Nigeria's key player doubtful for game against Catalonia XI on Wednesday

A fan of the Super Eagles of Nigeria
Real Betis midfielder Nosa Igiebor is doubtful for Wednesday’s Africa Nations Cup warm-up game against Catalonia. The Eagles managers were yet to hear from the player in Faro, Portugal today as the team prepared for Tuesday flight.

“We are still waiting words from Nosa at the moment, so we cannot say he will be in Catalonia or Faro for the game,” a team official said.

However, Celtic’s Rabiu Ibrahim is expected to link up with the rest of the squad when the team arrive in Spain early on Tuesday.

Ibrahim was expected to have arrived in Faro earlier, but delays in his flight schedule meant he was advised to join the team in Spain instead of travelling to Portugal, where the team are camping for the African competition.

Ibrahim and Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche will be the last two players to join up with the Eagles before the game.

Wednesday’s match against Catalonia selected that is managed by Dutch legend Johann Cryuff will be played at the home of La Liga side Espanyol starting at 9pm Nigerian time.

While the Eagles are training to beat the rest of Africa, the Catalonians are making strong political statement with the game.

Catalonia matches gather together every year more people than any other European team for just a friendly match. And right now Catalonia is living a very special social and political moment. The new Catalan government, with the support of the main parties has just announced that 2014 is the year when a referendum for independence will be held.

A vast majority of Catalonia’s population (over 2 million votes) supports the new Government goal and, according to last election votes and recent polls, most citizens wish to become a new European and independent state. The Spanish state strongly opposes to the referendum but Catalans seem very determined to do it.”

Barcelona stars, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Valdés, Sergio Busquets, Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué are expected to feature for Catalonia.

Nigeria's Super Eagles will return to their training camp in Portugal after the game, from where they will leave for South Africa to take part in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.


Nigeria launches African version of Monopoly

The first African city edition of the famous board game Monopoly has been launched in Lagos.

The Nigerian metropolis is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

The board's layout was unveiled at an event in Lagos City Hall, with the manmade Banana Island named as the upmarket equivalent of Mayfair in the London edition.

Makoko, the slum on stilts over the city's lagoon, is the cheapest property for sale on the Lagos board.

Nimi Akinkugbe, the head of Bestman Games which is producing the Lagos edition, told Nigeria's Guardian newspaper ahead of the launch that suggestions for the Mayfair spot were "a hot topic".

Banana Island, which got the coveted position, is an artificially created island where the very wealthy reside.

Some properties on the island sell for about $8m - and it would cost about $150,000 a year to rent a flat there, he says.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Murtala Muhammed International Airport and several hotels are other properties on the board.

Many of the squares are sponsored by banks and shopping centres and even the Lagos state government appears, while some major landmarks like Tinubu Square, the New Afrika Shrine nightclub, Third Mainland Bridge and the National Theatre have been left out, our correspondent says.

Other aspects of the game have been tailored for Lagos, like the "Go To Jail" cards, which read: "Go to jail. Go directly to Kirikiri jail," referring to the city's maximum security prison.

One of the Chance cards issuing a fine quotes a phrase regularly used by police officers: "Park! Park! For reckless driving pay a fine... and register for retraining."

Another reads: "For attempting to bribe a law enforcement agent, pay a fine."

Some of the new traffic laws introduced by the Lagos state government, and the punishments for various offences, have also been included in the game.

"You've been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation," one card reads.

The Monopoly game was developed in the US, originally based on streets in Atlantic City. A London version of the game was produced in 1935.

"Lagos is the first African city to have its Monopoly. Two countries in Africa have theirs, Morocco and South Africa. But there's no city that has its own customized edition," Ms Akinkugbe told the Guardian.


The coming mobile wave as Dell's profits slump by close to 50% on weak sales

Are tablets a threat to the survival of the PC?
Computer-maker Dell has seen its quarterly profit fall by almost 50% after it was hit by falling sales to both consumers and large companies.

The PC maker made a net profit of $475M in July to September, compared with $893M a year earlier.

Dell's consumer revenues fell 23% to $2.5B, while those from sales to big corporations declined by 8% to $4.2B.

The company, the world's third-largest maker of personal computers, saw overall revenues dip 11%.

Despite the poor results, Dell said it was more confident about the October to December period, which includes Christmas sales.

It expects group-wide revenues to rise by as much as 5% in the last three months of the year, despite the continuing "challenging" global economic environment.

