NEWS AND STORIES
A university don has raised alarm that the country loses over $100 billion annually to exposure of lead, which occurs as a result of unregulated and indiscriminate use of lead substances by faceless producers in manufacturing of paints and other domestic and industrial products as well as smuggled substandard paints and printers’ inks.
Babajide Alao, a professor of Chemistry, University of Lagos, who disclosed this in Lagos recently at the 2019 Coating s Show of the Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA), a sub-sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), with theme “Future Trends in Coatings Technology” noted that West Africa paint market losses between $100 – $237 billion annually on consumption of poisonous lead paints.
He pointed out that Nigeria being the largest market in the region consumes more than half of the total worth of the market as it losses over $100 billion, adding that the global lead paints would be faced out by 2020 as agreed by the United Nations.
Alao explained that lead affects the intellect of children and adults, stressing that cancer, high blood pressure and other related health challenges are caused by the inhalation of lead substance from the air as it is emitted from walls and every item coated with the lead paints in the environment.
“The Nigerian coating industry is at a cross-road to adopt innovative global technologies. Eliminate lead compounds in paints and coatings are now imperative. Alternatives are now widely available as global raw material manufacturers are gradually phasing out leaded ingredients. Examples in some other developing country – Philippines shows that it is feasible and indeed increases the net-worth and profits of manufacturers, as it leads to environmental sustainability, it also increases the manufacturers CSR and image with consumers,” he stressed.
Earlier in in welcome address, the Chairman, PMA Mr. Sunday Babatunde, regretted that the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) has not been able to tackle adulteration and faking of its members premium brands of paints, stressing that it remains a big challenge to them.
Babatunde said; “Adulteration and faking of our members premium brands of paints is still a big challenge to us. This has negatively affected the volumes/profitability and of course returns on investments of the companies whose products are prune to the menace. Even with the introduction of Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has not been able to tackle the problem due to inadequate monitoring and enforcement. The paint industry is a peculiar industry because of the low entry barrier.”
Who instigated the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki and Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos in Iyamho, Edo state on Saturday when they came to visit former governor Adams Oshiomhole in his country home?
The jury is out to determine the culprit as Oshiomhole and the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu traded blames.
Oshiomhole in a statement blamed Shaibu, alleging that the hoodlums who carried out the attack were the same thugs who invaded the university community on the orders of the Deputy Governor of the state, Philip Shaibu.
But Shaibu has promptly denied the accusation, with his spokesman providing an alibi: the deputy governor was in the convoy attacked by the hoodlums, asking rhetorically, whether he would have organised his own attack.
“The Governor, his deputy, Oba of Lagos and their entourage were at the gate of the National Chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to pay him the usual homage since they were in his domain.
“Surprisingly, the large crowd that gathered at the gate brutally attacked the convoy, destroying three cars in the process.
“The convoy had to quickly turn and came back to the varsity campus. So, how did the Deputy Governor cause it, could he have arranged his own attack?
“In fact, they were there on the invitation of the Comrade himself.”The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has condemned the attack on him, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chancellor of the Edo University, Iyahmo, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola and other guests at the residence of former Governor of the State and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
But Oshiomhole in heaping the blame on Shaibu said tension in the community started last Friday when Shaibu imported thugs into the community with a view to intimidate political opponents.
Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem said Oshiomhole left the convocation lecture on Saturday through the back to avoid being attacked by the thugs who laid siege at the entrance gate of the university.
Oshiomhole said he and other guests were already in the hall when at about 11:30am, the deputy governor stormed the University with over 200 Okada riders and thugs.
“Security operatives accosted them at the gate and refused them entrance. The thugs started threatening the security operatives who insisted the deputy governor can enter the venue but they will not allow the thugs to gain access.
“Following their threats the security operatives tear gassed the thugs and the deputy governor. The thugs were dispersed while the deputy governor joined other dignitaries at the venue. This created tension already in the small community.
“However, after the event, Comrade Oshiomhole invited the Oba of Lagos, the Chancellor and others for lunch at his country home which is right opposite the university. Consequently, he left instruction at the gate that he was expecting these respected leaders.
“So when the visitors came, the governor drove in a bus with other officials but following the incident that occurred earlier where thugs sponsored by the deputy governor invaded the university, Iyamho youths barricaded the gate of the national chairman with a view to protecting him against any harm.
