If you're looking to get the most value for your naira, it would do your wallet good to check out secondhand options. Many used goods still have plenty of life left in them even years after the original purchase, and they're usually resold at a fraction of the retail price, to boot. Here's a list of 21 things that make for a better deal when you buy them used..
1. DVDs and CDs: Used DVDs and CDs will play like new if they were well taken care of. Even if you wind up with a scratched disc and you don't want to bother with a return, there are ways to remove the scratches and make the DVD or CD playable again.
2. Books: You can buy used books at significant discounts from online sellers and brick-and-mortar used book stores. The condition of the books may vary, but they usually range from good to like-new. And of course, check out your local library for free reading material.
3. Video Games: Kids get tired of video games rather quickly. You can easily find used video games from online sellers at sites like Amazon and eBay a few months after the release date. Most video game store outlets will feature a used game shelf, as well. And if you're not the patient type, you can rent or borrow from a friend first to see if it's worth the purchase.
4. Special Occasion and Holiday Clothing: Sometimes you'll need to buy formal clothing for special occasions, such as weddings or prom. Most people will take good care of formal clothing but will only wear it once or twice. Their closet castouts are your savings: Thrift stores, yard sales, online sellers and even some dress shops offer fantastic buys on used formalwear.
5. Jewelry: Depreciation hits hard when you try to sell used jewelry, but as a buyer you can take advantage of the markdown to save a bundle. This is especially true for diamonds, which has ridiculously low resale value. Check out estate sales and reputable pawn shops to find great deals on unique pieces. Even if you decide to resell the jewelry later, the depreciation won't hurt as much.
6. Ikea Furniture: Why bother assembling your own when you can pick it up for free (or nearly free) on Craigslist and Freecycle? Summer is the best time to hunt for Ikea furniture--that's when college students are changing apartments and tossing out their goodies.
7. Games and Toys: How long do games and toys remain your child's favorite before they're left forgotten under the bed or in the closet? You can find used children's toys in great condition at moving sales or on Craigslist, or you can ask your neighbors, friends, and family to trade used toys. Just make sure to give them a good wash before letting junior play.
8. Maternity and Baby Clothes: Compared to everyday outfits that you can wear any time, maternity clothes don't get much wear outside the few months of pregnancy when they fit. The same goes for baby clothes that are quickly outgrown. You'll save a small fortune by purchasing gently used maternity clothes and baby clothes at yard sales and thrift stores. Like children's games and toys, friends and family may have baby or maternity clothing that they'll be happy to let you take off their hands.
9. Musical Instruments: Purchasing new musical instruments for a beginner musician is rarely a good idea. (Are you ready to pay N5,000 an hour for piano lessons?) For your little dear who wants to learn to play an instrument, you should see how long his or her interest lasts by acquiring a rented or used instrument to practice with first. Unless you're a professional musician or your junior prodigy is seriously committed to music, a brand new instrument may not be the best investment.
10. Pets: If you buy a puppy (or kitty) from a professional breeder or a pet store outlet, it can set you back anywhere from a few thousand nairas to several thousand nairas. On top of this, you'll need to anticipate additional fees and vet bills, too. Instead, adopt a pre-owned pet from your local animal shelter and get a new family member, fees, and vaccines at a substantially lower cost.
11. Home Accent: Pieces Home decorating pieces and artwork are rarely handled on a day-to-day basis, so they're generally still in good condition even after being resold multiple times. If you like the worn-out look of some decor pieces, you can be sure you didn't pay extra for something that comes naturally with time. And don't forget, for most of us, discovering a true gem at a garage sale is 90% of the fun!
12. Craft Supplies: If you're into crafting, you probably have a variety of different supplies left over from prior projects. If you require some additional supplies for your upcoming project, then you can join a craft swap where you'll find other crafty people to trade supplies with. If you have leftovers, be sure to donate them to your local schools.
13. Houses: You're typically able to get better and more features for your naira when you purchase an older home rather than building new. Older houses were often constructed on bigger corner lots, and you also get architectural variety in your neighborhood if the houses were built or remodeled in different eras.
14. Office Furniture: Good office furniture is built to withstand heavy use and handling. Really solid pieces will last a lifetime, long after they're resold the first or second time. A great used desk or file cabinet will work as well as (or better than) a new one, but for a fraction of the cost. With the recession shutting down so many businesses, you can easily find lots of great office furniture deals.
15. Cars: You've probably heard this before: Cars depreciate the second you drive them off of the dealership's lot. In buying a used car, you save money on both the initial cost and the insurance. It also helps to know a trusty mechanic who can check it over first. This way, you'll be aware of any potential problems before you make the purchase.
16. Hand Tools: Simple tools with few moving parts, like hammers, hoes and wrenches, will keep for decades so long as they are well-made to begin with and are well-maintained. These are fairly easy to find at neighborhood yard or garage sales. If you don't need to use hand tools very often, an even better deal is to rent a set of tools or borrow them from a friend.
17. Sports Equipment: Most people buy sports equipment planning to use it until it drops, but this rarely happens. So when sports equipment ends up on the resale market, they tend to still be in excellent condition. Look into buying used sporting gear through Craigslist and at yard sales or sports equipment stores.
18. Consumer Electronics: I know most folks like shiny new toys, but refurbished electronic goods are a much sweeter deal. Consumer electronics are returned to the manufacturer for different reasons, but generally, they'll be inspected for damaged parts, fixed, tested, then resold at a lower price. Just make sure you get a good warranty along with your purchase.
19. Gardening Supplies: This is an easy way for you to save money, and all you need to do is be observant. Take a look outdoors and you'll likely find such gardening supplies as mulch, wood, and even stones for free or vastly reduced prices. Used garden equipment and tools are also common goods at yard sales.
20. Timeshares: Buying timeshares isn't for everyone, but if you decide that it suits your lifestyle, purchasing the property as a resale would be a better deal than buying it brand new: on average, you'll save 67 percent on the price for a comparable new timeshare. If you're new to timeshare ownership, give it a test run first by renting short term.