It is also struggling to compete with Asian rivals such as Lenovo and is focusing on selling products and services to businesses rather than individuals.

But the state of the economy means that many customers are delaying making big purchases.

"It's not clear what's going to cause them to increase their spending in the short term, given the uncertainty in the economy," said Dell's chief financial officer Brian Gladden.

But he added that the launch of Windows 8 was improving demand in the consumer market.

How much that leads ultimately to improved sales, remains to be seen.

Congratulations Mr. President, but there is still much work to do

President Barack Obama
Once again, the world witnessed as the United States of America showed the way, with another peaceful and dignified transition of power (albeit an organic one as the president was re-elected to a second four-year term), a common feature and staple of the American system of government - the "world's oldest" and most stable democracy.

Save for the 2000 elections, the fall out of which was the unfortunate "division of the country", the United States has always been a beacon of hope and the lighthouse on a hill, in a world where most leaders, even in some so-called western democracies (Italy for one with Silvio Berlusconi) seem unable and unwilling to relinquish political power.

The American people have spoken and while there are those who may still disagree with some of the president's policies (this writer included), it is incumbent upon us all, to pray for the president and support the efforts of the administration to steer the American economy back on the right path.

It is inconceivable that the gridlock we witnessed over the last four years, will once again rear its ugly head. Congress and the Executive branch of government, must find a way to reach meaningful compromise on the germaine issues of the day.

Absent of that compromise, the American people will grow even more frustrated and increasingly cynical of government; a mind set our leaders can least afford to be entrenched in the psyche of an otherwise patient and dutiful citizenry.

The president must not repeat the same mistakes he made the last time either, when he said "I won, I don't have to take your ideas" to the Republican leadership after his 2008 election victory.

There is no such thing as a mandate from the American people, where these last elections are concerned. Instead, the White House and Congress must understand that the American people expect them to do the people's business.

The president must continue to reach out to "reasonable" members Congress on the other side, while Congress must accord the Executive branch its due respect and work with the president, much like Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

Once again, congratulations to the president and here is hoping he is more concerned about cementing a truly lasting legacy that will forever shape the future of America and indeed the world, for good.

Good luck to you sir.... you will be needing lots of it!  


A time for reflection and solitude....

As the U.S. prepares to vote for the next President of the United States, one is made aware of the need for true reflection and solitude, yes the kind of reflective solitude that can lead to true self-awareness.

One is forced to ask the question, isn't America just plain sick and tired of the same games every four years? No matter how you spin it, a duck is a duck, if it quacks and swims like one.

We all watched almost exactly four years ago when a young and impressionable man with a unique background, captured the imagination of this great country and made us all dream again.

After the nightmarish Presidency that was George Bush's (I doubt most would disagree with me on this), America was ready for a fresh start, or so we thought.

Four years on, we are once again back singing the song of revival and restoration, as if hope never appeared beyond the horizon. We had hoped and dared to dream and in that state of sublime inspiration, we thought we had indeed found our bearings.

But alas, the "compass" failed us once again and failed us it did on all fronts; morally and every-otherwise.

This time, we must think as Americans and I mean really think and reflect on exactly where this great nation is headed.

These elections are bigger than Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and all the candidates combined. They are about something much bigger than even us; yes, something that much larger and of such critical magnitude, that we must indeed get it right this time.

If we don't and once again just go through the motions of an electioneering campaign, we may live to regret it.... both literally and vicariously through our children and future descendants.

It is that important.

© 2012 Boye Coker. All Rights Reserved.


mCAMPUSMATE™ - iFusionIT and Mihir Mobile Solutions bring higher education into the mobility age

Source: Mihir Mobile Solutions
The usage of mobile phones to handle just about every human activity is growing each day and as mobile technology and indeed technology as a whole, continues to evolve, it becomes imperative for solutions to address the critical needs and demands of the ever-changing world we live in.

More than others, the education/learning industry is aggressively catching up with IT and other technological advancements, in order to meet the competitive demands of this age.

With the changing mode of instructional delivery as a function of the fierce competition among institutions for students, mCAMPUSMATE™ brings educators, institutions and students, the very best of both worlds.

In conjunction with iFusionIT, a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner with expertise in Systems Integration, Data Analytics, Mobility and Cloud Application Development, Mihir Mobile Solutions (MMS) brings you a Student Management Software offering exclusively for Schools, Colleges and other institutions to automate all routine tasks pertaining to Students, Parents, Faculty and School Administration.

mCAMPUSMATE™ not only simplifies school’s activities, but also facilitates the manageability on to the Mobile Devices (iPAD & Android for Tablets and iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry for Smart Phones).

