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JCI set to hold mentorship, entrepreneurship drive




In a bid to ensure that its members are empowered, enlightened and are on the right track to take on their career and passion, the Junior Chambers International (JCI) Ikeja Chapter has churned out a series of activities to set the year in motion.
According to the president of the club, Mr. Oluwatosin Ligali: “We are kicking off the year with an innovation and enterprise seminar. We are looking at the need for more start-ups and entrepreneurs in the society, we want to inspire young business owners and start-ups to increase the gross domestic product of our nation.”
Ligali said that the seminar would be attended by many youths drawn from the JCI, youth organisations and other prominent Nigerians.
“The aim of the seminar is to re-engineer the mind-sets of the youths towards productivity, inculcate and promote leadership values among others.
“Another is the ‘Coffee with the CEO’, which is a mentorship program where we have a coffee meeting with a top executive or an entrepreneur who will share his wealth of experience with young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”
He said that at JCI, they believe in building the personality before building the community: “We first empower our members through the various programmers and then we channel to the community. We also have the ‘Tech Academy’, which is a programming and coding booth camp for young students within ages 13- 17 to teach them the basics of programming and coding through real world and hands on software development training for a month.”

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Adeosun: Nigeria’s debt is sustainable



  • CBN: Economy now on track

At 20 per cent debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigeria’s foreign debt level does not pose any risk to her financial stability and economy, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said. This came hours after the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said the measures taken so far by the institution to stimulate growth has put the nation’s economy on the right track. The pair spoke at the ongoing World Bank/ International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. United States of America. Acknowledging that the concerns raised by the IMF on the risk of rising foreign debts to emerging economies was legitimate, she argued that Nigeria was not among the countries referred to by the Bretton Woods institution. Adeosun, who fielded questions from journalists immediately after the G-24 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, late last Thursday, pointed out that the advice was actually directed at countries whose debts have risen to levels as high as 55 per cent of GDP.

“The concerns that have been expressed are legitimate, those debt levels are at 55 per cent of GDP which is very high. Nigeria is at less than 20 per cent, so we are not actually one of the countries they are expressing concerns about. However, we will continue to manage our debts very responsibly. “We are at 20 per cent, we don’t intend to grow it aggressively.

The rate of debt accumulation is slowing down as we are replacing debts with revenue and refinancing our debts.” Nigeria’s total debts- domestic and foreign according to the Debt Management Office (DMO) was N21.725 trillion, as at last December. Of the total debt stock, Federal Government’s domestic debt was N12.589 trillion, while states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) owed domestic debt, amounting to N3.348 trillion. The total external debt of both the Federal Government and states was an equivalent of N5.787 trillion. The Nigerian finance minister was reacting to the warning by the IMF through its Financial Counselor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Tobias Adrian, last Wednesday that rising foreign debts remained a big risk to financial stability. “The debts that are accumulated quickly are deteriorating and could pose financial stability crisis in the future in emerging markets,” he had said.

However, Adeosun said Nigeria was already managing her debt and would sustain it by getting the economy growing, improving the tax base, “so that we can continue to invest in infrastructure because that’s what will lead to industrialization and that is what will lead to job growth.” Addressing the issue of human capital development, the minister said: “It is a huge priority for a country with a huge population like ours, what we need to do is be more focused, so that we really understand how much we are investing. “It is not really about the amount you are investing, it is about the outcomes. If we continue to measure education by how much we spend, we will always get the wrong result.

It is not how much we spend in school; it is about what do they come out learning. In a related development, the apex bank has said the measures it had taken so far to stimulate growth has put the nation’s economy on the right track. Okoroafor said: “If you recall, then, the Nigerian economy was going through one of its worst moments. Inflation was high, the foreign exchange market was in turmoil and the economy was in recession. Also, we faced a crunchy foreign exchange scarcity, and everybody swooped on Nigeria. “Our reserves were down and the whole situation was ominous. I can recall that at that time, we said we knew what we were doing and everybody was saying we were wrong but we waited for time to play out.”

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Church anoints ministers with tots of whiskey



Dressed in a red robe and a gold-trimmed Bishop’s miter, the clergyman pours whiskey into his cupped hand and anoints the forehead of the man sitting before him.


“You are hereby invested as a minister … This is a double tot,” he says of the remaining whiskey in the chalice. He hands it to the new minister, who downs it.

“Hallelujah!” shout the congregation members who erupt in singing and dancing, swigging from bottles of beer.


Welcome to Gabola Church, which celebrates the drinking of alcohol. The South African church was started eight months ago and has found an enthusiastic following.


