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Visit ABEOKUTA…the City Under the Rock

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Outpacing its ancient and historic past, reflected by the corrugated roofs of homes,Abeokuta has evolved over the years to become a burgeoning city in politics, tourism, and economy. It is now a choice destination for many seekers of enthralling adventure.

The rocky landscape, the hospitable people, the festival and the culture are closely knitted to the city’s past which can be described as terrifying. The rocks located around Abeokuta, which literally means under-the-rock, are revered for providing refuge for indigenes fleeing slave hunters from Dahomey and Ibadan as well as war.

Serving as the State capital of Ogun state with a population of 449,088, it is next door neighbours with the commercial city of Lagos. The major ethnic group in Abeokuta are the Egbas whose paramount ruler is the Alake of Egbaland, HRH Oba Adedotun Gbadebo III. He ascended the throne in August 2005. Want to know more about this antique settlement? Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal tells you more!

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TOP THREE SITES

Olumo Rock

Olumo Rock is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Nigeria. The popularity of Olumo Rock was boosted when it got a deserved facelift from the Ogun State government over two decades ago. Before it became a tourist hub, the rock served as a safe haven for those fleeing from inter-tribal wars. It also offered Egba warriors a vantage position to watch their aggressors, granting them of victory in every battle. The rock is 137 meters above sea level and there are several steps you have to climb to get to the top. This will give you overwhelming, and panoramic view of Abeokuta. It is a very nice place to have a picnic or honeymoon.

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Itoku market

Adire is a traditional attire that is dear to the hearts of Abeokuta people. Itoku can be described as the ancestral home of Adire. In other words, the origin of this fabric can be traced to the town of Itoku. It is few metres away from the Olumo rock. For tourists who are interested in learning about how this fabric is made, then Itoku market must be on their itinerary. It is a craft that has been transferred from one generation to another and the people will never allow it go moribund. Other souvenirs you can buy at the market are local beads, sculptures, musical instruments and bracelets. Today, Adire enthusiast use this attire to make bags, shoes, earrings, pouch and other creative products.

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Lisabi festival

The Lisabi festival is celebrated annually to recognise the efforts if Lisabi, a local warrior who contributed immensely to the emancipation of the Egba’s from oppression as far back as the 18th century. The festival is heralded by the booming of dane-guns on Olumo Rock by local hunters. Important features of the festival are seminars, quiz competition, football competitions among the four divisions of Egbaland namely Owu, Ake, Oke-Ona, and Gbagura, Aayo; horse riding and masquerade parade. In between, gifts are offered to the king by the people. The festival is in its 30th edition.

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HOTEL

Abeokuta has an impressive collection of hotels ranging from the expensive to affordable. In case you find yourself in the city ‘Under-the-Rock’ (Abeokuta), you haveGreen Legacy HotelPark Inn by Radisson, Quarry Imperial Hotels Limited, Daktad suites, Paris Estate Palace Hotel among others to select from. These hotels are available on Jovago.com.

UNWINDING

Abeokuta is the largest city in Ogun State. Although, it is an evolving urban center there are so many places to relax, and unwind. For example, if you want to watch a movie, you can go to the Olusegun Obasanjo Cinema House at Oke-Mosan or Capricorn Cinema at the Cultural Centre in Kuto. If you decide not to check out the cinema, there are nice restaurants you can go with your date like Mama Cass Restaurant, Maryland Restaurant, Predave Restaurant, Right Choice Restaurant and Iwe Iroyin Food Canteen.

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SHOPPING

Some of the shopping centres are FCE Osiele Shopping mall, Alhaji Ayeni Shopping Complex, Saraki Shopping complex, Molade shop, Divine Supermarket, and Ayoola DPM variety stores. You can walk into any of these shops for shopping.

FUN FACT

The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) was a former campus of the University of Lagos. The campus was opened in 1984 to focus on science, agriculture, and technology. It became a degree awarding institution the following year.

DEVELOPING NIGERIA’S MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR DAIRY MARKET THE ‘ARLA’ WAY

Nigeria spends an estimated amount of $1.3 billion on the importation of dairy products and now, the government’s target is to double the milk production over the next three to four years in order to meet up with domestic consumption and export. With a population higher than 180 million people, the country is currently going through low local milk production, while importing more than 70 percent of its dairy products. An average cow in Nigeria is said to produce 1 kg of milk a day, showing there is a long way to go before reaching self-sufficiency. The government has identified that what is required, amongst other things, is a more formal ranching system to improve processes, yield and quality, to extract higher value.

