Friday, 28 December 2012

2012: Year of evasive gains

In a matter of days, the world will embrace a New Year. But with all that characterised 2012, Nigerians will not forget the outgoing year in a hurry. In this report, Ademola Adeyemo, Omololu Ogunmade, Shola Oyeyipo, Anayo Okolie, Ayodele Opiah and Nkiruka Okoh review some of the major events of 2012

The outgoing year came with many events. From the first day in the year on January 1, the events had begun to unfold. Some of the major events of the year are summarised below:
Subsidy Crisis
Little did the Federal Government know that the planned removal of subsidy on January 1 as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan in his New Year broadcast would change the course of the year! It actually did. With the removal of subsidy, the price of petrol, which sold for N65 per litre was jacked up to N141. This set off a chain of reactions that affected several other things. Not only did it attract the rage of the people, the agitation against the new policy compelled the government to turn the searchlight on the petroleum sector during which the monumental corruption that has been going on in the sector for years was uncovered.
After the negotiations and interventions that followed from stakeholders, government eventually settled for N97 per litre. But the decision was reached, the economy hurt badly as the nationwide strike affected near all facet of the Nigerian economy. Coming after this were the many probes that unveiled the rots in the oil sector. For this, many are still in detention while some are standing trial in different courts across the country.
The outgoing year witnessed the continuity of terrorist acts perpetrated majorly by the Boko Haram sect. In many of these sometimes coordinated attacks, Nigerians were killed in public places including churches and schools. Most grievous of them were multiple explosions and gun attacks that rocked Kano on January 20, in which 31-year old Channels Television reporter, Enenche Akogwu, lost his life.
Another attack was launched on the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, on April 30, and which claimed the lives of Professors Jerome Ayodele and Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi along with 13 other Christian worshippers at the Bayero University, Kano. Also killed in the attacks was a senior non-academic staff, Mr. Sylvester Adah.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

20-Year Old Miss USA Wins Hotly Contested Miss Universe Title

 A 20-year-old Boston University sophomore and a self-described “cellist-nerd” has won the highly coveted Miss Universe.
Olivia Culpo beat out 88 other beauty queens including Nigeria’s Isabella Ayuk, to take the title from Leila Lopes of Angola during the two-hour competition at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
With her win, Culpo has brought back the crown to the United States for the first time in more than a decade when she won the televised contest Wednesday.
Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, came in second, while Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third.
As Miss Universe, Culpo will receive an undisclosed salary, a wardrobe fit for a queen, a limitless supply of beauty products, and a luxury apartment in New York City.

Dangote Sugar Targets N16bn Profit for 2012

20 Dec 2012
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0506F02.Aliko-Dangote.jpg - 0506F02.Aliko-Dangote.jpg
Alhaji Aliko Dangote
Dangote Sugar RefineryPlc has projected a profit before tax (PBT) of N16 billion for the financial year ending December 31, 2012 as against N8 billion earned in the corresponding period of 2011.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Abdullahi Sule, who made this known in a chat with newsmen on a tour of the company’s refinery in Lagos yesterday, stated that the management is working hard to improve output to ensure adequate return to shareholders.
He assured that barring any unforeseen circumstance, the company’s shareholders were set to reap a bumper harvest given that the company had a policy of 70-75 per cent dividend payout.
The company, he said, had overcome the challenges it faced earlier in the year when a section of its refinery was gutted by fire.
“We had that accident in July this year and that same month we recorded the highest sales in this company. We sold more sugar than we have sold from January to June in any given month. As far as the company is concerned, we are okay. We have not increased the price of sugar as a result, rather we have reduced the price for our industrial customers. The general public will soon see the reduction in the price of sugar, “he said.
On the company’s future plans, he said the company planned to capitalise on its improved efficiency to get its products across the country.
“The first projection that we have is to sell enough sugar to our customers. Remember we are a refinery and there are more refinery coming. But most of them rely on importation of raw materials. Our projection for the next five years is that we will limit the amount of raw materials that we import and produce locally.
“During our last Annual General Meeting (AGM), we got the nod of our shareholders to acquire Savanna Sugar Limited, which is a fully integrated company. With that we have been able to do all the farming and harvest of the sugarcane locally. We are sure to produce our sugar locally without importing from Brazil. Our long term plan is to ensure that Nigeria is self-sufficient in sugar production, “he said.
He added that the company still controlled 75 per cent of its market share in Nigeria adding that what makes it unique is its quality.
“Until recently we were the only sugar refinery in Nigeria. Another thing is our size; we are second only to the Al-khali Sugar Refinery of Dubai in the whole world. Operationally we are situated in the nation’s premier port, we have dedicated jetties, and we have the brand name-Dangote and other advantages that make us unique,” he said.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Six-year-old swimmer tipped for glory

Young Nigerian swimmer, Onwuchekwa Oyinwonuola, is already generating rave reviews after she emerged the best at a recent swimming competition organised by Armani Auto Works Limited.
CEO Armani Auto Works Limited, sponsors of the competition, Emmanuel Okeke, said the company would foot the bill of the six-year-old swimmer to the United Kingdom to compete in the 2013 Manchester swimming competition.
Oyinwonuola, who attends the University of Lagos Women Society Private School, was chosen because she emerged the best swimmer in her category.
The sponsor said he hoped to encourage kids at the grass-roots level to ensure that Nigeria became a dominant force at subsequent Olympic Games following the dismal performance of the country’s contingent at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He said, “It is unfortunate that swimming has not improved. And, I think the best way is to catch the swimmers young. These children might be helpful in the nearest future. The joy is to see someone you sponsor excelling. It is better to develop them when they are at their infancy. This project is going to be a continuous one.”
Oyinwonuola said, “I am very happy because I have trained so hard. I won’t feel intimidated and I am going to be focused.”
More than 11 schools participated in this year’s edition of the one-day swimming competition held at the Lagos Country Club Ikeja, on Saturday.

