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Mercy wins BB Naija’s N30m, SUV

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Mercy Eke has won the 2019 edition of Big Brother Nigeria. The 26-year-old beat other contestants to claim N30 million cash prize and a brand new Innoson SUV worth N25million.

Other prizes are a Dubai trip for two packaged by Travlbeta, electronic supplies by Scanfrost, one year supply of Pepsi, Indomie and Munchit as well as Oppo phones.

There are also two VIP tickets to watch the UEFA Champions League final, courtesy of Bet9ja.

Mercy beat four other finalists in the Season Four of the reality TV show. She edged out Mike, Frodd, Omashola and Seyi

Fellow housemate, Ike, with whom Mercy had a relationship while in the house, walked up to the podium to kiss her after she was announced the winner. Mike is the first runner-up; Frodd is the second.

Twenty-six housemates participated in the fourth edition of the show tagged: Pepper Dem.

Mercy, a video vixen and Lagos businesswoman, said she loved cooking, swimming, travelling and dancing.

She also revealed that even if she had a million dollars in her account, she would still be in the BB Naija game.

“I want the fame,” she said. “The popularity is very important for my business.”

Earlier in the evening, Mike won N2million for making the best time in Friday night arena games all through the 14 weeks.

In the final moments of the show, the five finalists sat in the lounge were upbeat but tension-soaked as they waited for the final eviction to be announced by the host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.

They chatted about what to expect from Big Brother, listening and singing along to music, probably as a means to ease tension.

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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Osinbajo: Fela Deserves National Recognition

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Vice President Yemi Oshinbajo, yesterday, said the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, deserved national recognition, suggesting that the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, could be renamed after him.

Osinbajo spoke at a town hall meeting in Benin City, the Edo State capital when a citizen demanded that the national theatre be named after the legendary musician.
The vice president, who though said such a decision, was not within his powers, however, agreed that Fela deserved a national honor from the government even after his death, both as a Nigerian and father of modern music in the country.

He said: “Well, I don’t see any reason, why not? The only problem, of course, is that it is not in my place to decide what national monument of such should be named after any individual. But I must say that I agree with you that Fela is as deserving as any to have such a preferred monument named after him”.

On the need to have ‘Nigerian music dot com’ as requested by one member of the audience, he said, “truth of the matter is that if you look at all the examples given, they are all private-driven”, adding that to sustain any of such, they must have a pure public motive.

“Government is the poorest businessman you will ever find and that is why I certainly do not support the idea of government investing in those things,” he said, stressing also that what government could do was to see if it could get funding for private sector individuals, who want to invest.

 

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Travel & Tourism

Uber hopes to expand its bus system to Lagos

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Uber is hoping to expand its imprint on public transportation in Africa’s largest city.

The ride-hailing firm is working on plans to help develop a bus system for Lagos, a gridlocked metropolis with over 20 million people. Company representatives have met with transport officials from the city, toured the terminals of the newly-launched smart city buses, and discussed plans for collaboration, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits confirmed to Quartz Africa on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town.

In June, Uber’s chief business officer Brook Entwistle visited the city and met with the Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Any plans would require full approval and collaboration by the state government which is known for its proclivity for bureaucratic control.

The moves are indicative of Uber’s plan to become the “Amazon” for transportation and tap into riders’ preferred mobility options. It’s also part of a strategy to add into its array of locally-popular forms of motorized transport, given the roll-out of boda-boda motorcycles in cities like Kampala, three-wheeled tuk-tuks in Dar es Salaam, or quick-trip, low-cost options on fuel-efficient vehicles in Nairobi. The e-hailing firm has also been partnering with transit agencies in cities to expand transportation access, decrease car ownership, and reduce congestion.

The bus options offer a “huge opportunity,” Lits said, given millions of people across the continent use them to move on a daily basis. In Lagos, about 80% of total daily passenger trips as of 2015 were made by public transport dominated by buses.

One option Uber could consider for the city is to offer real-time transit information and cashless ticketing on the Lagos Bus Services, allowing riders to plan their journeys and buy tickets. Traffic is a major challenge in Lagos with inadequate traffic guidance, bad roads, and unruly drivers making it all the worse. The city also does not yet have a modern light railway system for regular commuters though it is building one.

“I think the bus will prove to be a game-changer for Lagos and is obviously very much needed,” Lits said. He also added city officials were “excited” by the prospects of partnership. “It is a longer-term engagement but it is something we are willing to do and I think grateful for the willingness on the other side.”

The ride-hailing giant has launched similar experiments in cities including Denver, where commuters can buy, book and pay for bus and train rides using an in-app ticketing service

Six years after launching in Africa, Uber has been constantly adapting its business models to the needs of local markets amid competition from rivals. For example, African cities, led by Nairobi and Lagos, played a key role in driving Uber’s global strategy around cash. Last December, the San Francisco-based company launched its first bus service globally in Cairo: another traffic-clogged city where local firm SWVL was already using technology to help customers reserve seats on clean, air-conditioned, and high-quality buses.

After raising about $80 million in the past two years, SWVL has now expanded to Kenya and Pakistan and is looking to move into Nigeria, South Africa, and Côte d’Ivoire, chief executive Mostafa Kandil recently told Quartz. In Kenya, Safaricom-backed Little also launched a bus service to bring order to the unruly public matatu buses.”

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Travel & Tourism

Nigerians to pay more for US visa

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The U.S. government has announced that it is imposing a ‘reciprocity fee’ on Nigerians seeking to travel to the United States. The new fee will only apply to Nigerians whose visa request has been approved.

The announcement was made in a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja. The new fee ranges from $80 to $110 (28,8000 to N39,600) depending on the type of visa being applied for.

“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application,” the embassy said.

The embassy added that the fee was being imposed to reciprocate a similar one by the Nigerian government on Americans seeking to travel to Nigeria.

“U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible.”

The U.S. is a major destination for thousands of Nigerians who travel annually for various reasons including education, leisure, and work.

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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Wizkid Breaks a New Record on Spotify

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Afropop star, Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid has become the first African artist to hit eight million monthly streams on Spotify. Spotify is an online, music streaming platform that pays royalties based on the number of artists streams as a proportion of total songs streamed.


The streaming records revealed Wizkid’s popularity on the platform on Monday.

The previous record was held by Congolese rapper and singer, Maitre Gims. He had seven million monthly listeners.

This win follows Wizkid’s recent collaboration with DJ Spinall and Tiwa Savage on ‘Dis Love’.
The singer also featured on ‘Like,’ a new single by British-Ghanaian rapper and singer, Kojo Funds.

The music star is also the first African artist to walk the runway at a Dolce and Gabbana fashion show while his music `Soco’ played at the background.

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