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    ‘I am in no competition with Phyno’ -Olamide reacts to Phyno’s sold out concerts

    Reacting to critics claim that he is scared of Phyno , over his successful soldout concerts at huge venues at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu, YBNL Boss, Olamide who changed the venue for his concert ‘OLIC 4’ to Teslim Balogun Stadium, has disclosed he is not in any competition with his colleague.

    In an exclusive chat with Showtime, Olamide said ;

    “I’m not competing with Phyno, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m just living my own dream. I’m 100% excited because this is something I’ve been looking forward to for over three years now; it’s always been about doing it big, something beyond the ordinary, giving back to the people and spreading love. Eko hotel is good, we’ve done a lot of stuff there but bringing OLIC4 to Teslim Balogun Stadium is about telling people out there that this is Lagos and Lagos cannot be limited, we can achieve whatever we set out to achieve”.

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    Hijab: Nigerian lady dons her wig and gown on a traditional outfit

    Still on controversy sparked by

    Hijab wearing Lawyer Fidarau Amasa, a Nigerian lady took to social media to show off how she wore her own wig and gown.

    Here’s a photo of the lady slaying in wig and gown on a traditional outfit;

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    Ivana Trump thrown off with savage reply over tweet about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

    Ivanka Trump , first daughter of President Trump has been accused of tweeting at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over their upcoming wedding scheduled to hold on May 19, because she wants an invite.

    Ivanka Trump who was trolled on by Twitter users, was told the only way she will get an invite to the wedding, is if she will perform as an entertainer.

    Ivanka Trump was also taken down the memory lane, over his dad, Donald Trump’s statement in a radio interview with

    Howard Stern , who he told he would have slept with Princess Diana as long as she had an HIV test first.

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    Lady calls off traditional wedding just a day to the event in Delta

    A bride identified as Blessing Esakpe, has shocked everyone with her decision to call off her traditional wedding to her ‘man’ Comrade Monday Ezuzu , just a day to tying their nuptial knots in Ozoro, Delta State.

    According to the Facebook user (name withheld) who shared the shocking story, the lady was asked 7 times if that’s her decision, and she didn’t back down on it. He wrote;

    “Today i received worst shock of my life. A friend invited me for his traditional marriage at ozoro Delta state and when the d bride was called out n asked if she will marry d man her reply surprised us all.SHE SAID NO she won’t marry him. They asked her 7 tyms n she kept to her word NOoooooo. So what’s the advice to the man bcoz tomorrow is the wedding n evri arrangement has been made concerning the wedding.”

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    Bobrisky makes music video debut

    Nigerian cross dresser, Bobrisky just made his first music debut, and he was featured by Ghana based Nigerian Artist Benjamin Lawrence popularly known as

    “MR SHAA” AKA SHUGA in song titled ‘Barbie’.

    The song was produced by

    OTYNO beats, while the video was directed by Dudu . The artiste Mr Shaa has reportedly performed in major events along side top Ghana and Nigerian celebrities like Sakodie, R2Bees , Stonebwo, Lil Kesh among others.

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    Ellen DeGeneres and lesbian wife Portia de Rossi make rare public appearance

    Media personality, Ellen DeGeneres , was captured in loved up photos with her wife of 9-years Portia de Rossi, as they made a rare public appearance.

    The couple couldn’t get their hands off each other, as they had a walk. Here are photos below;

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    Former Niger Delta Militant becomes Police Pilot (Photos)

    Ajama Samuel Timi, a former

    Niger Delta Militant who was among the beneficiaries of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, has been commissioned as a Nigerian Police Air wing Pilot.

    Here are photos of Ajama being decorated with his new rank by his superiors;

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    Pump action rifles hidden in sound systems and exported to Nigeria, intercepted by Police

    Mulitple online reports claims that 42 pump action rifles and 200 rounds of ammunition reportedly hidden in sound systems and destined for Nigeria, was reportedly intercepted by Police Authorities in Agadez city, Central Niger “smuggling capital of Africa”.

    Some of those linked to the arm have reportedly been arrested, as the Police command is still carrying out a thorough investigation.

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    ‘Expect big things from me in 2018’ -Adesua Etomi

    Nollywood actress, Adesua Etomi, whose profile has risen this year from getting married to her heartthrob Banky W and becoming Nigeria’s favourite celebrity couple, to featuring in a blockbuster movie ‘The Wedding Party’ which has set a new standard in the Nigerian movie industry, in an interview with Inside Nollywood, dropped a hint about her plans for 2018.

    According to the actress who said her Christmas wish is ‘to continue to remain happy and hope that the share of the happiness of the season is spread to everyone out there’ and also hope ‘that people, most importantly remember the reason for the season,” she’s got big plans for 2018.