Easing non-EU visa burden

Easing non-EU visa burden
With EYP – the European Youth Parliament
Question from Ilona, Ukraine:
“My question to you concerns visa issued in non EU countries because it’s really hard for non EU students and youth to obtain a visa. Are you planning to simplify the visa procedure for non EU countries? Thanks.”
Answer by Michele Cercone, EU Spokesperson for Home affairs:
“Yes, the European Commission intends to make it easier for third country nationals in bona fide – those who do not pose any risk at security level – to enter the EU and to get visa to do so.
More in detail, we intend to look in the short term at how to best make use of the current rules, the existing rules. So consulates will be asked to respect for instance the 2-week-deadline to give a meeting, the 2-week-deadline to give a final answer and also the duty to give an explanation and to explain why the visa request has been refused. This is in the short term.
In the long term, we’ll also intend to see if we can change the rules, the visa code in order to make a little bit simpler and easier.
This said, let’s not forget that Ukrainian citizens have already benefited form a number of very positive measures that have been introduced since 2008 – since the Visa facilitation agreement with the EU – notably the reduction of the visa fee from
the normal 60 euro to 35 euro and also reduce number of burden when it comes to the number of documents and also visa procedure.
Altogether in 2011 the number of visa requests from Ukraine amounted to over one million, so only around 3% have been rejected, so this is already good news.
We also hope that early 2013, the changes that have been agreed to the current Visa facilitation with Ukraine will enter into force.
This will help certain categories to be completely
visa waived, so they will not required visa any more and other categories will have their lives made easier by these changes that – as I said we hope – could enter into force at the beginning of 2013.”
If you would also like to ask a question on U-talk, click on the button below.

Cisco’s report shows rivalry between laptop, smartphones

WITH convergence becoming the order of the day, where one single device now plays multiple role globally, the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, has revealed the increasing rivalry between laptop and smartphones.
According to the report, people between the ages of 18 and 30 now see smartphone as the most versatile and compact device.
Cisco said the study, results of which were sent to our correspondent on Friday, was based on a survey of 1,800 university students and young professionals aged 18 to 30.
The study revealed that if people within the stated age interval had to choose only one device, a third of them preferred a smartphone, while slightly more than a third favoured laptops.
A statement from Cisco on the study said, “smartphones have surpassed desktop computers as the preferred workplace device from a global perspective and were rated twice as popular as a desktop PC and three times as popular as a tablet.”
The statement also revealed that sixty per cent of 18-30 year olds found themselves sub-consciously or compulsively checking their smartphones for emails, texts or social media updates.
The statement said, “of those, women are more driven to connect: 85 per cent of women versus 63 per cent of men find themselves often compulsively checking their smartphones for text, emails, social media updates.”
“Over 40 per cent of respondents would go through a “withdrawal” effect and “would feel anxious, like part of me was missing,” if they couldn’t check their smartphones constantly.”
According to Cisco, the study examines how this generation uses the Internet and mobile devices to connect with the world around them, and reveals their behaviours, attitudes, issues, and concerns about the creation, access, management, and privacy of the enormous amounts of data being generated daily by smartphones, sensors, video cameras, monitors, and other connected devices.
Cisco said nearly 70 per cent of respondents expressed belief that mobile applications were important to their daily lives.
While more than half said they mainly used mobile applications for games and entertainment, one in four (27 per cent) said they used mobile applications for work.
About online shopping based on the global trend for 18-30 year olds, Cisco said nine out of 10 of respondents surveyed said they engaged in online shopping.
The technology giant said nearly three out of five (58 per cent) reported that they regularly relied on customer reviews when deciding on online purchases, while an additional 28 per cent consulted online reviews occasionally.

