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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wale Ojo Lanre writes Buhari on tourism development in Nigeria !

What Buhari must know about Nigerian tourism development

Written By Wale Ojo Lanre 
Nigerian Tribune ,
Wednesday ,1 July, 2015

President Muhammadu Buhari
By the eclipse of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure in 2007, the tourism sector was in a vibrant state as the fundamental structures required for the blossoming of the sector were already on ground only waiting for its sustenance, expansion and development by successive government.
 Chief Obasanjo showed and displayed his passionate comphrension of the potency of tourism sector not as only as alternate source of revenue for the nation, but as a tool for empowerment, infrastructural development, job creation and wealth mobilising.
Thus, he announced and mentioned Tourism as the sixth major preferred sector of the economy, which he personally monitored and ensured its buffer budgetary allocation 
Chief Obasanjo showed his seriousness of purpose on tourism as he created, for the first time, a Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and assigned it a purposeful driving mission from entertainment to empowerment.
Reinforcing the ministry, Chief Obasanjo inaugurated the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT), which the president was the chairman, with ministers of key ministries like Finance, Aviation, Works, Environment, and state governors which have interest in tourism development and whose states harbour notable tourism sites.
This Council discussed and promote tourism issues and policy complying with international standards, his government with the tacit backing of UNESCO World Tourism Organisation, commenced the drawing of a Tourism Master Plan which is a necessity for a tourism driven nation.
He also inaugurated the Abuja Carnival, which was propelled as a national unifying tourism convention where all states of the Federation will yearly showcase their tourism potentialities to the global view for appreciation.
The new Ministry of Culture and Tourism has 9 separate parastatals which are headed by Director – Generals and all the parastatals are tourism content major under the supervision of the Minister.
Testifying to the fact that Nigerian tourism strides got global acceptance and acknowledgement, the Commonwealth Tourism Ministers Conference was held in Nigeria with over 152 Ministers of Tourism from members of the Commonwealth in attendance.
The Commonwealth ministers lauded the advancement made on the tourism sector but the Obasanjo’s administration pointing   that ‘Nigeria has planted herself firmly inside the fast global tourism train”
 This legacy of positive advancements in the tourism was bequeathed to the Yar’adua / Jonathan administration by Obasanjo’s administration.
However, the glowing embers of the tourism glory started ebbing slowly as soon as Dr Goodluck Jonathan assumed full authority as the president of Nigeria, to the consternation and disappointment of tourism stakeholders and industry watchers who believed that the new President should not only sustain the achievements so far but build on it.
Instead of stoking the embers already set aglow on the tourism sector, the Jonathan administration displayed a clinical indifference to the sector.
First, the Presidential Council on Tourism was not only disbanded but consigned to the dustbin of history.
Thus, the tourism sector lost a practical and potent platform of people with patriotic interest and gut to push tourism policy at the national front burner.
Tourism was no longer treated as the 6th preffered sector of the economy but relegated into the background as one of those ministries with no special interest.
Also, the Tourism Master Plan which was co- sponsored by Nigeria and WTO was completed but the documents have been gathering dust in the office of the minister and crying for attention and implementation.
All the festival and particularly the Abuja Carnival, have been cannibalised and its extent of celebration watered down tremendously, which has confined it as an avenue to recite poem, not as a glamorous event set by the government of Chief Obasanjo as an answer as to the Rio de Jeneiro Carnival in Nigeria.
The Jonathan administration, made a bold effort at branding Nigeria when its Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke gathered some of the Hollywood acts together, invited some select sector participants and gleefully launched Fascinating Nigeria inside Aso Villa at the presence of Vice-President  Namadi  Sambo who represented the President. The project was meant to sell Nigeria as a tourism brand to the world.
Apart from the launching of the project in Aso Villa with a heavy dose of publicity and paparazzi , it was briefly re- enacted for 45 minutes at World Travel Market, London.
 Sadly ,tragedy hit the tourism sector, when a judgement of a full Supreme Court  withdrew the authority of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, as the sole agency charged with  Hotel Registration, Classification and Grading  and made it a prerogative of the state government.
In a case that was between the federal government and Lagos State government over who has the authority to register, classify and grade hotels in Nigeria.
Except for splashes of exciting events from the Nigerian Tourism development Corporation (NTDC) which has been lucky to have some vibrant director-generals like, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, who ensured the promotion and the creation of tourism awareness both at the national and international level and the present DG, Mrs Sally Mbanefo who has been consistently promoting and marketing the need to develop and promote Nigeria’s domestic tourism, nothing much has been achieved under  President Jonathan.
The other parastatals of the tourism industry are in coma as the supervising ministry has been docile, complacent and timid failing to live up to expectation by advocating proper budgeting and implementing visionary policy .
However, there seems no hope of any further improvement on the tourism sector as President Muhammadu Buhari has no portion for tourism in his manifesto.
The Obasanjo government was able to achieve so much in the tourism sector, not as a result of development of brain wave about tourism, but by ingraining it as part of his vision and setting agenda of implementation.
Tourism has been effectively utilised by some countries with mono-revenue source and Nigeria will benefit immensely from making it an alternative revenue source.
The government of President Buhari will be doing this nation a great justice, both to its economy and people, if it can reinstate tourism as a preferred sector of his government, stoop low not only to resuscitate the Presidential Council on Tourism, but set up the necessary structure to reposition tourism as an alternate source of revenue for this nation.
Next week: How Buhari can shore up tourism in Nigeria.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Read how a white man 419 this white woman of 160,000 pounds !

