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Panic as Another Toxic Waste Scare Hits Koko

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Fresh toxic waste scare has hit Koko town in Warri North Local Government of Delta State, 30 years after 8,000 drums of toxic wastes were dumped in the ancient Itsekiri community by some unscrupulous Italian businessmen, according to the Nation.

The dumping of a yet unknown quantity of industrial wastes from the facilities of an oil multinational is causing panic in the community.

Sources in the town told The Nation that the materials started arriving in the community by vessels several months ago, but the panic was sparked by reports that laboratory tests have confirmed the waste to be toxic.

“Our initial reports have confirmed our fears; the materials are toxic. The tests were carried out in several facilities, including some belonging to a government agency.

“We have all the results ready now and are preparing to take the reports to the Minister of Environment before the end of this week,” a source said.

Despite the concern, more consignments of the alleged harmful materials were still being shipped to the town, last Tuesday evening.

There are fears that many children may have drunk from water sources that are likely to have been contaminated by the waste as a primary school water source is located directly near the site.

“People around the area first noticed the material sometime last year.  They are being brought in by barges and trucks picked them up to the site, where they are now burying them,” a source, who asked not to be named because of ongoing investigations, told our reporter.

Nevertheless, an official of Ebenco Services, the company behind the materials, said contrary to the allegation, they are not toxic but sludge, which are being recycled.

The official, simply identified as Ebenezer, told our reporter on telephone on Tuesday night: “This is sludge and it is not toxic; it is wealth to us because we are recycling them.”

Our reporter’s request for independent verification of the recycling claim was turned down because he “needed management’s approval”.

Follow-up calls and text messages to the official on Wednesday afternoon were unanswered.

The materials were brought in from an international oil company, which runs a Joint Venture (JV) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Mr Amorighoye Mene, Secretary of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILOT), in a telephone chat with our reporter, differed with Ebenezer, stressing: ” These substances, from test reports, are toxic and dangerous to schools and residential buildings around there.

“It must be stopped and proper remediation must be done to cure the land and environment around there.”

It was gathered that the materials were brought in by several vessels and transported by truck to a populated area of the city by a local contractor.

Expectedly, the incident is causing anxiety in Koko, which attracted global attention in 1987, following the deposition of 3,500 tonnes of some of the world’s most hazardous waste comprising polychlorinated biphenyl sulphate (PCBS) and methyl melamine, among others from Italy.

Although the 1987 waste was returned to Italy in two vessels – Karin B and Deepsea Carrier – after prolonged negotiation between the Federal and Italian governments, Koko has never been the same again.

The incident coincided with the collapse of economic and social activities in the then bustling port city, which is now a ghost of itself.

Ebenco Services seems to be enjoying the support of some prominent indigenes of the community.

Shortly after our reporter contacted the company on Tuesday night, a high-ranking official of the Koko Community Executive Council called our reporter to “appeal for soft handling of the report”.

The official, who apparently did not see anything wrong in the matter, said.

“I do not know why this is coming up now; we have been on this and the man has been doing his business since without any problem. Please lets find a way to help him (contractor).”

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Ogundare, Newcross CEO Donates Digital Library To LUTH

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(L-r): Professor Afolabi Lesi, provost college of Medicine University of Lagos Idi-Araba; Dr. Bolaji Ogundare, Ceo Newcross Petroleum; Professor Oyinkan Sofola, dean, Faculty of Dental Science, College of Medicine University of Lagos and Professor  Akinbo, deputy provost, College of Medicine University of Lagos, during the handing over of a Library built by Dr. Ogundare for the Faculty of Dental Science, College of Medicine University of Lagos Idi-Araba

By peter oluka

As part of efforts to expand access to global information and aid learning in medical education, Dr Bolaji Ogundare the chief executive officer (CEO) of Newcross Petroleum, has donated a digital library to the Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos Idi-Araba, Lagos.

During the handing over ceremony held recently, Ogundare called on the private sector players to consider urgent and massive investment in health education as that will tremendously improve capacity and competencies for Nigerian hospitals and aid availability of world-class healthcare services locally in the country.

During his address, the Dental Surgeon remarked that the library which he donated to his alma-mata was built in memory of his late father, Mr Samuel Olatunji Ogundare, describing the project as his contribution to health education in the country.

Ogundare said he was challenged to take on the project due to the low level of infrastructure in the College, appealing for urgent private sector intervention for infrastructure upgrade at the Faculty of Dental Sciences.

“Infrastructure upgrade and personnel motivation can help this College a great deal. If the private sector invests more in healthcare services, capital flight will be prevented and many healthcare services for which Nigerians travel abroad can be accessed at affordable rates and convenience locally. I urge all well-meaning citizens and business interests to urgently intervene.”

Commending Ogundare for his contribution to the college, the provost of the College of Medicine, Professor Afolabi Lesi said the library mirrors the core of the educational institution. This project has touched on the essence of this institution of learning.

Prof Lesi urged other alumni of LUTH in public and private sectors to emulate Ogundare by investing in healthcare services and educational development. He therefore promised that LUTH management will maintain the project maximally.

 

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CFA’s Startups Hangout Slated for This Friday 

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By justice okemgba

The CFA Startups Hangout edition for October 2017 is slated for this coming Friday, October 20, 2017.