21. Recreational Items: It's fairly easy to find high ticket recreational items like campers, boats, and jet skis being resold. Oftentimes, they're barely used at all. As long as they're in safe, working condition, they'll make for a better value when purchased used than new.
The private aircraft/funky-looking car has been in the news before. But the recent announcement that it's going into production sparked mega-searches on the Web. Almost immediately, online lookups for "terrafugia transition" and "terrafugia transition pictures" both, well, took off.
A popular article from the UK's Daily Telegraph explains that the FAA's special exemption allows the vehicle to function as both a "light aircraft" and a car. Normally, for a plane to meet the "light aircraft" designation, it can weigh no more than 1,200 pounds. The Terrafugia Transition weighs 1,320, due primarily to the number of car-related safety features, like airbags and crumple zones. The "light aircraft" designation is key, because licenses for planes with that label require only 20 hours of flying time. Fewer hoops to jump through means more potential sales...
So, how does the plane/car work? Check out the flying car's official video below. So far, 70 people have placed a deposit. The total retail cost: $194,000. Expensive, but really, can you put a price on skipping commercial flights?
Tougher times are here for would-be Nigerian immigrants as the United Kingdom has concluded plans to temporarily limit the number of non-European migrant workers into the United Kingdom.
This plan is coming at the heels of a permanent cap which is to take effect from April 2011. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, made this known as she stated that the number of workers would be limited to 24, 100-down around 5%- between now and April 2011. While this may be part of moves to build the economic stay of the United Kingdom, the effects that this plan would have on Nigerians and other non-EU migrants are rather going to be enormous. For instance, many Nigerians who are presently nursing the idea of travelling to the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures are sure to meet stiffer conditions of entry, since the requirement would be purely based on skilled labour..
Ms May, who is expected to announce the move tomorrow, is equally ready to launch a consultation process for deciding the level of the permanent cap. According to the latest immigration figures for the year 2008, about 258,000 EU and returning British came to the UK out of a total of 538,000 immigrants. It is noteworthy that many Nigerians engage in odd jobs in the UK which of course do not constitute the skilled labour being presently sought by the UK government.
While the measures appear a bit tighter, the UK government has insisted that it is a welcomed but painful development for those that would be affected. According to Alp Mehmet of the MigrationWatchUk: "The introduction of a temporary limit was a welcome sign that the government is starting as it means to continue. We need to carefully consider how net immigration will be brought down to tens of thousands-we believe about 40,000 is a realistic target-rather than the hundreds of thousands of the last 10 years, and is therefore good news for all our people, including immigrants and future immigrants. Immigration at the levels of the past decade is in no one's interest."
The demand for highly skilled labour would invariably take its toll on non-EU students, including Nigerian students in that category who engage in after-school jobs to finance their educational undertaking. This would mean that Nigerians seeking admission into higher institutions in the United Kingdom, with the intention of schooling and working, would be unable to do this as skills will be the hallmark for employment.
Also, plans are in top gear to introduce measures requiring that immigrants who intend to marry UK citizens must possess a good command of the English Language. Before now, many Nigerians have travelled to the UK on the pretext of contracting marriage with both UK citizens and long term residents who have gained a permanent stay on the European soil..
Founder of the Household of God Church and chairman of the Fresh Democratic Party, Chris Okotie, yesterday declared his plan to contest the 2010 presidential election, his third attempt to govern Nigeria. Mr Okotie, former pop artist turned evangelist, made this known at the secretariat of the Fresh Party (FDP) in Lagos.
"I will run again in 2011," stated Mr Okotie. "It was a divine call to duty to salvage our beloved country from the inept, corrupt and purposeless leadership of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP)." Addressing journalists, the 52-year-old preacher claimed he is motivated by a patriotic zeal and love for Nigeria, to be at the vanguard of the needed change to transform the country. According to him, "the emergence of a credible, visionary and progressive government can usher in a new Nigeria of our dreams" claiming that his "fresh agenda" can "create a new nation which will take its rightful place in the comity of nations." Reacting to a question about the truthfulness of his proclamation in 2003 that "God has ascertained that I will win the election", Mr Okotie responded by making a comparison between himself and the biblical Moses, saying "When God wanted to use Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, he did not tell him when he was going to succeed but he assured him that he was going to succeed." He also added that only those who do not understand the difference between the exothermic and the endothermic level will doubt what God can do with him.
Flanked by two children (a boy and a girl) during the address, Mr Okotie explained that the kids represent "a new generation and a new nation where everything will work for the good of all." "We cannot afford to disappoint them" he said.
The presidential aspirant was full of condemnation for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) stating that since the government came to power, no solution has being proffered to the "multifarious problems" that confront the nation, but rather the socioeconomic and political situation in every sector of the country has collapsed, going from bad to worse.
"The PDP cannot continue to run on this record," he said, claiming that the party's reliance on rigging of elections explains why "they refuse to consider the Uwais report on electoral reform" . He joined calls for the immediate adoption of the Uwais report and also decried the zoning system, which he called a PDP aberration.
With his alleged failure of the PDP to Nigerians, Mr Okotie claims he is ready to restore the nation to a path of growth, stability and security. He, however, declined to outline the blueprint for achieving his vision.
Thieves broke into FIFA's temporary HQ in Johannesburg and made off with replica trophies,
By Salvatore Landolina
Jun 29, 2010 1:51:00 PM
Police in Johannesburg have confirmed replica World Cup trophies have been stolen from FIFA's temporary headquarters..
National police commissioner Bheki Cele said: "We knew that there was a theft and we are investigating."
La Repubblica claims the trophies were replicas of the cup that will take centre stage at the Soccer City final in Johannesburg on July 11.
As well as the trophies, sports equipment was also lifted by the thieves.
The police also confirmed that 316 people, 207 of South African origin, have been arrested for World Cup-related crimes since the start of the tournament.
What Does it Mean?
