Saturday 26 October 2013


"Now Quincy too wants a piece of MJ's money"

Quincy Jones says he's been double-crossed by Sony and Michael Jackson Productions (aka MJJ) ... claiming the 2 companies intentionally aced him out of his cut of Michael's music.

Jones has sued MJJ Productions and Sony ... claiming he owns a big chunk of "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" because he produced all of them.  Jones claims Sony and MJJ concocted a scheme to edit and remix the original songs and put them into new ventures such as the "This Is It" movie, the Cirque du Soleil stage show and the 25th Anniversary of the "Bad" album and then deny him royalties.

The allegations are even worse.  Jones says MJJ and Sony created a shell game and diverted millions of bucks away from what is rightfully his.

Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the Michael Jackson Estate, tells TMZ, "The Estate of Michael Jackson was saddened to learn that Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael's Estate.  To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael."
Jones wants $10 mil minimum

Grow Your Business - Increase sales to existing customers

How you go about increasing sales depends on your circumstances and how your business is performing. You might choose to focus on customers who’ve already bought from you, or you could try to win new customers in your local area, nationally or overseas.
The simplest way to increase your sales is to sell more of the products or services you’re selling at the moment to the customers who are already buying them. For most businesses this involves:
  • persuading one-off customers to become repeat customers
  • finding customers who’ve stopped buying from you and trying to win them back
  • selling more of the same products or services to your regular customers
By keeping a record of who your customers are and what you sold to them, you can work out who’s stopped buying from you, and who might consider buying more. Targeting these customers is often a cheaper and more effective way to increase sales than trying to find new ones.

Review your prices

Regularly reviewing your prices and checking them against your competitors can be an effective way of increasing your sales, profits or both.
You should try to estimate the likely effect of different price changes on the sales, cash flow and profitability of your business before making any changes. To do this successfully, you need to understand:
  • the ‘cost structure’ of your business (including regular ‘fixed’ costs, and ‘variable’ costs that change according to your business’ activity)
  • the value your customers place on your products and services

It’s worth bearing in mind that offering a discount can sometimes reduce your overall profitability, even if your sales go up. Equally, you might be able to make more profit overall by increasing prices, even if you’re selling fewer items.
Small changes to pricing like providing loyalty schemes or bulk discounts can increase sales to both existing and former customers.
A car wash offers free cleaning every tenth visit if customers opt for the deluxe service. Even though they’re giving something away for free, the value of repeat business from loyal customers means that profits go up.
It’s likely that it would’ve cost significantly more to generate the same amount of sales with new customers, resulting in less profit.
You should also regularly check the price you’re selling products and services at against competitors. This will help you find out if you’re:
  • losing customers who get the same product or service elsewhere for less money
  • sacrificing profitability, because customers are willing to pay more than you’re charging them

Grow Your Business - Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral

"There are numerous strategies for businesses to implement in establishing their brand and a viral marketing campaign tops it. Find below a comprehensive research by Harvard scholars to establish this fact." 