Vital tips for domestic air travellers this season

Biztoon Wednesday, December 19, 2012.
Domestic air traffic usually increases during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. As a result, passengers must be smart in their dealings with airlines and airports personnel, Okechukwu Nnodim writes
Another characteristic of the Yuletide is the increase in the number of travellers. This is not out of place in any way, transporters say. They note that most individuals seize the opportunity to visit their loved ones in states far away from where they are based. The airports, especially, domestic terminals are often crowded with passengers, as many scramble for air tickets, while others either wait for or board their flights. Passengers should understand that before embarking on any trip, they must be subjected to some checks at the airport. This takes time; hence, the traveller must be at the airport early, otherwise, he may be denied entry to the aircraft.
Experts in the aviation industry say the rules for travel are changing rapidly, and every airline has different regulations. They note that it is important to check with your airline when you make your reservation and again, right before you fly, to check for hidden fees and new rules of what can go onboard with you, and what needs to go in the luggage compartment. Below are some basic tips that will guide you while travelling this season, according to experts:
Book flight two days before your programme
If you are to attend a programme in a state far away from your base, it is important you book your flight two days before the date of the programme. According to a renowned aviation expert and former President, National Cabin Crew Association, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, it might be tough to get a flight scheduled for your destination on the date of the programme. If there is a flight, its ticket cost will be highly expensive considering the rush this season. So, passengers are advised to book early if they must catch a flight for their scheduled programmes this season. “Passengers should book for flights two days before a programme to ensure alternate plans are used when necessary,” he says.
Group travel should be booked very early
Airlines take advantage of the rush associated with the Yuletide. “This is business; we all know that the higher the demand of any service, the higher the price,” says a flight attendant at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, Lagos, who simply identifies herself as Amara. She notes that large families wishing to travel this season should book their tickets early enough, “otherwise they will pay more.” Ohunayo notes that the group travels should be booked far ahead and you should ensure reconfirmation is made before the departure date. To avoid making things difficult for you and your family, always start early and you will be glad you did.
Avoid airport touts and unsolicited services
Ohunayo says airport touts may increase the cost of travel if you employ their services. He notes that they should be avoided and advises that you shun unsolicited services from illegal flight attendants. According to experts, unsuspecting passengers may lose their belongings to touts who are often seen around the airports posing as airline personnel. Passengers should ensure they make vital flight arrangements early with their airline before coming to the airport. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria often times arrest touts and illegal airport attendants, but this has not stopped the inflow of miscreants, experts say.
Hold extra cash for excess luggage
In our piece on guidelines for air travellers, it was stated that first time flyers should not put too many things inside their luggage, especially things that may get the attention of airport security personnel. According to experts, if you carry too much items then it will take much longer to get past the security check since they check if you are carrying deadly weapons or unauthorised items. As for your carry-on bag, bring only the necessary items like your passport, ticket, identification cards, credit cards, and medications, experts say. However, many air passengers travel with much luggage during the Yuletide. Experts advise that individuals who travel with lots of baggage should carry along extra cash to make payments for such items.
Check in on time
This is one of the most important air travel guideline which travellers must take note of. According to experts, international air travel guidelines is that passengers go to the airport at least two hours before their flights so as to have enough time to put all travel documents, passport, and tickets in order. Make sure you check the flight schedule from time to time so that you won’t miss the final call. Also, listen attentively to announcements made in the airport to avoid missing your flight. Don’t forget to check your luggage for the last time if you have what you need. If anything goes wrong, you still have enough time to check in with plenty of time to take a cup of coffee and relax.
Understand how to check-in you luggage
Carry valuable items such as electronic equipment, cameras, film, cash, medication, prescriptions and keys with you on board the aircraft. Place your name and address on the outside of your baggage. Nametags are available at all airport baggage check-in locations. Experts recommend that you place your name and address on the inside of your bag. Be sure to inform airline staff of your final destination if you are connecting so that your baggage will be checked to your final destination. Claim your baggage immediately upon arrival at your destination. Be aware of what items are restricted to be in checked baggage. If you are not sure, review the list of items permitted and prohibited stated on the airline’s website or on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s website.

How to determine your employees’ salaries

Ola Emmanuel
Towards the end of October 2012, the news broke that Sweden is having a serious problem. The Scandinavian country of 9.5 million people can no longer generate sufficient wastes they need to turn to raw materials to produce energy. Yes, the country ran out of garbage and was forced to start importing rubbish (call it wastes, refuse, filth, trash or whatever) from another country’s waste dump site. With great entrepreneurial spirit, Sweden was able to see opportunity even in wastes that may pose health hazards if not properly managed.
Through the waste-to-wealth initiative, Sweden, is powering a quarter of a million homes by the incineration of waste. I remember Nigeria, a land where we generate so much ‘wastes’ that ‘dump sites’ are bursting as a result of pressures from all manners of garbage. The streets are still filled with rubbish. Shouldn’t we see opportunities here to enter a trade agreement with Sweden so that we can start exporting wastes to them? But, wait, can’t we turn our own wastes to good use by copying how the people of Sweden do it? There is no problem in copying if you do it right. In business, this is knowledge transfer. We need to not only learn how to get the best out of every circumstance that confronts us, but take further steps and actions to show that Nigerians are true M.Sc (Masters over Situations and Circumstances) graduates. The Swede have proven to be a people who have made getting the best out of wastes a way of life. Why can’t we?
And talking about getting maximum productivity from resources, let’s look at an aspect of business where many business owners do not seem to know how much they really pay in their attempts to make good things happen in their businesses. Employers of labour may know how much is paid their employees every month but not all know what they really pay for the labour the staff members give within the period. For instance, if an employee receives N60,000 as monthly salary, it is not correct to see the amount as payment for 30 days’ work. Where this is the case, a business owner has failed to truly know the real amount of money paid to an employee to spend a minute of his time for the business. Where the real amount paid is not known, the true value an employee gives to a business to earn his pay becomes unknown, lost and such services by an employee is rendered anyhow – if at all he tries to render any service. The end-result is waste of money by business owners and collapse of businesses. We have been seeing situations where business owners pay salaries every month but no real value is given by some employees in return.
A business owner should know how much he pays per hour to an employee for the performance of a job. When doing your business plan, it is important that you take a critical look at how much you really pay your staff members to do their jobs.
In our last two features on staffing, we established that before you hire any employee, you should first identify the tasks he is to perform in your business. Also, the business owner should identify what combination of skills and experience that would be required by the employee to perform the tasks effectively. It is after this that the business operator can fix a competitive amount as monthly pay. To really know how much you are paying an employee, you should determine how many hours of work he gives to your business per day and how many days he is at work in a month.
No business pays for the hours an employee is not at work. This is a reality many Nigerian business owners and employees are yet to really understand. When employees are on their way to their offices or when they are on break during the day, they are not at work for the business. In the developed economies, no one argues with this fact. The amount paid for each hour work is known to both the employers and the employees. By this, high productivity is sustained: no loafing around, no engagement in unproductive activities, absenteeism from work is reduced to barest level, the real value to be given and the importance of working in a business is known to both the employers and the employees. The end-result is higher productivity and a prosperous economy.
When you pay a staff N60,000 salary every month, it is not correct to say you pay N2,000 daily. What you really pay per day will be determined by how many hours the staff spent in a day at work. If the employee starts work by 9am and closes by 5pm (with a one hour lunch break), such employee works for seven hours in a day. If he works five days a week, it means he worked for 154 hours in 22 days of a month and earned N2,727 as daily pay or N389.61 per hour.
If you are able to determine how much you pay each of your staff members per hour, you will be in a better position to demand performance from the worker. This action will move the business to a greater height. But how do you go about sorting this out? Your business plan preparation takes care of this; and you should communicate it to your employees loud and clear. It is what is obtainable in a thriving economy – that is why they minimise waste, turn it to wealth and continue to thrive.