The practiceof insurers transferring portions of risk portfolios to other parties bysome form of agreement in order to reduce the likelihood of having topay a large obligation resulting from an insurance claim. The intent ofreinsurance is for an insurance company to reduce the risks associatedwith underwritten policies by spreading risks across alternativeinstitutions.
Also known as "insurance for insurers" or"stop-loss insurance"...
Scientists invent first male contraceptive pill
Scientists have developed the worlds male alternative to the femalecontraceptive pill
Until now all attempts to develop a male pill have failed with scientistsworking on a contraceptive jab for men given by doctors.
But researchers in Israel have finally been able to create a oral pillthatdeactivates sperm before they reach the womb. And theyve developed a version that means it only needs to be to betaken onceevery three months.
The breakthrough pill could be available in as little as three years,according to the scientist behind the discovery.
Unlike the jab form of the male pill it doesnt use a combination of themalehormone testosterone and the female hormone progesterone to blockpregnancy.
The scientist behind the male pill discovery has developed a tablet thatremoves a vital protein in sperm that is required for a woman toconceive.
So while sperm still get through to the uterus they are unable tofertilise anegg.
Using this approach, researchers believe they have a pill that is 100 pceffective at stopping pregnancy.
Not only is it long lasting but it also has other pluses. There are nosideeffects as suffered by women who take the contraceptive pill.
Men on the male equivalent hormone jabs, which are still undergoingtrialsreport feelings of moodiness, depression and loss of sex drive.
Professor of Haim Breitbart of Israel's Bar-Ilan University, who hashelpeddevelop the pill said: Men dont cope well with side effects and havingsideeffects would probably put many off wanting to take a pill. Weve hadnone ofthose problems with our pill.
What we found is that by treating the mice with our molecule we can getsterility for a long period of time -in the lower dose, about onemonth, andin the higher dose we found three months of sterility.
The mice behaved nicely, They ate and had sex. All I can say is that wecouldn't see any behavioural side-effects - all their sex behaviourwasretained, which is a very important consideration for men. Humantrials ofthe pill are due to start next year.
A big drawback against men being in control of fertility is the feartheywould forget to take a pill.
Polls have repeatedly shown wives and partners do not trust their men toremember to pop a pill every day.
But now that problem has been solved. The new pill can be taken eitheronce amonth or once every three months.
Professor Breitbart said: "I think most women would trust their man toremember once a month or once a quarter.
Breitbarts pill jams the sperm's chemical machinery that allows it tocreate apregnancy. So while the sperm reaches the womb it dies away unable tofertilise the egg.
He said: We looked at a number of compounds that have no effect on malesexdrive, but succeed in impairing the reproductive ability of the sperm.
Because there are no hormonal side effect we believe that it will befairlyeasy to get approval for this pill.
Professor Breitbat stunned the world of fertility science four years agobyrevealing the commonly held belief that conception was immediate oncespermentered the womb.
The research showed that sperm could surive for up to three days beforefertilisation took place.
Professor Breitbart said: I then decided to turn my interest to see howtostop that process. I wanted to develop a form of male contraceptionthatwould be free of an intervention using hormpones.
Lizzie Velasquez weighs just four stone and has almost zero per cent body fat but she is not anorexic.
In fact, the 21-year-old from Austin, Texas, must eat every 15 minutes to stay healthy.
Miss Velasquez has a rare condition which prevents her from gaining weight even though she eats up to 60 small meals a day. Despite consuming between 5,000 and 8,000 calories daily, the communications student, has never tipped over 4st 3lbs.
"I weigh myself regularly and if I gain even one pound I get really excited," said 5ft 2 ins Miss Velasquez, who wears size triple zero clothes.
"I eat every 15-20 minutes to keep my energy levels up.
"I eat small portions of crisps, sweets, chocolate, pizza, chicken, cake, doughnuts, ice cream, noodles and pop tarts all day long, so I get pretty upset when people accuse me of being anorexic."
She was born four weeks prematurely weighing just 2lb 10oz. Doctors found there was minimal amniotic fluid protecting her in the womb..
"They told us they had no idea how she could have survived," said Miss Velasquez's mother Rita, 45, a church secretary.
Doctors speculated Lizzie might have the genetic disorder De Barsy syndrome but soon ruled it out as it became clear she did not have learning difficulties.
"They kept on trying to figure out what was wrong with her but we treated her like any other child," said Mrs Velasquez, who charted her daughter's health in dozens of notebooks.
She was taken to see genetic experts but they still could not diagnose her.
Miss Velasquez's case has fascinated doctors all over the world and she is part of a genetic study run by Professor Abhimanyu Garg, MD, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Professor Garg and his team now believe Lizzie may have a form of Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome (NPS) which causes accelerated ageing, fat loss from the face and body, and tissue degeneration. People with PRS often have triangular and prematurely aged faces with a pointy nose.
He said: "I am aware of a small number of people that have similar conditions to Lizzie but each case is slightly different.
"We cannot predict what will happen to Lizzie in the future as the medical community are yet to document older people with NPS.
"However Lizzie is lucky to have healthy teeth, organs and bones so the outlook is good. We will continue to study her case and learn from her." Miss Velasquez has helped to write a book about her incredible experiences.
It is due to be released in September.
From the Lab to World Stage, Future Awards 2010 Young Person of the Year, Ify Aniebo is making a real impactPosted on Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 12:02 AM
By Wana Udobang
The 2010 edition of the Future Awards was the best yet. At the awards ceremony, it was a double whammy forIfeyinwa Aniebo, the young malaria researcher bagged awards for Scientist of the Year and the most prestigious of the awards, Young Person of the Year.
Less ‘popular’ than most of the other nominees (Her co-nominees for Young Person of the Year included superstarsAsa and Cobhams), Ify Aniebo’s resume reads quite differently from one typically expected of a Future award winner.