We’re all well aware of the fact that marketing is shifting from a landscape where marketers can utilize mass media to speak at consumers, to one where marketers are simply part of the crowd themselves.  The bullhorn of radio, television, print and other one-way interruptive marketing approaches are quickly losing efficacy. So how do you get your brand noticed?
A recent article by Mitch Joel argues that brands must publish more content, that the old standbys of frequency and repetition that worked so well in decades past are still worthwhile today. Truth be told, he’s right. Publishing more content, even if the content isn’t viral or noteworthy, can be a great way to maintain or even grow existing large audiences.
But what if your brand or company doesn’t have an active audience of avid content consumers already? In this case, piles of mediocre content certainly won’t do the trick. If you don’t already have a large built-in audience, you must attract them from elsewhere. Viral marketing is hands-down one of the best ways to do this.
What Can Viral Marketing Actually Do?
Break through the noise
With 5.3 trillion display ads shown online each year, 400 million tweets sent daily, 144,000 hours of YouTube video uploaded daily, and 4.75 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every day, posting a few blasé blogs on the corporate website just isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need something that cuts through the clutter.
Create massive brand exposure and free press
Successful viral campaigns regularly produce 1 million+ impressions, with standouts garnering 10x to 100x that number, often crossing over into the mainstream, and picking up free exposure on television and radio and in print media. For instance, in 2012, the viral campaign “Kony 2012” for the Invisible Children organization garnered nearly 100,000,000 views, and was covered by most mainstream news organizations. The campaign has more than 2,000 results in Google News.
Generate high levels of social engagement, sharing, and brand interaction, which can lead to sharp increases in digital brand advocacy.
When Dove’s Real Beauty sketches campaign went viral, it garnered nearly 30 million views in ten days. Additionally, it single-handedly added more than 15,000 YouTube subscribers to Dove’s channel over the following two months, not to mention substantial increases in followers on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Massively improve organic search rankings
In our own experience at, two successful viral campaigns (Dying to Be Barbie and Before & After Drugs: The Horrors of Methamphetamine) were responsible for very sharp increases in organic search traffic to our client’s site. Viral content contributes significantly to primary signals Google uses as part of its ranking algorithm (authoritative links and social engagement).
This graph of the six-month ranking improvements for our client,, reflects a 750% increase in site visits as a direct result of these viral campaigns. The hump at the beginning occurred at the launch of the first viral campaign which looked at the before and after images of individuals addicted to methamphetamine, with subsequent campaigns like “Is a Barbie Body Possible,”resulting in the sustained increase.
Increase brand engagement
When users engage with brands via content they choose, rather than content they’re given, they are more engaged with the content and the brand.
How Any Business Can Create Successful Viral Content Marketing Campaigns
Lesson 1:  Create a Viral Coefficient > 1
Breaking through the noise and going viral is the direct result having a viral coefficient above 1. For the sake of simplicity, viral coefficient can be thought of as the total number of new viewers generated by one existing viewer. A viral coefficient above 1 means the content has viral growth and is growing, and a coefficient below 1 means that sharing growth is diminishing.
So how do you create content that people will share?
Step 1: Write a compelling title
Your title is what attracts new viewers. The more people you can get to consume your content, the more chances you have for getting people to share it. If you can’t get the initial click, your content is dead in the water.
Step 2: Use strong emotional drivers to make people care and share
As Thales Texeira noted, it is important to create maximal emotional excitement quickly. Hit them hard and fast with strong emotions, but remember to keep the branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause many viewers to disregard the content as spammy or salesy, resulting in loss of interest, abandonment, or even backlash.
When your content is in video form, be sure to give people an emotional roller coaster. This should be done by “pulsing” the emotionally heavy hitting points in your content with breaks or gaps. It is helpful to think of it as “cleansing of the emotional palate.”  By creating contrast between the high levels of emotionality and areas of less emotional activation, the audience won’t find themselves becoming bored, satiated, or overwhelmed with too much of the same.
Step 3: Create content the strikes the correct emotional chords
While there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that strong emotions are key to viral sharing, there are a scarce few that indicate which emotions work best.
To this end, one of the best ways we’ve found to understand the emotional drivers of viral content is to map the emotions activated by some of the Internet’s most viral content.
In order to understand the best emotional drivers to use in the content we create, we looked at 30 of the top 100 images of the year from as voted on (one of the top sharing sites in the world). We then surveyed 60 viewers to find out which emotions each image activated for them. We used Robert Plutchik’s comprehensive Wheel of Emotion as our categorization. What we found was compelling:
1. Negative emotions were less commonly found in highly viral content than positive emotions, but viral success was still possible when negative emotion also evoked anticipation and surprise.
2. Certain specific emotions were extremely common in highly viral content, while others were extremely uncommon. Emotions that fit into the surprise and anticipation segments of Plutchik’s wheel were overwhelmingly represented. Specifically:
  • Curiosity
  • Amazement
  • Interest
  • Astonishment
  • Uncertainty
3. The emotion of admiration was very commonly found in highly shared content, an unexpected result.

