Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pictures of Geregu phase 2 gas turbine power plant

 Geregu is a small community located in Ajaokuta, Kogi state. This community is home to Niger Delta Power Holding Company/National Integrated Power Project's 435MW Gas Turbine Power Plant. Already, an existing power plant (Geregu Phase 1) belonging to PHCN shares the same fence with this beautiful power station.
The power plant was built by Siemens AG of Germany in conjunction with their Nigerian branch. It consists of 3 units of V.94 Siemens gas turbine turbo-generators, each with a capacity of 135MW. The project is currently in final commissioning stage, and will soon be commissioned.

State of Emergency

On the 15th of November, precisely by 5pm, I checked my twitter handle and saw a post by Reno Omokri that President Goodluck Jonathan will be addressing the nation by 7pm Nigerian time. What immediately came to my mind was that the President will talk about the recent killings of security operatives in Nasarawa state; my mind didn't reason any declaration of a state of emergency.
But after a drab speech (which is a usual feature of all of Jonathan's speeches), the President declared a state of emergency in three states- Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states- even if he said the governors of the affected states will still carry out their 'full executive functions.
Personally, I think this development is long overdue: thousands of people have died, the economy of the affected states and the north in general is gradually grinding to a halt and people are no longer secure. The menace of Boko Haram has grown from a bunch of miscreants disturbing civil peace to a full scale act of terrorism, seemingly back by unknown but very powerful forces.
For once, I saw an angry President acting- and acting in line with the provisions of the constitution. That being said, I want to ask why other hot spots like Bauchi, Kano and Kaduna were not included; is it politics, or mere oversight? Maybe only President Jonathan can answer this.
I just hope this state of emergency brings a lasting solution to this mayhem, because I'm somewhat not comfortable with the idea of the governors still sitting in office. I believe the states should have been run by a sole administrator. What if the perpetrators move to another state to start their
operations? Will a state of emergency be declared also?
Jonathan, according to majority of Nigerians, has shown a will and guts that he still remains the president of this country; what's left to show is if his powers do mean anything.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'After 30 days, we will take you seriously'- FG to Boko Haram

The Federal Government on Tuesday reacted to the offer of ceasefire by a  faction of the fundamentalist  Islamic group, Boko Haram,  by giving a condition to the sect.
The condition: Boko Haram must  stop its  violence in the North for a period of one month.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, stated the Federal Government’s position just as the   Federal Capital Territory  Minister, Senator Bala  Mohammed,  summoned an emergency security meeting over increased  presence of  foreign immigrants in the FCT.
Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Ola IbrahimIbrahim spoke  with journalists at the opening of the 2013 seminar on National Security with the theme, Contemporary National Security Challenges: Policy Option, organied by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, Abuja.
 He said that while security chiefs were excited by the development, the olive branch  offered by  the sect called  for caution.
Ibrahim said  the government would only take the peace overture seriously  if Boko Haram  could ensure that attacks of whatever form did not take place  for 30 days.
He stated that security operatives would wait for the period to see if no public place, security formation and place of worship was bombed before taking the sect seriously.
Ibrahim  also said  he was optimistic that the  development would culminate in improved security in the country.
He said, “You see, we must treat that with a lot of caution. You understand, there are certain objective tests that will make sense. Let’s assume we can have a long period of about one month where no bomb explodes, where nobody is shot, where nobody is beheaded, where no church is bombed, where no mosque is threatened.
“If they can guarantee just one month, then we can begin to talk. You see we must take this with a lot of caution. That is what I am telling you.
“We hope whatever that must have brought about  this will further enhance our security and it’s like a recognition of the very futile approach to solving whatever they consider to be their problems. So we are a bit excited by it but we are taking everything with a lot of caution.”
 Boko Harama’s commander for Southern and Northern Borno, Muhammed Abdulazeez, had in a statement on Monday,  said  the sect resolved to stop its violence  after a dialogue with  the Government  of Borno State in Maiduguri.
Abdulazeez  urged all Boko Haram members to lay down their arms in honour of the declaration.
He said that the ceasefire had become necessary as a result of the hardship caused other Muslims and citizens of the North by the activities of the sect.
He stated that security operatives were free to arrest anybody found to be fomenting trouble after the perfection of the ceasefire deal.
Abdulazeez  had said, “For sometime now,  we the members of Jamaatul ahlil Boko Haram sunna lidawati wal jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram have recently had a meeting and dialogue with the government of Borno State where we resolved that given  the prevailing situation, there is the need for us to cease fire.
“We, on our own, in the top hierarchy of our movement under the leadership of Imam Abubakar Shekau, as well as some of our notable followers agreed that our brethren in Islam, both women and children are suffering unnecessarily; hence we resolved that we should bring this crisis to an end.
“We therefore call on all those that identify themselves with us and our cause, to from today(Monday) lay down their arms. Let every member who hears this announcement relay it to the next member who hasn’t heard.
“We have met with the Borno State Government on two occasions and the fallout of the meeting was  to cease fire.”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had in 2011 initiated a dialogue between the Federal Government and the sect.
Obasanjo had visited the family of the late leader of the sect, Mohammed Yusuf, in Maiduguri, where he  was received by the father-in-law of the leader, Babakura Fuggu.
Fuggu was killed a few days after Obasanjo’s visit.
In November last year, the sect named a former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and six others to mediate between it and the government.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Senator Mohammed, on Tuesday  met  with the FCT Police Commissioner; Director, Department of State Security; FCT Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as  representatives of Customs, Immigration and Prisons in his official residence in Abuja.
Others at the meeting convened by the minister over the rising number of illegal immigrants in the FCT  were the FCT Permanent Secretary, Chairmen of the six Area Councils in the FCT, as well as  top officials of the FCT Administration.
SUNDAY PUNCH had reported that two Nigerian affiliates of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb — Boko Haram  and the Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis- Sudan — are planning major reprisal to protest Nigeria’s participation in Mali.
Nigeria has deployed forces in northern Mali to flush out the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups, who have taken control of the vast desert territory.
Security agents had said that the sects planned to protest Nigeria’s participation in the Mali war, and had  therefore brought into the country, terrorists that may be used to carry out attacks on government installations and  in  kidnapping   high-profile  persons.
The FCT minister stated that the meeting was called to appraise the security situation in Abuja, adding that it was normal for the FCT Administration to take proactive measures to reduce any possibility of security breach in the territory.
He emphasised that the government would not want to be taken unawares as the security of lives and property remained important to the Federal Government.
The minister called for continued collaboration,and  sharing of information with a view to ensuring synergy amongst all the security outfits in the FCT.
While reminding them of the constant need to share intelligence , Mohammed promised to support the security agencies by procuring new equipment to ease their operations.
He said, “Security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory should be  on red alert to effectively take precautionary measures against any unforeseen circumstances. Residents are enjoined to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement to the security agents.”
The NIS could however not be reached for comments on the alleged influx of immigrants into the FCT as its new public relations officer, Ekpedeme King, could not be reached on the phone.
He did not respond to a text message sent to his phone.
The Federal Government’s military intervention in the Malian crisis was part of the moves to solve the terrorism problem in the country, which is believed to have foreign backing.
Speaking also on the crisis in Mali, the CDS,  stated that Nigerian troops were performing very well in their peacekeeping operations in the embattled francophone country.
He said that things were moving very fast in Mali and commended Western powers such as France, the United States, the United Kingdom,  Germany, Belgium and  the African Union for the support they gave to ECOWAS in the challenge to free Northern Mali from the grip  of terrorists.

