Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Agbakoba: 90% of Nigeria's problems are from Abuja

The former chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (S.A.N) says 90% of Nigeria’s problems are from the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Agbakoba stated this while he was reviewing the book of his colleague and renowned lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), at the Yar’adua centre, Abuja yesterday, February 9.

The book titled Zoning to Unzone: The politics of power and the power of politics in Nigeria, seeks to address several pressing historical and contemporary national issues about Nigeria.

According to Agbakoba: ”90% of our problems are located in Abuja constitutionally, because our politicians have been unable to manage our diversity.”

He continued: ”Our diversity is not a curse. The United Kingdom is as diverse as Nigeria, but as it is, Nigeria is not a nation.”

Agbakoba also berated politicians in the country for not getting it right, even as he called on the legislature to ”repair the federation.”

He said that Nigeria is not a federation which is why zoning to unzone is a major issue in the country. He also called on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to look into the 2014 National Conference organised by the Goodluck Jonathan government.

According to him, every National Conference held till date in Nigeria has addressed the issue of federation adequately.

”We need to unbundle Nigeria to make the federating units stronger. If we can emulate the structure of religion, we will have a better country,” he said.

Among those who graced the event yesterday were the governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, who was the chief host; the former governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, who represented the chairman of the occasion, Senator Ken Nnamani, a former Senate president; the minister of science and technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu and Abia state deputy governor, Sir Ude Okochukwu, who represented his boss.

Other eminent personalities present were the former minister of justice, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide; Senator Bode Olajumoke, a former minority whip at the House of Representatives, Honourable Samson Osagie; senior lawyers, Chief Wole Olaonipekun and Chief Awa Kalu.

Agbakoba in a recent interview with a national newspaper said Nigeria needs to see a new federal system.

He recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari propose a bill for an act or set up a small technical committee on national order.

Does Nigeria’s 2016 budget exemplify transparency or corruption?

Yesterday, the Nigerian National Assembly announced the suspension of the deadline date initially set for the passing of the 2016 budget appropriation bill. The budget, which has been deliberated upon by the National Assembly for the past week, contains different anomalies and inconsistent figures. The integrity of the budget, and the people who prepared it, has been questioned as an indictment on the “change” mantra promulgated by Nigeria’s present administration. The deadline for passing the budget was the 25th of February, but now that it has been suspended, it seems the original fear that its implementation would be delayed is looking quite likely. It would appear that every sector represented in the budget will now have to review its allocations.

This latest furore surrounding Nigeria’s budget is the latest in a long list of related issues. The “lost but found” budget episode in January this year was quickly followed by its withdrawal and re-presentation to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari. Then hot on the latter’s heels was the issue of the National Assembly’s decision to keep its allocation in the 2016 budget a mystery, an act which made Nigerians cry out in protest, lending more strength to the hashtag #OpenNASS on twitter. It seems that, finally, Nigerians have woken up to one of their rights in a democracy i.e. the close monitoring given to the openness of the budget.

However, this latest problem seems to trump the others because it questions the competence and credibility of President Buhari and his appointments (that took him months to make in the first place because, ironically, he wanted to choose credible and competent people). There were inflated budget allocations for some ministries, while some figures were repeated so many times some Nigerians began to wonder if there was an actual Ministry of Budget and National Planning in the country. Buhari’s acclaimed 2016 ‘budget of change’ has now been termed a ‘budget of corruption.’

President Buhari, through his spokesperson, called the budget manipulation the work of the “Budget Mafia”, whatever that means. However, the state clinic for President Buhari’s presidential villa, Aso rock, will receive more allocation than the Federal Hospitals in the rest of the country, which means the president’s inner caucus is not excused from blame. There’s also the case of the “house rent” for the Aso Rock in the budget.

If Buhari claims non-complicity in the inconsistencies in the budget, perhaps he should sack everyone working with him in the State house. Similarly, ministers of sectors like Health and Education, when asked to defend their federal allocations in the budget at the National Assembly, disowned the content of their ministries allocation claiming that was not what was written down originally. This has left many wondering if it was done by a ghost bent on indirectly revealing the deep, deep rot in Nigeria’s public system.

Since there has never been any confusion with budget implementation in Nigeria’s democratic history, is this present misunderstanding fueled by the peculiarity of the present time? To many, President Buhari has become a some sort of anti-corruption ‘punisher’ since his inauguration. Are these present budget revelations a result of the transparency promised by the reformed democrat, exposing the still corrupt officials scattered in Nigeria’s public system, the ones he didn’t know about? Or have Nigerians just been pawned? It is yet to be seen how President Buhari will redeem his image in the eyes of Nigerians, because, despite his stance on corruption, it appears that Nigerians have been sold dreams.

