Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

FG plans audience measurement conference to catalyze broadcast industry growth

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BSP Media International CEO, Benjamin Olusegun Pius; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Hajia Sa'a Ibrahim and Chief Executive, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe at the 3rd BON International Summit on Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria...in Lagos on Tuesday
BSP Media International CEO, Benjamin Olusegun Pius; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Hajia Sa'a Ibrahim and Chief Executive, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe at the 3rd BON International Summit on Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria...in Lagos on Tuesday

The Federal Government is to organize an Audience Measurement
Conference to provide broadcast industry stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to efforts to establish a scientific Audience Measurement System for radio television broadcasting in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday at the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) 3rd International Summit on Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria, saying the event will hold 3rd Oct. 2017.

“It is imperative that we urgently put in place an industry framework that will ensure that Content Producers receive their just due for the value of the Content they create, as well as provide objective guarantees to the Advertising community on their Return-On-Investment on media placements. This will then have the overall effect of guaranteeing greater spending by the Advertisers, who are all seeking to grow their market share.

“This industry framework can only happen if the Ministry of
Information and Culture, which fortunately supervises both the
Broadcasting and Advertising industries, serves as a catalyst for
putting in place a robust Audience Measurement System that is in line with global standards and supports the realization of the immense potential that the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment industry holds,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said for the Digital Switch Over from analogue to digital television to be sustainable for Signal Distributors, Channel owners, TV Content Producers and Advertisers, the scientific Audience Measurement System is critical to articulate the value of the content to Consumers, as well as the value of the Audience to Advertisers, particularly in the Television sector.

He said lack of a scientific Audience Measurement System has resulted in under-investment in the sector, which is necessary to foster the growth of the industry, as the Advertising community continues to rely on subjective factors when making decisions on the Content they want, as opposed to how many viewers the Content truly attracts.

The Minister said as a consequence, television platforms are subjected to renting out space on their Channels to sustain their businesses and Content Producers have become increasingly over-reliant on sponsorship which, unfortunately, skews the authenticity of their creative output in favor of a few decision makers and not the millions of TV viewers.

“Further, the value of Nigeria’s Broadcasting Advertising Market is
not proportionate with its population when compared to the Top 3
Markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Despite having a population three times more than South Africa, Nigeria’s Television Advertising Revenue in 2016, at $309m, was behind that of South Africa, at $1,301m.

“By 2020, the gap between South Africa and Nigeria is projected to marginally decline to 72%. Similarly, in the Radio sector, the value of Nigeria’s 2016 Advertising Revenue of US$81m was behind its peers, South Africa and Kenya, both at $343m. Kenya is projected to overtake South Africa in 2017 as the leading Radio Advertising market,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed stressed that in both South Africa and Kenya, the value and growth rate of the Broadcasting Advertising Revenue is largely influenced by the availability of a scientific Audience Measurement System that provides confidence to Advertisers in measuring their Return-On-Investment.

He noted that bringing Nigerian TV advertisement market into line with benchmarks that is 2 to 3 times the current size could result in additional $200-$400m of revenue to the industry, based on current comparisons with other African countries.

The Minister said the Federal Government had already taken a critical long-term decision to support the Nigeria Creative and Entertainment Industry by ensuring and funding the inclusion of a middle-ware that is capable of scientific Audience Measurement on Set-Top Boxes, hence the need to develop the framework.

“The existing model will never enable the Nigeria’s Creative and
Entertainment Industry to reach its full potential. It stunts the
quality of the Content that can be created and it also limits the
capacity of Television platforms to invest in dynamic offerings that
Consumers will be attracted to,” he noted

Delta governor, Okowa, condemns renewed violence in Isoko communities

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Gov.-Ifeanyi-Okowa-of-Delta-State
Gov.-Ifeanyi-Okowa-of-Delta-State

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Tuesday expressed sadness over renewed hostilities between Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Okowa condemned the killings and wanton destruction of properties worth millions of naira during the hositilities and warned that government would deal decisively with perpetrators of the violence.

Recall that six people were killed, scores wounded and several houses set ablaze during a mayhem over the weekend in a renewed clash between the two communities.

