Copyright Commission to Draft New Law to Check Piracy.

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)  Wednesday disclosed that a new bill would be drafted next year to tackle digital and on-line piracy in the country.
Deputy Director and Head, Public Affairs Department of the commission, Mr. Aderemi Adewusi, disclosed this during a courtesy visit.
“Shortly, we will be drafting a new copyright act which shall be passed into law come next year. “It will replace the old act and the major reform has to do with digital and internet piracy. We’ve gotten assistance from multi-nationals like Microsoft, Google and Multi-Choice,” he said.
He added: “The initiative, which began this year, involves Google, which has trained our staff on how to tackle on-line piracy. That is where Google comes in. Shortly, we shall be signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them to provide us with infrastructure on how to tackle piracy and Google will help us with the machinery we need in order to monitor and regulate things like that and we are working on this aspect.”
Concerning the Act, he said they had had meetings with the stakeholders and that there was already a draft bill, which would be presented shortly, adding that it was in its final phase of consultation and would be presented when ready.
Speaking further, Aderemi said the NCC had achieved a lot, despite its challenges in both human and financial resources.
“We have won several convictions in cases brought against pirates and between January and July, we have seized  about N1.1 billion worth of materials. We’ve got 109 cases awaiting prosecution,” he said.
He pointed out that the agency was in dire need of help from the press in order to change peoples’ attitudes towards piracy.
The NCC is a small organisation that deals with a large industry and as such, could not do it alone.
“We represent a very big industry and if you have been aware, throughout last year and lately there have been so much in the press about raids and enforcement activities and despite our size and financial constraint, we are doing the job as we can and more committed to our mandate of dealing with copyright offenders,” he said.
“The issue is that we need help to publicise our activities for several reasons as we need the pirates to be aware that the commission is on their case and that is not going to be business as usual. We equally need the stakeholders to be aware that we are really doing our best trying to protect their commercial interest and intellectual copyright.
“They also need a change in the cultural orientation of Nigerians to the approach of their copyright.  The problem of the average Nigerian is that they don’t see copyright or intellectual property as an issue. To them, it is an economic convenience, they buy cheaper pirated items because, as far as they are concerned, it is convenient. They don’t see copy right as a crime and they don’t also see copyright protection as an issue. But the more our activities are publicised, the more they begin to get their orientation that it is a crime and they will be in trouble for it.
“No matter the enforcement we do, if we don’t impact peoples’ orientation, it will be like a drop in the ocean,” he said.

‘White Widow’, Kenyan Mall Bomber Was in Nigeria.

