Monthly Archives: October 2017

Staff Of Adebutu’s Baba Ijebu Lotto Stop FIRS From Sealing Company

 

The head office of Premier Lotto Limited, the popular lottery firm owned by Chief Kessington Adebutu, was a scene of drama on Sunday as staff of the company forcefully prevented officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from sealing the premises over N789.6 million tax liabilities. The FIRS team, led by Anita Erinne, arrived at the office, located at 112 Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere, Lagos, with a distraint warrant.

 

The company, popularly called “Baba Ijebu,” disputed the debt profile as its officials engaged the FIRS team in a hot argument.

A man who identified himself as Chief Adebutu’s son said, “We are not owing and you cannot close our company.”

As the drama wore on, the lotto magnate, accompanied by a bevy of security aides, arrived at the scene. He told the FIRS team that he was not aware that his company was in debt. The FIRS team leader revealed the debt profile to him after which Mr. Adebutu gave the go-ahead for the FIRS to execute the distraint warrant.

Mrs. Erinne then ordered the staff to vacate the premises, but a man, who identified himself as the accountant, told the staff to ignore the FIRS team leader.

As the FIRS officials made to leave, Mr. Adebutu’s son proposed that the company would pay N10 million out of the debt, something Mrs. Erinne rejected out of hand because the figure was too small.

In a bid to avoid an escalation of the situation, the FIRS team left the premises. The team also shut the office of Costain West Africa at 174 Funsho Williams Street, Ebute-Metta, over a tax debt of N2 billion. A similar fate befell Niger Insurance Limited, as its office located at 48/50 Odunlami Street, Lagos, was sealed. The insurance firm owes N526.8 million in taxes.

Equally affected was Goldlink Insurance Plc, situated at 6, Immanuel Street, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos. The company has tax liabilities of N244 million.

Its officials pleaded for more time to enable the company pay up, but the plea was rejected. The team also sealed off Tracit Ventures Limited situated at 50, CAPPA Avenue, Palmgrove Estate, Ilupeju, Lagos over a tax debt of N25.3 million.



This device protects packages delivered to your door while you’re away

Why it matters to you

Make sure your packages are staying where you want them — on your porch, and out of thieves’ hands.

It’s always exciting to have a delivery on the way, and so it’s massively disappointing when that package doesn’t make it into your hands. Unfortunately, “porch pirates” are common enough that over 15 million people have a delivery stolen from their home each year, according to Package Guard. To protect deliveries when they arrive, the company has created a new product that serves to deter thieves. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $45,000 from 381 backers, the Package Guard is now available for pre-order on its website.

Package Guard is a small alarm, about the size of a Frisbee, that can be placed outside your front door. The device clearly says, “Place Package Here,” so that those delivering items know where to set the packages. Once a delivery has been set on the device, Package Guard’s alarm is armed. If anyone tries to remove the package without entering the necessary passcode in the app, an alarm will sound, much like a car alarm.

For those who have home security cameras, Package Guard can be set to work in conjunction with the system. In this case, the alarm will also take a photograph of the person who snatched the package. The image can then be automatically shared with the police or on Facebook to warn neighbors.

The idea behind Package Guard comes from founder Michael Grabham, who was himself once the victim of a porch pirate. He had been expecting a delivery of coats to be distributed to the homeless over the holiday season, but the package was stolen from his front porch.

“With an increasing number of people ordering items delivered to their homes, I wanted to create a simple solution that would solve the problem of protecting a delivery when no one is home,” said Package Guard founder Michael Grabham in a press release.

You can now pre-order the Package Guard and keep your deliveries safe for $69. This represents $20 off the retail price of $89, so if you’re interested in ensuring that your packages stay on your porch (and out of the hands of strangers), this may be a good investment to make.

Update: The Package Guard is now available for pre-order on the company website. 




Commotion At Lagos Airport as Qatar Airways Deplanes 243 passengers Over Technical Failure

 

About 243 passengers of Qatar Airways checked-in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for a flight to Doha this morning were deplaned because of a technical problem.

 

The Airbus A330-302 aircraft, with registration number A7AEH, was scheduled to depart at 11:20 am carrying 19 Business Class and 220 economy class passengers, including four infants, but it returned to the ramp at 11:38hrs after the captain reportedly discovered a technical snag” in the cockpit.