'I lost £160,000 to a lonely hearts fraudster': Britain's oldest first-time mother, 57, gave cash to man she met online thinking it was being invested in her daughter's future 

  • Susan Tollefsen was 57 when she had her daughter Freya in 2008 after IVF
  • Duped into an investment she thought would provide for her child's future
  • Sting has left her virtually destitute – and she still owes £32,000 to friends 

Britain’s oldest first-time mother considered suicide after being conned out of nearly £160,000 by a fraudster she met on a lonely hearts website.
Susan Tollefsen, who was 57 when she had her daughter Freya in 2008 following IVF, was duped into handing over the money for an investment she thought would provide for her child’s future.
But after he failed to turn up to a series of meetings, she called her bank – only to be told that she had been scammed.
Debt: Mrs Tollefsen with Freya, seven, also owes £32,000 to friends who lent her cash to bankroll the bogus deal
Debt: Mrs Tollefsen with Freya, seven, also owes £32,000 to friends who lent her cash to bankroll the bogus deal
The sting has left her virtually destitute – and she still owes £32,000 to friends who lent her money to bankroll the bogus deal.
She said: ‘I thought I was investing in something that would set her up for the rest of her life but instead I was being played like an idiot. I’ve felt so low I’ve considered suicide. It’s only Freya and my love for my daughter that has stopped me.’
Mrs Tollefsen, now 64, became pregnant using a donor egg and sperm from her partner Nick Mayer, who was 46 at the time. But the ‘shock’ of having a child so late in life led to their separation, and she has since admitted she was too old to start a family.