5 Tips How to Stay Safe Online

With a rapid surge in the number of Indian users coming online, Google India today announced its support towards Safer Internet Day. Google India says it will be providing its consumers a safer Internet experience and rolled out some new features and resources designed to protect users online. From simple initiatives like simplifying security settings to making trustworthy messages easier to spot in Gmail, Google will be driving multiple initiatives to drive awareness about online safety among Indian Internet users. Users can take a quick Security Check-up, to review and manage your Google Account’s security settings and initiate a step towards safe Internet experience.
  1. Use a strong, unique password made up of a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  2. Don’t reuse the same password for important accounts.
  3. Set up two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security, in addition to your password.
  4. Check your account recovery information and add a phone number or other contact info. This enables us to help you in case you get locked out.
  5. Do a Security Checkup to make sure your Google account’s security settings are up to date: checkup. Sunita Mohanty Director, Trust and Safety, Google India, said, “With an increase in the number of users coming online and the rise in the penetration of smartphone users in India, we at Google are committed to offering users a safe Internet experience. We are adding five million new users a month taking the user base of ‘connected’ Indians to 500 millions online by 2018-2019. It’s more important now than ever before to ensure the data and profiles of these users is safe online. Thus Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to focus on online safety and drive awareness for a better Internet."

What i love about BlackBerry Priv, First BB Android Phone Review Part 1

Recently a colleague asked my advice on a smartphone he wanted to buy. But he had a specific request: the phone should have a full keyboard like his Blackberry 8520 which was well past its prime. That was exactly a week before BlackBerry announced the launch of Priv in India. I would not have suggested this premium phone to my colleague anyway, but his specific requirement might just be what makes the BlackBerry Priv and the next generation of devices that follow it the redeemer for the beleaguered Canadian smartphone maker.
I have used this new phone for a week and will tell you why I love this new phone from Waterloo. I will also tell you what I don’t love about the Priv in the next part of this review.

Priv runs near stock version of Android 5.1 Lollipop and is one of the most secure smartphones available right now.
Before you start comparing it to QWERTY old Blackberry, let me tell you that this is not a phone for everyone. It is clearly meant for top management, which has for many years been BlackBerry’s favourite clientele. It is priced to take on the top-end flagships like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. The price means even BlackBerry does not expect it to be a mass product.
Specs: 5.4-inch WQHD AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels) | Snapdragon 808 processor | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage space (expandable to 200GB) | 18MP rear camera with OIS + 2MP front camera | 3410 mAh battery | Android 5.1 Lollipop
Price: Rs 62,999

It’s different: All the buzz so far about this phone has centred around how this is the first Android phone from BlackBerry which has been pushing its own operating system for many years. I choose to look at this phone differently. For me, this is the best Android phone with a keyboard at the moment and that is a pretty place to be in for BlackBerry, a very lonely place too. I am very adept at typing really fast for long durations on the smartphone and tablet. But I’m still in a minority. There are lots of people who do it because they don’t have an option and the handful of Android devices with keyboards are low-end devices not really meant for power users. With BlackBerry stating that it’s going to roll out more Android devices that play to its strength of keyboards and security, this could be a niche the company can really tap into.
Who has better keyboards: The keyboard is clearly the USP of this phone. It is both functional and practical like any BlackBerry QWERTY. But it also gives you full options to use just the virtual keyboard and not slide out the physical keys. I have used a blackberry phone for a few years, moving on from a Nokia E series business phone. So I am very used to physical keyboards on phones and have been filing and editing copies on phones for close to a decade. But the last BlackBerry phone I used was well over a year back and I now realise that I’m more comfortable using the virtual keyboard instead of the physical keys. So BlackBerry will have a challenge getting people who have moved on from physical keys to adjust them again. However, it will be able to cash in on the thousands who have not been able to adjust to virtual keyboards. And yes, like in the Q10 the surface of the keypad can be used as a trackpad too.
The right tweaks: BlackBerry has been good enough to retain most natural elements of Android while adding their bits as add-ons and not as a wrap like other manufacturers have tried. I found the BlackBerry hub to be a great productivity app given that it plugs all my incoming messages into a single app with fewer chances of missing out on stuff. The gestures from BB10 OS have been added in a way to conjure what you need when you need it. Smart widgets work a bit like 3D Touch and are innovative, helping keep the home screens clean and clutter-free. I loved the shortcuts on the home screen to things you need the most like battery percentage, compose mail and so on. You will need to curate them a bit, but these are again very practical.

Design: The design is nothing revolutionary, certainly not for BlackBerry. But it seems to be the most natural way to add physical keys without making them look like an appendage. The overall size of the phone is very handy and if no one told you, there is no way to figure out that this phone has a slide out keyboard.
Call quality: One BlackBerry goodness that people take for granted is the overall call quality. If you are the sort that value your business then these calls are important enough for you to be able to communicate effectively in the traditional ways too. This phone has one of the best call quality I have experienced in recent times, both on the handset and on speaker phone.
Before you think I have sold out to BlackBerry, please note that this is my first blackberry device and I am just appreciating a good work done.