Nigerian refineries

Nigeria’s refineries operate at 26 percent capacity

Nigeria’s four refineries operated at an average refining capacity of 26 percent in December 2013, up from 6.46 capacity utilization recorded in November 2013, according to reports from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

As at December 2012, the four refineries operated at about 30.87 percent average capacity utilization, the NNPC said.

However, in December 2013, the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) operated at 32.96 percent of installed capacity; the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC 1 & 2) operated at 4.48 percent of installed capacity; and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) operated at 40.41 percent of installed capacity.

According to the report,  in December 2013, distribution of petroleum products by NNPC Retail Limited and Independent Petroleum Products Marketing Companies rose by 22.31 percent to 673.92 from 523.58 million litres distributed in November 2013.

The NNPC Retail Limited distributed 140.66 million litres, 20.87 per cent of the total petroleum products while the independent marketing companies distributed 533.26 million litres or 79.13 per cent of the total.

 Read more at BNreport.

Sophia Chikere

Sophia Chikere launches perfume line

Nollywood actress Sophia Chikere has launched a line of perfumes called Sophia’s Secret.

Sophia is the ex-wife of Nollywood producer Tchidi Chikere.

Sophia’s Secret was unveiled on Tuesday, but will be launched officially on Saturday.

Sophia, whose marriage to Tchidi Chikere ended recently after a two year separation, may be first Nigerian celebrity to have successfully launched her own perfume line.

Read more at Nigeriafilms.com

Food items

Nigeria’s GDP to hit $4.5 trillion in 2050 – Moody’s

Nigeria will be among the world’s 15 largest economies in 2050 with a GDP of about $4.5 trillion, according a statement by ratings agency Moody’s.

Moody’s was reacting to the recently released rebased GDP figures, which said Nigeria had a GDP of $510 billion, making it the 28th largest economy in the world.

The rating agency gave Nigeria a Ba3 stable rating, but said the rebased GDP figures does not change the government’s nominal stock of outstanding debt, nor its revenue generation capacity to service that debt.

With the rebased GDP figures, several key credit ratios have been revised. For instance, debt to GDP has declined from 19 percent to 11 percent for 2012.

Read more BNreport

 

Mesut Ozil

Wenger: Ozil could return against Hull

Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil could make his return from a hamstring injury at Hull City this weekend, manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday.

 “I think (Kieran) Gibbs will be out for the weekend but (Nacho) Monreal is possibly available and Ozil could be available to travel as well,” Wenger told a press conference. “I will see that on Friday and Saturday.”

Germany international Ozil has not played since going off at half-time of his side’s 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 on March 11.

The 25-year-old has had a fitful first campaign in England since arriving from Real Madrid in a 42.5 million ($70.7 million, 51.6 million euros) deal last September, but Wenger believes that he will come good next season.

“He had a period where he was tired because he was not used to playing through the season and he was a bit jaded,” Wenger said.

“Mesut Ozil is a fantastic football player and I would put him on the list to be player of the season next season.”

Arsenal will also have French midfielder Mathieu Flamini back from suspension for Sunday’s trip to Hull, which will serve as a dress rehearsal for next month’s FA Cup final.

Both Arsenal and Hull will be granted only 25,000 tickets for the game on May 17 and Wenger is worried that the relative lack of partisan fans could make for a poor atmosphere at the 80,000-seater area.

“One of the charms of the FA Cup final was always that the stadium was really divided in two,” said the Frenchman, whose side beat Wigan Athletic in a semi-final penalty shootout at Wembley last weekend.

“It’s a shame that it doesn’t happen any more because that was always an absolutely fantastic atmosphere.

- AFP

Nigeria Army

100 kidnapped girls freed by Nigerian army

Scores of female students kidnapped by militants from a Borno school are free, the military reported Wednesday.

Only eight of more than 100 students are unaccounted for, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said in a statement that gave no details.

“The others have been freed this evening,” he said.

The government had reported that security forces were in hot pursuit of militants who abducted more than 100 females from a high school early Tuesday.

Borno state Gov. Kashim Shettima told reporters that 129 students were kidnapped and at least 14 freed themselves: four of the students — aged between 16 and 18 — jumped off the back of a truck and 10 escaped into the bush when the extremists asked them to cook and were not paying attention.

The abductions came hours after an explosion blamed on extremists killed 75 people in Abuja, angering citizens who are questioning government and military claims that they are containing a 5-year-old Islamic uprising. Two more attacks killed 20 people Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in northeaster villages.

While the military claims that they have cornered insurgents in a remote northeast corner of the West African nation, attacks have increased in frequency and becoming more deadly. More than 1,500 people have been killed this year, compared to an estimated 3 600 between 2010 and 2013.

Shettima told reporters Wednesday that the insurgents arrived at Chibok government Secondary School for Girls wearing military fatigues and posing as soldiers — a common tactic used by the insurgents. His information came from the school principal, who believed the men were soldiers removing the young women — aged between 16 and 18 — for their own safety. So the principal made no fuss as the students were loaded onto the back of a truck.

It was only as the armed men were leaving, and started shooting, that he realized his mistake, Shettima said. The militants killed a soldier and a police officer guarding the school, officials said.

Such attacks are typical of the Boko Hara.