Lonely and worried about bringing up her daughter on her own, she joined the dating site Plenty Of Fish in 2012.
Soon afterwards the special needs teacher – whose extraordinarily high IQ of 175 puts her in the ‘genius’ category – was contacted by a man claiming to be an Italian diamond dealer called Glenn Vanslyke.
He gained her confidence by describing how his wife had died and he had been left to bring up their teenage daughter alone. ‘There was nothing romantic about it but he was incredibly charming and I had no reason not to trust him,’ said Mrs Tollefsen, of Romford, Essex. ‘He said he had friends in common with my ex-husband, who I split with in the Eighties.’
Record: Mrs Tollefsen in 2008 with Freya, at just three days old, and her former partner Nick Mayer
Record: Mrs Tollefsen in 2008 with Freya, at just three days old, and her former partner Nick Mayer
Six months later, Vanslyke told her he had financial difficulties involving a land deal, so Mrs Tollefsen began sending him sums of money from her £1,400 a month state and teacher’s pensions.
She also sold her jewellery and gave him the proceeds. A few months later, he said he would repay her trust by giving her a share of the deal.
He opened what he claimed was an offshore account in Brussels in both their names. After he emailed her details of what ‘looked like a genuine ING bank account’ with £30,000 already in it, she sold a flat she owned in Sweden and gave him the £25,000 profit.
Over the next few months she gave him sums amounting to tens of thousands of pounds. So when he asked for more money she began to become suspicious, having already handed over £159,000, including more than £32,000 from two friends. She demanded a meeting in December 2013 and drove to the rendezvous in Brussels with a neighbour.
‘Just before I arrived I got a call from Glenn’s daughter saying he had been hit by a car in Madrid on his way over,’ Mrs Tollefsen said.
‘She sounded so distraught and was crying. It was all so plausible.’
She sounded so distraught and was crying. It was all so plausible 
Vanslyke then set up a meeting with their bank manager, but was suddenly called away on business and had to miss it.
Next, he sent a ‘tall African man’ who took her to a warehouse and showed her a ‘steel box full of dollars’.
Mrs Tollefsen was then convinced to speak to various people who claimed they were accountants or bankers.
There was also a terrifying meeting with ‘business partners’ in a hotel room – two ‘really big African men’ who insisted on seeing her alone.
‘They produced a machine which they said they needed to help the deal go through. They put these white, cheque-sized sheets of paper through the machine and it came out the other side as money.
‘They told me there were so many complications sending money around Europe it was sometimes done like this.’
Afterwards, she was told to contact an ING bank manager called Hans Jensen, who would arrange a bank transfer if she paid a fee of £6,000.
She told the Sunday Mirror: ‘It was then that I called the bank’s customer services, who told me nobody of that name worked there and I had probably been the victim of a scam.’
Mrs Tollefsen, who had retired but is now having to work again to pay off her debts, added: ‘One friend asked me how I could be so intelligent but so stupid.
‘That really hurt. I was just trying to provide for my daughter’s future – but I’ve lost almost everything.’ 


