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Abia State govt. commence on giving free daily meal in primary school

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Abia State government has kicked off a free primary schools lunch programme aimed at giving the pupils free meal daily in all public primary schools.

The programme, according to the government, would help “meet the basic nutritional needs of children and expand the opportunity to reach their full potential and significantly enhance the academic performance of the children.” The programme is to feed a total number of 136, 258 pupils, who will consume 408, 774 fresh eggs, 51, 09, 670 grammes of ofada rice and 68, 120, 000 grammes of beans, weekly.

Flagging off the first phase of the programme at Ntigha primary school in Isiala Ngwa North council, weekend, Governor Ikpeazu said the initiative was borne out of a genuine desire to invest in children who are the future leaders.

He said that he understood what it meant to go to school on an empty stomach as well as the pains some parents went through to provide meals for their children, saying that under the scheme, every pupil in Abia was sure of at least one meal a day.

Ikpeazu lamented tons of food that end up in the dust bin on daily basis by the affluent while some children go hungry due to lack and stressed the need to bridge the gap.

Environmental Changes: Akwa Ibom govt drags stakeholders to Capital to deal with challenges

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Climate change is said to have inevitably become the defining issue in Akwa Ibom State on account of the state seriously facing various forms of environmental degradation attributable to its geographical location and other natural and human induced factors.
According to the state Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Iniobong Ene Essien, worse hit by the development, which has impacted negatively on various sectors of the state’s economy, are some coastal and riverine communities in the state many of which have already been forced to relocate due to excessive sea level rise and attendant flooding. Speaking at the World Media Chat on the First Akwa Ibom State Climate Change and Clean Energy Mega Summit/Expo 2016 at the weekend, the Commissioner who was represented by Mr. Samuel Bassey of the Governor’s Office in Lagos, however, assured that the state government through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has since risen to the occasion in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

As indicated by the state Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Iniobong Ene Essien, more terrible hit by the advancement, which has affected adversely on different parts of the state’s economy, are some beach front and riverine groups in the state a significant number of which have as of now been compelled to migrate because of exorbitant ocean level ascent and orderly flooding.

Talking at the World Media Chat on the First Akwa Ibom State Climate Change and Clean Energy Mega Summit/Expo 2016 at the weekend, the Commissioner who was spoken to by Mr. Samuel Bassey of the Governor’s Office in Lagos, in any case, guaranteed that the state government through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has following adapted to present circumstances in tending to the difficulties postured by environmental change.

Environmental change In his words: ”In reacting to the environmental change challenge, the state has proactively set up measures went for handling the effect of environmental change. To facilitate the exercises, the state government has set up a multi-State Technical Committee on Climate Change, STCC, to drive the procedure of environmental change exercises in the state”. He didn’t stop there. ”As such, the battle to secure, save and set up our surroundings for the normal mechanical transformation has been genuinely won, This has been conceivable through the successful execution of different environment-accommodating arrangements. Case in point, with the reintroduction of the month to month sanitation and appropriate waste administration framework, the state have recorded stamped change in keeping our surroundings clean. ”In our exertion and genuine endeavor at swinging waste to riches, the organization of Mr Udom Emmanuel has adapted its vitality into reusing of waste as an option method for deriving focused business sector items from the enormous waste produced in the state. An effective exertion towards accomplishing this sought objective will give livelihood and produce wage to its natives,” he submitted. On the summit with the topic, ”Charting A Roadmap for Sustainable Environment and Creation of Green Jobs” and which is planned to hold from July 26 to 28, 2016 in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital, Essien educated that it will stay an all partners conceptualizing and arrangement looking for sessions that would advantage the human and common habitat in Nigeria and past. He added that it would draw in a social affair of specialists, educated people and real partners in the earth/environmental change, in vital and abnormal state sessions to address remarkable issues, produce new thoughts and methodologies and diagram a guide to battle the scourge of environmental change in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta zone.

Seme Border Customs to operate at 30 percent capacity

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The Seme Border Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) said it is currently operating at 30 percent capacity due to dilapidated infrastructure and unwholesome practices.

Disclosing to members of the House Representative Committee on Customs, Customs Area Comptroller, CAC, of the command, Mr. Victor Dimka said that officers of the Command were living in squalor as lack of accommodation has dampened the morale of officers.

Dimka said that officers now live in the houses of smugglers, adding that this has made them to compromise on many fronts. He explained that the absence of a baggage hall, power, and lack of inter-connectivity between Nigeria and Benin Republic has made it impossible to have the true manifest of goods coming into Nigeria from Benin. Some of the challenges militating against command’s operation includes the improper implementation of the agreement arrived at on the handing over of transit goods and vehicles to Nigeria Customs by Benin Customs.