Also, hundreds of people fled the communities during the mayhem.
The attack came 11 months after the leadership of the feuding communities had signed an undertaking to end their 15-month crisis over land and maintain law and order in their domains.

Okowa said the renewed hostilities were coming in spite of government’s effort at resolving the protracted land dispute.

“The attention of the Delta state government has been brought to the renewed hostilities between Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities in Isoko South local government area.

“Government is seriously worried by the intensity of the renewed attacks on both communities which have culminated in wanton loss of lives and property,” he said.

The governor said it was regrettable that families were displaced and businesses destroyed.

He directed security agencies to promptly investigate the circumstances leading to the renewed clashes and ensure that the culprits were prosecuted.

He condoled with those who lost their loved ones in the violence and commiserated with the government and people of the local government area over the unfortunate incident.

He called on the two communities to remain calm and maintain the peace while investigation progressed.

He assured the people of the state that the perpetrators of the violence would be identified and brought to book.

He warned that government would not condone violent acts by any group of people as a form of redressing grievances.

According to Okowa, such unlawful pursuit of redress and despicable expression of grievances shall be firmly punished in line with extant laws.

Lagos has capacity, potential of becoming African Hong – Bello

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Tunji-Bello- Secretary to the Lagos-State Government
Tunji-Bello- Secretary to the Lagos-State Government

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello on
Monday stated that Lagos has the capacity and potential of becoming
the African version of a Hong Kong in the next 50 years.

Bello who spoke at the Special “Lagos State Showcase Session” at
the ongoing 2017 Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference holding at
the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru Estates said the greatest challenge
against that attainment is the present federalist structure.

In his words: “Let me give you a clear poser. Would the Apapa Port and
the Lagos International Airport remain so derelict and obsolete if
they were allowed to be managed by proper private investors under the
local authorities as it is in most advanced economies?

The promise of true federalism is to unbundle and exploit the untapped
and hidden potentials of each state, create employment opportunities
for our teeming working population, particularly for the large army of
unemployed guarantee a better future for us all. It is time to move
forward and truly practice what is just for a true federation”, he
added.

Bello called for a stoppage to the present practice of skewed
federalism or ‘military federalism” being camouflaged as genuine
federalism, stating that most states are currently hemorrhaging
socio-economically.

He added that the nation is supposed to have a federation governed by
federalist concepts and principles, but in reality, the government is
being run as a nation on a unitary platform.

He emphasized that Lagos has been leading in championing the
principles of true federalism since 1999, added that this has been
done at a great inconvenience and is a humongous sacrifice.

He stated that in the last two years, the present administration has
sustained a blend of progressive vision and action that is not only
been robust but exemplary so as to project the image of the state and
put residents in a proper perspective.

He noted that Lagos is the most cosmopolitan, economically viable and
hospitable state in West Africa and stressed that it has become a
sprawling megacity which is characterized by rapid urbanization and
the attendant increase in population.

Bello urged lawyers to join forces with the Lagos State Government in
genuine institution building stressing that it is time now to
collaborate and unlock the states, saying; “the time of sitting on
the fence is over”.

Haj 2017: Pilgrim numbers up 24% over last year

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Pilgrims leaving Madina for Makkah
Pilgrims leaving Madina for Makkah

The number of pilgrims arriving via air, land and sea entry points until Friday reached 1.07 million, an increase of 204,302, or 24 percent, compared to the same period last year.

The numbers of pilgrims arriving by air, land and sea were 1.015 million, 50,554 and 4,915 respectively, according to data released by the General Directorate of Passports.

On Sunday, the number of pilgrims arriving in Madinah stood at 32,468, while those leaving the city for Makkah reached 24,073, according to the National Guides Establishment in Madinah.

The number of pilgrims who remained in Madinah up to Sunday evening reached 201,101, compared to 175,676 in the same period last year.

Presiding over a meeting on Civil Defense plans for Hajj, the director general of the Civil Defense, Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amro, emphasized the importance of raising the sense of security, and of not tolerating any excesses or violations of safety requirements.

The commander of Civil Defense forces for Hajj, Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubaddal, gave a visual presentation on the Civil Defense’s preparations and plans, and the readiness and positioning of forces at the holy sites.