In a bid to find a sustainable roadmap for this multi-billion dollar market, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Lars Loekke Rasmussen and President Muhammadu Buhari, in the company of a high-powered Nigerian delegation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, held talks in Denmark with Arla Foods on the development of the dairy sector in Nigeria, last week.

Arla Foods is one of the world’s largest dairy companies. The visit is the company’s second milestone in its declared commitment to invest in local production in Nigeria and help create a more sustainable local dairy industry, following the presentation of its signed letter of intent (LOI) to Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh. Arla’s LOI was presented in February 2016 at the same meeting where Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kristian Jensen, signed a letter of intent with the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture to cooperate on the development of the local agriculture sector in Nigeria.

L-R: Director, Animal Production and Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. (Mrs.) Egejuru Eze, Slagelse Dairy Farm Manager, Mr. Ole Hansen and Hon. Hassan Saleh, Member, House Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives during a visit of the Nigerian government delegation to Arla Foods' Dairy Facility in Denmark.
L-R: Director, Animal Production and Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. (Mrs.) Egejuru Eze; Slagelse Dairy Farm Manager, Mr. Ole Hansen; and Hon. Hassan Saleh, Member, House Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives during a visit of the Nigerian government delegation to Arla Foods’ Dairy Facility in Denmark.

The Nigerian delegation had representatives of the key departments responsible for dairy development in the country comprising of Dr. Gideon Mshelbwala, Director, Veterinary Services and Pest Control; Dr. Mrs. Egejuru Eze, Director. Animal Production and Husbandry as well as Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister, Dr. Andrew Kwasari and Hon. Saleh Hassan, Member of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture.

While welcoming the delegation during a tour of one of Arla’s dairy farms, Steen Hadsbjerg, Senior Vice President and Head of Arla Foods for sub-Saharan Africa, stated that Nigeria is key to Arla’s ability to sell its farm owners’ milk in West Africa, in the future. Hadsbjerg declared that they “understand that developing the Nigerian local dairy industry to create a sustainable value chain that contributes to food security, local jobs and prosperity are important issues for the government. The Nigerian government welcomes companies and initiative that will help this development.”

“The purpose of this visit is for Arla to understand the challenges in developing a sustainable dairy sector in Nigeria and how Arla can most effectively contribute to the solution. It is also for Arla to share our knowledge and experience about how our farmer owners have organised and developed their value chain. The result will benefit Arla’s opportunities whilst ensuring the good development of the dairy market in Nigeria for the benefit of all parties,” Hadsbjerg stated further.

The Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, said “this visit has been an eye opener for me. Arla is an organised cooperative that has done very well and work in a sustainable manner. Arla is run by the farmers themselves and to protect the interest of their farmer colleagues and ensure better returns on their milk, they set a higher standard for their milk quality than expected by the government.”

He continued by adding that “we hope for a partnership with Arla and knowledge sharing that will help us empower Nigerian farmers who face multiple challenges with logistics, infrastructure, organisation, quality and productivity. We could definitely see Arla as a partner to help build a sustainable dairy industry in Nigeria from the very beginning based on its globally proven concept of ‘Dairy enterprise of the farmers,’ for the farmers by the farmers.”

Speaking during a tour of the Arla facility in Copehangen, the Honourable Mr. Hassan Saleh, commended Arla Foods for its high production standard saying, “Arla Foods has demonstrated it is a very organised company and their processes are impeccable, resulting in high quality products. I am very impressed with what I have seen and I believe that Arla will be a good partner to help us improve our milk production and make it more sustainable.”

During the visit, the Nigerian delegation learned about Arla’s international businesses and the important role that Nigeria plays in Arla’s strategy. The delegation also visited one of the company’s cooperative farm owners to see how the farm quality programme ‘Arlagaarden’, meaning Arla Farm, ensures high standards on the farm and a fresh milk dairy to see how Arla works with quality systems to deliver high quality products to consumers across the world.

Members of the Nigerian delegation also attended round table discussions with Arla and other Danish food and agriculture companies, where they shared knowledge about farm and dairy technology solutions and discussed potential partnerships in order to help develop the Nigerian dairy industry. The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Arla Foods in Demark is therefore a bold expression of the Nigerian government’s interest in learning from Arla and how it has organised its production.

