Nigeria set to launch second satellite into orbit to enhance communications

Nigeria has mapped out strategies to launch a second satellite (Sat 2) into the orbit to enhance the communications status of the nation. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami disclosed this during a one-day facility visit and interaction with the staff of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) in Lugbe, Abuja, stressing that President Mohammadu Buhari has given approval for the purchase of the Satellite.

Nigeria set to launch second satellite into orbit to enhance communications

The Minister, who noted that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 Budget however did not disclose the amount approved and how many satellites are to be purchased. Sources indicate that the Federal government has allocated about of N2.5 billion for Satellite 2 project in the 2022 budget estimate. In 2011 Nigeria launched that existing Sat1R, with a life span of 15 years which will expire in the next four years. Also, the minister said he had approved establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT, as part of the ongoing effort to revive the institution back to the part of progress and productivity.

"Since 2019, I have been so passionate about the success of NIGCOMSAT starting with the suspension of the privatization of NIGCOMSAT. As a matter of fact, I have secured the approval of Mr President for purchasing of another Satellite. I went further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 budget. I have also approved establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT as part of efforts to revive the company and make it innovative and productive."

Pantami, who told the staff of the company that the innovation in the agency is not enough and needs to be improved upon, charged them to turn the institution around in order to justify the suspension of the proposed privatization plan. He said, "Core values should be the guiding principle that must be adopted without compromise, to ensure that any institution is successful. You need to be customer centric, discover the failure of services before they realize it, fix the problem and come up with innovative ideas. The innovation in the agency is not enough and needs to be improved upon

"You need to change your perception because you are not part of core civil servants; you are a company and should by far be above civil servants. One of the reasons our civil service has been failing is that feeling that we are government employees, we have nothing to lose and whatever happens, we will be paid our salaries. There are other companies that are ready to come up and start providing similar services with you. The efforts made to stop privatization if NIGCOMSAT is for the good of the company and for the good of the country."

BMW Motorrad reveals R 18 M and R 18 Aurora at the Verona Motor Bike Expo.

The Verona Motor Bike Expo has been the perfect stage to bring to the eyes of Italian and European enthusiasts two exclusive motorcycle customization projects based on the iconic BMW R 18. These are the result of the collaboration of BMW Motorrad Italy and its dealer network with some of the historical players of this world. The R 18 M is a project developed by Italian Magazine LowRide and created by American Dreams. The R 18 Aurora, was created by Garage 221 that was engaged by BMW Motorrad Roma.

BMW Motorrad reveals R 18 M and R 18 Aurora at the Verona Motor Bike Expo.

M is the letter that distinguished the sport versions of BMW four-wheeled models, and today it also includes two-wheeled vehicles. The source of inspiration for the BMW R 18 M project by the editorial staff of LowRide is the following: the idea is to give the BMW Cruiser a more streamlined and sportier look, avoiding exaggerations and especially without forgetting the reference to the BMW R 18 retro lines.
Stability, long wheelbase and readiness of the 1800 cc big boxer instigate lightning starts and deserve, a sporty and retro look. In the R 18 M design, we find suggestions from BMW Motorrad tradition and cues from the four-wheelers: M stands for Motorsport. 

The work has focused on chassis, suspension set-up, bodywork, and accessories, leaving mechanics and electronics unchanged as the natural strengths of the R 18. Lightened and with a different riding position, the BMW R 18 M promises to be even more fun to ride:  The R 18 M project was made possible by BMW Italia and was born in the wake of the emotions that this bike can give: a fun cruiser, powerful and lively, with a big heart and an infinite torque. LowRide has involved some of the best Italian craftsmanship and companies specialized in the sector. 

The realization of the sketches was entrusted to designer Oberdan Bezzi, already a partner of LowRide in the past. He has managed to make it an exciting power cruiser without upsetting the essence of the BMW R 18. American Dreams handled the assembly and coordinated the work; Elaboratorio, specializing in prototyping and modeling, created tail, tip and fiberglass windshield from scratch. Carbon Italy handled the head covers, intake ducts, and other carbon fiber details. The short exhaust pipe, designed to make the line more compact and allow greater lean angles, bears the signature of ER Exhaust Revolution. 

The short exhaust pipes also give greater prominence to the splendid uncovered nickel-plated shaft, an evocative detail that deserves to be highlighted. L.R. Leather covered the saddle in leather, while the paintwork was entrusted to Dox Art Factory. Rizoma provided mirrors, grips, and universal indicators for the accessories, perfectly in line with the bike's character.