The Customs’ boss also said that the violation of Direct Trader Input, (DTI) by importers and agents has made declarations to be captured with little or no payment made to Customs coffers. His words: “The non-completion of the ECOWAS building that has been under renovation for a long time has impacted negatively on our operations as well. “Absence of baggage hall to ensure efficient baggage assessment and provide efficient control of human and vehicular movement in and out of Nigeria, as well as the dilapidated and sorry state of the Badagry Express road.”

In his reaction to the issues raised by the Customs Comptroller, Chairman, House Committee on Customs, Rufai Ahmed Chachangi said that the Committee is aware that officers of the service are underpaid. He told the Comptroller to put the challenges faced by the command in writing and forward same to the Committee for action.

Godwin Obaseki reconciled’ Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu

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Central to their partial political reconciliation is the alleged inclination of both men for the aspiration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki to emerge as the governorship candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Governor Adams Osihomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who fell out just after the governor’s re-election in 2012, have been partially reconciled by circumstances, leading political figures close to both men have claimed.

Several sources close to both men confirmed to News-sources that the two men are separately pushing for Obaseki, the chairman of the Edo State Economic Team to emerge as the candidate of the APC.

However, that is where both men seem to have reached a convergence, sources close to the governor revealed. Oshiomhole is pushing wholeheartedly for Obaseki to emerge as the candidate of the APC despite the reservation of some of his aides and members of his cabinet.

Ize-Iyamu, who is the leading aspirant in the PDP, is also said to be urging his friends working in the Oshiomhole government to prod him, (governor) to do more to ensure Obaseki triumphs in the forthcoming governorship primary this weekend.

Ize-Iyamu’s support for Obaseki a source told reporters is, however, self-centered as he believes that Oshiomhole’s favourite aspirant would be the easiest for him to beat in the main election. “You can’t believe it, Ize-Iyamu and I still talk from time to time and he is urging us to tell comrade not to relent in his support for Obaseki mainly because he and many of us know that Obaseki is no match for him,” the Oshiomhole associate and a top official of the Edo State Government told News-sources.

How to know the right agent to sell your property

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Are you are looking forward to buy or sell property around, opt for an agent with credentials in place. But how do you know which way to go and how to recognize the right agent to help you sell your property. This article explains how to go about that.

For many, it’s once-in-a-lifetime decision. Before getting into a real estate deal, it’s vital to zero in on a good agent; someone who is experienced, understands your requirements, has a thorough knowledge of the market and conducts himself in an ethical way.

The National Housing Bank (NHB) has been trying to bring all brokers under one umbrella for some time now. In Pune, Estate Agents’ Association of Pune (EAAP) ensures that all registered agents builders developers consolidate their knowledge about the industry. So, if you are looking to buy or sell in the city, ensure your agent is a part of EAAP.

Govind Bhagchandani, president, EAAP, says, “There is transparency within the association. Our agents specialise in buying, selling and leasing of various types of real estate such as flats, offices, shops, bungalows, buildings, plots, land, farm houses, god owns, restaurants, hotels and houses. Users will benefit if their agent who is working on the brokerage is a member of EAAP. It brings credibility to agents and if users have trouble in their dealings, they can always reach us.”

Now that you know what makes a good realty agent, let’s get on with how you can find a good one. Follow the pointers below.

Well-versed with the market: This is the key to a good bargain. Your agent needs to know all the rules and regulations in the city and state as well besides the latest property developments. A licensed agent brings credibility to the table. The trick to identify a good agent is when you list out your needs and he, in turn, is able to give you recommendations galore. A good agent is always in touch with developers, builders and owners, therefore, giving suggestions should be easy.

Conversant with realty terms: For a first time buy er, legal terms could be intimidating. This is where good real estate agents step in. So even if you are unaware of the realty terms and their significance, you have an agent to guide you through it.

Meenakshi Gursahaney, an HR professional at an IT conglomerate, says, “When we were buying a house in Pune, we faced some problems in the beginning. The first agent we hired was a local one and seemed confident. We almost invested in a property, which did not have all clearances. Thankfully, one of my colleagues guided me in time.

We immediately changed our agent, who was able to steer us through terms like NOC (No Objection Certificate), Commencement Certificate etc”

Proficient in legal and financial matters: Hire someone who understands and helps you understand encumbrances, carpet and super area, building and development permits. He should guide you through the legality of the property, whether you can avail home loans, additional costs in the form of municipal charges and transaction costs. He also needs to have a working knowledge of the basic structural sufficiency norms for the area of operations.