Air fares slashed by almost 50% as competition rises

Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella OduaAirfares on domestic routes have crashed by about 50 per cent from an average of N32,000 to N16,000 for an hour’s flight, following the recommencement of flight operations by Dana Air and Chanchangi Airlines, as well as the coming on board of a new carrier, Med-View Airlines, findings by our correspondent have revealed.
The suspension of flights by Air Nigeria, Dana Air, FirstNation Airlines and Chanchangi Airlines around the middle of last year had led to over 35 per cent increase in airfares from an average of N22,000 to N32,000.
Desperate passengers fought to get seats on Arik Air, Aero Nigeria and IRS Airlines, the only major domestic airlines in business then. Their flight tickets were sold for between N30,000 and N35,000.
Specifically, the suspension of flights by some of the airlines led to sharp drop in the number of available seats on planes plying domestic routes, a situation that made air travel a nightmarish experience
However, investigations by our correspondent on Tuesday revealed that the airfares had dropped by about 50 per cent with flight tickets now going for between N14,500 and N25,000 depending on how early a passenger bought the ticket.
The return of Dana and Chanchangi and the commencement of flights by a new operator, Med-View Airlines, in the last two months have led to the drop in airfares, according to findings
Dana Air sells its one-hour flight ticket (economy class) for between N14,000 and N20,000 depending on how early a passenger buys the ticket.
A visit to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal Two, Lagos, showed that Med-View was selling its one-hour flight for about N20,000 most of the time, while Chanchangi sells it one-hour flight ticket at a flat fare of N17,500.
IRS sells its ticket on some routes, especially the Lagos-Kaduna for N16,000, depending on how early a passenger buys its ticket.
Aero’s fares have been fluctuating with its ticket being sold for over N20,000 most times. However, passengers who book online may pay below N20,000.
Arik Air, a major domestic player, has been selling its one-hour flight ticket for a little above N30,000.
Top airline officials told our correspondent under the condition of anonymity that airfares might crash further when existing carriers acquire more aircraft and more operators begin flying.
It was gathered that FirstNation might resume operations before the end of the first quarter.
Insider sources, however, said the airfares might not reduce below N15,000 because the high price of aviation fuel and exorbitant government taxes might prevent the airline operators from reducing the fares below certain levels.
The Assistant General Secretary, Airlines Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Tukur, had predicted in January that airfares would crash by about 40 per cent to between N18,000 and N22,000.
He said, “The industry is controlled by the law of demand and supply. More airlines are coming in, while even the existing ones are buying more planes to cope with the demand.
“I believe during this year, may be in a few months’ time, the fares will drop to between N18,000 and N22,000. The reason for the drop is that the airlines will want to fill their planes.”