In keeping with the clearly articulated objective of the U.S. Department of Education to "go green", iFusionIT and Mihir Mobile Solutions, see the mCAMPUSMATE™ application as a critical step in that most worthy of goals.

Some of the major benefits and attributes of the mCAMPUSMATE™ application are as follows:

Track Marks, Attendance and other records on Smart Phone/Tablet
 Grade on your Mobile Device
Homework, Assignments, Projects and Exam Schedules on Smart Phone/Tablet
Mobile Access to Library
Special Alerts for Emergency Information  
Automated Payment Reminders
Access to School/College’s Calendar of Events & Functions
Trending and other Statistical Reports, and much more….
Secure Access (Amazon Cloud, can also be on private cloud), Easy Set-Up and 24x7 Support

iFusionIT and Mihir Mobile Solutions believe that mCAMPUSMATE™ will afford institutions the unique opportunity of being able to better attract quality students, while enhancing their brand.
The application, also aptly dubbed as "Mobile University", will allow students to manage their busy educational careers more effectively, with the assurance that their critical information is not only readily available and accessible, but is also very secure. 

About iFusionIT

iFusionIT is a multi-national technology firm headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. We are a trusted partner to the world's leading organizations, including top Fortune 500 companies and key government agencies.

iFusionIT's detailed suite of services ranges from IT Consulting and Custom Projects to its Core Service areas that include BI Services, Testing Services, digital entertainment Services, Custom Applications Development (including Mobility), Systems Integration, Data Analytics and Web Development.

iFusionIT is a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner and in addition to core-competencies with regard to the Microsoft technology stack, the company also specializes in Oracle and OpenStack technologies.

For more information, you may contact us at

About Mihir Mobile Solutions

Jani Nemana conceptualized Mihir Mobile Solutions and he has been supported by diverse conglomerate of dynamic entrepreneurs from both India and the United States.

Jani has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Andhra University and a Master’s in Computer Science from Bradley University, USA.


Protect R&D tax breaks to corporations to help stimulate the economy

There is one thing that has always set the American economy apart; it is the spirit of innovation that drives the American entrepreneur across all verticals to dream big, think hard and take calculated risks, with one singular purpose in mind - change the way things have always been done!

It is however important to understand that the main reason why the innovative spirit has always been alive and well in the United States, is due to the environment that has fostered, encouraged and engendered that spirit.

Over the years, perhaps due to the culture of greed and unbecoming avarice that permeated Corporate America, governmental regulations have become necessary, with the objective of not only protecting the American consumer, but also potentially preserving the integrity of the capitalist system.

My motive for writing this piece is centered in the belief that the bad behavior of corporate executives over the years has projected the wrong image (of Corporate America) with most Americans blaming the recent culture of careless risk-taking and greed, for the economic collapse of 2008.

While there is the push by most state governments and perhaps the federal government to find a way to tax corporations more, as they (the former) seek to balance their budget(s), they are however losing sight of one thing - the path towards real economic recovery and increase in jobs (particularly in the private sector) is through formulation and passing of initiatives, that promote growth, through innovation.

One of the surest ways to promote growth through innovation is in the area of Research & Development (R&D) tax credits.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 1981, the R&D credit has always been supported by the largest group for businesses in the United States - the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as business and industry watchers.

Recently though, critics of the R&D credit have been campaigning against it, calling the tax credit a costly corporate hand-out that has done little to encourage more hiring and investment.

What opponents of the R&D credit however fail to mention is that it remains one of the surest ways to not only help manufacturers achieve cost and efficiency savings, but also help stimulate the economy, through more hiring and increased investment.

At a time when unemployment in the technology sector remains rather low (at less than 3% compared to the general unemployment rate of 8%), removing an avenue for increased investment and improved efficiency would indeed be fool-hardy.

One can only hope that the current anti-corporate sentiment does not becloud sound judgment on the part of our elected officials.

Fashola again shows why he is probably the next President of Nigeria

Gov. Babatunde Fashola
LAGOS, NIGERIA - Governor Babatunde Fashola on Saturday politely declined the honor of a chieftaincy title from a royal father, Oniru of Iru land, Lagos, Oba Abidun Idowu Oniru.