Samantha Lewthwaite, the British widow known as “White Widow” accused of masterminding the despicable terrorist attack on Kenyan shopping mall which killed about 60 people was in Nigeria and evaded detection, according to a report in the Daily Mirror, UK-based newspaper.
According to reports, “In Nigeria, where police forces are notoriously corrupt, there were reports that she (Lewthwaite) was almost caught a while ago, but she bribed her way out of trouble.”
The full report read: “If White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite is on the run she will be hard to catch. If a Lewthwaite were to be on the run in Kenya, Nigeria or Somalia, it would be a easier to evade detection than in Europe.
“She would be wearing a veil, and sensitivities about searching Muslim women would be observed so she could easily slip through difficult checkpoints.
“In Nigeria, where police forces are notoriously corrupt, there were reports she was almost caught a while ago, but she bribed her way out of trouble,” the news report said
“Extremist communities such as al-Shabaab are tight-knit in these countries, making it difficult to recruit agents to penetrate them and trace her.
“And Lewthwaite may hold a great deal of power as a special kind of jihadist, having proved her worth in previous attacks.
“As a white convert mum and widow of a 7/7 bomber, she would be invaluable propaganda and would command huge loyalty.
“Also, the austere nature of her adopted culture means she would rarely go out, so there would be few opportunities to follow her.
“Bounties have failed to nail jihadists as money has no value to individuals loyal to the cause.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Akin Oyateru, yesterday confirmed that no Nigerian citizen was affected in the terrorist attacks or involved with the terrorists in the Westgate Shopping Mall attacks which ended Tuesday after a four-day siege.
About 68 people including six security officers were confirmed dead with over 170 injured.
Briefing journalists via tele-conference, Oyateru said: “We have gone through the list with a fine tooth comb and found no Nigerian name among the dead or the injured.”
The ambassador recalled that at the time the siege started, most members of the Nigerian community were attending a pan-Nigerian meeting at a hotel in the central part of the city.
“The meeting was immediately secured and the Nigerians given security briefing,” he disclosed.
Oyateru, however, expressed Nigeria’s condolences to the government and people of Kenya.
He called on the Nigerian community in Kenya to heed to the calls for blood donations for the injured and also contribute to the relief efforts in whatever way they could.
The Nigerian Mission in Nairobi, he disclosed, has already donated a modest sum of money to assist towards relief efforts, he said.
“Neither the Kenyan or Nigerian government or any other government would succumb to blackmail. These are people feeding on the orgy of violence, they have no cause, they just indulge in mindless killings,” he said.
He appealed to the public to always be vigilant and report suspicious activities to security agencies.
“Terrorism is a transnational problem that confronts all nations and everyone has to work together to combat this. Kenya has responded that it will not pull out of Somalia, it will stay for as long as it is required,” Oyateru said.

ASUU strike: Senate calls for lasting solution

Senator David Mark, has asked the federal and state legislators, especially those in the committess of education, to look for lasting solutions to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The Senate president said: “the persistent strike actions by ASUU have had tremendous impact on the quality of our education system. It is becoming necessary for us to initiate a legislative solution to the problem.”