Lesson 2: Tie Your Brand to an Emotional Message
If strong emotional activation is the key to viral success, how can brands best craft highly emotional messages with their content?
First, think carefully about how your company, product or service is related to a topic or topics that taps into deep-seated human emotions within your target demographic.
The goal is to find the link to an issue that plagues your consumers and relates directly or even tangentially to your brand or product. At the same time, you must make sure that the topic you choose also positively reflects the position of your brand. Using the example of the Dove Face Sketch campaign mentioned above, it is clear that its viral success was the result of its ability to tap into a deep emotional reaction to commonly felt feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem. Dove created a positive emotional reaction by creating solidarity through their campaign. Their content delivered the message “Many women don’t see themselves for how pretty they really are — let’s change that.” Dove’s content engaged strong emotions – even difficult emotions – but managed to win by presenting a more important overarching idea.
Lesson 3: Consider the Public Good
Consider that one of the best ways to create an emotionally compelling piece of viral content that also works well with your brand is to tie your brand to a message for the public good. Brainstorm how your brand might be able to create content that does a public good or that creates awareness, but at the same time activates strong emotional drivers. One excellent recent example was a highly emotionally evocative video campaign from AT&T created to drive awareness for the dangers of texting and driving. AT&T hired famed filmmaker Werner Herzog. The short film has been viewed more than two million times.
Another example comes from a viral ad made for the Metro Trains rail service in Australia. The campaign, titled “Dumb Ways to Die” has created massive awareness through an unexpected, funny, and emotionally jarring video. Since it’s launch, the video has been seen by more than 56 million people. 
To be sure, we are entering an era of marketing that is much more ambiguous, subtle, and not nearly as heavy-handed as it has been in the past. The good news is that there is ample opportunity for those who understand that engaging with audience means touching their hearts and contributing tangibly to their world.
Marketers are no longer in charge of what people see. If you want to get people’s attention, contribute something worthy of consumers’ time and emotional investment.
by Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski

E - Report! - I can’t wear revealing clothes – Sasha

"Sasha, Naijas queen of Rap speaks. A queen is always a queen and most present herself as such always."

Below is a great interview she granted about her fashion and style.

Rap artiste, Yetunde Alabi, popularly known as Sasha tells ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo about her fashion and style

What does fashion and style mean to you?
Style is an extension of your personality. Fashion is the vehicle that you use to express your style.
Would you say Sasha is a fashionable person?
Of course I am. I love fashion.
As much as you have your own label, do you wear other labels?
I wear other Nigerian designers. I also patronise international designers. I am a fashion lover. I like to switch things. My label is high street fashion and there are occasions that I should wear such high fashion. As long as the label looks good on me, I wear it.
Should we call you a fashion designer?
I call myself an entrepreneur since my design is a high street label.
What can’t you de caught dead wearing?
I can’t think of anything but I know I can’t wear bell bottoms.
But there was a time it was trending…
It was an atrocity. I never stepped out of the house wearing it.
What is the most expensive fashion item you have?
I don’t talk about price. I don’t think it is classy to do that.
So what is your most prized possession?
 I would say that one pair of shoes I owe and then a pair of earrings. They were presents.
Do you wear things in vogue or you create your own style?
Being in the retro fashion business, you have to be up to date. I translate it to what is comfortable and wearable. It is not every trend that fits everybody. I only rock what I am comfortable on. I have to make it look good on me before I wear it.
As a rap artiste, how come you don’t wear tattoo?
I don’t have any on my body and I don’t think it is necessary. I don’t have anything against it though. I love the temporary ones. I had them at a point. But at the moment, I wouldn’t do anything to my skin.
What of piercing?
I just pierced my ears for my earrings.
Are you adventurous when it comes to hair?
I have been very adventurous with my hair in the past. I had a red hair extension recently. I love different colours and I love to experiment with the colours. But at the moment, I am going natural. I do a lot of braiding.
What prompted you to become a designer?
I have always loved fashion. My mother had a fashion line when I was growing up. Even when I was with Trybe Records, I had always made my stage outfit. I made stuffs I wore to classes and people in my school liked them and they started ordering for them. I felt it was time to put it on a bigger platform since we had a good following. Fashion was growing in Nigeria and we wanted to be a part of that industry.
Is there a difference between a tailor, designer and an entrepreneur?
It can be possible to be all of them and also possible to be one of them. A tailor does the practical work. He sits down and sews the cloth on the machines. It doesn’t stop him from being a designer or an entrepreneur. A sole entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a designer or a tailor. He might be somebody who understands the business of fashion and he directs the tailor on what to make. A designer can sketch designs.
Have you ever worn something to an event and you regret wearing it?
It has happened many times. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. At times, I wear something and I tell myself I am looking hot and I see another person, I feel I should have done better.
What is your fashion craze?
It is definitely shoes. I don’t know the number of pairs of shoes I owe. I have even scaled them down a bit because I always give them out. I can’t wear all of them at the same time. I am being more prudent. I would rather not say how many pairs of shoes I have.
Do you love all colours?
There is no colour that I don’t like. I actually play with all the colours. I will always find a shade that suits my skin. We always mix colours in my clothing line.
Do you wear stuff that are revealing?
I like to wear clothes that keep me looking decent. You can be fashionable without looking obscene. I believe that modesty is the best.
Can we see you wearing something outrageous like some international stars do most times?
If you haven’t caught me on camera in 12 years then you will never catch me.