CREDITS: venturesafrica.com

MEET SUBOMI OWO ODUSI – 23-YEAR-OLD NIGERIAN INVENTOR OF FUELEDUP APP

Subomi Owo-Odusi, a 23-year-old Nigerian has said that by May 2016, his innovative app FueledUp will be fully functional. The app is designed to spare Nigerians the trouble of sleeping in queues while trying to get fuel in times of scarcity, like in the current crisis. As a result of incessant queues and black market activities, there are insane traffic jams (especially in metropolitan cities like Lagos) as well as a hike in the price of everything from transportation to foodstuff.

In a country where controversial issues are usually greeted with the occasional outbursts on social media and not much else, Odusi has been able to use the present situation in Nigeria to drive innovation and create a solution.

The FueledUp app will be available on a large scale by the end of May, and although a lot of Nigerians may think this is just another unnecessary invention from a ‘hungry’ young man, the app presents an alternative to waiting for hours to get fuel or being cheated by black market hustlers.

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After downloading the app on any of the available platforms, the customer can discover the prices available through the “Get FueledUp” button. After this, they enter their car information and how much petrol they need as well as the delivery time. Odusi, who has worked at a fuel distribution company, says that customers do not need to be afraid of added charges as the cost of the fuel and transportation is relatively low. After requesting fuel, customers will pop their fuel tanks or be present during delivery and voila! they get their notifications on their devices that they’ve been refilled and they are ready to go wherever.

Customers are free to purchase between 20 litres to 40 litres of fuel with a minimum of 18 litres. For payment, customers will perform a cashless transaction for the services they receive from FueledUp. If you are worried about how Odusi plans to sustain the business in times of crisis, he says his background and contacts at depots in Lagos will ensure his company gets the fuel they need.

Certainly, this is like a breath of fresh air for many Lagosians who would rather have fuel brought to them than have to go out scavenging for it but the question is, will FueledUp be willing to sell fuel to customers to power their generating sets? Your guess is as good as mine.

CREDITS: venturesafrica.com

 

Essential travel items for trips around Nigeria

What is more exciting than boarding a plane bound for some beautiful destination where  popular natural attractions beckon? Travelling around the country is one of life’s most amazing pleasures and, judging by current trends, Nigerians will continue their love affair with adventure.

While keeping your luggage small and simple is the way to go, there are some essential items every passenger should tag along to ensure a comfortable journey.

Thanks to Jovago.com, Africa’s largest hotel booking portal, here’s a checklist of 6 important things needed to make any trip a relaxing experience.

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Quick change of underwear and day-clothes

Most people only carry an extra change of clothing when going on long trips but when what was supposed to be a daycation turns into a week-long charade, that extra knicker will come in handy. Plus with the erratic weather changes, a shirt-soaked through from the rain will not leave you feeling sunny for most part of the journey.

A small notebook and pen

Ideal for those memorable moments when you are handed immigration forms on board an international flight by attendants or given the address to a hotel location so remote that Google Maps goes blank and the phone battery dies.

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Travel toiletries

It’s always a great idea to carry basic toiletries like toothbrushes and lotion in pouch if you’ll be away from home for more than 12hours. Dental decay and flaky skin are real issues! However, note that airlines only allow liquid containers with sizes 100ml or less and stored in transparent bags.

Snack and water

In a place like Lagos, there will always be a place to grab a bite, however at if you’ve got a really early flight, chances of finding something exciting are usually slimmer. A canister filled with water and a few granola bars in the bag can be a lifesaver. 

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Personal entertainment

For most people, good playlist is a priority! If reading is more appealing, rather than sitting idle, get lost in a novel. Many transport companies provide some form of entertainment but the options on offer may not be pleasing to listen or watch. So carry a book, phone or computer with a selection of personal movies, shows and music. Works each time!

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4 emojis every happy Nigerian should use

Thanks to smartphones and several apps, Emojis have become a huge part of the Nigerian culture over the last few years. They have become one of the most popular forms of self-expression and there is something thrilling about communicating without them. Truth be told, they are not only cute, funny and are better for conveying feelings than a text does.

Emojis are changing Nigeria’s social media landscape in a big way. From those with ‘heart-shaped eyes’ or ‘thumbs up’, there is basically an icon for every occasion. Nigerians are naturally happy people who can be light-hearted about any situation and so for those who are still green as regards using these trends

We compiled a list of the top 4 Emojis that will appeal to anyone wishing to express feelings of happiness.