A source close to the airline told our correspondent that airline engineers then worked on the aircraft, but without success, following which the passengers were disembarked and taken to a hotel.

Our correspondent also gathered that some passengers traveling to Doha on Sunday also could not do so due to [a/the] faulty button in the cockpit of the aircraft which the pilot discovered while taxiing for departure on the runway

On Sunday, some of the passengers eventually traveled out on Ethiopian Airlines, with airline planning to put the remaining passengers on some other foreign airlines, but the management failed to do.



At exactly 17:30 on Sunday, the airline eventually canceled the flight due to the inability of the engineers to rectify the problem with the aircraft and sent the passengers to different hotels in Ikeja.

At the terminal today, the remaining passengers, frustrated since Sunday, besieged the airline’s check-in counters demanding to be put on any available flight to enable them to meet up with their engagements outside the country.

One of those passengers, Rev. Segun Agbetuyi, confirmed in a text message sent to our correspondent that the affected passengers met with a new shock today.

“They woke us all up at 4.30am this morning to bring us to the airport for boarding only to get to the airport and find that little arrangement had been made, “he said.

The spokesperson for the Lagos Airport Police Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, who confirmed the development, said the issue had been resolved.

He said: “They have left since and the issue has been resolved. I learnt that there was a delay and the passengers were not happy.

“However, when I arrived, I saw things moving smoothly at the check-in and I was informed that arrangement has been made to convey them to their destinations.”

On his part, a media consultant to the airline who simply gave his name as Mr. Mike said the passengers were agitated because they had been in the hotel for two days and their flights delayed.

“They need to get to their destinations and so when they came in here; it was a crowd but we have sorted out the issue and put some of them on the flight. The few of them that [are] remaining, we are taking them to other airlines,” he said.

As of the time of filing this report, the faulty aircraft was still on the ramp at the airport.

The Northern Political Establishment By Pius Adesanmi

 

Dear Kelechi Deca,

 

There are some dynamics you have overlooked in terms of why the brilliant proposition you espouse here is a non-starter. At least not in this current phase of project nationhood in which to dare to imagine and discourse Nigeria on loftier and multidimensional planes must first pass a number of smell tests relating to the persona of the President.

Once the quality of your Sai Babarity is deemed suspect, insufficient, or non-existent, your intervention is out of the window. I would have written about and flagged Baru Maikanti for public debate recently but I passed after determining that what is at stake requires vigorous modes of engagement beyond the trivializations of those who would reduce everything to whether you trust Baba or you don’t trust Baba. Once you trust Baba, Nigeria is fine and every other proposition can go to hell.

Once we get past this stage of the banalization of our national psyche, we may be able to safely and vigorously discuss the connections between Baru Maikanti, the Federal Government, and your suggestions above. For now, though, I fear that we are regressing. I thought we were at the nadir of promiscuous investment in the persona of the President with the TANmites and GEJ. I was wrong. There is no name in any current political lexicon for what is currently going on in the ranks of many Buharists who condemned other people for worshiping GEJ.

That is why I hesitate to get into Maikanti and the vision he represents for the Federal Government on behalf of President Buhari. But I will do it sha since your points must be addressed.

A significant national moment happened recently when Baru Maikanti, Group Managing Director of NNPC, paid a courtesy visit to Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state. Luckily for Maikanti and Tambuwal, that visit and what they had to say were completely overshadowed in the national public sphere when pythons and crocodiles escaped the swamps and filled the streets of Umuahia.

Yet, what Maikanti had to say in Sokoto is indicative not just of the singular priority of the Federal Government but of a certain lazy and insipid tunnel vision within the commanding heights of the political elite of the North (the North writ large) and why the Federal Government they are running has trouble growing and maturing intellectually to cope with the multidimensionality of the 21st century and the future. What Maikanti had to say in Sokoto explains why there will be no 21st century approaches to diversifying Nigeria’s port capacity beyond Lagos. Kelechi, that is simply not a priority and here is why.