    “In 2018 you should expect a lot from Adesua. A lot of big things, good things, amazing things coming up next year” she said.

    Adesua who played the role of an mother who welcomed twins in ‘The Wedding Party 2’ , had this to say about the movie;

    “I haven’t had a child before, but I had the opportunity to be around people that are pregnant and I did a bit of research too in order to interpret my role well. I had a load on my shoulder trying to portray that role effectively.

    Those who have had babies before would know if I wasn’t getting it right, so I had to pull on the experience I have been around people that have been pregnant”.

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    Agbaje: Using Fairs to Redefine Retail Banking

    Segun Agbaje, the managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), is not a popular man. To many, he is aloof, too strait-laced, not your typical run-of-the-mill Nigerian. As one of Nigeria’s foremost bankers, he has a reputation for running a tight and efficient ship, is unflinching in his pursuit and recovery of loans from the country’s systemically chronic debtors who have a sense of entitlement believing that they can borrow depositors’ funds without paying back, and does not give a hoot about those critical of his take-no-prisoners approach to banking.

    In the media space, he does not seek publicity, he lets his work speak for itself, could not care less if his story or photograph makes the front page of the newspapers, limits his bank’s advertising spend to what he believes is necessary to market and promote GTBank to a wider audience, and through NdaniTV and Ndani Blog understands the power of the social media in reaching out to youths that make a larger percentage of Nigeria’s and regional demographic where the bank operates.

    To me, Agbaje is the ideal banker. He is not my friend and we only interact sparingly and strictly professionally as the need arises. Yet, I cannot help but wish that we had more bankers like him in this country. If we did, fewer Nigerian lenders would have to make provisions for unpardonable impairment charges on bad loans given to delinquent debtors, fewer banks would engage in reckless insider lending that threaten their capital adequacy and liquidity ratios, more banks would recognise that they have a fiduciary responsibility to manage their customers’ deposits with care, and more banks would know how to sweat their assets in the most cost-efficient manner to make the most attractive returns to their shareholders.

    In all the key parameters used in defining the size of banks, GTBank, among the five Tier 1 banks in the country, is not by any stretch of imagination the biggest. In terms of total assets, loans and advances, customer deposits, number of branches, and presence on the African continent and beyond, FirstBank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) stand head and shoulders above GTBank. By Nigerian standards, the “big three” could be called banking behemoths and are very difficult to supplant. Still, GTBank, with its cost optimisation strategy, asset quality and stability ratios, among others, has over time proved to be the most profitable bank in the country. Its stock has remained the bellwether in the banking segment of the Nigerian bourse for years, signposting the confidence institutional and individual investors have in the bank.

    But this article is not about GTBank’s financial performance. Its annual and quarterly reports, including those of its peers, are public documents that can be readily accessed for in-depth comparative assessment. What I have found more interesting about the bank is its focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and interventions in key economic sectors targeted at strengthening small businesses through not-for-profit fairs and capacity building initiatives. For two years in a row, GTBank has solely funded and hosted its Food and Drink Fair and Fashion Weekends, making them social and tourist events that feature prominently on Nigeria’s social calendar. That is not to say that the bank has not focused on other areas of CSR. Its 2016 annual report showed that GTBank spent about 58 per cent of the N449.62 million of its CSR funds on education alone while community development accounted for another 30.8 per cent.

    But it is GTBank’s focus on food, drink and fashion that have been the most impactful publicly, bringing together scores of promising, talented and recognised local and international chefs and food vendors, drinks makers and merchants, fashion houses, milliners, fashion accessory designers and leather goods makers in a dizzying, well-put together and well-thought out extravaganza that leaves the public yearning for more. Both events, which are open to the public, have been attended by several thousands of people, including children, for two years running that have left attendees breathless and wondering how the bank manages to package the two fairs in areas where it has no competencies.

    The trick, says Agbaje, whom I had to hound to open up on the success behind both fairs, is getting and attracting the best participants and controlling costs by getting the bank to work directly with the contractors who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, create play areas and cooking classes exclusively for children, and provide the music, etc., during both fairs; no middlemen or consultants are used by the bank. For him, the fairs present an opportunity for GTBank to deepen its footprint in the retail banking space and increase its SME lending from 2 per cent of the bank’s loan book to 10 per cent over the next five years.

    With time, he would also rather extend more loans to small and medium-sized businesses that are more impactful on the economy and achieve a loan recovery rate of 70-80 per cent, than pursue Nigeria’s so-called “big men” with woeful credit track records. Although he was demur about what it costs his bank to host both events, he was emphatic that making money at this juncture is not the overdriving objective, at least not in the short-term, but recognises the long-term benefits not just for GTBank but other Nigerian lenders.