She has a first degree in Medical Genetics from Queen Mary’s University, An MSc in Applied Biomolecular Technology from Nottingham University and went on to receive a scholarship from the Prince’s Trust. She is currently a PhD student at Oxford University on a fully funded scholarship from the Wellcome Trust, the Tropical Network Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has carried out research at the Wellcome-Oxford-WHO unit in Thailand. Passionate about finding a cure to Malaria, this has been her main area of research, her goal is to discover a vaccine to the biggest killer disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Her passion for healthcare goes beyond the world of academia, she hopes to start her own health care magazine in the future with as much glamour as any fashion magazine out on the market.
BellaNaija caught up with Ify to find out a bit more about her and her desire to bring the sizzle from the laboratory to the world stage.
Did you think you stood a chance to win the Young Person of the Year award, Also what was going through your head when your name was called?
Honestly I did not think so. When I saw the other names in that category including Asa, Cobhams, Toyosi Akerele and Tolu Ogunlesi, I thought, never in a million years would I stand a chance because all of them are immensely talented and inspiring people. When my name was called I wasn’t even expecting it. I was busy reading the certificate I was given for the Young Scientist of the Year award and was really waiting to cheer someone else on. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard my name. I couldn’t believe it. It was a wonderful moment I tell you. l was so happy and was in tears.
Yes. Science is a very tough field to be in and often people need motivation or else a career change will ensue. I get motivated by a myriad of things but receiving two awards to me means I have the full support of a lot of people which I find motivating and encouraging. Winning those awards has given me the strength to continue in my path. The strength also comes from the fact that so many people have been inspired from this experience. I get a lot of messages on facebook from people telling me how inspired they feel and how they want to do something great for the country. I also received a few saying they want to get back into the field of science. I love to inspire people in every way and that to me is the most significant thing in my career.
Your area of research is malaria. With other diseases that have been placed as more important by the international health community, what made you choose Malaria?
My interest was first sparked after I had suffered multiple infections from the bites of anopheles mosquito during my childhood and adolescent years. I noticed that the drugs administered both for treatment of the infection and for prophylactic use always changed. For instance I remember quinine used to be administered then a couple of years later, chloroquine became the chosen drug.
In West Africa today, none of these drugs are used because the parasite has become resistant. The drugs popularly administered are Halfan (halofantrine hydrocholoride), Fansidar and artemisinin. I find it both disturbing and fascinating that a disease which has been around for half a billion years still kills millions of people each year. What’s more intriguing is that no efficacious Vaccine has been developed. Malaria was neglected by the international community in the 90s and interest was only taken up a few years ago. There were no grants or funds to study the disease and millions were dying. Today there are some grants available but not as much as is expected. It is also saddening that there aren’t a lot of African scientists leading most malaria research programmes considering the fact that it greatly impacts our continent. It is disheartening that most of the funds donated are from foreign organisations. I want to be part of the movement to eradicate malaria and effect a change positively because at the moment Malaria kills more people everyday than HIV/AIDS.
How close are you to finding a malaria vaccine?
Finding a vaccine to malaria involves collaborations within the scientific community because one person really cannot solve the problem. This is because the disease is multifaceted. For instance, I work on the molecular biology and genetics of the parasite but I still have to collaborate with bioinformaticians, biochemists, epidemiologists, physicians and statisticians. Basically it has to be a combined effort. Our group in Thailand have started a clinical trial in Kenya but then again other groups in other countries have done clinical trials in the past and are currently doing one now. Honestly, the lifecycle of the parasite is not a straight forward one to decipher and to make matters worse it keeps evolving and mutating. Whenever we think we are close to finding a vaccine, something else crops up. Its very hard to say how close we are to finding a vaccine because the parasite keeps mutating all the time making it harder for the scientific community to control. But we are working very hard and hopefully one day we would get there.
Thailand has the best tropical disease institution in the world and that was an immediate attraction. Also Oxford has an excellent relationship with the institution so that makes it easier for students to go there and carry out research. I also liked the fact that it was going to be a challenging experience for me. I don’t speak Thai so carrying out scientific research in a non-English speaking country seemed abysmal at first but it’s awesome. I’m also the only black person there which personally I think is great. Lastly, Thailand has lovely resorts and beaches with loads of tourist attractions. I love to have a good time too.
What would you say to people that say you are more at an advantage to access funding for your projects and research?
I will let them know it is difficult. It’s particularly more difficult if you are not British , An EU citizen or a US citizen because a lot of the funding organisations only cater to their citizens and rightfully so. The scholarships that are open to all nationalities are so difficult to get because one would have to compete with thousands of students from all over the world making it highly competitive. I was not born in England and unfortunately Nigerians have a negative reputation in certain circles. I applied for the scholarship like thousands of other students from around the world and after four stages of interviews and tests I got it. I think its by the grace of God I won it because winning a full scholarship in the UK is a rare occurrence especially for Nigerians. I actually consider it to be a miracle and gave thanks to God and testified in church.
Science in an industry that never receives much publicity (particularly in Africa), what do you hope to achieve with all the publicity you have received so far?
I hope to inspire more young people and lobby the government to emphasize the importance of science and research to the development of the nation. I hope to bridge the information gap in terms of health education and I plan on doing that in my own little way. I will like to encourage the study of science in schools and universities and as a career choice. I want to prove to young people that what everyone calls geeky can still be very chic. You can get a buzz from watching an organism mutate under a microscope just as much as you can watching Deola Sagoe’s new collection at the New York Fashion Week.
Why do you think more young people especially in Nigeria are steering away form careers in areas of science and technology
There hasn’t been so much focus or emphasis on science in Nigeria. The youth are not thinking about science when they go to school simply because the industry in Nigeria is not developed enough and there are very little opportunities. The youth tend to pursue degrees in areas such as accounting/finance and Engineering simply because they are inspired by a future career in the two main industries, notably Banking and Oil & Gas. These days also you get young people wanting to be entertainers, models, journalists e.t.c and that’s because they have role models in these fields and are inspired by that. Science in Nigeria I can imagine does not pay as much as other careers do and in a country where people are suffering i think they would rather opt for the money option rather than passion because in the end it is survival of the fittest still.