Maikanti happily went to notify Tambuwal in Sokoto that after the disaster encountered by the team commissioned to prospect for oil in Borno state (my man, Moses Ochonu, brilliantly weighed in on that tragedy), the NNPC has now commissioned a new set of experts and University lecturers to aggressively resume oil prospecting in Sokoto state. In other words, if Boko Haram says we cannot find oil in Borno, we will move to Sokoto. If they tackle us in Sokoto, we shift to Katsina or Jigawa. There shall be no rest or any other preoccupation for the Federal Government until we find crude oil in the North.

I am just trying to paraphrase Maikanti. You need to google what Maikanti had to say and do a discourse analysis of his syntax. Although finding oil in the north has been a long-term obsession of the northern political establishment, Maikanti’s Sokoto declaration is the most galling expression of it yet as the singular obsession and priority of the Federal Government he was speaking for. There was this eerie finality to his tone. I studied it and nearly said RIP to Nigeria insofar as she is hostage to this level of reductionist thinking by those running her Federal government.

Forget the humanitarian indecency of the Federal Government – the University of Maiduguri lecturers she sent to prospect for oil in Borno are still Boko Haram hostages and they have done nothing about it. And here was Maikanti moving on casually to Sokoto.

Kelechi, you know that I have been on the theme of oil in the north for a little over a decade now. In fact, in my NEXT234 column back in the day, I did a series entitled, “Warning to the Northern Elite”. There is also a chapter in my book, “You’re Not a Country, Africa”, in which I return to the question of the northern elite’s obsession with finding oil in the North. In private conversations with members of the Northern political establishment that I know, I have also been warning them about this obsession. I have been warning the northern establishment about her unhealthy obsession with oil for more than a decade.

If all the Arab oil states in the Gulf are in a race for life after oil and all their 30-year strategic development plans are hinged on the empirical knowledge that oil is on its way out, if the nations of Western Europe, the United States, China, Canada, Japan, Australia, etc, have gba kamu about the end of oil and are investing all their society has to offer in innovation, genius, and imagination to life after oil, how do you explain or account for this foolish political establishment that thinks salvation in the next 30 years lies in finding oil in Borno and Sokoto? What is wrong with these foolish politicians?

At some point, when the silly Asari Dokubo was disturbing the sleep of Nigeria, constantly bragging about their oil in the south-south and how the North was a parasite, I wrote and told him to shut the heck up. I told him that the Niger Delta is an endangered species because oil is on her way out of civilization. On the contrary, the North of Nigeria is the future of civilization because there can never be a post-tomato or a post-onion future of humanity.

Agriculture is the future. I have been warning these oil-obsessed northern leaders to rise up to the potential of the north to feed the whole of Africa and a significant part of the world. Raise the agricultural base of the North to the global 21st-century standards we have here in North America and see Nigeria transformed. But no, they want oil.

Kelechi, a man who wants oil in Borno and Sokoto does not need to invest in ports in Warri, Calabar, and Port Harcourt. He does not even need to do anything beyond cosmetic fixes to the capacity of the Port in Lagos. In fact, he doesn’t even really need to dredge any yeye River Niger in Lokoja. His thinking does not need to rise beyond the level of how to sign agreements with Shell and Exxon-Mobile to build pipelines from Sokoto and Borno to Kaduna where the oil will be refined and ferried by Dangote’s trailers to other parts of the North.

However, if such a man were to suddenly wake up from 17th-century thinking into the 21st-century and discover that the North’s agriculture could surpass the agriculture of Canada in industrialization and scope, he would suddenly need ports in all those other cities you mention…

These are the issues, Kelechi. Let’s see if we can trash them out without trivializers saying you guys are reasoning like this because you don’t like Baba and his government. That is why I even kept quiet about Maikanti when he went to Sokoto sef.


French salted caramel ganache tart

Shortbread tart shell

To make the shortbread, place the flour and cocoa in a mound on your work surface and make a well in the middle.

Place the butter in the well and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.

Once the butter, flour and cocoa are mixed well, add the sugar and egg yolk and mix together by pushing the dough on the bench with the open palm of your hand until the pastry is homogeneous.

Shape into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Once the shortbread has hardened, break it up and mix it up by hand on your work surface until homogeneous.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 3 mm thick. You will need to move the dough constantly to stop it from sticking.

Use a fork to punch a few holes into the dough -this will allow for any air trapped at the base of your tart to escape without bubbling up the base of your tart.