Ask for references: The easiest way to be assured of picking the right agent is asking for references. A good agent will always have clients who are willing to give a reference. Take some time out and call the references to know their reason behind choosing this particular agent; what could the agent have done better while making a transaction; or ask for advice on things you should watch out for. This might be a time consuming task, but definitely worth the effort.

Opt for real estate agents with rock-solid reputation. Keep researching on the do’s and don’ts at your end as well. Don’t shy away while dictating your needs and terms. Before approaching them, you need to be clear of what you are looking at. Once you have penned them down, don’t stop till you get something which fits the bill.

Super ways to become more financially knowledgeable

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A money expert (Kimberly Palmer) as well as the parent of two young children, she views attention to a family’s finances as vital as that yearly checkup for kids. She was a mom on a mission.

Palmer, who for a decade was senior money editor at U.S. News & World Report, offers advice in her book, now out in paperback, “Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family.” We spoke with the author to learn more about her perspective and for tips on becoming more financially savvy.

Q: Why did you write a book specifically for moms?

Palmer: I have written about money for 10 years. I’ve always noticed since becoming a mom that so much of the advice aimed at us is all about coupon codes and discounts and saving small amounts of money. It’s always bothered me. I felt there was a big, gaping hole of money advice for moms that misses the bigger picture: the more important things we do to save and invest for college and retirement, and taking out insurance policies to protect our families, and asking about workplace opportunities like flex spending accounts that can save hundreds of dollars a year. I want people to focus on those bigger wealth builders.

Q: In your book you mention the need for women to take control of their finances.

A: As moms we’re so busy, and it’s making sure we prioritize and put our effort and our time into things that can pay off later. If you look at research and surveys, in a lot of cases women hand over control of investments and savings to their partners.

This is a big problem because chances are that at some point we as moms will be solely responsible for our family finances due to life circumstances like divorce and women tending to outlive husbands. We should embrace that now so we’re ready for that and we’re prepared for life’s twists and turns. I’m a huge advocate of moms knowing where the money is and how it is invested.

Q: Do you think some women are just happier handing over that responsibility?

A: We are busy and we have a ton to do and it’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just easier. I admit in my book that I did not even have the password to our Excel spreadsheet that has all our accounts listed. I realized this is a huge mistake. I need to not only have the password, but also to have the spreadsheet on my computer, too. Yes, it is hard. It’s another thing to add, but it is crucial to the family and it could determine whether or not you are protected in the case of something unexpected. It’s as important as taking your kid to the pediatrician for a yearly checkup and making sure you are taking care of your own health.

Q: You mention the need to set an example for our children, especially daughters.

A: Our kids are watching us so closely. Even if we are not talking about money, they see how we handle it, how we interact with it. One fact that is disturbing: a T. Rowe Price survey showed that boys say they are better with money and more comfortable with money than girls. Even at a young age, there are these gender differences. Moms have a huge role to play in counteracting this tendency.

Q: What if the dad is the one working and the mom is home with the kids?

A: That does not mean moms can’t show that they need to know how to think about money and talk about it. The mom can explain at the grocery store — “Let’s compare these prices.” We can say, “We are not going out to dinner so we can save for vacation.” Just talking through the choices, making it transparent — it teaches them so much.

Q: What is the biggest money mistake new moms make?

A: Spending so much money on setting up the nursery and [following] all the baby guide lists. I made this mistake, too, as a new mom, but the baby is not noticing the clothes he or she is wearing and how well you decorate the nursery. Instead, put $500 into a college savings account the year your baby is born.

Q: What was the most surprising thing you discovered during your research for this book?

A: One of the facts from the research is that you can really pinpoint the cycle of a gender difference when it comes to money. From childhood, boys and girls already report feeling differently about money. Then you can trace it to their 20s, where by then men are earning more and investing more than women. Then by the time they are parents, that explains why there is such a difference as to why men are so often managing the money and why they are making those decisions. It’s a cycle we need to break.

Q: Building wealth is such an overwhelming topic; some people might just want to ignore it.

A: My advice it is to break it down step by step and do one small step at a time so you are slowly working your way to where you want to be.

Q: What’s a good first step for parents?

A: Open a 529 account for each child you have. By just opening that account and saying every quarter you are going to try to put in whatever you can afford — $50, $200, whatever you can manage. If you slowly build it, it will help you so much when they are ready to go to college. Starting when they are young can pay off big time.

Q: It can be hard to save even a small amount.