How do you think we can attract more young people to science as a career. Many seem more interested in the seemingly glamorous careers such as Investment Banking and Fashion.
I already think science is a glamorous career that just needs to catch on in Nigeria with time (like everything else). Glamorous is anything that is full of excitement, adventure and unusual activity and that is what science is. Broadcasting cooperations know this which is why you have shows like CSI which has made forensic science a popular career choice. Heroes on TV is all about genes and mutations (Genetics), House is a show about Doctors that already have PhDs (MD/PhD) which is why you see them diagnose and do further analysis in labs just to name a few. Scientists globe-trot doing what they are passionate about and that to me is exciting. With all the infrastructure in place it should not be a problem making science a glamorous career.
How will you encourage young Nigerian scientist that despite not having a foreign education, all their efforts and hard work isn’t going to be futile?
I would say passion, hardwork and dedication always pays off irrespective of ones geographical location. Nigeria is a developing country and I’m optimistic that the science sector will start to flourish in a few years. All hope should not be lost.
What are your future career plans?
For now, I look forward to completing my PhD. After that I intend going into Public health where I will be able to contribute to the development of the health sector in Nigeria by implementing new health policies, monitoring the health of the population, identifying its health needs, evaluating health services and generally ensuring a health system that actually works.
You have a health blog, what do you hope to achieve with via your blog.
With my African health blog, I focus on health issues young Africans can relate to. I try not to make it so complicated with medical terms people don’t understand and I try to make it less tedious and boring. I hope the blog will get people more interested in health and wellness because at the moment a lot of people are not bothered. The website is being designed at the moment and I have a few writers (medics and non medics) who are passionate about health willing to contribute. The website would cover areas like men’s health, women’s health, pregnancy and childcare, mental health, sexual health etc. For now we are focusing on an e-magazine because a lot of young people spend time online these days. Hopefully if it becomes a success we might start printing and then target a wider audience. For now it’s one step at a time. You can check out Ify’s blog, its www.mutant-geek.blogspot.com
Let’s get a bit more lighthearted. Most people see scientists as nerdy characters. What do you say to that?
It is just a stereotype. I am not a nerd and a lot of scientists I know are not nerds either. I represent the neo- scientists. The ones that cycle in stilettos and still reduce their carbon footprints. The ones that wear red lipstick and faux-fur and go out to a trendy bar to drink a glass of carbenet sauvignon packed with polyphorins (which by the way is good for your heart). The ones that know how to work hard and play harder. The ones that queue outside Selfridges for hours on boxing day in the blistering cold just to lay their hands on half price designer goods (Okay I’ll stop Now). Science like I said earlier can be chic. Gone are the days of stereotypes.
I actually consider science to be sexy – it is mysterious and exciting. I love the fact that with science you never know where the journey would take you. It is very adventurous and unpredictable. You find out new things as you go on and that is what’s very engaging and exciting. I love it!
Your research appears intense. Outside science, what do you enjoy.
I mostly hang out with family and friends and I really love having a good laugh. I love going to the spa, indulging in Thai massages, going to the theatre, listening to live music. I enjoy very good food. I like dancing which I do every week, I love pilates, I enjoy shopping especially at thrift stores as I find fashion on the high street a tad nauseating. I really love to sleep. Infact my sisters think I am very lazy.
As the 2010 Future Awards Young Person of the Year, you are a role model to many Nigerian youth. What is your message to all?
I feel humbled to even be referred to as that. I am honoured.
My message to all would be to stop talking and start acting. Enough of the facebook updates, facebook groups wanting change, twittering, BBing etc. I do understand we haven’t had the best leaders but we need to stop dwelling on that and move on. What I’m saying is the future of the country does not just lie in the hands of our leaders, it lies in every individual as well. We all need to look in the mirror and start affecting change where necessary. We need to be more positive and supportive of each other. We need to be more helpful to our neighbours and communities. We need to stop being selfish. We need to be the change we want to see in the country because we would become leaders one day and if we do not start doing all these things now then we would be no different from our leaders. We might even end up being worse. A vicious cycle really. Stop waiting for someone or a group of people to change Nigeria. We all can start in our own little way. I’m not saying you cannot pop champagne or fix your hair, all I’m saying is do something positive and impact visible change around you...
US Court Jails Abacha’s Associate
In the 12 years since Nigeria's corrupt dictator General Sani Abacha died in office,
investigators have struggled to find out what happened to the estimated £2.2bn he siphoned out of his country's coffers during his brutal five-year rule.
Though at least $700m (£470m) has been returned to Nigeria, only a handful of people have ever been put on trial for their role in the brazen kleptocracy.
But in a historic move, a court in Jersey has sentenced one of Abacha's business associates to six years in the island's only jail, after he deposited in a St Helier bank account tens of millions of pounds from a deal to provide overpriced trucks to the Nigerian army.Photos: Marwa & Raj Bhojwani
Jersey's Royal Court heard how Raj Bhojwani – a 53-year-old multimillionaire businessman who set up a charity in Lagos providing free glasses to all shortsighted school children – deposited US$184m (£122m) in a Bank of India account on the island after checking Jersey's bank secrecy laws.
The money came from selling military vehicles to the Nigerian government at up to five times their actual price between 1996 and 1997 and then using the profit to pay bribes to top Nigerian officials, including Abacha and allegedly Colonel Mohammed Buba Marwa, Nigeria's current high commissioner to South Africa and a man touted as a future Nigerian president.
These two men were said to have received $100m (£66m), while Bhojwani's cut of the deal, according to the prosecution, was US$43.9m (£29.4m).
Bhojwani's deception came to light back in 2000, when the Financial Times printed an investigation into Abacha's looted billions – in particular money which was squirrelled away in two Swiss bank accounts registered in the names Kaiser and Seuze.
Keyser Soze was the name of a shadowy mafia leader in the film The Usual Suspects and these movie-influenced accounts were owned by Mohamed Abacha, the dictator's son and heir.
