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Blackout Mars Christmas Celebration In Lagos

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Many residents of the Lagos metropolis celebrated this year’s Christmas in darkness, The Tide source reports.

Visits to Mile 12, Ketu, Ojota, Maryland, Palmgrove, Onikpanu, Bariga, Lagos Island, Oshodi/Isolo, Apapa, Munshi, Iyana Oworo neighbourhoods of Lagos revealed the areas had been experiencing a blackout since December 25.

Some of the residents expressed displeasure at the failure of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to supply stable electricity under the existing arrangements.

Mr Ayo Adeyinka, a resident of Mushin, said that the privatisation of the power sector had not been beneficial to the citizens in spite of the government’s efforts to make things work.

“We have never seen it like this before. There was light on Dec. 24, although it was on and off till 7.00 a.m. on the Christmas day.

“Since that time, up till this morning, we have not seen light in any part of this area,” he said.

A resident of Ketu, Mr Sunday Olarewaju, noted that the PHCN management had not given any explanation for the prevailing blackout.

“We do not know if PHCN workers are on strike or not.

“In our usual way, we have checked the transformers and moved round but there is no sign that a major fault was responsible for the blackout,” he said.

Olarewaju said that the residents’ representatives were planning to go to the nearest PHCN office to demand an explanation for the blackout.

Mr Adeloju Shokoya, a resident of Lagos Island, expressed regret that he and his family had a “harrowing experience celebrating Christmas without electricity.

“If there is light, you will not meet most of us outside; we would have been somewhere else watching films or football matches.

“I have been on generator since Christmas Day with the hope that PHCN would soon restore electricity supply. Up till this morning, we have not seen even the normal flashing they give us at times,” he said.

Another Lagos Island resident, Mr Adetola Williams, however, said that the people would continue to enjoy themselves, whether there was light or not.

“PHCN or no PHCN; man must enjoy himself. Yesterday, we were outside drinking and we used generators to power our musical sets in order to enjoy ourselves.

“From the look of things, we may do the same again today because I don’t understand this PHCN palaver anymore.

“You know they do what they like but they cannot spoil our enjoyment and merriment in this Christmas period,” he said.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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