President Buhari meets security chiefs, others

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President Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other Service Chiefs after Security Council meeting
President Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other Service Chiefs after Security Council meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with members of the National Security Council in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting, which started around 11.15a.m., was still ongoing as of the time of filing this report.

It is being attended by all the service chiefs, National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno and Director-General, Department of State Security, Alhaji Lawal Daura.

It would be recalled that President Buhari on Monday in a broadcast to the nation charged the security agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months in the fight against insurgents “be a sign to relax”.

He said in the broadcast that “terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.’’

Buhari also pledged “to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against elements of Boko Haram, which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, clashes between farmers and herdsmen, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.”

Ensure all-inclusive governance, Ambode charges newly elected LG Chairmen

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Newly elected LG Chairmen in Lagos
Newly elected LG Chairmen in Lagos

The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has urged newly elected Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas to be ambassadors of an all-inclusive government being championed and demonstrated at the State level.

He said that the newly elected political heads in all the 57 Local Councils in Lagos must identify with the culture of good governance already exemplified by his administration where adequate attention is being paid to the needs of people at the grassroots.

Ambode gave the charge on Monday at A Two-Day induction programme for the newly elected Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Heads of Administration and Heads of Finance and Accounts departments of the 57 council areas.

The Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami at the event, noted that the local government level is not only the closest government to the people but possesses the capacity to be more impactful in fulfilling the wishes and aspirations of the people at the grassroots.

He disclosed that one of the present administration’s policy thrusts for Local Government administration is to create a new service orientation hinged on collaboration and cooperation of the political office holders and career officers, including Heads of Administration, Finance & Accounts, such that the overall objective of delivering good governance to the people at the grassroots would not be hampered.

“I charge you all to make yourselves available to your people in all the council areas and always remember the State Government’s policy thrust of giving governance back to the people at the grassroots. The imperative of local councils being the third tier of government confers on you the greater responsibility of good governance”, Ambode stated.

The Governor underscored the need to continuously build the capacity of political office holders and equip public managers with required skills to cope with the imperatives of modern governance predicated on transparency, accountability, and probity in public offices in line with the demands of contemporary public management.

On his part, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa advised the administrators to follow the structure of governance already established by the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration, stressing that the existing structure has been designed to impact the lives of residents of the State in a seamless manner.

He called on the Chairmen and the Vice Chairmen to be more concerned about attaining dignity in the service of the public rather than running after self-prestige that comes with the chairmanship positions.

“Make the services that impact the lives of the people your priority. Go round your areas, speak, relate with the people and strategize on achieving solutions on identified issues that will relieve livelihood.” the Chairman stated.

He urged the Chairmen to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, noting that their virtue of holding the office should not be a platform to punish and frustrate the political opposition.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Fola Padonu said that the training programme has been tailored to acquaint the council leaders with the required skill, knowledge and attitudinal disposition to address the challenges confronting Local Government Administration at this critical period of our national development.

He urged the participants to draw knowledge from the highly experienced and well-grounded facilitators for the training sessions, adding that the programme would also be characterized by sharing new perspectives and ideas on the new model of public administration in the State.

NNPC raises alarm on international crude oil fraudsters

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Maikanti-Baru, NNPC GMD
Maikanti-Baru, NNPC GMD

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised the red flag on the activities of con men who specialize in circulating phantom letters of crude oil allocation with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting would-be buyers or members of the public.

Speaking at the presentation of commendation letters to 12 staff of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Corporation in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the activities of the international fraudsters created an unnecessary distraction for staff of the COMD who were compelled to deal with huge turnover of scam mails on a regular basis.

He urged members of the public to be wary of such dubious emails purporting to emanate from the Corporation with mouth-watering crude oil allocation offers.

Providing an insight into the activities of the nefarious group, the Group General Manager in charge of the Crude oil Marketing Division of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the scammers function by sending fake crude oil allocation letters using names of senior NNPC officials as decoy and requesting the gullible individuals to pay certain cash deposits as commission on volume of crude received.

“The gullible individuals end up paying huge sums of dollars into these accounts as commission but the reality is that nobody allocates crude oil on a piece of paper the way the scammers canvass in their dubious letters. Everything about crude sale is electronic and real time. If you have your cargo the whole world knows,” Kyari said.

