Facebook To Invest $300 Million In Local Journalism

Facebook Faces 'Oppenheimer Moment' Over Trump Scandal


Facebook announced Tuesday that it will invest $300 million over three years in various projects related to journalism, especially to promote local news, which it believes has been hit hard in the digital age.

The move comes with online platforms under pressure for dominating the internet advertising ecosystem, making it harder for news organizations to make a transition to digital.

“People want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president in charge of global news partnerships, said in a blog post.

“That’s why today we’re announcing an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead.”

The initiative includes a $5 million endowment to the Pulitzer Center to launch “Bringing Stories Home,” which will foster coverage on topics that affect local communities — funding at least 12 local in-depth, multimedia reporting projects each year.

Facebook also said it giving $6 million to the British-based Community News Project, which partners with regional news organizations including Reach, Newsquest, JPI, Archant, Midland News Association and the National Council for the Training of Journalists to recruit trainee community journalists.

The huge social network said it was expanding its Accelerator pilot, which launched in the United States in 2018 to help local newsrooms with subscription and membership models.

Facebook said it would invest over $20 million to continue the initiative in the US and to expand globally, including in Europe.

The move by Facebook follows the Google News Initiative unveiled last year by the US internet search giant.

Abia Governorship Tussle: Court To Deliver Judgment On May 12

49 Escapee Inmates Re-Arrested In Imo stateThe Supreme Court has fixed May 12, 2017, for judgment in an appeal filed by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship aspirant, Mr Samson Ogah, in the Abia state governorship election in 2015.

The apex court fixed the date after hearing submissions from parties in the suit.

Ogah, who contested the primary election with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on the PDP platform, has asking the apex court to set aside the judgment of the appellate court which upheld the nomination and subsequent election of Governor Ikpeazu.

Amnesty International Declares Interest In Death Of Desmond Nunugwo

Amnesty International Declares Interest In Death Of Desmond NunugwoAmnesty International Nigeria, has declared interest in the alleged murder of one Desmond Nunugwo while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in June 9, 2016.

The organisation has insisted that the matter would not be swept under the carpet, after the family of the deceased had gone to them and demanded justice.

Mr Nunugwo, who was a Chief of Protocol Officer to the Minister of State for Defence, died in EFCC custody hours after he was picked up for questioning for alleged fraud.

NABTEB Advocates More Vocational Centres

nabtebThe Registrar and Executive Secretary of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board, (NABTEB), Professor Ifeoma Isingo-Abanihe, has advocated the establishment of more technical training centres in Nigeria to improve human capacity building.

Abanihe also recommended that NABTEB certificates be issued to students to help boost their career.

She made the recommendation during a meeting with the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, at the government house in Benin city.

“We want the establishment of more technical and vocational training centres, unlike what was obtainable in the past when technical education was considered to be a dead end. The ordinary and advanced level certificates awarded by NABTEB guarantee career progression”.

Governor Obaseki on the other hand, has solicited a closer working relationship with NABTEB to actualise the state government’s plans to revitalize the Benin Technical College.

“If you do not pay attention to the institutions that help you create men and women who can build your country, then we are not going to start,” he stated.

CJN Urges States To Domesticate Criminal Justice Act

walter-onnoghen-acting-chief-justice-of-nigeriaThe Acting Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has called on state governments to domesticate and implement the Criminal Justice Act.

This according to him, is to effectively resolve the challenge of prison congestion and delay in courts.

Represented by the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Peter-Odili, at a judicial colloquium on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in Abuja, the CJN noted that the application of the Federal Law through the state Houses of Assembly, would fast track judicial decisions which would in turn protect and empower citizens.

Furthermore, she revealed that 70% of the prison population in the country are awaiting trial; a situation she says speaks volumes of the system.

However, after years of mere talk, the judiciary have once again swung open the doors of reforms in the justice system, while also hoping that the government would invest in it more, so as to meet growing demands.

