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Both papers only see negatives and deliberately turn away from the positives – Presidency blasts Financial Times and The Economist

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The presidency in an article by Garba Shehu responded to recent reports by two international business magazines, Financial Times and The Economist saying, ‘both papers only see negatives and deliberately turns away from the positives’.

 

‘One would imagine that business papers like economic success stories; apparently not. Instead, they feast and thrive on negatives. Financial Times, for instance, is worried about a government policy that is enabling boom in rice production in Nigeria. And the Economist is panicky about toothpick manufacturers springing up following tariffs that protect local manufacturers to get off the ground and compete globally’ the presidency said.

Both papers only see negatives. Specifically, Economist dwells on out-of-date statistics. Deliberately it turns away from the positives as it will complicate already tailored narratives. Some foreign correspondents keep the storyline simple: Africa is home for all bad things: poverty, disease and crime. And unremitting bleakness lives on the continent, and success is the aberration.

Since only negative reports on Africa make it to the international media, a backward picture of a nation is painted succinctly and efforts at growth in different ramifications, both investment and diplomacy are ignored. From the content of these stories, readers must be baffled that Nigerians know toothpicks, let alone be able to manufacture them.

The fact remains that with squeeze in media budgets there are not enough knowledgeable foreign correspondents based on the continent to report accurate news and uphold journalistic standards. And the parachuting style clearly defies ethics and quality. To cut cost, many media houses rely on the expedience of technology. The highly revered and sacrosanct fact-checking skill of journalism slips as a result. Anyone with a laptop is trusted as credible source. Cogent arguments no longer have a place, instead we have jumbled and emotive criticisms.

For instance, the Financial Times declares proudly that President Buhari failed to spur rice growing, whilst stating that production was at record levels up 60 per cent in 2018 from what we had in 2013. The Economist talks about overdependence on oil, yet criticises policies such as subsidies or financial incentives that allow local businesses to compete and diversify the economy. It frowns at power shortfalls, but turns around to attack Alhaji Aliko Dangote – the man building the world’s largest oil refinery and improving power infrastructure in Nigeria.

Fundamentally, the foreign correspondents fail to appreciate context – understandably if they have to cover a large “patch’’ with shoe-string budgets, but never-the-less it is impermissible as facts must remain sacred. The Economist states that the economy was “sputtering’’ when President Buhari’s first term began in 2015, and still concluded he made a “bad situation worse”. “Sputtering’’ sounds euphemistic. The reality is that the economy was on its knees. The overdependence on oil, paired with impending global commodity crash, made the entry into recession at the beginning of the term inevitable. Now, however, the first quarter growth of 2019 has been the strongest.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said analysts and onlookers must recognise “how deep the shock” was to the economy. As a famous American business magnate observed: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” Indeed, Nigeria had been awash in oil dollars (over $100 a barrel), yet previous governments failed to add muscle to the economy.

Since the recession struck (crude oil went below $40 per barrel), the government has taken measures to redress weaknesses in our economy. The IMF goes on to praise the strong diversification in the economy and welcome the focus on public investment. For instance, the government has spent record figures on infrastructure in the past two years and capital expenditure is now around 30 per cent of the budget, rather than inadequate 10 per cent in 2015.

There has also been a drive to self-sufficiency where possible. It makes no sense for Nigeria to import rice, yet foreign shipments were dumped to maintain dependency. Farmers needed help: strategic tariffs were applied to allow for initial competition, whilst the Central Bank of Nigeria financial initiatives allowed growers to access capital for fertilizer and equipment. Over the past three years, production has risen year-on-year. Nigeria, as of 2018, is Africa’s largest producer of rice. Self-sufficiency has almost been attained.

From reading some foreign articles, you would be surprised to find these success stories mentioned; amazed that anyone would cheer the decision on tariffs to ward off desolation. And the failure to see or present any achievement perpetuates stereotypes that serve as disincentives to Foreign Direct Investment and partnership.

Granted, there are challenges in Nigeria. The country is a large and diverse nation with structural challenges that have been passed down through decades. But foreign reports ignore the complexity, and instead offer platitudes as solutions. This diminishes the difficulties facing those in governance: they must merely “stamp out corruption” or “improve governance” – common advice amongst those quick to criticise, but barren in tangible and measurable solutions.