Mark was speaking yesterday at the conference of National Assembly and 36 state houses of assembly committees on the theme “Transforming Nigerian Education Sector” and was represented by Solomon Ganiyu, the minority whip of the Senate.
“The job situation in the country is not what we want it to be,” he added. “The universities have to ensure they pass out marketable graduates that can stand the work environment and add value where required.”
He called on the universities, to re-work their curriculum, so that Nigerian graduates can have necessary skills to be self-employed, while also calling on the private sector to step up too, as the government cannot fund the sector adequately.

A stunning performance by Seun Kuti in Paris

The 12th edition of the annual La Villette Jazz Festival kicked off in Paris on September 3. The 12-day event featured a handful of renowned international artistes like Gregory Porter, Antibalas, Jamie Cullum, Fatoumata Diawara and Nigeria’s  own Seun Kuti and Fela’s Egypt 80 Band, amongst others.
Seun and Fela’s Egypt Band performed at the prestigious Cité de la Musique in Paris to a capacity crowd, creating an electrifying ambience. Like the ritual with the Kuti music clan, the band performed the first track before Seun himself got on stage to kick off with two of his late legendary father’s tracks ” ITT” and “Zombie”. He went on to play several of his own tracks including “You Can Run”,  “The Good Leaf”, “Slave Masters”,  “African Airways” and  “African Smoke” – the last two being new tracks to be released in his upcoming album before the end of the year. Seun featured Christian Scott and Dead Prez as guests at different times during the show. The former is a young renowned American jazz trumpeter and composer who has worked with the likes of Grace Kelly and Nnena Freelon. The two guests lived up to billing, blending jazz and rap music into the Afro beat concert.
After about 10 tracks, the band signed off the stage but the rousing chant of “encore” from the crowd interrupted the usual “short break” that normally ends the band’s performance. The band then came back on stage to please the audience to the gyrating rhythm of Fela’s “Shuffering and Smiling.”
One of the high points of the show was when Seun expressed his appreciation to the audience for their support and for being good fans. He decided he was going to take a picture of the crowd and put it on his social network pages, just as fans do of him on their pages. At that point, he asked for the light of the hall to be turned on, so that he could take a clear picture. However, the light operator didn’t seem to understand what the request was actually, as Seun’s pronunciation of “lumiere” didn’t sound French enough, I guess. After about almost two minutes without the hall lights, virtually all the people in the audience raised up their mobile phones lighting the hall with the lamps on them. The glow in the hall formed an amazing tapestry of colours that allowed Seun take his picture from the stage. All that while, the band maintained a steady and rhythmic background music to sustain the ambience.
The performance at the festival was part of the ongoing 2013 global tour of Seun Kuti and Fela’s Egypt 80 band. They travelled to Antwerp the next day to perform at De Roma. The band also performed at the World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival in Russia on September 20, where dancers of the band gave a dance workshop yesterday.