Buhari may not name ministers until Sept

Buhari may not name ministers until Sept


President Muhammadu Buhari
FOR those that are eager to hear President Muhammadu Buhari name his cabinet members, they will have to tarry awhile because the President’s cabinet members may not be announced untill the end of August or early September.
A source very close to the President confided in The PUNCH on Sunday that Buhari would not form any cabinet until the “rot left behind by the past administration” is cleared.
“Mr. President is reluctant to build on a rotten foundation he inherited from the Peoples Democratic Party administration. You cannot even begin to imagine the situation we have met on the ground; almost everything is in a state of decay.
“There is absolutely no way the new government can hope to achieve anything long-lasting without first building a new foundation,” the source said.
The source added that clearing the PDP rot was not a month’s job and said those that had been heckling the President over lack of cabinet were politicians looking for jobs.
“They have tried doing it other ways and those haven’t worked. They only want their cronies appointed to ministerial posts anyhow and they are fuelling the agitation,” the source said.
He also said Buhari was taking his time to know the ministries that would survive government’s planned pruning and the desire to cut cost of governance.
The source likened President Buhari’s plan of action to that of a doctor, who first has to break a poorly set bone afresh, before resetting it to allow for smooth and proper growth.
Over the past week, Buhari has come under criticism because he had yet to appoint his cabinet members, despite having more than three months since his election, including a month since his inauguration.
The President was sworn in on May 29, exactly one month ago today.
Responding to the criticism, the source pointed out that it would be impossible to appoint ministers to portfolios without first knowing which portfolios exist and which will be abolished.
He said, “The President plans to cut down the number of ministries and parastatals. He wants to cut down the cost of running government. He wants to make sure that all the loopholes that enable corruption to thrive are blocked. All these are procedures that require time and careful planning. You cannot do it in a rush.
“Remember that he has to make sure that all this is done without any job losses or mass retrenchments. All this is not a day’s or one-month job.”
He added that Buhari could not have realistically commenced the process of forming a cabinet without first receiving the full report of the transition committee and ascertaining exactly the situation his government faced.
The source also denied news reports which stated that President Buhari’s lack of cabinet appointments had grounded the government, insisting that civil servants had been supervising the day-to-day running of ministries and that Permanent Secretaries of the various ministries all have full access to the President.
The source concluded by referring to the current crisis in the National Assembly as one more reason why forming a cabinet would be impossible until further notice.
“Look at how they are fighting among themselves. The Senate has now adjourned till July 21. That means no one to scrutinise or approve any ministerial list until the end of July,” he submitted.
But when reminded that the Senate had agreed to reconvene to consider the President’s ministerial nominees as soon as such list was ready, the source asked our correspondent to await the President’s intervention in the crisis between the party and the National Assembly. “The President wants to walk his talk on stable politics and being a leader for all. He has a plan for the National Assembly,” he said.
When contacted on Sunday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the information at the disposal of The PUNCH was “not far from the truth.”
“This narrative is the nearest to the truth than all others that are being peddled around. It is not far from the truth,” Shehu said.
Meanwhile, our correspondents learnt in Abuja on Sunday that Buhari would adopt the recommendation of the Ahmed Joda-led transition committee of the All Progressives Congress to prune down the number of ministries to 19.
The PUNCH learnt that the President would appoint 19 senior ministers and 17 ministers of state as recommended by the Joda committee.
It was also learnt that besides adopting the recommendation, the administration would place emphasis on the appointment of technocrats to man some ministries, including education, finance, works, housing and environment
The 18-man committee inaugurated on April 27, 2015 to prepare the ground for Buhari’s inauguration on May 29, 2015 submitted its report on June 12.
There were 28 ministries and corresponding number of ministers manning them under the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Jonathan administration also appointed 14 ministers of state.
A reliable source, who is familiar with the activities of the new administration, said the President, no doubt, had accepted and had been working on the recommendations of the Joda committee on the number of ministries to remain.
The source, who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said though the President had not made his proposed ministerial list open, the President had not hidden it from top presidency officers, including the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, that “the President will be guided by the Joda committee’s report.”
The source said, “I can confirm that the President is going to work with the recommendation of the Joda committee, which means he will operate only 19 ministries to be manned by 19 ministers.
“There will also be 17 ministers of state so that the President will not run afoul of constitutional requirement, which expects him to appoint ministers from all the 36 states of the federation.
“Top officers in the Presidency, including Vice President Osinbajo, are aware that President Buhari is going to adopt the 19-ministry recommendation.”
The Joda-led committee had recommended that the new Buhari administration should operate only 19 ministries in the spirit of cutting down the cost of governance.
The committee recommended that the President should appoint only 19 senior ministers and 17 ministers of state to fulfil the constitutional requirement that the ministers constituting the Federal Executive Council must be drawn from the 36 states of the federation.
The Joda committee recommended 19 ministries, some of which would be products of merging of some of the existing ministries.
Those to be retained in their present form are just nine- Trade, Industry and investment; Education; Defence; Federal Capital Territory; Labour and Employment; Finance; Justice; Foreign Affairs; and Budget and National Planning.
Others would either me merged or subsumed under others.

See what smugglers in Badagry did to a journalist !