Samsung launches Galaxy Grand with 5-inch screen, Android 4.1


Samsung today launched another smartphone in its Galaxy series, called the Galaxy Grand. This device has a 5-inch screen with a WVGA TFT LCD screen. Samsung announced the release of the phone in a press release here.
Samsung will launch two versions of the device. The dual-SIM version will be launched first GT-I9082 followed by the single SIM version GT-I9080. In the dual-SIM version Samsung promises total communication flexibility, which allows users to manage two phone numbers from a single phone. It is possible to receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other, ensuring efficient management of personal and work commitments without ever missing a call.
Key features of the device are:
• It has an 8 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera.
• It runs Android 4.1.2 aka Jelly Bean.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand. Image courtesy: Samsung
• It has 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor along with 1GB RAM. The device has 8GB memory space and supports a MicroSD card and is expandable upto 64GB.
• It supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE.
Samsung has not yet revealed the price or the launch date of the device. Hopefully it will be a mid-range device.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Lionel Messi is the richest footballer

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2008 Soccer - ACF Fiorentina vs. FC Barcelona (1-3) - July 30, 2008

In apparent reward for his magnificent displays that have wowed the spectators all over the world,Lionel Messi,is on the verge of signing a life contract with Barcelona FC of Spain.
Messi’s father, Jorge, is already in new contract talks with Barcelona over the possibility of extending the Argentine’s stay at Camp Nou,till he clocks 31 years old.
Only last night,Messi proved his worth the more, as he scored a double that sunk Atletico Madrid 4-1 and further extended their lead in the Spanish La Liga.
Messi now has an astonishing record of 90 goals,scored in a calendar year,an incredible feat that has set him apart from other footballers of his time,drawing up debates,on whether he is the greatest of all time.
The new deal expected to be handed out by Barcelona, will be structured so that it will increase on a yearly basis.
The contract could rise as high as £12.5million a year net before bonuses yearly. Messi will get an estimated net take-home pay before bonuses,that is valued to about £9m year.
Although his net pay,falls short to that of former teammates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o,who both earn £12m and £16m at Paris Saint-Germain and Anzhi Makhachkala respectively,his bonuses and sponsorship deals surpasses theirs.

The top 10 richest players in the World
1 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) £27.5m
2 David Beckham (Free agent) £26.2m
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) £24.3m
4 S amuel Eto’o (Anzhi Makhachkala) £19.4m
5 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) £17.2m
6 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain) £16m
7 S ergio Aguero (Manchester City) £15.7m
8 Yaya Toure (Manchester City) £14.7m
9 Fernando Torres (Chelsea) £13.9m
10 Kaka (Real Madrid) £12.9m

How to Know Your Worth in the Workplace

Money is a great motivator for working hard and giving it your all, but when it comes to staying happy at work, the reward of a steady paycheck isn’t always enough. You can help ensure satisfaction, however, when you gain a clear picture of your personal worth. The first step is to place yourself in the driver’s seat of your life and career.

What Motivates You?

Understanding your core values is key to creating a work environment that supports you. Just as corporate mission statements keep an organization aligned, our individual core values give us purpose in our own lives. Additionally, they’ll give you more courage and confidence to make decisions that support your vision for success.
You can find some core value assessments online; however, I highly recommend working with a coach, or signing up your team to work with an organization such as Delivering Happiness at Work. It’ll help reveal what makes you and your team tick. I also recommend the book, Aligning with Your Core Values, by Tim Brownson.

What’s Your Superpower?

I’ve written a lot about knowing your strengths, but a fun way to approach your strengths is to envision them as unique superpowers. What is something that comes naturally to you that’s also a great asset to your team because no one else can do it as well as you can? Which projects or tasks light you up? Evaluate if you feel enabled to exercise these strengths in your workplace. It’s easy for a company to place bodies where work needs to get done, but remember that a team is most productive and happy when it’s working within its strengths. I find the book StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath, quite useful.
A fun way to approach your strengths is to envision them as unique superpowers.

Owning Your Awesomeness

Owning your power means knowing your core values and the superpower you bring to the team, so don’t shy away. Staying small and not speaking up is equivalent to not doing your work, and that’s not serving anyone, particularly you. Let your voice be heard—lead with the heart, vision, and purpose that drives you—and reinforce your worth to the team. I highly recommend enrolling in Playing Big, Tara Sophia Mohr’s six-month leadership program that supports women who want to start playing bigger in their lives.