1. The Smiley-emoji

This is possibly the very first emoji introduced to Nigerians. Easily achieved by typing a combination of ‘:” and “)”, the emoji is the universal ambassador of good will. It is used to not only soften certain comments and instructions that otherwise would seem dry or sarcastic, to show that it a message sent from a good place or just used to show that happy agreement. Basically, this is an icon no one can go wrong with.

2. The Heart-emoji

Happy people are always sharing love and affection and the heart Emoji is a good way to express those feelings. Love makes the world go round and so, this Emojis has been known to solve a lot of quarrels and has saved a lot of relationships romantic or otherwise.

3. Face with Stuck-out Tongue

There really is no real happiness without a bit of kidding and fun. While this Emoji cannot be used in serious situations at all, it is useful for silly moments of glee where you want to share good feelings with a bit of mischief. This icon can be used to enhance or add extra meanings to other icons.

4. Face with Tears Of joy

This icon is perfect for showing that you find a comment extra funny or hilarious. Most people like to think that they are funny and it gives them a measure of happiness when they feel that they have put a smile on another person’s face or made them laugh. This icon is also used to draw attention to a post that could give a few laughs and brighten someone else’s day.

See the coolest travel inventions for 2016

travel radio

Some travel companions add extra convenience to our experiences, while others take us on a journey through the world of technology. These smart tools which have changed the way many experience the world are quickly becoming everyday essentials for people looking to have a memorable time on the road outside or within Nigeria.

Jovago.com, Africa’s largest hotel booking portal shares 4 of these amazing travel gadgets designed to make each trip safer, easier and exciting.

Luggage scooter

luggage scooter

Want to have a little more fun with your carry-on? Then the luggage scooter is just what you need. This playful accessory allows users roll their bags quickly without the stress of having to struggle with heavy lifting. Created with room for a foot or two, this innovative trolley which doubles as a kickboard scooter also has blutooth speakers inbuilt for listening to music while gliding through the airport. How cool is that!

Automatic Backpack Survival kit

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Manufactured with a dual airbag system, the ABS is an absolute essential for adventure junkies venturing out across mountain ranges or slippery landscapes. In case of a storm, two big airbags filled with compressed Nitrogen gas release, protecting the body and increasing survival rate by 70%. This smart backpack also wins accolades for its durability and feather-weight, plus it has lots of room for additional equipment.

Personalized Imprint Slippers

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Write out thoughts on the sand with these original flip flops! It’s a made-to-order footwear which leaves a mark everywhere it goes. They come in multiple sizes and colours and can be worn as a cool beach accessory to cheer up a cloudy mood. These slippers make great gifts and can be used to express one’s individuality or send personalized messages.

The Smallest Steam Iron in the world

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This iron is so small, that it can fit into a ten-year old’s palm but is one of the most helpful gadgets to own, especially for those who travel on business trips. The mini-steam iron has a 420-watt motor, 3 heating levels and is the perfect size, even for small suitcases.

Around Nigeria in 5 popular taxis

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In a society where personal cars are the preferred mode of transportation, traditional taxis still serve a core need and carry a local charm. Beyond being a reliable means of transportation, these vehicles licensed to commute passengers at a small fee, usually make for great storytelling on a trip home.

Just like exploring the cuisine of a place, these cars offer a broad spectrum of experiences on a personal level and in the spirit of adventure, we present some of the coolest taxis to watch out for on a journey around Nigeria.

enugu taxi

Enugu taxi

Enugu taxis are so cute you’ll want to drive around town in them all day. Their petite feel are a pleasant break from the conventional motorcars that plough the Eastern Nigeria transit route. Locally known as kabu-kabu, a fresh fleet of distinct vessels were recently introduced for general use in a public-private partnership venture arranged by the government.

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Abuja cabs

Abuja is famous for its blue coloured taxi’s. Usually operated by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) they are an intrinsic part of the city’s rich heritage. Serving as a major form of transportation for people in the nation’s capital, they come at the most affordable prices – N200 per ride- and are only a phone call away.

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Keke Marwa (tricycles)

Although these are not conventional cars, these three-wheeled contraptions offer a fun experience with every ride. Known in other parts of the world as Tricycles or Tuk-Tuk, they are popular in Lagos and other southern cities where traffic congestion is a gnawing reality and serve as a quick way of getting around town.