Court awards $15m Ibori bribe money to FG

" When former governor Ibori tried to bribe the then Chairman of EFCC Nuhu Ribadu, Ribadu collected the money and deposited it at the CBN but since Ibori was eventually jailed his cousin who is the Governor of Delta state have tried all his best to claim the money back for the state. The court have now ruled in the FGN's favour."

Read all about it below as published by Punch.

The legal battle over the controversial $15m Ibori bribe money ended on Friday as an Abuja Federal High Court ordered that the amount should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
This followed the court’s rejection of the claim made by Delta State Government.
The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held that Delta State was not able to prove its claim that the money belonged to it.
The $15m was said to have been received by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from an undisclosed agent of the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori in 2007 as a bribe to compromise its investigation into his financial dealings, while in office from 1999 to 2007.
The money has been kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria as an unclaimed property since August 2007, but a legal battle ensued over its ownership, after the court had on July 24, 2012, granted an interim order forfeiting the cash to the Federal Government.
While the Federal Government, through the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), asked the court for a final order of forfeiture so that the money could be deposited in the national treasury, Delta State filed an application, claiming that the money belonged to it.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government said it would keep the money in a consolidated revenue fund to be used for the wellbeing of Nigerians while the state government expressed a wish to use it to provide infrastructure in the state.
The Federal Government’s main argument against the claim made by Delta State was that the state government had washed its hands off the $15m when it resisted investigations into corruption allegations against Ibori by deposing to an affidavit stating that it had not lost any money.
The Federal Government stressed that the then Attorney-General of Delta State had filed an action against the EFCC and the Attorney-General of the Federation, stating that the state government’s account should not be investigated in line with the anti-graft agencies investigations into allegations of financial impropriety leveled against Ibori.
And in his judgement on Friday, Justice Kolawole agreed with the Federal Government.
He equally held that Ibori had earlier denied reports that the $15m cash emanated from him, a development which undermined Delta State’s claim that the money was from its coffers.
Delta State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Ajuyah (SAN), who was the state’s counsel, had told the court to take a cue from previous instances when money recovered from two other governors – Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and Dipreye Alamiesiegha of Bayelsa State – were returned to the states.