Super Mario goes to Milan

Mario Balotelli
Mario Ballotelli has finally said good bye to Machester City in a €20m deal on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
The former Manchester City player yesterday struck a deal with Italian Serie A side, AC Milan for a four and half year contract, ending a two and half year roller coaster with the English champions.
The final part of the contract will be completed as soon as the 22-year old completes his medical on Wednesday at the Italian club.
Manchester City had signed the youngster for €24m in 2010 with the striker scoring 20 Premier League goals for the club.
Balotelli’s departure comes weeks after he was involved in a training ground altercation with Coach Roberto Mancini amongst other controversies, on and off pitch, which has earned him the reputation as the Premier League’s most notorious player. AC Milan has always been Balloteli's dream club and had always supported them as a boy

Don Jazzy to kick off Mavin Clothing line this Summer

From music to fashion – Don Jazzy has announced he is setting up his Mavin clothing line pretty soon.
The music producer and record lable owner announced his new business venture via micrco-blogging site Twitter yesterday January 29, 2013, saying that  the clothing line will ba making its debut in the summer.
‘#MavinClothing 60% loading… Summer 2013. Watch this space. I dey hail o. IDJA’, he tweeted. It is unclear whether the producer is working with a fashion designer in the background
Don Jazzy is also looking for models who will show off his outfits on the runaway and is giving everyone an opportunity to fill in the spots by launching a Mavin Clothing Model Search.
Apart from running his record label, Don Jazzy also oversees Mavin Energy Oil and Gas service company with his younger brother James ‘Jay’ Collins.

We Want Buhari To Contest In 2015 – CPC

The Congress for Progressive Change has said it wants its National Leader, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to contest in 2015.
photoThe party, which explained its merger talks with some opposition parties, said it wanted Buhari to contest because of the passion he had for the country.
But the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, said opposition parties’ merger would not defeat Peoples Democratic Party in 2015.
Gulak and the CPC spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, spoke during an African Independent Television programme on Tuesday.
Saturday PUNCH had on January 26 reported that there were moves  in the merger plan to ask Buhari and the Action Congress of Nigeria leader, Bola Tinubu, to make personal sacrifices.
Such sacrifices, it was reported might see the duo dumping their presidential ambition.
But Fashakin said there was nothing wrong if Buhari changed his mind to contest the 2015 presidential election.
He said, “There is peace in South-Africa because of the foundation laid by the man (Nelson Mandela), who stood for democracy in that country.
“He came and ruled for one term and handed over to people of sound character.
“Also, in Ghana, the country is better now because of what Jerry Rawlings did and that is why Ghana is what it is today.
“Nigeria and Nigerians need Buhari to do the same thing for things to move on. We cannot continue like this.”
He noted that an earlier pronouncement by the retired general that he would not contest was done at a personal level.
Fashaki said, “If after the emergence of the new political party as a result of the merger the Nigerian people say they want him, he will consider it.
“He has said it that whenever we get to that bridge and they want him to cross it, he will consider it.”
But Gulak said it would be difficult for Buhari to become President.
He said apart from not being a politician, the presidential aide said the former head of state was not a mobliser.
He added that there was no way politicians, who Buhari overthrew in 1983 would embrace him.
He said the PDP was the most organised political parties in the country, adding that existence of regional parties did not augur well for the polity.
Gulak added, “The PDP sitting up is what I see happening. That   PDP will lose power to the opposition is an illusion as I am concerned.”
He said merger could only succeed if politicians were ready to build “political bridges.”
Gulak stated, “The CPC (Congress for Progressive Change)  is a regional party. The ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) is a regional party. If they can come together, to form a formidable political party with a clear manifesto to Nigerians; it will make the PDP to be more prepared and be more organised. We need such mergers, if it going to be possible.”
Meanwhile, the intrigues in the power play within the national leadership of the PDP took another turn as all the deputy national officers of the party on Tuesday in Abuja, passed a vote confidence in their National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.
Addressing reporters after a meeting, the leader of the group, Senator Umar Tsauri, said they met to felicitate with Tukur on the New Year and at the same time deliberate on issues affecting the party.
Tsauri, who is the PDP Deputy National Auditor, described as “very fruitful” their deliberations with Tukur and stressed that their discussions was for the benefit of the party.
He stressed that they were in support of Tukur’s leadership and they had no problem in passing a vote of confidence on him.
“Today we told the National Chairman of the party of his leadership capabilities and the way he manages crisis and we are confidence in his style of leadership.
“Our meeting with him was fruitful and we discuss the development of the party. We pass a vote of confidence on him.”

-culled from