The idea and desire of Garage 221 to create a custom bike based on the BMW R 18 found its origins a while ago, at the presentation of the bike at EICMA 2019. The lines of the new BMW cruiser, innovative and at the same time faithfully traditional, deserved "complementary elements and an even more Heritage spirit, starting from the soft lines of the tank to the characteristic shapes of the boxer," in the opinion of Pier Francesco Marchio of Garage 221.

The project initially focused on the study of the different sections of the bike, keeping in mind the need to connect the new elements in a unique harmony of lines, taking inspiration from the cruisers of the 1970s, which have always particularly involved Pier Francesco for their impressive aesthetic fluidity. Distinctive elements of the BMW R 18 Aurora by Garage 221 are the wraparound fenders and adherent to the wheel, like the "batwing", to leave space and thus highlight the central area of the bike.

The modifications that led to the R 18 Aurora stem from Garage 221's experience in the BMW world and indeed all used elements come from other models of BMW Motorrad. The saddle was borrowed in its entirety from a BMW 1200 C of 2005, the Batwing supports were made using the supports for indicators of a BMW R 100 of 1982 and a part of the rear frame of a BMW K 75 of 1991. Even for the color of the body, the code of a 1983 BMW RT 100 was taken as a reference, customizing the graphics in its shades and intensity. The front and rear fender supports, saddle supports, and license plate holder arms are entirely handmade.

The exhaust pipes were made in collaboration with Leo Vince, taking particular care of the sound, to make it even more full-bodied and captivating. Their design has been specifically studied to give a very personal and muscular line to the central part of the R 18. The R 18 Aurora's oil cooler grille gives a classy natural touch, inspired by the grille of BMW's cars from the 1960s. The textured paintwork of the cylinder head covers, the injection housings, the central crankcase and the oil cooler grille make everything look homogeneous, creating a unique effect with the cylinder block and the bevel gear.

Guinea-Bissau President leads Expo 2020 Dubai National Day celebrations

Guinea-Bissau celebrated its Expo 2020 National Day on 12 January with a visit from His Excellency Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, who spoke of the inspiration the UAE provides to Africa’s ‘shining star’ and other emerging economies across the continent. Umaro Sissoco Embaló was welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Guinea-Bissau President leads Expo 2020 Dubai National Day celebrations

Umaro Sissoco Embaló said: "Expo 2020 Dubai deserves our recognition in fulfilling this giant event in spite of the limitations of COVID-19. The UAE’s persistence in harnessing its own resources to reinvent itself in such a short period of time serves as an example for all. It is an honour to be here and to represent Guinea-Bissau and the development of the African continent as a whole and we are here to extend African friendship with the Emirates. With our pavilion located in the Opportunity District, our country of 1,000 rivers demonstrates the sustainable practices of the Republic, as well as how active our people have been in order to overcome our adversities and to be active agents in sustainable development."

Sheikh Nahayan said: "Guinea-Bissau’s pavilion provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the country’s past and future plans, and to discover the vast opportunities offered across various sectors, such as agri-tech, and how communities use innovative technologies to harvest, process and distribute produce globally. Thanks to the endless possibilities that Expo 2020 offers, we are excited at the prospects of forging new partnerships with Guinea-Bissau across various fields of mutual interest, thereby expanding our bilateral relations for the benefit of both our countries."

Guinea-Bissau’s pavilion at Expo introduces this small country to the world. Africa’s diversity of peoples, cultures, landscapes and wildlife is well known, but Guinea-Bissau represents a microcosm, with all of these qualities packed into a single nation. This rich diversity is on display as visitors wander through the pavilion, learning about the country’s ambitions and eco-friendly tourism.

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming. Each features a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by speeches and cultural performances. Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

South Africa parliament building in Cape Town catches fire

A large fire has severely damaged the Houses of Parliament in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Video footage showed a plume of black smoke filling the sky, with huge flames coming out from the roof of the building. President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the scene and called it a terrible and devastating event. A man was being held and questioned by the authorities, he said. The blaze, which began shortly after 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT), came the day after Archbishop Desmond Tutu's state funeral at St George's Cathedral, near parliament. 

South Africa parliament building in Cape Town catches fire

Praising firefighters, Mr. Ramaphosa said they had responded to the fire in six minutes. Without their intervention the National Assembly would have been reduced to ashes, he added.  Dozens of firefighters battled the flames. Officials later said that the entire parliamentary complex was severely damaged. It is also reported that nobody is injured and there's no indication of what may have started it. 

Fire and rescue service officials said it could take several more hours to put the fire out completely because of the carpets and wooden floors in the building. The parliament is not currently in session because of the holidays. The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town are made up of three sections, with the oldest dating back to 1884. The newer sections built in the 1920s and 1980s house the National Assembly.
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