Shop Owners In Osogbo Protest Breach Of Contract

osun_shop_ownersThousands of shop owners at the Ayegbaju International Market in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, have taken to the streets to protest allegations of breach of contract and fraudulent transaction deals involving the state government.

They alleged that the agreement before the takeover of the shops from the development management was an out right ownership status, given by the government, but they were taken aback by the sudden reversal of the agreed status which has been changed to to 28 years, a decision which is not acceptable to them.

As residents woke up to the early protest, the presence of heavy security personnel also greeted the protesters, barring the protesters from moving out of the market premises.

Unperturbed, they stood outside the entrance chanting solidarity songs of “save our soul”, carrying various placards bearing inscriptions like “No to 28 years agreement, 99 years agreement is what ‎we were promised”, “Give us electricity and water”, “Owo njo lo” and “We want to meet Governor Aregbesola”

Speaking to newsmen, some of the shop owners said the present location of the stalls is defacing the market, making it lose the international status for which it was designed.

The shop owners also called for the restoration of electricity to the shops as according to them, the Ayegbaju International Market has been without electricity for about two years now.

They also insisted that the promises made by the development management and the state government were not met, thereby leaving the shop owners to their fate.

One of the shop owners, Mr Afeez Azeez, lamenting over their challenges said: “we want to make our stance clear to the government, we are not anti -government, we are only against injustice, we are against 419 and scam, they promised us they will be giving us a standing market here at Ayegbaju International Market.

“The agreement was that it will be an outright purchase of 99 years but to our surprise, they gave us a document reading 28 years, and they are claiming they want to deal with us individually and not as a group, that gives us a signal that they want to scam us.

“If you look at the market now, it’s almost five years that this market was built, it is not functioning, no water and no light, we want the government to come to our rescue, and we cannot afford to lose our money.

“We paid as much as 2.5 million and those who paid for open market paid about N350, 000, it is not small money, they are not helping us.

“We do not care about party but about the welfare of our people, we bought the shop because government promised us that we should buy it, they say they are fully involved, we don’t know Edward, we know Governor Aregbesola, who asked us to investors in this market”

A retiree and spokesperson of the group, Mr Tunde Lawal also said: “I invested part of my gratuity since 2012, nothing has come out of it, I bought two lock-up shops here and I have nothing to live on now because I thought this market will take off immediately.

“In fact by the time I invested here, it was on ground level, but now look at my fate, there is nothing to eat, as a retiree.

“I am begging government to save my soul, my money is being tied down, if I have investments elsewhere I would have known what I would have realised.

“I invested about 1.3 million in 2012, nothing to show for it, please tell me when I will begin to realise my dream” he questioned.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Osun State Investment Company Limited, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, in an attempt to calm the protesters stated that the government is ready to look into the plight of the shop owners.

“‎Its actually not a complaint, but a town hall meeting, what we are going to do now is we have the mandate of the governor to listen to them and to resolve all the anomalies amicably and we are going to do so very soon.

“The problem is between the development and the shop owners, the government is not involved per say, however this is our environment, it is the duty of the government to maintain peace, that is why the governor insisted that we should be here and resolve it amicably.” he stated.

Trump Commends Buhari On Fight Against Terrorism

trump-buhariThe United States President, Donald Trump, on Monday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the fight against terrorism via telephone.

The conversation was cordial and President Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as President of the United States, as well as on his cabinet.

This was revealed in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina.

The two leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through provision of necessary equipment.

Mr Trump then assured the Nigerian President of the U.S readiness to cut a new deal in procurement of military weapons to combat terrorism.

Meanwhile, President Trump encouraged President Buhari to keep up the good work he has done so far, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok Girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.

The American President finally invited President Buhari to Washington for a visit at a date convenient to both leaders.

NAUTH Joint Health Workers Protest Emolument Imbalance

Delta FMC Nurses Protest Over Non-Payment Of SalariesOver one hundred staff of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Anambra state, have taken to the streets of Nnewi to protest Federal Government marginalization in the salary structure of the Joint Health Sector Workers, (JOHESU), Anambra state chapter.