“We are a church for those who have been rejected by other churches because they drink alcohol,” Gabola’s founder and self-declared pope, Tsietsi Makiti, told The Associated Press. “Gabola Church is established to redeem the people who are rejected, who are regarded as sinners. We drink for deliverance. We are drinking for the Holy Ghost to come into us.”


Others in South Africa are outraged by Gabola, saying it is not a church at all.

“Gabola has nothing to do with the word of God. Those are not church services,” said Archbishop Modiri Patrick Shole, Director of the South African Union Council of Independent Churches.


“They are using the Bible to promote taverns and drinking liquor. It is blasphemous. It is heresy and totally against the doctrines.” He said his organization intends to see that authorities close Gabola for breaking municipal regulations that say churches should not be located near bars.


Gabola is not a member of the mainstream South African Council of Churches, which said it has no comment about it. Gabola is not affiliated with any other denominations.

About 80 per cent of South Africa’s 56 million people profess to be Christian. In addition to Catholic and Protestant denominations, there are small independent ones with unusual practices like handling snakes. One pastor was recently found guilty of assault for spraying Doom, a popular insecticide, into worshippers’ faces, which was supposed to chase away evil spirits.


The condemnation by other Christian organizations did not bother the 30 worshippers attending a recent Gabola service, held in a bar in the sprawling Orange Farm Township 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Johannesburg.

A pool table served as the altar, adorned with bottles of whiskey and beer. Six ministers at the altar solemnly blessed the chilled jumbo bottles of beer bought by most churchgoers. A few drank whiskey, brandy or other beverages, all of them similarly blessed. The congregation sang hymns praising the positive effects of drinking. Three new Gabola members were baptized with beer which covered their foreheads and dripped down their faces.

Gabola means “drinking” in Tswana, one of South Africa’s official languages.


“Our aim is to convert bars, taverns and shebeens into churches,” Makiti said. “And we convert the tavern-owners into pastors.”


People in other churches “say they are holy but they drink by the back doors, in secret. They think God does not see them,” he said. “But the Lord zooms in on them and can see them. We drink openly at our services. We do so in peace and we love each other.”


Gabola’s leader said he encourages people to drink responsibly and emphasizes that alcohol will only be sold and blessed to people who are 20, two years older than South Africa’s legal drinking age.


The rousing hymns praising the effects of alcohol brought church members to their feet and they enthusiastically stomped and danced in a circle, often around a beer bottle. As the three-hour service progressed they became louder, more animated and sloppier. Some dozed off during the sermon.

“Nothing is as happy in the world as people who drink,” said Nigel Lehasa, who explained scripture during the service and described himself as Gabola’s professor. “There is no fighting, no arguing. We have nothing but love.”
•Courtesy: The of Associated Press

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Lead Stories

Gunmen kill 22 farmers in Ortom’s town



•Govt confirms recovery of 10 corpses •Over 80 houses burnt, residents flee

As Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, continues with his annual leave in China, gunmen clad in Nigerian Army uniforms believed to be armed Fulani herdsmen yesterday, invaded some communities in Guma, home of the governor and killed 22 people.

The armed herdsmen, who made an incursion into the local government Friday at about 12: 30 am, opened attack on the people which continued till the early hours of yesterday, leaving women, children and old people dead.

The attackers also set ablaze more than 80 houses, forcing hordes of people to scamper for their lives, running into the bushes for safety. The attacked communities are: Anzughul, Tse-Abi, Tse-Ginde, Tse-Peviv, Tse-Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke all in Guma Local Government Area.
Sources from the local government told Sunday Telegraph in confidence that the invaders were backed up by people suspected to be men of the Nigerian Army and also in their uniforms.

Yesterday’s attack came barely two days after the invaders launched a gruesome attack on Agasha, a community near the governor’s village where six people were murdered and many others displaced.

Last Thursday, armed men suspected to be soldiers invaded the phase two communities in Naka, the headquarters of Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State and burnt down over 300 houses in an operation that lasted for more than two hours, during which a 65-year old sick and immobile man who could not be carried by his people was burnt in one of the buildings destroyed by the gunmen.

The suspected soldiers, who accepted responsibility over the attack, linked it with the killing of one of their colleagues by unknown persons within the community.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, confirmed the attack on the governor’s village in Saghev Ward of the local government, adding that many innocent persons were killed in the attack.

Akase, who said six villages were sacked, disclosed specifically that 10 corpses had so far been recovered with many others injured as at press time.

“The armed herdsmen also burnt numerous houses, shops and other property in the area. This mindless attack was unprovoked, and we urge security agencies to arrest the herdsmen behind the killings for prosecution,” he added.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, said he was still gathering information and as soon as they were ready, he would divulge them to the media.

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