The extremists have been kidnapping girls and young women. In one horrendous attack in February, where 59 students were burned to death in a dorm, Boko Harem had first gone to the girl’s residence hall and told them all to leave, go home and forget about education because it was un-Islamic.

The government closed all schools in Borno three weeks ago. The girls who were kidnapped had been recalled so that they could write their final exams.

- AP

Gareth Bale

Bale helps Real Madrid helps wins Cope Del Rey

Gareth Bale scored a stunning individual goal five minutes from time to win the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid as they overcame Barcelona 2-1 at the Mestalla in Valencia on Wednesday.

The Welshman had previously been wayward with a series of efforts on goal, but he finally made his mark as he galloped through on goal from inside his own half before prodding the ball past Jose Manuel Pinto.

Madrid had gone in front after just 10 minutes as Angel di Maria raced onto Karim Benzema’s through ball and fired low into the corner.

Marc Bartra levelled for Barca 22 minutes from time when he headed home Xavi’s corner, but it was the young defender who was left in Bale’s wake as he sealed his first trophy as a Madrid player.

“It was definetely his most important goal for Madrid,” Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said of Bale’s winner.

“It was the defining moment in the game.”

Bale’s teammate Xabi Alonso was even more effusive in his praise for the goal which handed Madrid the trophy for the 19th time.

“It was incredible, I have never seen anything like it.

“It look like the ball was going out, but he kept pushing and ran off the field to get it. It was amazing.”

Barca boss Gerardo Martino, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a disastrous week as three consecutive defeats in three different competitions means they will almost certainly not win a major trophy for the first time in six years.

 

- AFP

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Boko Haram abduct more than 100 girls from Borno school

Heavily armed Boko Haram extremists kidnapped more than 100 girls from a school in Borno State, sparking a search by soldiers to track down the attackers, a security source and witnesses said Tuesday.

The unprecedented mass abduction in Borno state came hours after a bomb blast ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, killing 75 people, the deadliest attack ever in the capital.

The violence underscored the serious threat the extremists pose to the country, with the group capable of carrying out large-scale attacks in remote areas and massive bombings in major urban centres.

Gunmen stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok area of Borno after sundown on Monday, torching several buildings before opening fire on soldiers and police who were guarding the school, witnesses said.

They ultimately overpowered the guards and entered the school, said Emmanuel Sam, an education officer based in Chibok who fled to the state capital Maiduguri after the attack.

The girls were then forced onto trucks and driven away by the attackers, multiple witnesses said.

A security source who requested anonymity said more than 100 girls were taken and blamed the attack on Boko Haram.

“We were able to follow the path of the truck and we found it broke down deep in the bush,” the source told AFP.

“We are now trying to locate the whereabouts of the abducted girls,” he added.

Some of the schoolgirls narrowly escaped their kidnappers by jumping off a truck in the middle of the night before running back to Chibok.

One of those who escaped said their opportunity to flee came when some of the gunmen became distracted after one of the vehicles in the convoy broke down.

“They tried to fix it,” she told AFP by phone from Chibok on condition of anonymity. “It was at this moment that some of us jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the bush.”

 

Lukas Podolski

Arsenal beat West Ham to keep Euro bid alive

Arsenal came from behind to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League as Lukas Podolski’s double inspired a vital 3-1 win over West Ham on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side are in danger of failing to reach Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 17 years after a miserable run saw them surrender fourth place to Everton.

The Gunners needed a victory over their London rivals to climb back into fourth, but their European bid looked in dire straits when Matthew Jarvis struck for the visitors late in the first half at the Emirates Stadium.

That shock revitalised a previously lethargic Arsenal and German forward Lukas Podolski equalised minutes later before France striker Olivier Giroud put them ahead soon after the interval.

Podolski’s second in the closing stages sealed Arsenal’s first victory in their last five league games and lifted the north Londoners one point clear of Everton, although Roberto Martinez’s men are still in pole position as they will reclaim fourth place if they draw or win at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

 

- AFP

Flat belly

6 ways to burn your belly fat fast

So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!

1. Sleep: If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.

2. Short bursts of exercises: 1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.

3. Sugar: is your Enemy Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

4. Vitamin C: When you’re under extreme stress, you secret more cortisol hormone. Vitamin C helps balance the cortisol spikes that happen to you under this stress. Besides being a good way to counteract a cold, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, making this vitamin your fat burning friend. If you’re going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it’ll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than the famous Orange!

5. Eat Fat Yup, you heard me! It takes fat to burn fat. Like I said above, it’s sugar that gets you fat, not fat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep you satiated throughout the day.

6. Slowing down your breath: This is a very simple method that you can use even when you’re in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you’re feeling tense and uptight check and see how you’re breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down the breathing. This works best if you focus on slowing down the exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself “slow down”.

 

Read more on Kamdora.

 

Photos: Half of a Yellow Sun premiere in Lagos

The movie, Half of a Yellow Sun, based on the award-winning novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie premièred on Sunday 13th April at the Silverbird Cinemas, Lagos.

The movie was directed by UK-based Nigerian playwright, Biyi Bandele, and produced by Andrea Calderwood.

The British/Nigerian co-production was shot at the Tinapa Film Studios in Calabar and in London.

See photos from on Kamdora.

 

See more photos on Kamdora.