The day after the report was printed, Bhojwani withdrew the US$43.9m (£29.4m) out of his Jersey accounts for 11 days in an attempt to avoid detection.
After a long investigation, Bhojwani was arrested in 2007 and released on bail with a US$50m (£33.4m) surety.
Bhojwani himself never denied agreeing to overprice the trucks, but in a letter to the court maintained that his profit from the deal was actually around $25m (£16.6m), which grew to $43.9m (£29.4m) as a result of the way he invested it. While acknowledging that what he did was wrong, he said it was impossible to do business in Nigeria during Abacha's reign without paying enormous bribes.
But at the sentencing hearing last week, prosecution advocate Matthew Jowitt said that Bhojwani knew how much ordinary Nigerians suffered as a result of Abacha's repressive regime and yet he was happy to profit from their misery.
"The frauds committed in Nigeria, the criminal proceeds of which were received, possessed and handled by the Defendant in Jersey, were not frauds against fellow businessmen, or a limited class of investors," said Jowitt.
"They were frauds against a nation, and against its people. A people who, it is a matter for judicial note, rank amongst the most impoverished in the world."
He added: "This was money, both his own $40 million share, and the $100 million for Abacha and Marwa, which the people of Nigeria could not afford to lose.
"It was money which could and should have been spent for the good of the Nigerian people, in improving their lives. Instead it was siphoned off for the private benefit of these men."
The Royal Court in St Helier found Bhojwani earlier this year of three counts of money laundering. He has never been tried for any crime in Nigeria.
In a statement to the Guardian, Bhojwani's lawyer Paul Sugden suggested the case against his client was unfair.
He said: "Mr Bhojwani has not been charged with and has not anywhere been tried for offences of corruption or bribery.
"He alone amongst those against whom the Crown's case alleges wrongdoing in Nigeria has faced prosecution, a proposition which even the Swiss lawyer acting for Nigeria in its efforts to recover monies said to have been 'looted' by the Abacha regime suggests might be thought off as 'unfair'."
The rise of the general
General Sani Abacha took power in the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 17 November 1993 following a military "coup d'Etat" and stayed in power until his death on 8 June 1998.
As well as being head of state, he also appointed himself Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Minister of Defence, President of the Provisional Ruling Council, and President of the Federal Executive Council.
Due to his wide-ranging power, he was able to do whatever he liked, particularly in regard to the country's finances. He awarded himself the power to approve all contracts with the Government of Nigeria worth over US$50,000.
Using these arbitary powers, Abacha set up a system of systematic corruption in favour of himself, his family, friends and acolytes, overpricing national contracts by at least 40% and transferring funds out of the treasury and into accounts of his associates.
Papa Chikwado, who also lived in the same bungalow with Kelechi, had quarreled with the tenant at his Alafua Street, Ajegunle, residence.
The landlord went to Ajegunle police station to report the tenant, over his unbecoming behaviour.
A resident told Daily Sun that police had allegedly invited Kelechi for peace to reign but he failed to show up. The source said as the tenant continued to foment trouble, police had to seize the his motorcycle so that he would respect the invitation.
The tenant was enraged when he learnt that crime fighters had used his motorcycle as a bait to invite him.
He was alleged to have threatened to die or kill the landlord if he failed to return his motorcycle taken away by the police. The landlord, who believed it was one of those his empty threats, did not take his words seriously.
During Nigeria’s football match with South Korea in South Africa, the landlord left his street to see a friend.
Unknown to him, danger lurked around the corner. He had no premonition that Kelechi was trailing him with a cutlass with which he dealt machete blows on the landlord’s head, splitting it. The landlord’s family were said to reside in Abuja.
Kind-hearted Nigerians rushed the victim to a nearby private hospital, but the doctor rejected him, saying the injury was too much for the hospital to handle. They moved him to a public hospital where he gave up the ghost.
Meanwhile, Kelechi has bolted. Daily Sun gathered that the Divisional Police Officer of Ajegunle police station, Mr. Sylva Chinedu, a Chief Superintendent of police, was alerted and swiftly sent a team of crack detectives to the scene.
The police have launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspect.
When contacted for comment on phone, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a Superintendent of Police, said he had tried to reach the DPO, Sylva, on phone, without success.
Brand spanking new video from Killz himself – Ikechukwu. The club banger ‘Critical’ produced by Don Jazzy has been rocking the airwaves and clubs for quite a bit now. So it is safe to say that there’s a considerable amount of expectation that has accompanied this song.
‘Critical‘ does not disappoint as it can be seen as a breath of fresh air from the Mo’Hits kitchen. As far as choices of locations go, it would seem that Ikechukwu has gone back to his roots. The video was shot in New York.
with a seemingly clampdown on IBB's boys:
Mike Adenuga, Wife, Become Nigeria’s Newest FugitivesPHOTO: GLOBACOM LIMITED CHAIRMAN, OTUNBA MIKE ADENUGA.
Just like the fugitive former governor of Bauchi State, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu who fled Nigeria more than two years ago and his Delta State counterpart, Chief James Ibori, who also fled Nigeria to the Emirati via Accra before his detention by Dubai police, THEWILL can report that Globacom Chairman, billionaire and oil magnate, Otunba Mike Adenuga has fled the shores of Nigeria for good to escape interrogation and possible prosecution...
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had sought to interrogate Adenuga and his second wife, Titi in connection with its investigation into the 17.5 million euro Siemens bribery scandal.
Adenuga had written the anti-graft agency claiming that he was part of the federal government delegation to South Africa to attend the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup soccer competition and that he would make himself available to operatives of the agency as soon as the assignment was over.
Checks at the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has however revealed that Adenuga was not on the federal government delegation. According to a circular obtained from the office, those on the list included Senate President David Mark (head of delegation), Governor Bukola Saraki (Kwara State); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta State); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State); Sports Minister, Isa Bio; Youth Development Minister, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi; Women Affairs Minister, Mrs. Josephine Anenih; Information and Communications Minister, Dora Akunyili, and former football federation secretary, Sani Toro, who served as secretary.
