Archive: Jun 2015

The House That Cost Just £1 in UK and looking beautiful after transformation


Anfield Home for £1


Ever imagined living in a house of your dream for only £1 without paying for it as a lottery,

Well that is what British Liz Vaughan, is happy with after the radical regeneration project .

Now, after clearing, renovating and painting the once run-down house in Anfield, Liverpool, call centre worker Liz Vaughan is ready to move in.

And you can imagine this rag tag home bought for £1 (about N350) is now worth £150,000 ( about N52,500,000)

Work underway: Wanting to modernise the property, Ms Vaughan made space for an open entrance hall

Moving in: Ms Vaughan, pictured, said the scheme gave her the opportunity to get a foot on the housing ladderFresh start: Her home, pictured, is one of 23 that were sold off for just £1 as part of the project

Movie Titanic music composer James Horner dies in Plane Crash



James Horner

Sad news coming from USA, plane owned by James Horner, the Academy Award-winning composer of “My Heart Will Go On” crashed Monday morning, killing the pilot.

According to TMZ , the 2-seater S312 Tucano MK1  a single-engine turboprop went down at 9:30 AM west of Santa Barbara. We’re told the pilot was alone in the aircraft when it crashed, but authorities have not identified the body.

Already, Celine Dion tweeted about his death, writing, “Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”

Rest in Peace friend


See below the wonderful song he wrote


Senators allowances nine time higher than basic pay


Reports made by Punch newspapers has it that Senators receive nine times more than their basic pay

In all, the allowance each senator receives is nine times more than his annual salary.

A senator’s salary is pegged at N2,026,400 per annum.

Each senator or a member of the House of Representatives is entitled to 19 different allowances.

These allowances are for vehicle maintenance and fuelling; domestic staff, entertainment, utilities, personal assistant, constituency, wardrobe, house maintenance, newspapers, recess, accommodation, furniture, severance, tour duty, estacode, special assistant, security, legislative aide and medical.

These allowances are specified in the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders prepared by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

On an annual basis, the 107 senators receive   N1,994,788,160 as allowances. Only 107 senators are eligible for these allowances. The President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate receive fewer allowances because most of their needs are fully provided for by the state.

For members of the House, the annual allowances payable are about eight times higher than their annual salaries.

While the annual salary of a House member is pegged at N1,985,212.50, the annual allowances add up to N15,286,135.25. This means that the 358 members of the House (excluding the speaker and the deputy speaker) get N5,472,436,419.5 annually in allowances.

The allowances, however, are in categories. Some are tagged regular while others are tagged irregular allowances.

Regular allowances are those that are paid on monthly basis along with the monthly salaries while irregular allowances are paid at other intervals, ranging from annual to once in four years.

There are also other allowances not included in this calculation that are paid not at any fixed periods but as many times as they occur in the year.

The allowances are calculated as percentages of the annual salaries. While some are higher than the annual salaries, others are lower.

Basically, both senators and Reps are paid the same percentages of their salaries as allowances, except the constituency allowance where senators are paid 250 per cent while Reps get 100 per cent of their annual salaries.

Vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance is 75 per cent; domestic staff, 75 per cent; entertainment, 30 per cent; utilities, 30 per cent; wardrobe, 25 per cent; newspapers, 15 per cent; house maintenance, five per cent; and personal assistants, 25 per cent.

For a senator, therefore, the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance adds up to N1,519,800; domestic staff, N1, 519,800; entertainment, N607,920; utilities, N607,920; wardrobe, N506,600; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N101,320; constituency, N5,066,000; personal assistant, N506,600.

For a member of the House of Representatives, the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance comes up to N1,488,909.40; domestic staff, N1,488,909.40; entertainment, N595,563.75; utilities, 595,563.75; wardrobe, N496,303.12; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N99,260.62; constituency, N1,985,212.50; and personal assistant, N 496,303.12.

The irregular allowances include housing allowance, 200 per cent of the Reps annual salaries; furniture allowance, 300 per cent; recess allowance, 10 per cent and severance allowance, 300 per cent.