The Art of Negotiation

Remember that with any negotiation, the goal is to reach a mutual agreement, which means listening is just as important as making your case. It also means that your needs and requests must be heard, too. Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to state when something isn’t feeling right or fair. Request more time if you need it before coming to a decision. For further reading, I recommend my female clients read Women Don’t Ask, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever; it’s full of helpful tips.
Being aware of your core motivations, your unique strengths, and the value you bring is paramount to creating a positive, dynamic workplace. Remember that challenges are opportunities to improve your skills. Start developing them now, and commit to driving the happiness and success of your life and career.

How Your Work Wardrobe Could Impact Your Performance

You already know the importance of dressing smart for a job interview or when you ask for a raise. In many companies, that means a suit, nice heels, and a carefully coifed ‘do. Indeed, research shows that dressing for the job has big payoffs. According to studies, when women wear more masculine clothing during a recruitment interview, they’re more likely to be hired, and when they dress provocatively, they’re perceived as being less competent.
Now, research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that what you wear not only influences potential employers, but it also alters your own behavior. For the study, Hajo Adam, Ph.D., a visiting assistant professor of management at Rice University, and his colleague, Adam Galinsky, Ph.D., tested whether a white lab coat—a garment typically associated with high-level, scientific thinking—could trigger particular behaviors.
The results were striking: Study participants who wore the white lab coat consistently outperformed those who wore regular clothes, making about half the mistakes on attention-related tasks compared to those without the auspicious garb. A second experiment found that the symbolism of the lab coat also played a role in participants’ performance. The participants who believed they were wearing a doctor’s coat performed better than the participants who thought they were wearing a painter’s coat.
"Our research suggests that clothes influence our cognitions even when nobody is watching," says Adam. "So the types of clothes we wear when working alone and from home might very well have an impact on the quality of our work." Importantly, he points out, it depends on the meaning you associate with a particular item of clothing. If your favorite PJs signify sleep, you may feel like winding down as soon as you step into your “jammy pants”—so don’t wear those while you make a business call. Similarly, if you think of a suit or business dress as professional attire, wearing those types of clothes might help you take a more rigorous approach to your work.
The participants who believed they were wearing a doctor’s coat performed better.
Experts agree that it’s hard to tease out what comes first, the choice of clothes, or the state of mind, but Adam’s research seems to show that your mood can catch up with your outfit. In the sports world, for example, decades of research has demonstrated a link between uniform color and players’ behavior. "Studies have shown that professional sports teams wearing black uniforms are more aggressive than sports teams wearing other colors," notes Adam. "So it’s possible that wearing black clothes puts one in an angry state of mind and makes one act accordingly."
Researchers have no idea how long the effects of wearing a certain type of clothing last. "It’s possible that people get used to what they’re wearing and the effect wears off over time," he says. In the meantime, Adam’s latest research confirms that wardrobe-related behavior change isn’t just the result of a pre-existing mood or a reaction to the response of passersby. It could very well dictate how you behave—and how much you accomplish—throughout the day. As for tomorrow’s 8 a.m. conference call? You may want to rethink the slippers and slip on a pair of pumps instead.

Galaxy S3 beats Apple’s Iphone to #1 Smartphone of 2012

The Galaxy S3

For the past two years the Apple Inc have dominated the technology market with cutting edge Iphone products, winning market research and brand prowess consecutively.
But this year that has changed as their biggest competitor Samsung gladly saw their smartphone product the ‘Galaxy S3’ win the market research analysis for smartphone of the year 2012.
Strategic Anlaytics revealed from their report that the Samsung sold 18million models of its Smartphone compared to Iphone 4S sales of 16.2million models in the third quarter of the year.
The sale of the flagship Galaxy S3 which comes with a large 4.8 touch-screen gave the Korean company a turnover profit of about $7.3 billion in the period running between July-September.
Smartphone S3 has proven a new cutting edge in the smartphone industry that is full of sleek features and is wildly popular amongst consumers and operators in North America, Europe and Asia.
In terms of composition the S3 is thinner than the Iphone 4S,HTC One X, Nokia Lumia 900, and Motorolla  RAZR Maxx. It’s 70.6mm across, 136.6mm long and weighs 133g.  
Galaxy S3 smartphone the quadcore processor-powered gadget has taken innovation in the Industry to a more competitive level and is giving other players a run for their money.
The product at the annual T3 Gadget Awards for 2012  was named the  Phone of the year beating other brands of phones like the Apple Iphone 4S, Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC One X.