Similarly, we are told to “harness the vim of Nigerians’’ – which is true. But this seems obvious as to even need mentioning. It is – to be sure – how you do that. We in governance have no illusion about this. Vim is harnessed when a nation has decent infrastructure that connects the economy, and thousands of miles of road have been constructed, as well as the expansion and upgrading of colonial-era railway network. When children have good education; we are currently ensuring 9 million free school meals daily across the nation and it has boosted enrolment and attendance. And when business reforms create enabling environment; already Nigeria has gone up 24 places in Ease of Doing Business ranking since 2018, and the country is currently one of the top 10 global reformers, which is good news!

Garba Shehu is Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity.

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[Music] : Lucky Star New Hit Dropped – God Don Answer.

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Exclusive interview with one of the top upcoming artists in Nigeria this season. It’s an honor to have Lucky Star in the studio today 16th of  June 2020.

Presenter: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY SO FAR:

Lucky star :

My name and stage name is Idah Alagi Michael, popularly known as Lucky Star.

I was born on 8th March 1993 in Ibadan, the Oyo State of Nigeria before my parents moved down to Benue state which was in the year 2001 and I was brought up in Benue State, Nigeria.

I started my music career when I was in St. Francis Primary School, Igwe Ito Obi Local Government Area of Benue state.

I started singing when I was in Primary Four, I started going to the school competition from one place to another and my performance was very great.

Presenter: YOUR NATIONALITY

Lucky star :

am a Nigerian citizen.

Presenter: TEll US ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION BACKGROUND

Lucky star :

I attended Comprehensive Secondary School, Irabi Obarike, Ito Local Government of Benue State in the year 2014, one of my friends then called Onaroll, we used to sing together even while teaching is going on inside the classroom, we will stay outside and be busy singing.

I was very young at that time and as a matter of fact, I never knew music was my talent. I discovered it in my senior secondary school two.

During my secondary school days, there was a day on the assembly ground, my teacher instructed me to give morning devotion song before prayer, inspirationally, I composed a song for them, my class teacher later called me and told me that indeed I was talented, that my performance was great, he advised me not to give up, that I should be the focus and continue with that talent given to me.

After my SSCE Examination in the year 2014, I traveled to Osun State, that was the year I composed my first song/ track titled “GBADUN MY GOD”, I did the song from Bigsam Phoenix Production Studio at Ilesha Grammar School, Osun State.

In the following year which was 2015, I did my second song/ track, titled “FOR MY LOVE FT BANDY” from Element Production studio at Osogbo in Osun state. Steadily, I kept on hustling, doing daily work from one place to another because I believe in my dream until I gathered some money during the 2015 period.

I traveled to Lagos in the year 2015. I started actualizing my dream with the help of God and with the help of some friends, family, and good people of my country (Nigeria).

I am using this opportunity to give thanks to the highest God because with Him, all things are possible and I also say a big thank you to Mr/ Mrs. Ubani and his entire household for being there for me, in terms of money and support, I pray God Almighty will continue to bless each and every one of them abundantly (Amen).

Presenter:  WHICH PART OF THE COUNTY ARE YOU FROM?

Lucky star :

I am in indigene of the Igede-Obi Local Government Area of Benue state.

Presenter: WHAT DOES THE NAME” LUCKY STAR” MEAN?

Lucky star :

The name Lucky Star means a lot for me, my star, and my dressing.

Presenter: HOW DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?

Lucky star :

First of all, I cannot do without composing, each time I am composing, I always got it because it will be needed. I will start practicing it before going to the studio.

Presenter: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SINGING?

Lucky star  :
Basically, I started singing in the year 2013.

Presenter: DESCRIBE YOUR KIND OF MUSIC?

Lucky star :

I can sing Highlife and Afro Hip-Hop.

Presenter:  WHAT INSPIRE YOU TO MUSIC?

Lucky star :

Wow! Wonderful, my inspiration comes from anywhere, especially when I am alone, and more so, the inspiration comes in any situation I find myself, I always feel like singing.
Presenter: WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE NIGERIAN ARTIST?

 Lucky star :

Everyone is my favorite, as far as you can deliver well as a singer or rapper.

Presenter: WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL OR MENTOR?

Lucky star :

Timaya.

Presenter: WERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FEW YEARS COMING?

Lucky star :

I will like to serve as a mentor, role model, and sponsor, especially to the young upcoming artists.

 

Presenter: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO APART FROM MUSIC?