Fuel Scarcity in sight!

Chairman of the Association of Tanker Drivers Mr. Timothy Ogbu has said that an indifinite strike action due to the harrasment the drivers encounter from men of the forces in Akwa Ibom and Rivers State during transit. He confirmed that some of the drivers are in cells. He also said that the strike is only holding in the System E but if it last for three days and nothing is done, the strike is going to go nationwide.

Amaechi say FG has abandoned R/S Airport

THE Ministry of Aviation debunked alleged claim by Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State that the repair of the Port-Harcourt International Airport under the ambitious airports remodeling project of the Federal Government has been abandoned, saying the governor was being economical with the truth.
Amaechi had, in an interview said the Port Harcourt airport, was not one of those that have been repaired, alleging that work on its airport terminal had been abandoned not for lack of fund but because of the difference between him and the Federal Government and officials in the Ministry of Aviation.
There were indications that the airport was initially not one of the 11 earmarked for remodeling, but was later included and handed over to a different contractor who is alleged to be foot dragging on the project that is very central to economic develop of the oil-rich Niger-Delta region.
Many people believe Port Harcourt, with its seaport coming after Lagos, is a major source of revenue for the Federal Government. And so deserves a better airport than those with lower passenger traffic that have been remodeled with revenue generated from its sea and airports.
Spokesman for the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, said Amaechi was economical with the truth with regard to work on the airport terminal.
“We started work on 11 airports under the airports remodeling project. Not all the 11 airports have been completed. Yola, Calabar and Ilorin airports under the scheme are not yet completed,” he said.
According to Obi, the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano has been completed despite the fact that Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso is an alleged opponent of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He urged Amaechi to separate aviation from politics, saying both do not go hand in hand. “If you go to Rivers State, the light rail project embarked upon by the state government has not been completed. Does it mean that the project has been abandoned? The Port Harcourt airport is a Federal airport. That is the airport Mr. President uses any time he is in the area. The argument is puerile and unfounded, and the whole issue does not add up,’’ Obi said.
According to him, work has not stopped on the project, like every other project the ministry has undertaken. ‘‘It is not Rivers airport but Federal Government’s. Port Harcourt airport is our baby and we should not mix politics with aviation,” Obi said.
Former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd) expressed worry over what he called inability of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to sustain itself without funding from the government, which, he alleged, leads to unnecessary interference.
Meanwhile, Rivers State has experienced an unprecedented boom in healthcare delivery since Amaechi came to power, Health commissioner, Dr Sampson Parker, said weekend.
He spoke at an event organised at the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt to appreciate ophthalmologists (eye specialists) from United States-based Hospitals for Humanity, who performed successful surgery with eyesight restored to over 200 glaucoma and cataract patients in collaboration with the Rivers State Government.
He disclosed that Amaechi had released almost N100 billion for health care delivery, describing him as having a very kind heart for the people.
After exciting testimonies from glaucoma and cataract patients, Parker said: “We have to thank God because He is the One that has made all these things possible. He is the One that at the right time decided to bring back Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi from exile to govern Rivers State. He is the One that made him (Amaechi) have a kind heart for the people of Rivers State. I have been a doctor in this system for a couple of years before becoming a Commissioner, and I have senior colleagues here, I don’t think it has been this good for the health ministry as Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has done. If I am lying, please somebody should oppose me.
“Since we came, just last night we were having a small chat and we were looking at how much has been expended into the ministry of health; almost a N100 billion has gone into free health care service for service for Rivers people.”
“We have done about 150 primary healthcare centres, general hospitals and equipped them and in staff development we have employed over 200 medical doctors, with nurses, 400, and given incentives to doctors to work harder.
“We have reinstituted training and retraining of medical personnel and today our push is to make Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to be a Specialist Hospital as the name implies, to become a teaching hospital to train young doctors and other health professionals. That is how much he (Amaechi) has put into the ministry of health.”
The commissioner assured that the Amaechi administration would continue to pursue health programmes that would provide quality free healthcare for the people, adding that the governor had also approved a specialist manpower development programme for take-off.
He thanked the medical team from Hospitals for Humanity for their collaboration and effort in treating glaucoma and cataract eye patients.
The ophthalmologists were in Rivers State on partnership with the Amaechi administration to treat glaucoma and cataract eye patients.
Earlier, the founder and team leader of Hospitals for Humanity, Dr Segun Ajayi, said they carried out eye surgery on over 200 patients with support from internal members of the staff at Braithwaite Memorial Hospital.
“The last two weeks was a great opportunity for Hospitals for Humanity and we were amazed by the people, by the ophthalmologists, by the nurses, everyone, the (health) commissioner, Dr Kalada, everybody came together to see this mission come through and as a result 200 plus patients have had eye surgery, over 500 patients have been screened, so that is a huge accomplishment”, he said.
The head of ophthalmology department at BMH, Dr Godswill Pepple, represented by Dr. Godswill Nathaniel noted that it was a new beginning in eye care service delivery in the state.
He said: “I must confess that this is a new beginning in eye care service delivery in Rivers State. We have been in the forefront of asking the government to establish an eye centre, which the government has graciously accepted and machinery has been put in motion to actualize that but in the interim we have been also working with available resources to see how we can affect the lives of our people”.
Among other eye patients, 12-year-old Stephen Izu, Felix and Mrs Victoria (mother of an eye patient) confirmed that their eyesight were now restored and commended Amaechi for the unequalled healthcare delivery in Rivers State.