Line the base and sides of a 22 cm tart ring or tart tin with removable base with the pastry, trim the excess with a knife, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Filling

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Line the tart shell with foil or baking paper, then fill with uncooked rice. Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes, then remove the rice and foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the pastry is dry. Allow to cool before removing from the ring.

To make the salted caramel ganache, place the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until the sugar melts and turns into a blonde caramel.

Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring until the caramel begins to foam.

Add all the cream at once, keeping your hand well away from the pan as it will bubble up and create a lot of steam.

Remove from the heat and stand for 15 minutes or until slightly cooled. Place the chocolate and vanilla bean seeds in heat-proof bowl, then pour over the hot caramel and stir gently until combined.

Using hand held electric beaters, beat the mixture until thick and emulsified. You will notice that the ganache will go from a split, oily texture to a beautiful creamy viscosity.

Fold the salt in and the ganache is ready to use

Pour the ganache into the tart shell, allow to cool for 15 minutes or until the ganache thickens.

Decorate the top with raspberries, sprinkle with pistachios, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove the tart from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Serve with creme fraiche or ice-cream.

Japanese sweet ginger meatballs

Meatballs

Put the chopped spring onions (reserve a handful of the green part for the garnish) in a bowl with the beef and pork mince, grated ginger, egg, sesame oil and pinch of salt and white pepper.

Start adding the cornflour, little by little, kneading the mixture well for a few minutes until doughy and elastic.

Scoop portions of the meat mixture with a teaspoon to make bite-sized balls.

Make sure all the meatballs are the same size to ensure consistent cooking times. Dust them lightly in cornflour.

Pour enough oil to come up to about 1cm deep in a large frying pan and set over medium heat.

Once the oil reaches about 160 degrees C, drop the meatballs carefully into the pan. Shallow-fry them by turning them in the oil until they are just cooked — 3 to 4 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs.

Alternatively, for a healthier option, bake the meatballs with a drizzle of oil in an oven preheated to 180° C for 12-15 minutes on a try lined with scrunched baking paper.

Sauce

While the meatballs are cooking, squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a small bowl along with the other ingredients for the sauce and mix well until there are no lumps.

Heat a large frying pan and add the cooked meatballs. Once the pan becomes very hot, pour in the sauce mixture, shake the pan from side to side to coat the meatballs well and let the sauce thicken, about 1 minute.

Transfer to large shallow bowls, sprinkle with the finely chopped spring onion greens and finish with the toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on the top.

Go ahead, be a crybaby! There’s now a way to harvest energy from human tears

Why it matters to you

This discovery could turn out to be invaluable for the development of future biomedical devices, such as pacemakers.

From solar power to hydroelectricity to evaporation, there are plenty of sustainable energy sources out there that are worth exploring. One that we have not personally come across before? Human tears. That’s the basis for new research from scientists at the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick in Ireland, who have found that a protein present in our tears — as well as saliva, milk, and bird egg whites — can be used to generate electricity when pressed.

“In our research, we were looking at the property of piezoelectricity in a protein called lysozyme,” Aimee Stapleton, one of the researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “Piezoelectricity is a property of some materials, whereby if you squeeze them, an electric charge, or electricity, is generated. We know a lot about how piezoelectricity works in standard piezoelectric materials like quartz, but know a less about how it works in biological materials. From the study of traditional piezoelectric materials, we know that having a certain type of crystal structure is important and we were interested to see if the same was true for proteins. So, we grew crystals of lysozyme and found that if we apply pressure to them they produce an electric charge.”

Stapleton said that the team is currently looking for real-world applications for this research. One as-of-yet unexplored avenue might involve finding some specific use case for lysozyme’s unique antibacterial and electricity-producing properties. For example, it may be useful as an energy harvester to support the functionality of biomedical devices such as pacemakers; especially since traditional piezoelectrics are often toxic — as is the case with lead.

Another possible use would involve the creation of a device able to control the release of drugs in the body by using lysozyme as a physiologically mediated pump which works by scavenging energy from its surroundings. Personally, we just like the idea of being able to squeeze out a few tears to recharge a smartphone which has died at an inopportune time!

A paper describing the work, titled “The Direct Piezoelectric Effect in the Globular Protein Lysozyme,” was recently published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.




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