 Lucky star :

I will like to be part of the Nigerian Air force.

Presenter: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO CHANGE IN THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY?

Lucky star :

I will like to abolish the system of partiality in the Nigerian Music industry.

Presenter: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SPORT?

Lucky star :

I like to Gym.
Presenter: WHICH FOOTBALL CLUB ARE YOU SUPPORTING?

Lucky star :

I am a fan of Manchester United.
Presenter: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?

Lucky star :

I love anything to swallow, then beans with plantain.

Presenter: WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR FANS?

Lucky star : 

I use this medium to say a big shout out to you all my fans, friends, well-wishers, and my producer Mr. SKAIBEAT, and my advice to you all is that you should not be discouraged on what you want to become in the future. Thank you all once again, God bless you all, God bless Nigeria.

Presenter: Thanks for joining ‘ lucky star is an Afro hip-hop talented singer Idah away Michael from Benue state popularly known as Lucky star comes out with a hot banging tune, praising God with those streets slangs that will make you catch the message of this song fast and also get you to fall in love with the rhythms of the music he titles this one “God don Answer” produced by Skaibeats…

 

Download, listen, share your

[260Music] Lucky Star – God Don Answer (New Song) Download Mp3!!

 

FACEBOOK: Luckystar Idah
INSTAGRAM: iamofficialluckystar
EMAIL: youngkingluckystar@gmail.com.

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I’m still struggling with depression’ – Former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue admits

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Former Ivory Coast and Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue has admitted that his struggles with mental health still continues.

 

The 36-year-old opened up on French television about his battle with depression and admitted he had even considered suicide. In an emotional interview he revealed his problems started when he was suspended by FIFA from all football-related activity for one year.

 

The ban which was given as a result of failing to pay money owed to a former agent, led to the termination of his short-term contract at then Premier League side Sunderland in March 2016. Without a professional club and shattered financially after a bitter and acrimonious divorce case, he admits he had suicidal thoughts.

 

“Sometimes I would lock myself in my room for three or four days. Just thinking and asking what’s left. Even today, I still take antidepressants to help me because it is still a long road for me. But here I am hoping others would learn from this” Eboue told RMC Sport’s Le Vestiaire (The Locker Room) in France.

“Being away from a competitive football pitch for a year was heartbreaking. I had to train by myself, and I was really ashamed because people looked at me differently. Some would say ‘look it’s Eboue, a Uefa Champions League finalist with Arsenal in 2006’, to them it was surprising or shocking.

“Personally, I prefer to train in the morning, but there were people who were training at that time. They’d come to take a picture and post it all over [social media]. So I left to train at night.”

As things got worse he began to lie to his family.  “I couldn’t train during the day and too embarrassed to stay at home. My children always asked me when I was going to return to the field, so whenever I stepped out in the morning, I pretended to go to work.

“Unbeknown to my children I was staying outside and returning home when they were already in bed. I didn’t want them to ask me why they didn’t see me play on television.”

After a time away from the media spotlight, to focus on his recovery, Eboue has recently been more willing to be seen in public.  As well his appearance on French TV he played for an Arsenal’s Legends side against a Real Madrid Legends team last year.

 

Eboue, who is now retired from football, scored three goals in 79 appearances for Ivory Coast including at two World Cups (2006 and 2010) and five Africa Cup of Nations. At club level he spent eight seasons at Arsenal after arriving from Belgian side Beveren in 2004, before moving to Turkey in 2011, where he won three Turkish Super Lig titles and five domestic trophies with Galatasaray.

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Super Eagles defender Semi Ajayi reacts after being dropped by coach Rohr from 23-man squad for 2019 AFCON

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Nigerian footballer,  Semi Ajayi who plays as a defender or defensive midfielder for Championship club Rotherham United has expressed his disappointment after being dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from the Super Eagles’ squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

According to the 25-year-old defender, he is gutted over the coach’s decision to drop him but he’ll be supporting the team until the end.

Posting to his Instagram page, Semi who was dropped alongside Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, wrote:

‘ Wishing my brothers the best of luck at the upcoming #AFCON2019. It’s been a privilege to have been part of this squad and as much as I’m gutted that I can’t make it I wish every one linked with the Super Eagles the very best of luck this summer. I will be supporting the team until the end. Go and make Nigeria proud my brothers ?????? S.A.’

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