This is the photograph of a journalist almost beaten to death by some hoodlums at the behest of some smugglers at Badagry as published by Vanguard.
Beyond this dastardly act, what really got me utterly shocked and afraid of some crude, animalistic Nigerians, were the reactions of some of these people as published in one thread. A few examples- "This is good so that other journalists will learn and stop giving wrong report. Na Sahara journalist remain"; Another one- " This one look like Tinubu journalist o, the one APC used to spoil Jonathan's name. God don catch you, Yoruba with their mumu face"; "Another one-"Hahahaha, l wish he is Sahara Reporter man"; another one- "Dem for cut him face sef. Lie lie media men. Causing Confusion everywhere". The insidious reactions go on. Why are people so wicked, wishing evil for fellow Nigerians and we are blaming Boko Haram. These facebook hoodlums who wrote all these hogwash are worse than the the area boys who beat up the guy. I am afraid of Nigerians!

Femi Adesina bombs PDP says " it is a band of marauders'

Femi Adesina replies Metuh, says PDP has long road

 of regrets to travel  

Published on June 28, 2015 by   ·   1 Comment
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity
Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has blasted the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after its 30-day appraisal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as leader of Nigeria, noting that, the PDP has “a long road of regrets to travel”.
Adesina in a statement issued on Sunday, said Buhari’s administration was cleaning PDP’s Augean Stable (mess). “It is amusing to read what the National Publicity Secretary of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, considers a 30-day appraisal of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“He wants Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the government, so that things would begin to move. What he does not know is that Nigerians had long formed such coalition. They are hands in hands, and that was what gave victory to President Buhari in the March 28, 2015 poll,” Adesina said.
He noted that Nigerians collectively booted PDP out of power following its dismal rule. “They had teamed up to uproot an administration that had brought the country to her knees, and was about to tip her off the precipice. And Nigerians have resolved that never would they allow any government to divide them along regional, religious and ethnic fault lines again.”
Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary
Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary
“The Buhari administration is naturally contemplative because there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way PDP ran the country, particularly in the immediate past dispensation. That is why the Augean Stable is being cleaned now, and it requires scrupulous and painstaking planning. Across all sectors, our national life was devalued, and it takes meticulousness and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches. This, the Buhari administration will deliver.”
“Metuh talks of people round the President conniving with bureaucrats to siphon money from the treasury. This must be deja vu, as it was the pastime of the immediate past administration, and the enormity of the sleaze will be evident when stolen money, to the tune of billions of dollars, is recovered, and returned to the national treasury soon.”
“In the process of time, after all that is being planned by the current administration has matured, and bearing fruits, Nigerians will be able to determine who is serving them acceptably, and who has taken them for a ride. It is just a matter of time.
“Meanwhile, Metuh and his masters can only rue the missed opportunities to make salutary impact on the lives of Nigerians. They have a long road of regrets to travel,” Adesina said.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Tunisia hotel attack: My fiancé took 3 bullets for me and said 'tell our children daddy loves them'

Tunisia hotel attack: My fiancé took 3 bullets for me and said 'tell our children daddy loves them'

Hero Brit Matthew James acted as a human shield to save Sarah Wilson amid the horror of the ISIS beach attack which killed 37

Wales News ServiceMatthew James
Holidaying: Couple's break away from kids ended with nightmare scenario
A hero Brit was shot repeatedly as he shielded his fiancee from an evil IS gunman on a Tunisian beach.
Matthew James, 30, told Sarah Wilson, 26: “I love you babe. But just go.”
As at least one gunman opened fire with a Kalashnikov, she and Matthew were lying on sunbeds like hundreds of others.
"He just told me to run away. He said: ‘I love you babe. But just go – tell our children that their daddy loves them.’”