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Lagos cabs

Lagos taxi’s are likely the most popular transport system in West Africa. Highly sophisticated, they grew in popularity after buses were introduced in the 1920s by two pioneers, namely Mrs Charlotte Olajumoke Obasa (a leading indigenous entrepreneur at that time) and W.A. Dawodu.

Meet Nigeria’s young science genius from Kaduna

young science genius from KadunaThis is the story of Abdullahi Lawal. This Nigerian boy is from state of Kaduna (city of Zaria). He is very young, but he has already been called the genius of engineering.

For quite long time this boy has been building models of aircrafts, such as helicopters.

We should say they are real looking and very beautiful. Besides, he is also able to make various space shuttle models.

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His hobby is probably connected with his dream to study Aeronautical Engineering. The examples of the outstanding models by Abdullahi Lawal are available on the Internet.

boy builds amazing space shuttle models!

Many people say that the authorities must do everything they can to support such gifted people as Abdullahi Lawal. Thus, they will be able to fulfil their dreams and do a lot for their country. Besides, they are sure that much more talented boys and girls are living in every corner of their giant country. And they are only waiting for a chance to show their abilities.

aircraft model nigeria

You may find plenty of comments on the Internet. All of them express praise. People feel very excited and proud about their brothers, who are so creative.

Abdullahi Lawal is just one of them. Another talented guy has been found in  Enugu state of. He managed to construct an aircraft using just locally sourced materials! It does not have a real jet, but it looks really true to life, and can even take several passengers on the board.

What is more, Nigeria is full of rare natural resources, which may also help to build new interesting things.

CREDIT: http://www.naij.com

5 classic Nollywood movies turning 20 this year

How much of a Nollywood fan were you in 1996? How well do you remember these old Nollywood movies released 20 years ago?Ramsey Nouah in "Silent Night"

It’s Saturday, and we are ‘flashing back’ to the year 1996, which was without doubt a great movie year for Nollywood.

As we anxiously wait for 2016’s anticipated biggest blockbusters (“76,” “The CEO”), let’s take a look back at several films turning the big 20 this year.

1. Violated

A classic love story, the 1996 movie tells the story of Tega (Richard Mofe Damijo) from a wealthy background, who falls in love with Peggy (Ego Boyo), who is from a poor background.

After so much pressure from his mother (Joke Silva) who wanted him to marry a girl with a better class, they eventually get married, and their marriage is put to the test when hidden secrets unfolds and his ex-wife re-appears in his life.

RMD and Ego Boyo in "Violated" RMD and Ego Boyo in “Violated”

2. Domitila

The 1996 movie was produced by Zeb Ejiro, and told the story of young girls who went into prostitution to survive.

“Domitilla” starred Sandra Achums, Enebeli Enebuwa, Kate Henshaw, Basorge Tariah Jr, and Anne Njemanze.

3. Hostages

Shot in 1991 but released in 1996, the movie revolves around a poor young man and his interest in the daughter of a wealthy chief. The movie starred Tope IdowuOfuafo OtomewoRichard Mofe DamijoBimbo Manuel, Lanre Balogun, Tunji Sotimirin and Zainab Buky Ajayi.

A scene from the 1996 movie "Hostages" A scene from the 1996 movie “Hostages”

 

4. Most Wanted

 The movie was directed by Tunji Bamishigbin, who also directed the 1999 classic “Camouflage,” and 2003“Contractors.”

“Most Wanted” tells the story of four unemployed female graduates who failed at getting a job. They decide to try robbery. Disguising themselves as men, they carried out all operations swiftly.

The movie starred Regina Askia, Ibinabo Fiberisima, Ayo AdesanyaLiz Benson, Bob Manuel-Udokwo, Genevieve Nnaji and Antar Laniyan.

Ayo Adesanya, Genevive Nnaji in Most WantedAyo Adesanya, Genevive Nnaji in Most Wanted

5. Silent Night

The 1996 movie earned Segun Arinze the name Black Arrow, and also starred Ramsey Noah, Joke Silva, Alex Usifo, Kate Henshaw and Emeka Ike.

The movie tells the story of a father who had to sentence his own son to death by firing squad. A privileged student in search of excitement joins a gang of armed robbers, believing that such action will alleviate his boredom.

CREDITS: http://www.pulse.ng

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