed to check the activities of militants

According to him, the activities of militants, the difficult terrain and lack of finance to secure boats ahead of time could affect the conduct of the election if not addressed on time.

“We have a job to do. Whether the terrain is difficult or there are militants there, we will still do the job,” he said.

It is less than two months to the governorship election in Bayelsa and the Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Clement Nwankwo, expressed concern over the activities of security agencies in previous elections and stressed the need for the police to be left alone to secure elections.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Aderanti, who represented the Inspector General of Police, assured voters of their security.

“We are ready and we are prepared for the Bayelsa governorship election. however, our preparation and readiness will amount to nothing if other stakeholders do not build and sustain the necessary working synergy,” Mr Aderanti stressed.

Over 663,000 registered voters are expected to vote during the governorship elections in December that has the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson and a former Governor, Timipre Sylva, as the major contenders.

Air Force Intercepts Boko Haram Logistics Supply

air forceThe Nigerian Air Force says it has Intercepted and destroyed two trailers suspected to be carrying logistics support to members of the Boko Haram sect.

The Nigerian Air Force in a statement by its spokesman, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, explained that Air Force Agusta helicopter on armed reconnaissance mission around the Nigeria-Cameroon border, destroyed the trailers said to have been covered and parked at different locations in the bush around the border town of Belel.

Greatly Strained Supply

The incident is part of the outcome of the recent air operation commanded by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to provide close air support to ground forces led by the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, as they advance from Dikwa to Gamboru Ngala.

He added that one of the attack helicopters was hit during the operation, leaving one of the main rotor blades damaged, but the pilot was able to successfully fly the helicopter back to base to land.

In July, the Air Force says its patrol and surveillance activities have succeeded in blocking routes through which petroleum products and other materials are supplied to the Boko Haram sect.

Also, the Director, Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Dele Alonge, said patrols along the Nigeria-Cameroon borders “have greatly strained the supply efforts of the Boko Haram terrorists”.

Bird Flu Recorded In Port Harcourt

Bird Flu Recorded In Port HarcourtFarmers and consumers of poultry products in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, have again been put on red alert, following the confirmation of the outbreak of Avian Flu (Bird Flu) disease by the Rivers State Government.

The Director, Public Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Nnanna Onyekwere, while speaking to Channels Television, said that two farms in Choba, Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Port Harcourt have already been affected.

According to him, the ministry is appealing to owners of poultry houses in the state to report any strange sign noticed in their birds.

The Ministry of Health has, however, given residents the assurance that the government is on top of the situation to stem any possible spread of the disease.

The Federal Government of Nigeria had assured poultry farmers in June that the Avian Influenza has been contained.


Over 3,000 IDPs Relocated To Yola Camp

Borno idpsMore than 3,000 out of the over 12,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) deported from Cameroon have been settled into the IDPs camp in Yola, Adamawa State capital.

The displaced persons were evacuated from an abandoned brick factory by the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and taken to the camp in Yola.

On arrival at the camp, the displaced person were documented and provided with relief materials.

The Director, Search and Rescue in the agency, Commodore Charles Ofegede (Rtd) gave a breakdown of the exercise, but not everyone agreed with him.

Some of the displaced persons also shared their experiences while in Cameroon.

On their part, the security operatives deployed for the exercise identified seven persons out of the returnees for questioning.

Front Line Leadership Aiding Victory Over Boko Haram – Colonel Usman

soldiers and officersThe Nigerian Army has attributed its recent successes and the renewed vigour in the fight against the Boko Haram in the north-east to the participation of its leadership in the front line and an operation from an offensive standpoint.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, told Channels Television on Monday that rather than wait for the insurgents to attack, the military, in conjunction with their counterparts in neighbouring countries, constantly launches offensive operation against the terrorist.

While refusing to comment on recent comments attributed to the immediate past Chief of Army Staff that, the army has not been equipped since 2006, the army spokesman, however, said that the renewed interest by the United States of America in the fight against the terrorist was a welcome development.