According to the Branch Chairman of the Association, Mr Ikenna Anahalu, issues concerning non implementation of consolidated salary structure, absence of promotion, marginalization, skipping of members in promotion matters, decay in the hospital, stagnation and disobedience to Industrial court judgments among others.

They called on the Federal Government to do the right thing to achieve a better health delivery in Nigeria, as the Nigerian health sector is ranked at 187 out of 191 in the world presently.



Justice Ngwuta’s Trial: Federal Government Appoints New Prosecutor

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta's Trial StalledThe Nigerian government has appointed Mrs Olufemi Fatunde of the Federal Ministry of Justice, as the Lead Prosecutor in the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, a Supreme Court Justices who is standing trial for alleged corruption.

At the resumed hearing of the case in Abuja, Mrs Fatunde announced appearance as the new Head of the‎ Prosecution team following the withdrawal of the former Head of the Prosecution Team, Charles Adeogun-Philips.

Shortly after announcing her appearance, Mrs Fatunde made an oral application seeking an adjournment of the case to enable her study the file and also interview the witnesses.

Lawyer to Justice Ngwuta, Mr Kanu Agabi, however did not oppose the application and Justice John Tsoho subsequently adjourned the case to March 16 and 17, 2017, for continuation of trial.

Justice Ngwuta is one of the justices arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS), on October 8, 2016 for corruption and breach of professional ethics.

In November, he had entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges leveled against him by the Federal Government.

North Korea Says Ballistic Missile Test Was A ‘Success’

north-koreaNorth korea says the ballistic missile test fired on Sunday and supervised by leader, Kim Jong- Un, had been a success.

While the test has been widely condemned, it has been described as a “surface-to-surface medium-to-long-range ballistic missile” by the State news agency, KCNA.

Describing it as a “new type strategic weapon system”, the news agency said the missile used a solid-fuel engine, which gives ballistic missiles greater range and means they can be readied for launch faster than liquid-fuel missiles.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry however says it as an armed provocation to test the response of U.S President, Donald Trump.

Hence, the U.S, Japan and South Korea have requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the incident.

UNICEF Commends Army For Adequate Security Cover

UNICEF Commends Army For Adequate Security CoverA representative of the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Mohammed Fall, has said a more secure environment provided by the Nigerian Army, has helped them in no small measure to achieve their mandate.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations (7 Division), Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Samuel.

Mr Fall made the position known when he led some officials of the UNICEF on a “thank you” visit to the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu.

The UNICEF representative noted that the secured environment provided by the military had paved way for them and other humanitarian agencies to fulfil their mandate.

He then reiterated their commitment to providing critical assistance to children caught up in the conflict in northeast Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the GOC applauded the level of synergy existing between the Nigerian Army and the UNICEF, and indeed other agencies.

He went on to inform the visiting team that a school that caters for over 5,000 pupils in Bakassi IDP Camp was built by the Division with the provision of educational and clothing materials.

Furthermore, he assured them of safety, protection and continuous collaboration in the discharge of their duties.

Bayelsa Govt. Organises Media Chat To Address Developmental Challenges

Bayelsa Govt. Organises Media Chat To Address Developmental Challenges As part of activities marking the first year of the second tenure of the Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, the state government has announced its plans to organise a media chat to address developmental challenges.

The announcement was issued and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.

Scheduled for Monday February 13, the special two-hour live media chat is expected to be broadcast on all the Bayelsa based radio stations and would begin at 12 noon at the Governor’s Conference Room, Government House, Yenagoa.

The announcement further explained that the governor is expected to address a wide range of issues, including the various steps the government is taking to address the developmental challenges of the state in the midst of dwindling resources.

Bayelsans and the general public were therefore advised to tune in and also participate by asking questions and sending in comments.