Lagos private wooden bridge owners make millions of naira everyday

" The inadequacies of the government has given rise to its citizens finding solutions to their problem and benefiting from it. "

Private individuals in Lagos have been capitalising on government’s failure to provide link bridges and good roads for its people and this has gone on from generation to generation.
For over 40 years, such investors have constructed wooden bridges, popularly called pako bridges, across the state and tolled users in return. The rush by investors to go into the business has, however, reached an unprecedented level in recent years.
In places where the toll bridges exist, pedestrians are tolled N30 each, while motorists pay N200 per vehicle. Besides, each occupant of the vehicle aside from the driver, is also required to pay N30. Meanwhile, the feeling has been mixed for users and residents that benefit from the linkages provided by such bridges.
While most users cringe at the weight of the tolls imposed by the investors, nevertheless, they identified with the important roles played by the toll bridges in connecting communities and opening up new areas. Many of the bridges are constructed over swamps, where only brave residents dared trudge across prior to the construction of the bridges.
So, in spite of the heavy tolls on the communities, some of which are poor, residents have resigned to fate, particularly with the government not showing interest in their situation.
Some examples of the toll bridges are found in Alimosho Local Government Area, linking Ashipa, Ayobo-Ipaja community to Igando community; Lanre through Sanni Thomas Street to Igando New town; Igesu and Egan communities; Baruwa inside community and Diamond Estate; Obadore and Ijagemo communities; Abegunrin and Idowu-Egba; and Pako community to Ketu community.
A visit to some of the bridges showed a similar mode of construction but varying physical conditions and modes of operation. Each bridge also posed its own peculiarity based on the environment it is sited.
The bridges at Ashipa-Igando and Lanre through Sanni Thomas Street to Igando New Town were estimated at around 300 metres each, while the Igesu-Egan bridge was estimated to be around 540 metres.
A small neighbourhood market had formed at the foot of the Ashipa end of the toll footbridge connecting the community to Igando. Residents descending the bridge into their community or transiting beyond Ashipa could get groceries, pepper, vegetables, and other items like footwear. Commercial motorcylists have also turned the feet of the bridge into major parks.
 A resident of Ashipa, Mr. Lukman Mudasiru, said the bridge was constructed some 20 years ago.
 “But before then, we used to tread the water or practically swim to cross over to the other side, even though, it was deep. Only the brave could try it then. Many people would pull off their clothes and put them on their heads to prevent them from getting wet,” he said.
Mudasiru said the other option was to spend a much longer time to reach a community just across the swamp, adding that the infamous bad roads in the area has continued to give the bridge relevance.  According to him, the bridge also serves people coming from or going as far as Ogun State from Lagos.
He said, “The bridge has opened up this area and aided development. The route is shorter for people working in Ikeja or even Lagos Island and living in far distances like Ejigbo, Olorunisola and Ishefun. Instead of spending hours going through Ayobo-Ipaja, which has very bad roads, they come through here.
“Even people living in places as far as Ota, Aiyetoro and Lafenwa in Ogun State or returning there after work pass through here. The only problem is that it’s a pedestrian bridge; we need one that will accommodate cars.”
Human traffic is often busy on the bridge, especially during peak hours. A number of beggars, also attracted by the number of users, sit on the bridge to solicit help.
 The bridge is open between 4 and 12am everyday and has a gatehouse, where users pay tolls. It is understood that the bridge ought to open officially between 5am and 11.30pm, but for the pressure of users who wake up early to beat the morning traffic. So, electric bulbs supported by wooden stands and cables run the length of the bridge to provide light when it is dark.
“The bridge is always busy and there is a generator which is used to power the bulbs, so we see one another at night,” added Mudasiru.
But not everyone shared Mudasiru’s enthusiasm for the bridge.
Another resident, Alani Ogunlade, said the situation could get tricky for someone who could not afford the toll.
He said, “It’s not every time that people have money to pass, so sometimes, it can cause a serious issue. Some could decide to stay at home while some would want to force their way through.”
The traditional ruler of Ashipa, Baale Ayemojuba of Ashipaland, Chief Mudasiru Amusa, was even less enthusiastic about having a toll bridge within his community. He said the community had laid planks on the swamp before the bridge construction, but, however, admitted the overwhelming volume of the water, particularly during rainy seasons.
Amusa said he often suffers “heartaches” seeing his people being tolled on the way to and from their community.