The CFA’s Startups Hangout, is as a strategic forum, where Startups meet to learn from successful Entrepreneurs who come over to speak to them on their successes and pitfalls they encountered on their way to success, as well as how they overcame challenges in their organisations, so that the Startups too can learn and follow through.

Wale Ajisebutu, The Vice-Chairman, 21st Century Technologies, will be available to speak to the Start-ups at the event.

He is a Chartered Accountant by training. He ventured into the Telecommunications industry after a stint in trading.

His company, 21st Century Technologies, was incorporated in in 1997 and began operations in 1999. Today, 21st Century Technologies has evolved into a major player in the Telecommunications industry.

His clientele includes some of the largest Multinationals, Oil and Gas firms, Hotels as well as several blue chip organisations, not just in Africa, but across the world. He is a perfectionist and gentleman to the core, who believes that Nigerians can build great companies and this is a vision he is working hard to achieve.

Also to speak at the October edition of the CFA’s Sartups Hangout, is Nkiru Balonwu, Managing Partner at RDF, a Consultancy that provides counsel to clients in the public and private sectors on strategic communication, organizational strategy and stakeholder engagement.

Prior to RDF, Nkiru was CEO of Spinlet, the leading music digital distribution platform on the continent. In addition to a structural turnaround, Nkiru drove the re-branding of the company and ensured it was profiled properly through tactical placement of strategic communication.

Nkiru is also the Founder of Bukkipa; a simple accounting mobile application designed for individuals and small businesses to aid effective cash flow management. She holds a Doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s and first degree from University College London & University of Manchester, respectively.

The saying also goes, that, health is wealth and it is only when you are healthy, that you can run your Startup well. In this regards, therefore, The Bridge Clinic will be on ground to make a brief presentation on health issues to the Attendee Startups as well as give them free blood pressure and glucose level tests. Our team appreciates this great gesture on the part of the management of The Bridge Clinic.

Past editions of the hangout had featured prominent successful Nigerian Entrepreneurs, such as Austin Okere, Founder, CWG, Banke Alawaye, Country Manager, Praekelt, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, CEO, InfoGraphics, Afolabi Abiodun, CEO, SB Telecoms and Devices, Bolaji Finnih, CEO, TechPreneur Africa and Ommo Clark, CEO, iBez Solutions. Nadu Denloye, PhD, Co-Founder of Telnet and Director,CDNet, Deepankar Rustagi, the Co-founder, VConnect, Adeoye Abodunrin, ED,Xpos Technologies, Simeon Ononobi, Co-Founder, MyAdsGlobal, Helen Anatogu, CEOand Founder, iDea Nigeria, and Yele Okeremi Founder of Precise Financial Systems and others.

The October 2017 edition of CFA’s Startups Hangout will be sponsored by TAMS and Remita.

We look forward to the active support of more brands for the future editions of this selfless mission to help many Nigerian Startups to learn, grow and sustain their businesses for the development of the Nigerian Entrepreneurial ecosystem in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.

We also appreciate our media partners, Guardian Tech,  Nigerian CommunicationsWeek, Connectnigeria, ITPulse and cfatech.ng, for their unflinching support in sharing this rare opportunity to learn from successful Entrepreneurs to our numerous Startups in Nigeria.

The October 2017 Edition of CFA’s Startups Hangout, holding on October 20, 2017 at Adna Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos is a free event, but registration is compulsory for every Startup that will be attending.

Limited seats are available, therefore, you need to register early, to book for a seat at the event.

You can register for the October 2017 edition of CFA’s Startups Hangout @ http://startups.cfatech.ng

 

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Zoto Launched ‘Zoto Smile’ To Support Benue Flood Victims with N.5m

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Zoto Smile

By peter oluka

Zoto, a product of Hedonmark Management Services Limited and Nigeria’s fastest mobile payment app under its charity initiative Zoto Smiles has collaborated with Eagles HOPE Foundation (NGO) to extend financial support and rehabilitation to flood-affected people in Benue state.

As a startup in Nigeria, Zoto believes that any challenge can be met if you have innovation in your DNA.

Keeping in spirit with its DNA, Zoto via its initiative Zoto Smiles has announced that they will contribute N10 every time Zoto app is used to recharge or pay bills.

By funding the relief efforts of local NGOs, donations to this fund have the potential to build stronger response capacity so that these NGOs are better equipped to face future challenges.

While announcing the new initiative, Oshone Ikazoboh, co-Founder, Zoto said, “It is a difficult time for the flood affected people as more than 110,000 people in 24 communities including Makurdi, the state capital, had been displaced by the floods. With our initiative Zoto Smiles, we’ve made our donation process a community effort where every person gets chance to contribute towards community building by a simple recharge or bill payments made via Zoto App. We are liasoning with our NGO partner to ensure quick supply of relief material. We offer condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and pray that the situation normalises soon.”

Money is the quickest, most effective contribution most people can make during times of disaster. Zoto believes that people and communities are intrinsically good and generous and want to come forward and help in the rehabilitation of victims of natural disasters, but they are held back due to the lack of proper avenues.

Zoto is a safe, fast and easy way of making payments in Nigeria. It has more over 1 million registered users.

It is a mobile money and mobile commerce service licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Zoto is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and SSL 128 bit encryption designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit/debit card information maintain a secure environment.

The platform is available on iOS and Android and has established itself as one of Nigeria’s best payment solution.

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