Housing allowance is paid once a year. Furniture allowance is paid once in four years and recess allowance is paid when the lawmakers are on recess and they go on recess four times in a year. Severance allowance is at the end of the four-year tenure.

The housing allowance of a senator is N4,053,800. The furniture allowance is N6,079,200. On annualised basis, the furniture allowance is N1,519,800. The recess allowance climbs to N810,560 if they go on recess four times a year. The severance allowance is N6,079,200. On annual basis, it comes down to N1,519,800.

For Reps, the housing allowance is N3,970,425. The furniture allowance is N5,955,637.50. Annually, the furniture allowance comes down to N1, 488,909.38. Also, recess allowance comes up to N794, 084. The severance allowance is N5,955,637.50. On annual basis, it comes down to N1,488,909.38.

There are other allowances that the lawmakers are not paid directly but provided and paid for by the government.

These are allowances for special assistants, security and legislative aides. What this means is that those engaged in these capacities are paid directly by the government as the allowances cannot be claimed by political office holders. These allowances apply to senators and Reps.

Medical expenses are also borne by the government when the lawmakers have need for the services.

The lawmakers are also entitled to tour duty allowance and estacode whenever they travel out of the country. For a senator, the tour duty allowance is N37,000 per night while the estacode is $950 per night.

For a member of the House of Representatives, the tour duty allowance is N35,000 per night while the estacode is $900 per night.

Although political office holders in the country are among the highest paid government officials in the world, our correspondent reports that the worry of many Nigerians is not what they earn officially but what accrues to them through self-appropriation and corruption.

The budget of the National Assembly is never broken into components and efforts to get them to break down the budget have not yielded the required result even after the invocation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Lawmakers are known to collect huge quarterly allocations, some of which are ostensibly designated for constituency projects. The constituency allowance is different from the constituency project fund.

Constituency allowance is paid for the maintenance of constituency office and contact while constituency project fund are appropriated to enable the lawmakers to execute projects in their constituencies.

Jonathan left N7trillion deficit for Nigeria – Joda

Chairman of the transition committee Ahmed Joda, has said the former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan left behind a N7 trillion liability.

Mr. Joda made the disclosure in an interview he granted the Daily Trust newspaper, published on Sunday.

Mr. Buhari’s deputy, Yemi Osinbanjo, had said shortly before the handover of power that the new government would be inheriting a debt of $63 billion.

However, the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, promptly rose to the defence of Mr. Jonathan’s administration, saying of the $63 billion debt, the administration only incurred $21.8 billion.

She also said the $63.7 billion cited by Mr. Osinbajo included multilateral and domestic loans by successive federal and state governments since 1960.

Speaking on Sunday, however, Mr. Joda said, “We were told at the beginning of the exercise that the government was in deficit of at least N1.3 trillion and by the end people were talking about N7 trillion; everything is in a state of collapse.

“The civil service is bloated and the military and police, if you are a Nigerian, you know what they have been facing for a long time; everywhere is in a mess and these things have to be fixed”.

The former Federal Permanent Secretary said he had always wondered what would have been the fate of the country had Mr. Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, returned to power.

He said, “I often wondered, since the beginning of this exercise, if the PDP and president Jonathan had won the election what would have been the fate of Nigeria. It would have been more difficult for them to face the challenge because they had been telling people that everything was good; the roads are good.

“They were not talking about the absence of light in the house, but they were talking about the capacity to produce electricity is 12,000 megawatts out of which only 5,000 could be released. But even out of this 5,000 at the time they were doing the handing over notes only 1,300 megawatts were being generated, but they were talking about 35,000 kilometers of distribution lines and so on, but nobody told us the real problem – that there is no gas, or there is no capacity to transmit the electricity that could be generated; that even when it is delivered at the point of distribution the distribution system is so weak that it can’t take it.”

Mr. Joda further said, “if they came back, they couldn’t wake up in the morning and say we can’t pay salaries, we couldn’t do this or even pay contractors and might even not be able to pay pensions and gratuities or finance any of our operations”.