EU countries strengthen trade, investment ties with Nigeria

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Leaders of some of the strongest EU countries have agreed, after meetings with Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, that trade and investment ties between their countries and Nigeria must be strengthened at this critical phase of the world economic history for the benefit of Nigeria and their countries.
For them, in spite of the slow growth in the advanced economies, the Nigerian economy, which has continued to grow at about 7 percent in the last 10 years, present huge opportunities for savvy investors to leverage on.
The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto, who received Aganga on Wednesday in Helsinki, Finland, said there was a new world emerging in favour of African economies, noting that Nigeria’s indices were particularly impressive.
He said Finland would put machineries in motion to ensure that economic ties between Nigeria and Finland were strengthened, and to directly or indirectly support Finnish companies to invest in Nigeria. The result of the trade and investment collaboration, he said, could only be beneficial to both countries.
The minister of European affairs and foreign trade, Finland, Alexander Stubb, who disclosed that bilateral trade between Nigeria and Finland was currently 23 million euro, added that the two countries must begin to explore their comparative and competitive advantages for a win-win trade and investment relationship.
Stubb said only three EU countries, including Finland, were rated “triple A” by international rating agencies, adding that anyone doing business with Finland had nothing to fear because “a Finnish handshake is something you can trust.” As the first step in the efforts towards strong economic ties with Nigeria, Stubb said he would lead a trade delegation to Nigeria as early 2013.
Aganga, however, said the 23 million euro trade between the two countries was poor, urging the business delegation from both countries to come up with sound ideas and strategies to increase activities and enhance inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is doing everything possible to make the Nigerian environment friendlier for businesses to thrive. Unlike in the developed economies, where the situation is generally low growth, low returns, in Nigeria, the story is that of high growth, high returns,” he said.
On her part, the minister of enterprise, Sweden, Annie Loof, said on Thursday in Stockholm, during a meeting with her Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Aganga, that manufacturing contribution 25 percent to GDP in Sweden, while 80 percent of global technology in mining was from Swedish companies.
She added that Sweden was EU’s largest producer of iron ore, reiterating that the current trend in the global economy provided a good opportunity for Nigeria and Sweden to harness their respective strengths for strong, sustainable growth.
She noted that 99 percent of companies in Sweden were small and medium enterprises, adding that the government was working on a holistic strategy to see that there was more of innovation in SMEs.

How to stay healthy this Yuletide

Fresh Fruits and VegetablesAs you prepare for celebrations this Yuletide, it is important you live a healthy lifestyle. Okechukwu Nnodim writes on how to achieve this with ease
 The Yuletide is here and of course, there is need to celebrate. But be wise in the process of having fun this season. Nutritionists and health care providers advise that you live a healthy lifestyle even as you observe the season as this will allow you to feel good, look good and maintain a natural high level of energy.
We had discussed some tips to help you stay healthy in some of our previous health articles. However, it is important you understand why you must maintain a healthy lifestyle this season.
According to experts, it is never too late to change your diet or habits so that you can incorporate more positive choices into your lifestyle to improve your health. They note that an important thing to remember is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is different from participating in a temporary diet trend or workout programme. Therefore to live a healthy lifestyle, you will have to evaluate aspects of your life and make changes where necessary. Below are simple ways to achieve this, according to experts:
 •Eat the right diet
A typical characteristic of the yuletide is that there will be a lot to eat and drink. But you must understand that a healthy diet is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As you join family and friends to wine and dine, be cautious of what you eat. Nutritionists say fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and whole grains are foods that can help you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need. They advise that you avoid greasy, high-fat and high-sodium foods. Instead of taking much soda, you can substitute it with unsweetened iced tea or lemon-flavoured water, as this is more beneficial to your body.
 •Keep positive relationships
As you frolic with friends, ensure it’s a positive relationship. This is because having positive relationships and friendships in your life will keep you living a healthy lifestyle. Many individuals do not realise that negative relationships and friendships can be unhealthy, and that the body can react through various symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, backaches, loss of appetite and sleep. Experts say you should try to fill your life with friends and relationship partners who bring you laughter, smiles and happiness to help balance out your lifestyle this Yuletide.
 •Take a breather
You need some time out to have a breather. Do not get yourself worked-up in much activity this season, otherwise, you may breakdown. Everybody needs break in the day to sit back and take a breather. Make sure that you are not depriving yourself of valuable time to rest, which can help you regroup and reenergise for optimum performance when necessary.
 •Maintain good mental health
This can help you keep an overall healthy lifestyle, and even help you avoid physical pains that come from things such as stress, experts say. It is therefore important that you learn how to manage and reduce stress through meditation, exercises or by simply reading a book this season.
 •Sleep well
This is one aspect of living a healthy life that is very critical. Though it has been discussed in our previous pieces, it is still crucial to mention, especially as you celebrate this season. Your body depends on sleep to rest, gain strength and get you ready to carry out more tasks the next day.
Many people have very busy lives and lose a couple of hours of sleep in the evening or mornings as a result. Insufficient sleep can cause your immune system to run down. So, make sure you sleep well after attending the numerous functions that are associated with the Yuletide.
 •Take enough water
Beverages and a few drinks are good for celebrations, but do not ignore adequate water intake, experts advise. This is because water is important to all living things. Your body is made up of water, and it needs replenishing. Professionals say to live a healthy lifestyle, make sure you drink enough water during the day to stay hydrated. Water also helps to flush out toxins from your body, so you can actually feel healthier by drinking it. The activities performed by water in the human body cannot be adequately undertaken by other forms of liquids.
 •Exercise regularly
This may sound odd to some individuals, as they may argue that the season will hardly permit such. The important thing, however, is that the body needs exercise to be fit. Experts say regular exercise keeps your body and heart in fit shape. You can prevent or reverse certain health issues by incorporating a regular exercise regimen into your day, such as lowering your blood pressure. Health professionals say adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day for a healthy lifestyle. This is also important during the Yuletide.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

only weapon

The 6 Styles of Good Doers

What’s your style of doing good? Some strive to be continuously generous, others believe in shaking things up. Some maintain a positive mindset no matter what, others make sure they volunteer for their favorite cause on a regular basis. The beauty of it is - doing good is for everyone. Here are the 6 styles of good doers. What’s your style? Click here to find out.

Dreamers think out of the box. Vision, ingenuity and creativity are their playgrounds.
VALUE Innovators at heart, Dreamers have the ability to take humanity to the next level.
READ Top 7 Websites for Creating the Future City
WATCH This video will unleash your creativity.
TAKE ACTION Dreamers make dreams come true on Kickstarter.
John Lennon. Famous Dreamer.  

