Sophia Ogezi

Sophia Ogezi

Occupation: Broadcasting, Presentation,programming, Packaging of documentary and more. 

Hobbies: Traveling, Experience on the job:2000 till date and the experience has been rewarding and highly impact full.

Schools attended: Federal Polytechnic Kaduna, (KadPoly). 

OPINION
Three months ago, the Minister for Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, revealed that the Ministry was at the verge of presenting the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) bill to the Federal Executive Council. According to him, the bill aims to professionalize the film sector and bring it in line with global best practices.
I was not moved by this yet another ministerial posturing because, Maku's predecessor in office, Prof. Dora Akunyili, made so much hullabaloo about being in possession of the original draft MOPICON bill and indeed, in her characteristic manner, vowed to ensure the passage of the bill by the National Assembly.
She never did. This is why I wonder if any stakeholder in Nollywood believes Maku. For me, the much talked about MOPICON is gradually but steadily replicating the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill in terms of checkered historical antecedents.
Let me historicize, albeit in capsule. In 2006, the Nigerian Film Corporation set up a steering committee for MOPICON. The committee, which was made up of what was then considered as elected representatives of all sectors of the motion picture industry in Nigeria, actually generated the much talked about draft MOPICON bill.

Recently, Africa Leadership Forum published an article on Nigeria, looking for the good in our corrupt nation. It states that: “Nigeria’s image over the years has been negatively affected by stories of corruption, mismanagement, fraud and other forms of crime reported in local and international media. Indeed, acts of criminality are even celebrated by a section of the Nigerian public, giving the impression that the nation is one of thieves and crooks. For anyone without any direct contact with Nigeria or Nigerians, it would seem that ours is a cesspit of value atrophy.”  This is no hyperbole, in fact it is even a toned-down description of the calamities we as Nigerians wake up to every morning. We read in our newspapers tales of corruption in high places, misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, conniving, violence, rape, armed robbery, scarcity, power failure, rituals and kidnappings.

Saturday, 17 August 2013 00:00

Timbuktu: The End of Tourism?

Mali’s crisis may have ruinous long-term effects on the socio-economic prospects of one of the world’s most fabled cities. Northern Mali is no stranger to conflict. Decades of unsuccessful Tuareg secessionist rebellions have given it a reputation for instability and violence. Accordingly, the northern half of the country has long been designated a “red zone” by government foreign offices across the world, and Timbuktu, one of the North's three major cities, has been left largely unfrequented by tourists, despite its eminent reputation in history and legend.
Rebellion and Crisis
Timbuktu has been gravely and irreversibly affected by Mali’s current dual crisis. In order to understand how, it is worth looking at the factors that have made the latest Tuareg rebellion so different from its failed predecessors.
Firstly, the Tuareg's impressive arsenal was aided by the uprising in neighbouring Libya. The confusion of Libya's civil war helped the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) initial organiser, Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, convince Tuaregs serving in Gaddafi's military to abandon Libya and return to Mali with Libyan weaponry to launch a rebellion.

Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00

Copa Lagos targets tourism

The Sand Eagles may have won on the pitch at the inaugural Copa Lagos 2011 but the organisers of the event believe that the real winner was the Nigerian tourism industry. And at this they are working to make the 2012 event a bigger one for the industry. According to figures released by the organisers, the annual three-day beach soccer tournament, which held December 2011, added an estimated value of $1.3m to the Nigerian economy as well as creating 700 temporary jobs in the country. They say it can be higher this year.
The international tournament gained global acclaim with guests such as David Dein (former Arsenal vice-chairman) and official support from the United Nations. Copa Lagos 2011 also attracted visitors and fans from Italy, Brazil, South Africa and England whose teams and officials featured in the event. The tournament also featured live performances from the very best of African artistes such as WizKid, NaetoC, Davido, Ikechuku, Sauce Kid and Skales and a fashion show parading international and home grown designers. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was part of the event said, “This has a really good initiative for Lagos State and we are proud of it.”

Green Globe Certification associate, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), has produced a guide to help hoteliers understand human trafficking and forced labor – what it is, how it may affect them and what actions they can take to reduce the risk of trafficking in their businesses.Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, aiming at exploiting them. It often - but not always - involves people being taken from one country to another, where they are subject to sexual exploitation, forced labor or other types of servitude. In short - it is modern day slavery. This is a relevant topic for hoteliers, because it may be guests or staff at the hotel who are victims of this abuse.

Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00

AGBIM: HOW IKER CASILLAS ENCOURAGED ME

Home Eagles first choice goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim tells IZU OKOZI how Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas encouraged him to work hard when they both met during the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. He also spoke on the team’s desire to beat CIV in CHAN qualifier next week

Q: Chigozie, now that you are in camp for preparations ahead of the second leg of the CHAN 2014 qualifier, what is the mood like amongst the players?

A: We’re ready for the game because we know that it’s not yet finished. Personally, I do not want to concede a goal in the game. We’re all looking forward to it.

Q: You’ve not been the first choice keeper in most of the top games by the team; is there any concern about this situation?

A: No, I don’t feel bad. My belief is that my time will come. Every player has his chance and mine will not pass me by.

The Indian vice Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General SK Singh, has commended the level of tourism and cultural development in Nigeria.Lieutenant General Singh stated this yesterday while leading a 5-man delegation on a courtesy call on the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Otunba Olusegun Runsewe in Abuja. He said that the visit was a follow-up to the former Indian President's visit in 2007, stressing that Nigeria and India have always had very strong ties using the meeting of Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2004 as an instance where Otunba Runsewe performed well as the organizer of the event thereby enabling Nigeria, India and Brazil to consolidate on their cordial relationship. The Indian VCOAS also expressed the desire of the Indian Government to take the relationship to the next level, saying the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the cultural relationship of both countries.

(Reuters) - U.S. safety investigators on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire this month on a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines Co (JAL) and said they were expanding the probe to look at the battery's charger and the jet's auxiliary power unit. Last week, governments across the world grounded the Dreamliner while Boeing halted deliveries after a problem with a lithium-ion battery on a second 787 plane, flown by All Nippon Airways Co (ANA), forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing in western Japan. A growing number of investigators and Boeing executives are working around the clock to determine what caused the two incidents which the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says released flammable chemicals and could have sparked a fire in the plane's electrical compartment, reports Reuters. There are still no clear answers about the root cause of the battery failures, but the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board's statement eliminated one possible answer that had been raised by Japanese investigators.
It also underscored the complexity of investigating a battery system that includes manufacturers across the world, and may point to a design problem with the battery that could take longer to fix than swapping out a faulty batch of batteries.

The 2013-2015 Beijing Action Plan, which came out of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (2012) held in Beijing, China  highlights the great progress that has been made in China-Africa tourism cooperation, especially in terms of the fast growing number of tourists between the two sides and especially the fact that Africa is becoming an emerging tourist destination for Chinese nationals, given that there has been an increase in Chinese tourists visiting Africa. It is in line with this given development that both China and Africa have agreed to continue stepping up bilateral exchanges and exchanges in tourism and ensure an effective cooperation in information sharing, tourism investment, skills training and tourism safety, amongst others.
Africa’s untapped industry: Tourism remains to be one of Africa’s major sources of revenue generation when and if fully utilized. In Kenya, the industry is reportedly by far the largest single export earner in Kenya as it forms a vital foundation for the country’s economy and it highlights two of Kenya’s most unique features: wildlife and beaches. In the East African sub region, Kenya is said to be leading its neighbors in the industry. A solid infrastructure coupled with a devotion to wildlife conservation has propelled Kenya to the forefront of the regional tourism industry.

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