Senate President Saraki and Obasanjo in secret meetings


Saraki, Obasanjo

Newly elected President of the Senate Bukola Saraki was a guest to Baba  Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at his Ota residence, they had a closed door meeting for more than 2 hours.

Saraki had with him in his entourage

former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and a former Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje.

Emerging from the meeting two hours after, at 11.10am, Saraki acknowledged that there is crisis in the All Progressives Congress, given the controversy that had trailed his emergence as Senate president and his counterpart at the lower chamber, Yakubu Dogara, as Speaker.

But he, however, said the leadership of the party was already addressing it.

He said, “As you can see, things are moving smoothly. Be rest assured that all that would be put behind us very shortly. We are very confident about that.”

Saraki also expressed his support for a downward review of the legislators’ salaries and allowances to reflect current economic realities in the country.

He said, “Well, I think that is in progress already. If you remember last time, it was about N150bn and it is coming down to N120bn.‎

“I think the situation in the country deserves that every public servant must make sacrifices and whatever sacrifice that is necessary, we will make it. And that is being done.

“So be rest assured that we are sensitive, we are aware of the situation in the country and if we are going to lead, we must lead by example.”

Talking about the team’s visit to Obasanjo, the Senate President said they had come to pay homage, seek his advice and blessing because of his immense value to the country.

He said, “I am here with some of my colleagues to pay homage to him, to seek his advice, to get his blessing and also to consult. ‎

“We all know President Obasanjo’s value to this country and we are here to tap from his wisdom, knowledge and experience.”


World Cup Hiccup: Njoku banned for elbowing Australian opponent


Nigeria’s Ugo Njoku has been banned for three games for elbowing Australian midfielder Sam Kerr in the face during a clash at the Women’s World Cup, FIFA confirmed on Sunday.

The Nigerian defender was also fined 3,000 Swiss francs about ($3,218) by world football’s governing body after video replays showed the 20-year-old making contact with Kerr’s face during the Group D clash in Winnipeg on Saturday, reports.

“Ugo Njoku has been suspended for three matches and fined CHF 3 000 as well as being issued with a warning by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,” the world soccer governing body said in a statement.

The player was sanctioned after disciplinary proceedings were opened for “serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention,” FIFA added.

The first match of the suspension will be Nigeria’s final group game against the U.S in Vancouver on Tuesday.

ICC closing in on arresting Sudan’s Bashir from leaving South Africa


Sudan President

A South African court has granted an interim order to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir  from leaving South Africa, where he is attending an African Union summit, until it hears an application calling for his arrest.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in 2009, accusing Bashir of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the conflict in Darfur. He denies the charges.

The court says President Bashir will have to stay until the court hears an application later on Sunday on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Bashir is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

As the court prepared to hear the case, he posed for a group photo.

Earlier President Bashir was welcomed by South African officials as he arrived in Johannesburg.

He is wanted by the ICC on war crimes and genocide charges over the Darfur conflict.

However, there are tensions between the ICC and the AU, with some on the continent accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans. The AU has previously urged the ICC to stop proceedings against sitting leaders.

The warrants against Mr Bashir, who denies the allegations, have severely restricted his overseas travel.

He has, however, visited friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.

Georgian Zoo gone loose over flash floods

A Hippo

Flash floods have killed about 10 people in the city of Tbilisi Georgia, not only has this caused a real disaster to the city with about 1.1 million in population, it has also caused a disaster at the zoo with a population of 600 different animals.

The Zoo, has Lions, birds and fishes of different species, a bear was seen at the top of a Aircondition taking shelter and probably in fright, A Hippo looking confused wandering the streets of Tbilisi, rescuers are making efforts to get the situation under control and advised residents to stay indoors.

A hippopotamus walks across flooded street in Tbilisi

Some of the animals have been captured but others are thought to be still on the loose. Local people push along a hippo who escaped from the city zoo 

A confused Hippopotamus

A bear takes refuge on a window ledge of a building to escape from the flood waters below after escaping from a zoo. A total of eight bears broke free from the facility after their enclosure was destroyed