    Beyond this objective and given the magnitude of both fairs and their potential to grow into annual events that could attract millions from across the global, Agbaje’s vision is not one to be trifled with. Already, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair and the GTBank Fashion Weekend create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and referrals for hundreds of young Nigerians who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, and provide the music, entertainment, security and other support services to make them a resounding success. And they have the potential to create even more.

    Aside the suppliers, vendors and designers that make brisk business and achieve record sales during the fairs, the Master Classes included in both events are helping to build capacity and drive innovation in the creative industry that has proved to be a major magnate for Nigerian and African youths. By bringing them under one roof, GTBank has also provided a platform for shared services and given them the exposure that help these small businesses to grow and create more employment opportunities.

    Without doubt, both fairs are worthy initiatives. But they could be better. In the last two years, GTBank has handled both fairs singlehandedly without support from other institutions and/or the Lagos State government, a direct beneficiary of the events and their spin-offs.  In 2016, the food and drink fair alone attracted 25,000 people; this year, it attracted 75,000 people. I do not have the numbers for the bank’s fashion weekends, but I can imagine that the number of visitors will not be far off from those who attended the food and drink fairs.

    Given the swelling numbers, both fairs have already started to cause traffic gridlocks on the days they are held. They are also attracting touts and hoodlums who mill around the roads leading to the venue and try to pounce on unsuspecting visitors as they alight from their cars or walk to the venue. On a positive note, big and boutique hotels, restaurants and food caterers on the Lagos Island experience an upsurge in occupancy rates and patronage by participants and the international media who have flown in to take part or cover the events. All these translate to more tourist dollars, taxes and revenue generation for the federal and Lagos State governments.

    The import of this should not be lost on the federal and Lagos State governments.

    They have to do more than just show a passing interest in what GTBank has started. Given the potential for both fairs to become global destinations for tourists and visitors on the African continent, Lagos State in particular needs to improve on its infrastructure in and around the venue where both fairs are held. It must improve on traffic management and security to ensure that visitors can move about with ease and feel secure. According to Agbaje, in terms of support, the state government has not yet stepped up to the plate, nor has his bank sought for any. But he does acknowledge that with time, GTBank will have to reach out to Lagos State because of the interest both fairs are generating in terms of attendance and participation.

    Right now, Agbaje appears to be satisfied with what his bank has accomplished in terms of bringing both fairs to the public’s consciousness. But do the federal and state governments understand the roles that they have to play in institutionalising them and ensuring that they outlast his stewardship in GTBank? Cities like Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, New York and Melbourne that host major sporting, fashion, carnivals, music and film festivals every year, attracting thousands of visitors do not owe their success just to corporate sponsors but to the municipalities, state and federal governments that understand their roles and lend the required support to the private sector. As such, Lagos State needs to buy into the GTBank fairs as a public-private partnership that can and should work.

    BY IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU

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    Lady dies in gas explosion after her phone rang close to a gas cylinder

    A phone-triggered gas explosion has killed Rotary Club president International, GRA, Osogbo

    Deputy Director, O-Ambulance, a State of Osun safety organisation, Olori Opeyemi Omobolawa Fola, has died as result of gas explosion in Osogbo.

    The sad incident happened on Wednesday December 13, 2017.

    The trained senior nurse, was said to have gone to the popular Grace Gas, Osogbo, to refill her cylinder, when she suddenly had a call and brought out her phone from her pocket.

    According to an eyewitness, the phone exploded instantly, set the woman and her car on fire, and flung the cylinder to a far distance.

    Some others were also said to have been seriously injured as a result of the explosion.

    She will be buried today, December 15th.

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    Go to school, I did after marriage – Aisha Buhari

    The Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has challenged women and youths in Bauchi State to strive hard to acquire knowledge so that they can benefit from opportunities that may come their way.

    She stated this at the closing ceremony of the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Training Programme initiated and sponsored by her pet project, Future Assured, which took place on Thursday at the Multipurpose Indoor Sports Hall, in Bauchi.

    According to her, since most things are becoming digitalised, there is the need for the women and youths to be literate if they must benefit from various opportunities.

    The President’s wife cited herself as an example to encourage women and children, pointing out to them that it was after her marriage that she went back to school.

    “You know, when I got married, I just finished my secondary school education. I didn’t think my husband will be President again, but I still continued with my education and this is where God has brought me to today.

    “I want to call on our people with a strong voice, education has become a compulsory thing that we must acquire.

    “We must understand English and know how to speak it so that when any intervention comes, we will benefit from it. So, please, for God’s sake, people should continue to go to school even if you will not work in an office and earn money, but, so that, when opportunities come up tomorrow, you will not be left out.

    “So, nobody should relent or give up in going to school to acquire knowledge. We should keep reading and schooling for the benefit of the society.”

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