“Unfortunately, these youths sighted Andrew Momodu, Osaigbovo Iyoha in the bus which conveyed the governor to Oshiomhole’s residence. They decided to stop them from entering the compound because these were the same people who led the thugs that attacked Oshiomhole’s residence in Benin City penultimate week.
“While this confusion was on, the thugs brought by the deputy governor started destroying the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s kinsmen. I want to state clearly that the vehicles destroyed were not in the convoy of the governor. The thugs targeted the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s relations and friend and destroyed them. Thank God for the intervention of soldiers and other security operatives who came to restore peace.
“This would not have happened if not for the thugs who invaded the community loyal to the deputy governor.
Governor Obaseki, who has been fighting a political war of survival with Oshiomhole deplored the attack.
He said it was shameful it took place at the residence of the National Chairman of the ruling party in the state and at the national level.
“It is very unfortunate that we can’t feel safe in the house of our National Chairman. I am not sure that if I visit the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that they will attack me the way they did in the house of the APC National Chairman.”
“It is unfortunate that things have degenerated to this extent. But we will continue to sue for peace. We cannot afford to lose the gains of the last three years. We will continue to pursue peace,” he added.
Oshiomhole, meanwhile has apologised to Oba Akiolu and the new chancellor of Edo State University, Makanjuola for the embarrassment.
Erling Braut Haaland has emerged as the talk of the town around Europe after his heroics with RB Salzburg at the UEFA Champions League, where he’s incidentally also the current top-scorer with six goals from only three games!
While Salzburg have been placed in a difficult group against defending champions Liverpool and Serie A giants Napoli, they’ve shown a lot of fight by nearly taking points from both of them.
Haaland has featured heavily in their success, netting in all three games and even silencing the Anfield crowd at one point with an equalizer. The Norwegian’s goal-scoring phenomenon isn’t being disregarded, as many clubs are on the hunt for his services.
As per the Guardian, Manchester United and Juventus stand just a bit ahead of the queue involving nearly 20 clubs monitoring Haaland’s progress at Salzburg this season.
The Red Devils have particularly been linked with the teenager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had worked with him at Molde last season.
The Norwegian gaffer was asked about a potential move in winter or later, but refused to comment on the young striker. United are in the hunt for a striker after being unable to replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer and finding themselves with limited options upfront.
Haaland had himself been asked about a potential move to Manchester, but discarded a potential move by stating how bored he was with constant links to the Red Devils.
There have been talks about United’s history with his dad Alf-Inge Haaland- who was a Manchester City player- potentially ending any chances of a deal between the two. But Alf-Inge has himself reiterated that his past problems won’t be an issue for a potential deal.
But The Red Devils face hefty competition for the teenage sensation, with Juventus being on his heels to sign up a top-quality striker for the future.
They already spent big to seal the deal on Matthijs De Ligt in the summer, but are desperate for a proper goal-scorer as Gonzalo Higuain’s replacement.
Salzburg are looking to make a hefty profit on the Norwegian having signed him for around €9 million in January. They’re aiming to sell him for around €60 million in the summer if their hand is truly forced.
Napoli apparently tried getting a deal done recently by contacting Haaland’s representatives but were dismissed as Salzburg would not consider selling him before the end of the season.
Apart from United and Juventus, there are a number of elite clubs to have scouted the young striker. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Arsenal have all sent scouts to analyze his performances.
It looks like a wild chase for Haaland is guaranteed next summer, as United will really have to up the ante in order to secure his services for the future.
Fitness device marker Fitbit is being bought by Google for $2.1bn (£1.6bn).
The move allows Google to expand into the market for fitness trackers and smart watches. It comes at a time when loss-making Fitbit has been looking to expand into other areas.
“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission,” said James Park, co-founder and chief executive of Fitbit.
The bid values Fitbit at $7.35 a share, a premium of about 19% to the stock’s closing price on Thursday.
“With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster and make health even more accessible to everyone,” said Mr Parks, who founded Fitbit 12 years ago.
Fitbit has sold more than 100 million devices, but had put itself up for sale last month in the face of waning demand for its products as other companies enter the market.
Its shares have jumped 40% since Monday, when Reuters reported the interest from Google.
Fitbit said its “health and wellness” data would not be used for Google adverts.
The transaction is expected to be completed in 2020.