To tackle the challenge, the COMD has made available the email contacts of its top officials thus allowing members of the public access to verify such emails.

In similar vein, the division has embarked on the automation of the Direct-Sale –Direct-Purchase (DSDP) crude oil for product exchange scheme to ensure transparency of the process.

According to Kyari, the idea is to guarantee an end-to-end access to the DSDP programme online for relevant stakeholders to monitor the process from the point of crude oil allocation to conversion, return of products to the country and distribution by the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) to the ultimate transfer of the Naira cash into the Federation Account.

He said though some form of automation of the process exists at the moment, the new programme which would be delivered by next month would provide insight into the minutest details of the entire transaction.

The GMD, while presenting letters of commendation to the 12 staff of the division for outstanding service, urged them not to rest on their oars, stressing that the Corporation would as always incentivize hard work and commitment to service delivery.

IITA sets up demonstration farms in four states

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A woman using a mechanical weeder to weed in cassava farm
A woman using a mechanical weeder to weed in cassava farm

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-led Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) is to set up 136 demonstration plots for farmers in Abia, Benue, Oyo and Oyo States.

Godwin Atser, IITA Communication expert, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, stated that the programme would involve an agreement with the farmers to assist them in improving weed management practices for cassava production.

Atser said that IITA established 58 similar on-farm trials across the cassava producing zones of the country in 2016.

He said that under the agreements, participating farmers would make available plots of land for the on-farm demonstrations.

“They will also provide adequate security on the land during the research duration to prevent theft and cattle invasion.

“The demonstrations are farmer-led; farmers will keep records of the farm activities and share these records with the nominated authorised representative of IITA-CWMP,” he said.

Atser said that the institute would also provide free fertilisers, herbicides and planting materials for farmers on the demonstration plots.

He said farmers would notify IITA-CWMP when the harvesting period is due for a joint harvest to allow the institute collate necessary data on the plots.

“All proceeds, except 30 per cent of cassava stems, from the demonstration plot will go to the farmers provided the farmers keep to the terms of the agreement,’’ he said.

MRA inducts NCAA into ‘FOI Hall of Shame’, accuses it of wasting public funds

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NCAA
NCAA

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) says it has conferred the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with membership of its Freedom of Information (FOI) “Hall of Shame”, accusing the agency of wasting public funds to advance a culture of secrecy and cover up dubious transactions.

In a statement in Lagos announcing the NCAA’s induction into the FOI Hall of Shame, MRA’s Freedom of Information Programme Manager, Ridwan Sulaimon, said rather than complying with the FOI Act which encapsulates a public policy of open government, the agency has chosen to dissipate public funds in challenging every effort to make it transparent and any attempt by citizens to obtain information from it.

He called on the Buhari Administration to direct an investigation into the amount of public funds that the NCAA had wasted in unjustifiable litigations aimed at avoiding its duties and obligations under the FOI Act and ensure that the funds are recovered from those officials responsible for every decision not to comply with the Law in all cases resulting in legal expenses.

The NCAA is the regulatory body overseeing the activities of all airlines and their pilots, engineers and cabin staff, airports, airstrips and heliports, navigation aids, all aviation service providers, including the airport authority and air traffic service providers, aviation training institutions, among others and oversees the entire aviation industry.

The agency claims that its operating principles, guidelines and standards applied in the civil aviation sector in Nigeria are based on the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and stipulated national laws and regulations.

“This claim by the NCAA that its operations and activities are guided by national laws and regulations is a myth going by its clear disregard for the FOI Act. An agency that performs such important functions and activities as the NCAA should be open and transparent. But a quick examination of the activities of NCAA since the inception of the FOI Act reveals that it is one of those public institutions undermining the Act through its actions and omissions.”

MRA noted that since 2011 when the FOI Act was passed into Law, the NCAA has failed to comply with its duties and obligations under the Act, saying that the agency prefers to squander public resources in fighting any request for the disclosure of information by engaging the services of lawyers to assist its efforts to advance an illegal and unjustifiable culture of secrecy.