Worry over the absence of defense minister

THERE is worry within the nation’s defence sector about the vacuum created by the absence of a substantive Minister of Defence since Dr. Haliru Mohammed Bello was removed on June 22, 2012, a clear 15 months ago. Bello was sacked at the height of the insecurity in the North.
The situation has been compounded by last week’s sacking of the Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Olusola Obada, who was the acting minister while holding on to her official portfolio as Minister of State for Defence.
In the absence of a substantive minister in such “important and sensitive” ministry, President Goodluck Jonathan two weeks ago appointed the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, as Supervising Minister. This means that while Maku still has full responsibility to his core ministry, the spokesman of the Federal Government would also exercise oversight functions over the Ministry of Defence.
As one source put it: “What sense does it make to put a part-time minister in charge of a ministry which has control over the military assets of the nation and the fate of tens of thousands of men and women in uniform; and a nation fighting a war against terror at home and is involved in peacekeeping operations abroad? This ministry needs a substantive minister and not a visiting one.”
Clearly, the present arrangement is unknown in the history of a command-structured ministry that oversees the nation’s military. Under the ministry, the minister exercises political direction over the military and supervises the activities of the tri-service Defence Headquarters and the three services – Army, Navy and the Air Force.
The list also includes all the training and operational institutions under the three services. Ordinarily, it was a herculean task for a minister and minister of state to supervise these institutions, including the civilian wing of the ministry. Now, the worry is how a visiting minister could help drive the continuing professionalisation of the military.
The ‘aberration’ of having a Honourable Minister of State for Defence (HMOSD) in charge as acting minister for over a year and now a visiting minister is confusing for members of the military who are used to dealing with a substantive minister, who functions as the representative of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
While Obada was acting minister, her official title was Minister of State for Defence (MOSD). Yet, at events, she was variously addressed as Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), representative of the HMOD, Acting Minister of Defence or the official designation, MOSD.
A source noted that “by the nature of the MOD, it is not envisaged that the ministry would ever be without a substantive minister. It is just like a Defence Headquarters with an Acting Chief of Defence Staff, the Nigerian Army with an Acting Chief of Army Staff, a Nigerian Navy with an Acting Chief of Naval Staff and a Nigerian Air Force with an Acting Chief of the Air Staff for such a long period. The convention is that anyone acting in any of these positions is doing so because the substantive official is on leave. The military institution in Nigeria has not functioned with such acting appointments for so long.”
The HMOD represents the President and Commander-in-Chief as the chairman of the various councils for the services. They include the Nigerian Army Council, Navy Board and the Air Council. The councils act as the governing body of the services responsible for the direction of policy. It is also the confirmation body for promotion and retirement of officers. Statutorily, the Minister of Defence acts as the chairman of the councils.
Statutorily, the HMOD is also the chairman of the governing boards of tri-service institutions including the National Defence College, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre Oshodi and the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON). In the long absence of a HMOD, the MOSD has been holding forth, a situation not envisaged.
And some have been worried if the decisions being reached at the meetings of the councils and boards would withstand any consistent legal scrutiny in the case of any controversial decision with an acting or visiting minister.
Obviously, the absence of a substantive Minister of Defence has stalled many decisions that require boldness which a caretaker minister would not dare touch. It was quite clear during the tenure of Obada. And in the last change of Service Chiefs, the influence of the substantive Minister of Defence was absent.
During Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s first term between 1999 and 2003, the HMOD, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, had a firm grip of the military. In fact, it was Danjuma who one morning in April 2001 went to Obasanjo and requested for permission to effect changes in the class of Service Chiefs. Getting the President’s consent, Danjuma installed Gen. Alexander Ogomudia in place of Lt.-Gen. Samuel Victor Leo Malu as Chief of the Army Staff, Vice Admiral Samuel Afolayan in place of Vice Admiral Victor Ombu and Air Marshal Jonah Wuyep in place of Air Marshal Isaac Alfa as the Chief of the Air Staff.
When Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso resigned his ministerial position as HMOD to contest the governorship election of Kano State in 2007, Ambassador Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi was immediately appointed to the substantive position, from his post as MOSD. In fact, never in the history of the MOD has a MOSD held sway for this long.
But a source said that “the only reason the president has left this present situation in the Ministry of Defence may partly be because he wants to indirectly handle the ministry himself. This way, he delegates the operational matters to the Chief of Defence Staff and the administrative issues to the Permanent Secretary while the supervising minister provides the political cover for the activities of the duo. The supervising minister represents the interest of the ministry and the Armed Forces at meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). He presents the memo from the ministry. There may actually be nothing wrong with this if it is just for a few weeks. The situation can be tolerated for now as this is no war situation. The menace of the Boko Haram group in the North-East has been brought under control.”
But another source stated: “The provision of effective leadership to the ministry will be the first casualty of the decision to leave the ministry without substantive leadership.”

Type II Diabetes control

Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels, because of problems with the hormone insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to produce any insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or the insulin that is made by the body doesn’t work properly. Simple ways to control type 2 diabetes, if a small, protein rich snack is taken first thing in the morning, and breakfast is delayed for two hours, the rise in blood glucose after breakfast is reduced by about one half. This is called the second meal effect and although it has been recognised in non-diabetic individuals for almost a century, it has only recently been shown to work in people with type 2 diabetes.
Secondly, if you go out for a half hour walk after a meal (or do any physical activity) then the rise in blood glucose will be very much less compared to just sitting in a chair. This is because muscle tissue takes up glucose more rapidly during exercise, and the meal time rise in glucose is blunted. By
Professor Roy Taylor former Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University.