STYLE For the Planet Saver, the greener - the better. The Planet Saver cares about the environment and shapes his or her lifestyle in accordance with eco values and sustainability.
VALUE Planet Savers make sure that the world is still here long after we’re not.
READ 10 of the Best Green Living Websites.
WATCH This hilarious video will tell you what you can do to save the rainforest.
TAKE ACTION The mother of all green activism organizations, Greenpeace is where sustainability is really fought for.
Al Gore. Famous Planet Saver. Image by Tom Raftery
STYLE Moral values guide the Idealist’s actions. The Idealist has a strong sense of integrity and seeks justice for all.
VALUE Idealists not only believe in justice for all - they will go the extra mile for that.
READ 7 Ways to Donate Second Hand Goods.
WATCH This inspirational clip about the power of one.
TAKE ACTION Causes is the utlimate home for Idealists.
Princess Diana. Famous Idealist. 
STYLE The world is the Explorer’s oyster. Ever curious, the explorer is open minded and an adventurer and heart. Explorers are always eager to discover foreign lands and other people - geographically or metaphorically.
VALUE Explorers are courageous souls - they love seeking more knowledge and expanding information.
ICONIC EXPLORER Albert Einstein.
READ 10 of the Best Volunteer Abroad Organizations.
WATCH The Globetrotting Dance.
TAKE ACTION Get in touch with Geovisions to plan your good doing activity in a foreign land.
Albert Einstein. Famous Explorer. Image from the Ronald Raegan Library.
STYLE Movers & Shakers make things happen. They’re in their element when in the lead, and are happy to give the world what it needs from them: guidance, influence and confidence .
VALUE Movers & Shakers are natural leaders - they are the fuel of any good-doing operation.
READ Check out 7 Websites for Civic Engagement.
WATCH This video about an intensive bike tour for clean water - What a Ride!
TAKE ACTION Get in touch with fellow Movers & Shakers on Meetup, and get your initiative off the ground via Kickstarter.

Oprah Winfrey. Famous Mover & Shaker. Image by Alan Light. 
STYLE Common sense helps the Peacemaker find common ground. The Peacemaker is an excellent listener and has an extraordinary ability to find and forge a connection between people.
VALUE Peacemakers are natural solvers of conflict, but even if no conflict arises - they are the connectors, making human interaction much smoother.
READ 10 of Gandhi’s Most Memorable Quotes.
WATCH The moving trailer to Happiness, the Movie.
TAKE ACTION United Planet is the right place for Peacemakers.
Mahatma Gandhi. Famous Peacemaker. 

The 6 Styles of Good Doers

best places to work in 2013

Friday, 14 December 2012

you mean to tell me

how iphone was built

Trading places: Lagos becomes first African city to have its own version of Monopoly

  • Mayfair makes way for Banana Island, Makoko replaces Old Kent Road
  • Other squares include Nigerian Stock Exchange and notorious Kirikiri jail
  • Lagos State Government hopes it will educate public about road safety
  • One Chance card says: 'You've been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation'
By Simon Tomlinson

The makers of Monopoly have advanced to Lagos in Nigeria to launch the first African city edition of the famous board game.
Instead of Mayfair or Boardwalk, players will have the chance to buy Banana Island, a prestigious development where properties in the real world fetch millions.
The cheapest square - the Old Kent Road of London or the Mediterranean Avenue of the U.S. version - is a fishing slum on stilts known as Makoko.
All go in Nigeria: Promoter Fiona Donald holds a Lagos edition of Monopoly at the launch of the first African city version of the game
All go in Nigeria: Promoter Fiona Donald holds a Lagos edition of Monopoly at the launch of the first African city version of the game

Hoping for a big number: Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fasholarolls (centre), rolls a dice during the presentation of the Lagos-themed Monopoly board game
Hoping for a big number: Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fasholarolls (centre), rolls a dice during the presentation of the Lagos-themed Monopoly board game
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, which replaces London's 'Super Tax: Pay £100', and Murtala Muhammed International Airport also feature, while traditional favourites such as the Chance and Community Chest cards keep pride of place on the iconic board.
The 'go to jail' card has been adapted to say 'go directly to Kirikiri jail', the city's maximum-security prison.


The Lagos State Government was heavily involved in bringing the game to Nigeria not just to promote the country, but also as a means of educating the public about road safety, it was reported by CNN.
Many pedestrians are killed in the heavily congested city every year while trying to run across roads.
Banana Island
Rich and poor: Banana Island replaces Boardwalk from the U.S. version, while Makoko is the Lagos equivalent to London's Old Kent Road
Goodbye Mayfair: The most expensive square on the board was chosen as Banana Island, an artificially created island where only the richest live
Goodbye Mayfair: The most expensive square on the board was chosen as Banana Island, an artificially created island where only the richest live

Illustrious: On Banana Island (pictured) properties can fetch as much as $8million (£4.9million)
Illustrious: On Banana Island (pictured) properties can fetch as much as $8million (£4.9million)
Poor man's property: The cheapest square on the board is Makoko, a fishing slum on stilts
Poor man's property: The cheapest square on the board is Makoko, a fishing slum on stilts

American's Mediterranean Avenue: Makoko established itself as a fishing village in the 18th century and now has a population nearing 100,000
American's Mediterranean Avenue: Makoko established itself as a fishing village in the 18th century and now has a population nearing 100,000