He said, “It saddens me every time to see my people suffer like that, having to pay each time they leave the community or come in, but there is nothing I can do. I pity people who have to pay N60 to leave their home and come back and even spend more when they need to go out more than once.
“What we want is for the government to come in and build a concrete bridge for us so that people can enjoy the service without being ripped off. The queue in the morning on the bridge is massive. Many of such bridges are springing up in Lagos now. Many people are going into the business because of the huge profit in it. All the people working there (at the bridge) have grown big tummies.”
 The bridges are either directly managed or contracted out to someone under an agreement to remit a certain amount daily to the investor.
It was learnt that Ashipa toll bridge was contracted out and investigation showed that about N250,000 is being remitted daily by the managers to the investor.
“About three years ago, it was N180,000 that was being remitted daily but today, it’s around N250,000. The police also come on Fridays to get their share from the managers,” a source close to the managers of the bridge, said.
 However, the workers at the bridge declined to comment, insisting that the manager was not around.
Normally, the operation of the pako toll bridges involves identifying the communities in need of a linkage, usually separated by water or swamp, buying the land from the land speculators (omo onile) and putting the construction in place. Then the bridges have to be periodically maintained to prevent any mishap.
 Investigation showed that one of the major wooden materials needed in large quantities for the bridge construction are the 4 by 2 hardwood and the 4 by 12 ft plank, locally called ‘Eki’ wood. It is said to be the best under the circumstance because it grows in water.
 There have been reported cases of disputes over control and ownership of some of the bridges, particularly when the investor has to deal with more than one family (omo onile) in the process of buying the land or when too many people are involved in its operation.
 A classical case is the multi-use wooden transit bridge at Lanre, which could accommodate automobiles. Some parts of the bridge appeared to be badly depressed, giving motorists undulating rides.
 Investigation showed that the bridge was being managed by Mr. Oladipo Omojolowo, but that there was a dispute over its ownership and control, which were said to be in court.
The Chairman, United Ifesowapo Community Development Area and aggregate Chairman of Igando New Town CDAs, Mr. Sanni Thomas, said the dispute was responsible for the poor maintenance of the bridge.
 He said, “The person managing the bridge now doesn’t want to fix the bridge since the case is in court and no one knows what the outcome will be.”
 Thomas added that the idea of putting the bridge had sounded noble to community members, but that eight years on, the community had experienced more pains than gains.
He said, “Ordinarily, it could have been a very good business and it could have helped the community. Initially, what they (investors) told the community was that they wanted to link the road so that our children could go to school on the other side. So, the initial impression was that it would benefit the community but we’re not benefiting from it. The bridge brings a lot of traffic to the community that sometimes, we can’t even get into our own houses.
 “The traffic damages our road quickly and it’s the CDA that’s taking care of the road without any support from the people collecting tolls from the bridge. It’s the same community that’s paying the security men patrolling the area and overseeing the bridge as well. It’s wrong that they toll the people and make so much from the community, and yet, can’t assist with grading the roads in the community. And the development and markets we thought it would bring did not happen; people don’t stop here, they go straight to Lanre. Same for the commercial motorcyclists.”
 Also, Thomas said that vehicles sometimes fall off the bridge inside the swamp, spending days before they are removed.
Another resident on Sanni Thomas Street leading to the bridge, David Adigun, called on the government to “come to the aid of the community and construct a proper bridge.”
 Enforcement seemed to be harder on the multi-use pako bridges since the attendants have to deal with pedestrians, motorists, motorcyclists and tricycle riders.
It was observed that to enforce payment of tolls, particularly from motorists and motorcyclists, attendants often had to close the gate to stop stubborn vehicle owners from passing through.
 A mild drama ensued when a woman who identified herself as Alhaja Rasida, refused to pay for her children, none of who was older than seven years old. She insisted that she would not pay “a kobo” more than the N260 she was willing to pay for herself and two adults in the vehicle.
 She later told Saturday PUNCH after about five minutes of having a tussle with the attendants, which she won. “How could they say they would collect N90 on these little children too? It’s N200 for a vehicle and N30 for each occupant apart from the driver, but I’d never agree to pay an additional N90 on these little children. The money is too much; it’s killing us. What kind of rubbish is that? Who gave them the rubbish permission to stand here and collect money?”