A: However small it needs to be — just get that account opened. Then it doesn’t even have to be from your budget. Maybe a family member asks what your child wants for Christmas or a birthday and maybe they will want to put $100 into that account. When you have that account open, you have that opportunity. Family members like knowing they are contributing to that future need. It can be a win-win for everyone.

Q: In your book you mention having a “rich life.”

A: It’s about so much more than money. The times I feel the richest have nothing to do with checking my bank account. I have negotiated the flexibility I need at work. I made the choices to give myself a free afternoon to spend baking with my daughter. It’s all about making choices that let you live the life you want to live. It’s so much more than money. At the same time, it goes back to money — if we make smart choices about money, then we can have that free afternoon with our kids. It gives us that power.

Simple ways to achieve being a better Mother to Your Daughter

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Children are incredible, however there is something unique about the mother/little daughters bond. What’s more, there are particular difficulties and challenges as well as joys when raising daughters. Yes, open doors for young ladies have never been more prominent, however numerous adolescent little girls pull far from their mom comfortable time when they require direction and backing the most.

Two mothers in Topanga, California are attempting to help mothers stay associated with their young ladies, so they will feel good and safe discussing all the issues that can come up as they trip through youth to wind up upbeat and solid grown-ups.

Spiritual psychologist and family counselor, Kamakshi Hart, stepmother to a 9-year-old daughter, and art teacher Jenny Griffiths, mother to two teenage girls, are members of mother-daughter project groups.

They were surprised how many mothers they talked to felt alone and unsupported, and were struggling to help their daughters thrive during adolescence instead of just surviving it. So Hart and Griffiths formed Moms Raising Girls. In their workshops, they found a crucial need to dispel the myths of the supermom and the perfect daughter, and recommend that the mother should become a consultant rather than a manager of her teenage daughter’s life, and to trust her.

“The most important thing we can do for our daughters is to make sure they keep talking to us,” Griffiths said. “When daughters see their mothers making an effort to connect, they really appreciate it.”

Mothers are often out of touch with what their daughters and their friends are going through. Twenty-four percent of 14 to 17-year-olds know at least one student who has been the victim of dating violence, yet 81 percent of parents either believe teen dating violence is not as issue or admit they don’t know if it is an issue. 1

Having survived childhood cruelty and sex abuse, Hart has an extra sensitivity to trauma. “Moms sometimes unconsciously project tremendous fear on their daughters and want them to hide in a closet once they reach puberty. There’s a tendency in our culture to marginalize abuse and think it only happens when you’re walking in a bad neighborhood.”

This is just a small aspect of what they cover in their eight-week workshops. The moms get support, plus practical ideas and tools to understand what’s going on with young girls and what they’re up against in today’s society.

Art projects led by Griffiths are surprisingly popular. “There is a general resistance to doing art from people who don’t think of themselves as artistic, but it’s a profound opportunity to get to the bottom of feelings and issues. We’re usually more verbal as a culture and to express something with color and image creates a whole other dimension. It’s actually best if you’re not good at art because you need to be intuitive.”

Western society has lost the tradition of rituals. Hart and Griffiths take their moms on a hike to reconnect with Mother Earth, where all the women have a chance to let go of negative thoughts and patterns. They throw rocks over the hillside and release resentments and judgments, but also say out loud what they do want. A common wish is to be more compassionate and become the best mom they can be.

One group had a night-time experience where they lay on blankets and looked up at the stars as Griffiths read aloud the tale of the Greek goddess Demeter, who lost her daughter Persephone to the dark side. There’s a happy ending; mother and daughter are finally reunited. The lesson is that sometimes we have to let our daughters follow the wrong path and make mistakes, but they usually come back to us in the end. The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open and the conversation going.

“The moms felt they were being nurtured as they were being read to. It was extremely powerful,” said Hart. “It’s heartbreaking to me that many mothers feel they aren’t getting it right and are so hard on themselves.”

Mothers, aunts and grandmothers are welcome at these workshops (which are geared toward moms with daughters aged 8 to 14), but no one is turned away. It doesn’t matter if a girl turns to her mother, aunt, grandmother or family friend in time of need, as long as she knows she has a loving and nurturing female figure to lean on.

Reasons Why Some People Love Their spouse more than their kids

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The issue is the growing expectation that your children should be your whole life, not merely part of it, with no days off. Finch made the mistake of not only having a life outside motherhood, but actually celebrating her choice.

Look through some profiles on Instagram or Twitter and you’ll see a lot of individuals, generally ladies, announcing “I live for my kids” or “my children are my beginning and end” as though these are ordinary, solid approaches to live. They aren’t.

Look, I like my children quite a bit. They’re some of the best ones I’ve ever met, if I do say so myself. (And I do.) But just as I hope they never say “my mom is my entire life,” they’re not mine, either.