The federal government delegation to South Africa has since returned to Nigeria including other government officials, state governors, legislators and businessmen who trooped to South Africa to watch early matches. In fact, the Nigerian Super Eagles has officially left South Africa after they failed to qualify for the round of 16 but Otunba Mike Adenuga has deliberately stayed away from Nigeria.
One of Adenuga’s friends who opted to remain anonymous said the billionaire has no plans of honouring the EFCC invitation.
"Mike has gone underground. He won't meet with the EFCC, he used the world cup as an excuse to buy some time but the Super Eagles early elimination exposed his plan," the source said.
THEWILL called Adenuga’s number severally to know when he would meet with EFCC officials but all our calls were unanswered while our SMS was not acknowledged.
EFCC spokesman Mr. Femi Babafemi confirmed in a conference call that Adenuga has not been interrogated by the agency..
Last week, the commission interrogated two Executive Directors of Globacom telecommunications company, Mrs. Gladys Alabi and Mr. Mike Jitubo in its investigation into the 17.5 million euro bribery scandal.
The commission also grilled former Legal Adviser Ministry of Finance Mrs. Agbamuche, former Legal Adviser Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) Daba Jubrin and a former NITEL employee R. Olusanju on June 18, 2010.
Siemens Managing Director, Mr. Alain DeCat; Siemens General Manager Finance & Accounts, Mr. Tunde Orija; Managing Director C. Woermann Nig. Ltd, Ralf Henrich; and Chief Accountant C. Woermann Nig. Ltd, Mr. Olusegun Olaniyi; three former Communication Ministers, Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed, Deputy National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Retired Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju and Chief Cornelius Adebayo have all been interrogated by the commission.
C. Woermann Nigeria Limited, a German mechanical consulting firm is alleged to have handled the disbursement of brides to Nigeria officials.
Globacom in statement following the news of Adenuga’s invitation declared that the company is not in any way involved in the Siemens bribery scam.
The telecommunications company said that the only relationship it ever had with Siemens, as a private company, was when it awarded a single contract in 2003 to the German firm for the provision of GSM and broad access infrastructure in some parts of the country. The company it stated was also awarded part of the National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure, which has since been completed.
The company added that since Siemens executed the contract, Globacom has not engaged the telecommunication equipment manufacturing company for any other project.
"It should be noted that the equipment supply and installation contract forms the basis of the only relationship that Globacom has had with Siemens. It was and remains a normal business interaction that was entered into by Globacom purely to meet its network expansion needs. Globacom has had no other form of relationship or dealings with Siemens, the statement noted.
Adenuga, who also owns controlling shares in Equitorial Trust Bank Plc (ETB), Conoil, and other business interests was first arrested at his Okeowo Victoria Island, Lagos residence on Sunday, July 09, 2006, after the businessman refused to honour several invitations to appear at the commission's office for questioning following its investigation into the questionable deposits of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) funds into Equitorial Trust Bank. Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice president was alleged to have approved the deposits.
The then Nuhu Ribadu led EFCC in a statement justifying Adenuga’s arrest said, "EFCC visited Chief Adenuga’s home on Sunday, 9th July 2006, only after several invitations to him, over a period of more than three months. He refused to honour the invitations.
"Even at his Victoria Island, Lagos home, for over seven hours, Adenuga, among other evasive tactics employed by his family and staff, refused to see EFCC operatives or allow them entry;
"The 14 operatives (not "over 40" or "over 70" as reported in the media) had no choice than to extract Chief Adenuga in a professional manner, with due respect for his rights as a citizen of Nigeria and in accordance with established rules and regulations. Consequently, no injury was done to his person or damage to his property.
"Chief Adenuga was subsequently taken to our Ikoyi, Lagos offices where he answered questions in relation to EFCC investigations. He was released on bail immediately after.
"The Commission’s investigation of Chief Mike Adenuga has certain international dimensions that EFCC may not be in a position to make public at this stage. But, once the Commission has reached a comfortable point in its inquiry, everything would be made public;
"It must be emphasized however, that EFCC’s invitation to and interaction with Chief Adenuga is normal. No crime has been established against him. He is innocent until proven otherwise. However, the Commission wishes to reiterate that no one is above the law."
It is unclear whether the commission would formally declare Mr. and Mrs. Adenuga wanted if they fail to submit themselves to operatives of the commission for interrogation.
story courtesy of thewillnigeria
The Nigerian author, last December, wrote a captivating novel that presents the gripping tale of a young woman finding her feet and how her life intersects with that of the wealthy egoist she meets. This main story line runs through the subplots of a tear-soaked family reunion and high-powered company acquisitions.
A Heart To Mend narrates the relationship between Gladys Eborah and Edward Bestman and offers a unique reading experience. Direct and action packed, the masterful use of emotion and suspense will keep readers totally engrossed and guessing till the end. There are not enough romance novels set in contemporary Nigeria, and this is something the book has sought to redress.
The story is set in modern day Nigeria, at a time of turmoil in the country's financial institutions. It is a right mix that beautifully weaves contemporary Nigeria with her past. Edward is the chief executive of a conglomerate listed on the stock exchange. Gladys finds a job in a foremost oil company. Other characters in the book include industrialists, bankers, stockbrokers and many more.
Several themes run through the plot including illegitimacy, premarital sex, cross-cultural romance and marrying socially upwards. Filled with questions and themes of clashing backgrounds, societal class, premarital sex, family feuds and personal scandals, this book will have you flipping through the pages anxiously.
On the business angle, share price manipulation, margin trading and high-powered business acquisitions form the subplot of the book. The author illustrates the relationship between the characters in a three dimensional light, giving insight to their backgrounds, fears and personal lives.
Sheltered Gladys has spent most of her life in a suburb of Enugu and is brought up in a deprived single parent household after losing her father as a young girl. After finishing her education, she moves to Lagos to seek a job and moves in with an estranged aunt who now wants to be forgiven for all perceived wrongs.