Some U.S. congressmen in Nigeria had earlier said that deliberations had started towards lifting arms ban on Nigeria.

Colonel Sani also said that the review of disciplinary action that was ongoing would cover all offensive actions alleged to have been committed by officers and men in the different formations and those who have been found wanting while in the front lines, against the terrorists.

He gave assurances that the military was working assiduously to bring an end to insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria and the northern region at large.

Government Bans Paramilitary Agencies From Use Of Camouflage Uniforms

Major-General Chris Olukolade

The Nigerian Government has banned the use of camouflage uniforms by various security agencies other than the Armed Forces namely; Army, Navy and the Air Force.

The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, made this known in a statement on Friday.

The Nigerian Police will, however, use the uniform when in Joint Operation with the military or on special operation such as specific anti-riot missions.

This followed the directive of the National Security Council, as it approved the recommendations of a committee on measures to streamline the use of camouflage uniforms, in view of the security implications and concerns raised on the clamour, duplicity and proliferation of camouflage uniforms in the country.

The use of camouflage/fatigue is therefore restricted to the military and for occasional use by the police henceforth.

The directive also stipulates that the military is to adopt only two types of camouflage for the three arms of the Armed Forces.

All para-military agencies using various camouflage/fatigues uniforms have up to January 2016 to withdraw such materials currently in their inventory.

With this development, the Ministry of Justice along with law enforcement agencies have been tasked to ensure that extant laws guiding the use of uniforms in Nigeria are strictly enforced.

In the same vein, the Office of the National Security Adviser has been vested with the authority to vet and clear any production and supply of camouflage uniforms in Nigeria.

The proliferation and imitation by criminals and impostors using uniforms especially the camouflage have been generating some concern in national security circles.

The development has been communicated to all the agencies by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Army Sends Advance Team To Maiduguri For Military Command

Military CommandThe Nigerian military has sent a reconnaissance and advance team to Maiduguri, Borno State for the establishment of the Military Command and Control Centre (MCCC) for ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’.

This is in compliance with the Presidential pronouncement and the Chief of Army Staff’s directive for the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sanni Usman, said, “The team, which is led by a 2-Star General, has already commenced work in earnest and it is comprised of elements of the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, all the relevant Army Headquarters Departments and other combat support components.”

The Centre, according to Col. Usman, will serve as a forward command base for the Chief of Army Staff and other Service Chiefs.

He added that the Military Command Centre is essentially an elaboration of an already existing Army Headquarters Command and Control arrangement which will monitor, coordinate and control the fight against terrorism and insurgency would be coordinated and controlled from this centre.

He said that the MCCC would not create another layer of command structure but would add renewed vigour to the ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’.

He also said that an alternate command centre is also being established in Yola.

PDP At Ward Level Confirms Fani-Kayode’s Membership

Fani-KayodeLeaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the ward level in Ife Central Senatorial District in Osun State have finally spoken, authenticating the membership of ‎the Director, Media ‎and Publicity, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign organisation during the 2015 general elections, Femi Fani-Kayode in the party.

Addressing newsmen in Ile-Ife town in Osun State, Chairman of the Party in Iremo Ward 5 Ile-ife, Rasheed Ojikutu said that Fani-Kayode is not only a bonafide member of PDP but also a forthright leader of the party.

The Ward Chairman confirmed that Femi Fani Kayode was issued a PDP membership card from Ward 5 Iremo, ‎Ife Central Local Government Area of Osun State in April 2014, following his defection from the APC.

Ojikutu and other party leaders expressed dismay that despite the contributions of Fani-Kayode during the presidential race, the National Working Committee of the party is seeking disciplinary action against him, for joining others in calling for the resignation of the NWC.

Mr Ojikutu assured other party members at the ward and national level of their readiness to stand by Mr Fani-Kayode in proving the authenticity of his membership.

The National Secretary of PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipupo, had earlier in the week sent a letter to the Osun State chapter of the party, requesting that the authenticity of the membership and the financial status of Mr Fani-Kayode be confirmed.