I have hobbies, I have friends, I enjoy travel (without them sometimes) and I love my husband. If I want them to be functioning, well-rounded adults, it’s something I have to emulate for them and not just immerse myself in their lives at the expense of my own. I want to model healthy behavior for my children.

It’s a good thing, too, because there’s a growing body of evidence that this all-encompassing devotion to kids isn’t such a good thing at all.

Miriam Liss, a psychologist at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, conducted a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies on so-called “intensive parenting” and found that “women who believed that parenting should be child-centered had reduced life satisfaction.”

This makes sense. Who knows less about parenting than children? Yet we put up with faddish notions like “child-centered parenting” because we want to give our children everything and win some imaginary “best parent award” due to how much we’ve sacrificed. And if you let your children lead your parenting, there will be sacrifice.

It’s not good for the child, either, obviously.

“Helicopter parenting” is a term that most people understand to be derogatory — but it’s a first cousin of the intensive parenting we’ve come to expect ourselves and others to practice. If you’re meeting every single need of your child, you’re probably neglecting your own.

The same University of Mary Washington study found that trying to be this kind of perfect parent led to depression in mothers. How could it not? Subjugating our lives for another’s never seems like a mentally healthy option, even if you birthed the other person.

David Code wrote a book in 2010 on the subject called “To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First.” He notes, “as we break our backs for our kids, our marriage and self-fulfillment go out the window while our kids become more demanding and dissatisfied.”

When your children eventually leave you — and if you’ve done your job right, that’s exactly what they’ll do — they’ll need to have already learned how to deal with their increased independence. Just as importantly, it will help the parents adjust back into being independent, too.

Statistics show a spike in divorce rates for empty nesters in the last decade. It might be because this newfangled parenting has them dedicating all of their energy to their children and not to each other.

A happy family starts with happy parents. And happy parents will need some time off from their children.

6 Repeated Mistakes Women make in Marriage

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Why do most people prefers to blame their spouses whenever things go wrong? It’s so easy to fall into this destructive habit and often as women and wives. We can find ourselves pointing fingers even with our eyes closed. But if we just take a moment to think carefully and to be really honest, we will soon see that as wives we make mistakes too. Here are some of the most frequent ones:

1. Seeing your husband as another child

A small step further down the slope from putting children first is treating your husband as another child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe this makes you feel like “supermom” but it is very disrespectful towards the man who in fact fathered your children. No matter how much your husband’s parenting skills may be lacking in your opinion, seeing him as your second or third child is not going to improve matters at all. Sometimes the shoe can be on the other foot and the wife is treated by her husband like another child in the home. This is usually a sign of abuse and unless resolved usually ends unhappily.

2. Giving the children first place

We all adore our children; that is clear. But there can be a problem when hubby gets pushed aside in favour of the little ones. It won’t be long before he gets the message that he’s just not as important anymore if you consistently choose to spend time and energy on the children, putting their needs over his and your own. Remember, in a few short years the children will be grown and flown out of the nest and then you and your husband will be alone together again.

3. Not setting boundaries with in-laws

In-laws are a controversial topic at the best of times. If firm boundaries are not set right from the start, untold havoc can be wrecked in a marriage. Remember, first and foremost you married each other and not each other’s families. Yes, families and parents will always have an extremely important role in our lives, but they also have their place and should not be allowed to come in and encroach on areas of privacy and decision making which should belong to the couple alone.

4. Not learning to fight right

Lack of conflict resolution skills is perhaps one of the number one reasons for the disintegration of marriages. Whether it is stonewalling or yelling uncontrollably or both, these kinds of behaviour can be extremely corrosive to any marriage. Learning to fight right is a skill that needs to be honed with commitment and determination if you want your marriage to thrive. It requires time, effort and willingness on both sides to sit and talk through difficulties, with respect and love.
5. Not meeting intimacy needs

This can swing both ways, but generally as a wife there can be times in your marriage, especially with young children, when you feel pretty exhausted. The last thing you may feel like is making love, while for your husband it may quite likely be the first thing. Within reason, if this becomes a regular pattern of consistently not meeting his intimacy needs, it can mean a slow death for your marriage.

6. Needing to be in control

This is a tough one – who’s the boss?! Often it’s the little everyday things (as well as the bigger things) where we women often seem to need that last word. Why is it so hard to admit when he may have a better idea? If we would just step back and allow that man we married to make those wise decisions of which he is probably very capable we may be in for some pleasant surprises. It is worth remembering, marriage is not the place to compete, but rather to complete one another.

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