This unexpected gesture by Aunt Isioma leaves Gladys suspicious of her intentions. Gladys suspects Aunt Isioma abandoned them out of disdain for their poverty, and have the uneasy role of the bridge between both families.
With the help of her new friends and lifestyle, Gladys soon becomes a sophisticated young lady as her new friendships and career achievements gradually transition Gladys into an independent young woman.
Soon, she begins to fall for good-looking, super rich but emotionally scarred Edward, who, though physically attracted to her, is emotionally unavailable. As their romance gets heated, events from Edwards past begin to resurface which threaten to destroy their relationship. Edward is very wealthy, but he is haunted by the past of his illegitimate birth and other secrets he will not share.
Caught in the middle of their emotional struggle, Edward learns that unidentified investors are about to take over his company and finds out Gladys may be involved. How Gladys was able to pull this off to ensure their relationship survived the break-up scare and Edward regaining full control over his business is an intriguing fast-paced story that keeps the reader on edge, who finds it difficult keeping the book down until the last page is turned.
A Heart To Mend will bring tears to the eyes and cheers at the end, especially for those who have experienced the search for a career or tumultuous family and emotional relationships. Readers will be pleasantly surprised by the vivid description of Lagos, the Nigerian stock market, and other business intrigues.
The book shows how love, even with all its problems, can transform a person and heal them enough to allow forgiveness in a heart. The best part is how true it shows Nigeria and Nigerians, down to the little idiosyncrasies in our daily life. Furthermore, it painstakingly tried to narrate an everyday living in the boisterous city of Lagos to a foreigner.
The simplicity, clarity and rhythm of the writing will draw the reader deeper into the book feeling what the characters feel. The elements of mystery and suspense allow the characters in the book grow, becoming sync and aware of their surroundings.
It has been proved that the best romantic novels are the ones that go beyond the genre, and this is why Myne Whitman's debut is distinctively different from previous offerings on the subject.
The goes pointedly illustrates that while the main narrative of a romance novel may be the story of love between the main characters, there has to be much more; such as extra plot layers, a strong sense of place, three-dimensional antagonists and secondary characters with their own stories, including a hero and heroine, whose worlds are large and who have other interests beyond just their love for each other. This story is told from the point of view of both major characters.
The book is however punctuated with some few typo and syntax errors. A few spotted examples will suffice: "you're mother is a marvelous woman," on page 25; "did she need some calm," with a full stop, on page 26; "you know it can very easy to get a girl," on page 101; when Edward was on phone with Gladys on page 115, he looked her straight in the eye and said "I have to learn to trust you and your love for me"; and the opening sentence of chapter 12 on page 119, "I didn't know I could sleep with a woman without having sex with them."
Overall, this novel is very entertaining. It brings you back to the realities of life, how fragile love can be and the realizations of trust and fear. Having it written by a Nigerian author is only a plus. It is a reading experience readers will love.
The prisoner, Ikechuwku Ogbu (alias Prince Eze), investigations reveal, created a 419 syndicate from inside the inner recesses of the prison, with which he had been duping unsuspecting members of the public. His forte is what is known in advance fee fraud as love scam. He advertised himself as an eligible bachelor who desperately needs a wife.
Those who responded to adverts, ended up adding to the long list of his victims. However, the riddle which EFCC operatives are trying to resolve is how a prisoner managed to place an advertorial in the love links page of the Vanguard Newspapers of March 7, 2009. In the advertorial, Ogbu wrote: “I am Prince Eze, 46, from Anambra State, live in Lagos. Genotype AA, Blood Group 0 needs a working class business lady between 39-45 to settle down with on 07057928637 or 07085350598. Several women that were desperately looking for husband called these numbers.
One of them is a lady, who works with the National Assembly in Abuja. After making contacts with her proposed spouse, she flew to Lagos, to ensure that others didn’t beat her to her prospective husband.
She received the shock of her life when she landed at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja and no one was there to pick her.
This prompted her to call Ogbu, who now told her that he was actually detained in Kirikiri Prison by the EFCC over money laundering matters, whereas he is serving a jail term. He told the woman to come over to the prison to meet him. She did. On getting to the prison yard, she was accorded VIP treatment by the warders and this gave her the impression that Ogbu was an influential personality who was detained over a minor issue.
When Ogbu finally met her, he told the lady that theirs was love at first sight. He painted the picture of a blissful marital experience for the couple once he gets out of prison. The woman couldn’t believe her luck for getting a husband, a rich one at that, so cheap. While the woman was thanking God, Ogbu moved to the next stage of his plan to pull off a massive scam. He told her that he was a drug baron and that someone was sending $25 million to him from the United States, but that he was afraid of lodging the money in his own account for fear that it could be seized by EFCC.
The woman fell for the bait, and suddenly made it her business to look for an account for the fraudster. Instead of returning to her station in Abuja, she flew to Port-Harcourt to meet her brother-in-law, a manager with one of the new generation banks and told him about the business. The banker immediately flew to Lagos and met Ogbu. And the story changed. He said the person bringing the money from the US said he would not release it until he came out of prison.
The challenge now was for the banker to arrange his release which, supposedly entails bribing key officials of the prison service and the EFCC as well as the judge. He gave the bankers number to fake EFCC officials who were members of the syndicate.
They started calling the banker, demanding for all sorts of money (in millions). And he paid. At the end of the day, he lost over N12million to the fraudsters, yet Ogbu was not released neither was any payment in dollars received.
At this juncture, he realized that he had been fleeced and reported to the EFCC. The commission’s investigations revealed that Ogbu lives like a king in Kirikiri Prison. Although he was not supposed to have access to telephone, five cell phones were recovered from the unrepentant prisoner when EFCC stormed the prison last Thursday, June17. It was also discovered that he had been receiving huge sums of money in the presence of warders.
Note: this page contains paid content.
Please, subscribe to get an access.