  • In 1903, political activist Lizzie Magie invented The Landlord's Game to teach people how monopolies end up giving vast wealth to the lucky few
  • In 1933, James Darrow adapted the game to make an early form of Monopoly, based on the streets of Atlantic City
  • In 1941, the British Secret Service commissioned special editions for WWII prisoners held by the Nazis which were filled with hidden maps, compasses and real money to help detainees escape
  • In 1978, an all-chocolate edition of Monopoly was manufactured
  • In 1985, the world's most expensive Monopoly set - worth around $2million - was produced. It is made of 23-carat gold, with rubies and sapphires atop the chimneys of the houses and hotels
  • Monopoly is now the most played commercial board game in the world, enjoyed by more than a billion people since its invention
One Chance card, for example says: 'For using the overhead pedestrian bridge over Ikorodu Road, move forward three spaces'.
According to the BBC another reads: 'You've been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation.'
Speaking ahead of the launch in Lagos City Hall, Nimi Akinkugbe, the head of Bestman Games which is producing the authorised Lagos edition, told the Nigerian Guardian that the choice for the Mayfair spot was a 'hot topic'.
The eventual winner, Banana Island, has property which would rival that of the prestigious London district, with some selling for $8million (£4.9million).
That square and many others have been sponsored by businesses. But no-one wanted the cheapest.
By contrast, Makoko is a slum neighbourhood built on stilts that was established as a fishing village in the 18th Century.
Hasbro Inc, which owns the rights to Monopoly, said Bestman Games Ltd would distribute the Lagos version of the game under an exclusive licence.
But some feel a stumbling block to the game's success could lie in the price.
In the U.S. and the UK, the game typically costs around $18 and £10 respectively.
In Nigeria, however, it will set you back about $40 (£24), a hefty sum for the common man there.
Trading places: Other squares include the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which replaces London's 'Super tax: Pay £100' and Bourdillon Road instead of Park Lane
Trading places: Other squares include the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which replaces London's 'Super tax: Pay £100' and Bourdillon Road instead of Park Lane

Prime real estate: Bus Rapid Transit Terminal, Tiamiyu Savage St and Lagos Yacht Club are among some of the other destinations that feature
Prime real estate: Bus Rapid Transit Terminal, Tiamiyu Savage St and Lagos Yacht Club are among some of the other destinations that feature

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Nigeria’s Amcon Spent 5.6 Trillion Naira on Bad Debts

The Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, set up by the West African nation to buy bad debts from banks, said it spent 5.6 trillion naira ($35.5 billion) in last year to acquire non-performing loans.
Amcon, as the company is known, bought loans worth 4 trillion naira “with the acquisition costs at more than twice the initial estimates” accounting for the remaining expenditure, Chief Executive OfficerMustafa Chike-Obi told reporters today in Lagos, the commercial capital. It made a net loss of 2.43 trillion naira, while total assets amounted to 3.34 trillion naira, he said.
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Africa’s top oil producer established Amcon in 2010 as part of measures to save its banking industry from collapse as lenders reeled from bad loans to stocks speculators and fuel importers following the global financial crisis in 2008. The Central Bank of Nigeria fired the chief executive officers of eight lenders and bailed them out with 620 billion naira.
Amcon sold bonds to fund the purchase of bad debt and took over three of the rescued banks after regulators deemed them unlikely to meet a recapitalization deadline. Lenders are required to contribute part of their earnings to a fund toward paying for the bonds.
“The key priorities to Amcon now are the liquidation of holding in the nationalized banks and the recovery and restructuring of acquired banks’ assets,” Chike-Obi said.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Making entrepreneurs cope with challenging times

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Entrepreneurs in the course of establishing their businesses encounter challenges that tend to kill moral or even discourage intending entrepreneurs. Understanding this trend and coping with it is a huge skill experts say must be embraced to overcome the challenges of business failure.

The book, ‘Causes of Business Failure in Nigeria,’ launched recently in Lagos, is the product of practical experience of Festus Duru, the author. “What I did was to distill lessons from my experience as an emerging entrepreneur, and ground it on a robust theoretical framework.”
He revealed that in the course of his business engagements, while some initiatives paid off as sustainable enterprises today, others just could not fly, giving him cause for critical thinking and study.
“I began to ask vital questions; I found the need to touch base with my academic background as a graduate of business management; I also began to closely observe a select business concerns in my environment, and read more books on business practice and theory. The result of these efforts is what you have as this book today,” he added.
A major highlight of the book, Duru said, is that it throws up to the reader not just the challenges and problems associated with doing business in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world for that matter, it also delineates the prospects and recipes for confronting them head-on since “behind every cloud there is a silver lining.”
“I believe therefore that the book will make comprehensive reading looking at its broad thematic thrust,” Duru stressed, noting that on account of this the book outlines over 300 possible business ideas as well as how to power them into result-oriented action.
“Obviously, my target readership is expected from among the class of budding entrepreneurs and businessmen and women whose enterprises are floundering and even student who may require the book as addition to their cache of study materials for excellent showing in their studies,” he added.
According to the book reviewer, Godswill Nwankpa, “The book examines business processes, strengths, weaknesses and business opportunities analysis in Nigeria.”
The book launch chaired by Nnabuike Edechime, a prominent Lagos lawyer, was also graced by Sefinatu Mohammed, a renowned public commentator and women’s rights activist; Linus Obi Chiamuta, the chief presenter, and Godswill Nwankpa, who did a review of the book, among others.