A source in the community said the bridge generates about N400,000 daily.
 However, a lady at the office of Omojolowo, which was in the neighbourhood, said her boss was “not in town at the moment.”
Many owners and managers of the toll bridges live big in their communities. For instance, residents said Omojolowo’s house and office, which sit opposite each other on Oladipo Omojolowo Street, Igando New Town, easily dwarf other buildings on the street.
Residents, meanwhile, said Omojolowo’s fortune changed about seven years ago when he got into the business.
A resident who did not want to be named, said, “He used to work as a caretaker and later started selling palm-wine. His house was even draped in polythene bags. But things looked up for him when he linked up with others to start the tolling business.”
Meanwhile, a new multi-use pako toll bridge had just opened at Igesu, linking the community to Egan. A source in the area said the owner had invested about N33m in the project.
The bridge was new, so it was firmer and looked much neater, with modern lights to aid visibility for motorists at night.
 A resident, Akeem Olawale, said going to Sango, Ogun State, from Egan would not take more than one hour using the bridge, while the other known alternative would not take less than two hours, if the traffic is light.
 He said, “The bridge assists us to beat traffic. The road around here is very bad, so if you’re not taking the bridge to Sango, for instance, it will mean going round from Egan through Iyana-Ipaja and that could take close to more than two hours if there is no traffic.”
Efforts to reach the Chairman of Alimosho Local Government Area, in which many of the bridges fall, Mr. Israel Adekunle, were unsuccessful.
He did not answer his phone nor respond to a text message sent to his mobile line.
The State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, however, told our correspondent that private initiatives were an important part of the environment.
He said, “Private initiatives are always necessary in all human endeavours in all societies. That is why there are private hospitals, schools and all others. As long as there are options, private initiatives will always be available.
“Remember, the state is adding to her infrastructure portfolio regularly. Can the deficit be eliminated in a year? No. So we have to keep attacking, which is exactly what the state is doing.”
The tale of toll bridges and roads in Lagos already appears to be twofold. While the wooden bridges on one side, service a section of the state that is largely dominated by modest dwellings, the tolled Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge and the Lekki-Epe Expressway are servicing another section believed to be living in more affluence.
For instance, the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge which opened to the public in May 2013, did so amid controversies. Motorists are required to pay N250 toll on each car to use the suspension bridge, which the state government said it had handed over to a concessionaire. The proposal to toll the bridge had generated a prolonged debate by the state lawmakers at a plenary session, but the state government went ahead to open the bridge nonetheless.
Earlier, the controversial tolling on the 49.36km Lekki-Epe Expressway was also stiffly rejected by residents when the first of the toll gates was introduced at the Lekki Admiralty Way area in 2011. The state government claimed that the tolling was necessary because the reconstruction of the road was done under a concession deal with a private company. The controversial agreement signed between the parties was worth N50bn, with motorists paying N120 and N150 as toll on each car and SUV, respectively.
However, the state government recently said it had bought back the deal from the Lekki Concession Company Limited ahead of the 30-year period stipulated in the design, build, operate and transfer concession agreement.


Two planes collide at Lagos airport

Two planes collide at Lagos airport

There was a minor accident on Friday at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, involving a Turkish Airline aircraft and a Max Air plane. The Turkish Airline plane wings collided with that of Max Air plane which had brought in Pilgrims from Saudi Arabia.

It was learnt that the Turkish Airplane had landed safely but was taxiing to stop at the airport’s apron when its wing collided with that of Max Air.

The collision resulted in minor damages to both airplanes and sources said they had been  taken away for repairs.

An online newspaper said the Spokesman, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, confirmed the incident. He however said damages to the aircraft belonging to both airlines were minor and that both planes had been taken away for repairs.

A similar incident occurred last year in Jos, Plateau State, when an Arik plane wings brushed an Airforce jet parked at the apron when the plane was taxiing to stop. There was also no casualty in the incident but only damages to both planes.

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