It cited as evidence of this the web of litigations that the NCAA has been entangled in since 2013, following its refusal to grant a series of FOI requests made by several individuals, civil society organizations and networks, including human rights lawyer and former President of the West African Bar Association (WABA), Femi Falana (SAN); Enough Is Enough (EIE), Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), MRA, and the Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC), to disclose, among other things, its budgets, procurement information and details of its purchase of two controversial BMW 760 LiHSS bullet proof cars for then Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, worth N225 million.

MRA accused the NCAA of also failing to meet most of its other obligations under the FOI Act, saying it had not published the title and address of the appropriate officer to whom applications for information under the FOI Act should be made, as required by Section 2(3)(f) of the Act.

It also noted that despite the express provisions of the Law, over the last six years since the FOI Act came into force, the NCAA had not issued or submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, as required by Section 29(1) of the Act, any annual report on its implementation of the Act and has not on its own published such a report for any year, as stipulated by the Law.

Additionally, MRA said, the NCAA has not complied with its proactive disclosure obligations under Section 2(3) and (4) of the Act as it has not published on its website or circulated anywhere else, the categories of information which the Law requires it to publish and disseminate widely to members of the public through various means, including print, electronic and online sources.

MRA added that it was not aware of any request for information that the NCAA has granted over the last six years, insisting that on the contrary, the NCAA has repeatedly refused to disclose information requested by members of the public, including many civil society organizations, even when no exemptions applied to the information requested, with nearly all of them resulting in litigation against the NCAA for its failure to disclose requested information.

It said despite the clear provisions of Section 13 of the FOI Act, which mandates every public institution to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information and records held by them for effective implementation of the Act, there is no indication that the NCAA has done this in the last six years.

Sulaimon said: “In the light of this appalling record by the NCAA, one can only wonder why the agency feels that such egregious disregard for a valid and subsisting Law is in its interest, and while it is so blatantly flouting the law with impunity, whether it has any moral authority to insist that other public institutions and private bodies over which it is given regulatory powers by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (Establishment, Etc.) Act should comply with the provisions of that Law.”

Media Rights Agenda launched the “FOI Hall of Shame” on July 3 to draw attention to public officials and institutions that are undermining the effectiveness of the Freedom of information Act, 2011 through their actions or inactions, decisions or utterances.

Obaseki inaugurates 11-man committee to set up Edo Sports Commission

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R-L: Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Mika Amanokha; Chairman of the newly inaugurated committee and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; CEO, MultiSports, Godwin Dudu-Orumen and Chairperson, Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode at the Government House on Monday
R-L: Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Mika Amanokha; Chairman of the newly inaugurated committee and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; CEO, MultiSports, Godwin Dudu-Orumen and Chairperson, Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode at the Government House on Monday

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated an 11-man committee to assist with the modalities for setting up a sports commission that will help the state reclaim her top position in sports in the country.

Inaugurating the committee, Obaseki said the idea of a commission of experts was the product of a workshop organised by the state government earlier in the year as part of his administration’s resolve to reposition sports in the state.

“As a government, our desire is to establish a sports commission that will help us meet our aspirations in the sector. We believe that those chosen for this task have the experience, skills, and knowledge in the world of sports, and will provide the framework for a premier sports commission in Nigeria,” he said.

The terms of reference for the committee include: to design a holistic sports policy for Edo State to help reclaim its pride of place in the nation; help produce a legal framework to help establish a sports commission; prioritize the content and direction of sports in the state; design a framework to help rebuild sporting institutions and facilities to world class standards, as well as assist to design a strategy for private sector funding for sports in the state, among others.

In his response, the chairman of the committee and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them and promised that the team would do its best to ensure that the state government achieves its desire to reposition sports in the state.

“When you talk about sports in Nigeria, the committee members are the best names and faces in Nigeria, and I want to assure you that the committee will not fail in this task. The report will capture the essence of the vision of sports by this administration,” the chairman said.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Special Duties, Edo State, Dr. Mrs. Osayuware Idahosa is to serve as Secretary of the committee. The members are Godwin Dudu-Orumen; Aisha Falode; Ejiro Omonode; Isaac Ikhuoria; Barr. Osayaba Osarenren; Mike Itemuagbor; Austin Eguavoen; Frank Ilaboya and Dr. Kweku Tandoh. The committee has six weeks to submit its report.