He, however, received the award of excellence conferred on him by the monarch who was celebrating his 75th birthday and 18th coronation anniversary. While expressing his appreciation to Oba Oniru for honoring him, Fashola said the task of governance required absolute focus and would want the chieftaincy title to wait for now.

He said, “Kabiyesi and his chiefs can continue to lead us, let them deal with all those traditional and chieftaincy issues. At the appropriate time, we will come and join them, but for now, leave us in our suits, boots, overalls and helmets, because this agbada is not good for clearing refuse and tarring the roads.”

On the award for excellence, Fashola said it was not for him; rather he dedicated it to all the civil servants in the state who he said were responsible for the giant strides of his administration.

Fashola said “This award does not belong to me; it belongs to all the public servants in Lagos State who do the great work that is responsible for the progress in the state.”

While acknowledging the mornach's exemplary leadership and support for his administration and his predecessors, the governor expressed his gratitude to the Oniru on behalf of members of the state executive council.

He confessed that when the state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Prince Segun Oniru, informed him of the event, and told him that the Kabiyesi wanted to present him with something, he had made it clear that he would not attend the event if what the Kabiyesi wanted to present to him was going to be a chieftaincy title, but that Oniru had assured him that that would not be the case.

In typical fashion and being true to his values, Fashola declined the honor of the monarch, choosing instead to focus on the task of governance, which he has carried out with the utmost sense of purpose, dedication and commitment.


Apple is most valuable company ever?

By now, you should have heard the news and while it does not necessarily come as a surprise, it is rather telling in terms of a potential changing of the guard in the technology and business space.

Apple Inc. is now the most valuable company ever with a current valuation of close to $624 billion, supassing Microsoft Corporation's valuation of around $621 billion in 1999.

However, when adjusted for inflation, according to USA Today, Microsoft still holds sway (albeit for now) until Apple's stock (which accounts for close to 25% of the value of all technology companies on the S&P 500) exceeds $900 a share.

Apple shares are currently trading at around $665 a share.


The 7 habits of highly successful organizations

As organizations seek ways to improve functional output and operational effectiveness, it becomes incumbent upon business leaders to understand what best practices to adopt, in their quest to achieve sustainable growth and brand stability.

Many are quick to point to the "successes" of some of the world's biggest brands such as GE, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Apple and Google, among others. The truth however lies somewhere in between as to what exactly constitutes success beyond just the bottom-line.

A "healthy bottom-line" does not necessarily translate into being an attractive brand or ensure sustainable growth.

What organizations such as Google and more lately Apple have in fact shown, is that there are other mitigating factors that go towards determining the long-term success and brand equity of an organization.

In this piece, a prelude to a more in-depth analysis to come, we explore and profess the key habits that would seem to characterize truly successful organizations.

a) Hire well - As organizations such as Google, Microsoft and Apple (much lately) have learnt, hiring the right talent goes a long way towards building your Intellectual Capital portfolio.

b) Invest in your employees and thus your organization's future - While some of the better known brands are able to attract some of the best talent initially, holding on to that talent pool becomes even more critical. It is not enough to just pay well; in addition to that, organizations that have managed to hold on to their prized talent base, have invested heavily by way of benefits and other quality-of-life perks that are essential to keeping the poachers at bay.

c) Encourage independent thought within your organization - In conversations with peers in the business community, most believe this is one of the areas where Microsoft in particular "went wrong". It's main competitors are said to have seized on a culture (supposedly) within the organization at the time, that did not encourage or value independent thinking.
Organizations that frown on the idea of "thinking-outside-the-box" ultimately leave little room for their business units to procreate. A resulting dearth of unique ideas will ultimately result in the natural death of the said organization.

d) Reward independent thought within your organization - In addition to encouraging a "think-outside-the-box culture within your organization, it is also equally important to acknowledge those with unique and creative ideas. Promotions, raises, bonuses and other forms of recognition should reflect this, as it will only augur well for the continued growth and development of the organization, its brand and of course, its people.

e) Be true to your founding ideals and core corporate principles - Make taking care of your customers/clients a guiding business principle. It is the best practice you could ever indulge in as it engenders brand familiarity through credibility.

f) Seek strategic partnerships that complement your business model and strategy - It is important that you align yourself with organizations that share your ideals, beliefs and ideas and subsequently provide a synergistic nirvana.

g) Manage your growth while continuing to innovate - Maintain your identity and stick to a working strategy. Adapt to the pervading business climate in your own unique way and continue to deliver consistently.

© 2012 Boye Coker. All Rights Reserved.