Live updates on the terror attack

She managed to escape after Matthew shielded her, taking a bullet in the hip, one in the chest and one in the pelvis.
Sarah fled back to the hotel, hid from the full horror of the terrorist massacre, and later hunted for Matthew for two hours, even looking under sheets in makeshift hotel morgues.
As she feared for the worst, someone passed a phone to her and said: “I have a very grumpy man on the phone who won’t do anything until he has spoken to you.”
Sarah added: “It was Matthew and that was the first time I knew he was alive.”
Wales News ServiceMatthew James
Lucky escape: Matthew and Sarah
Another 36, mostly westerners, were hurt in the slaughter at the popular resort of Sousse.
A gunman, posing as a swimmer, used a beach umbrella to hide his Kalashnikov before starting the slaughter. One hotel owner said a speedboat and a jetski were used to get him ashore.
Zohra Driss, owner of the Marhaba Imperial Hotel where the massacre took place, said the gunman had started firing from the beach before moving to the hotel swimming pool.
Terror Map highlighting hotspots around the world
Terror Map highlighting hotspots around the world
Police were still investigating tonight but reports claimed he had been killed in a shoot-out there.
Another report said a second alleged gunman was arrested and still being questioned.
He was attacked by furious locals as he was led away.
One Tunisian eyewitness said the gunman at the hotel was ­deliberately allowing locals to leave and targeting Westerners.
He said: “He was choosing who to shoot. Some, he was saying to them, ‘You go away’. He was choosing tourists, British, French.
“He was laughing and joking around, like a normal guy.”
Wales News ServiceMatthew James
Selfless: Matthew protected mother of his children
At least five Britons were officially confirmed dead tonight, with the toll expected to rise.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said because the resort is popular with holidaymakers from the UK “we have to assume that a high proportion of those killed and injured will have been British”.
He was speaking after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee and talks with tour operators.
He said: “The situation on the ground is still somewhat confused and we can’t be sure exactly how many, but because of the nature of the ­composition of the tourist population in this part of Tunisia.
“I should warn we must expect there will be more reports of fatalities as we establish the detail on the ground.”
Speaking from hospital in Tunisia, where Matthew had had a lifesaving operation, Sarah, added: “I only saw the one man in dark clothing but people were being shot.
"Matthew put himself in front of me then he was hit, he moved and the man shot him again. Again he tried to move and he was shot again.
“We were down on the floor next to the sunbeds to shelter but the shots just kept on coming. I owe him my life.
“It was the bravest thing I’ve ever known. But I just had to leave him under the sunbed because the shooting just kept on coming.”
Engaged couple Sarah and Matthew, from Pontypridd, South Wales, had left their two children Tegan, six, and Kaden, 14 months at home with their family when they jetted out to Sousse on June 21 for a two-week break.
Wales News ServiceMatthew James
Saviour: Matthew and Sarah were enjoying break from kids
Describing the carnage, Sarah added: “I ran back, past bodies on the beach to reach our hotel. It was chaos – there was a body in the hotel pool and it was just full of blood.
“You just can’t explain how terrible it was. It was chaos with screaming and gunshots.”
“After getting back to the hotel, I hid in a towel cupboard to make sure I was safe. It was dark and I could hear people walking around – it was terrifying.
“But eventually it became quieter and I came out.
“I was desperate to find out what had happened to Matthew but no-one was around to help. It was so badly organised with no-one to help and hardly anyone speaking English.
Wales News ServiceMatthew James
Long wait: Sarah was panicking about Matthew's fate
“I didn’t know if he was dead or alive. I was even looking under white sheets to see if it was his body. I’ve been to the hospital intensive care and I’m just staying here on a chair now.
"His pelvis was shattered by the bullet and he also had a heart attack.
“But he is alive. I’m just praying we can get out of here as soon as we can.
“We are due to get married in the summer of 2017. We will be the luckiest people alive because we have witnessed what nobody should ever see.”
The incident came on the same day as further ISIS linked attacks in France, Kuwait and Syria.
The UK Foreign Office said the British embassy in Tunis was sending a crisis team to the area.
At home, police are putting in place additional security measures for events this weekend, including Armed Forces Day and Pride London.
Tunisian government sources denied reports nationals under 35 had been banned from leaving the country - but admitted port and airport controls had been strengthened.