Sunday, 24 March 2013

Shipping sector needs competition to grow, says Ezekwesili

Having taken a cursory look at the shipping sector, which has contended with stunted growth in Nigeria, former World Bank’s Vice President for Africa Region, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has said that it is only competition that can drive development in the shipping industry.

Ezekwesili, who delivered a paper on Financing Options for Shipping Development at the second day of the just concluded Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2013 held in Lagos, said that the sector has not opened up effectively, because the players have not formulated effective communication strategy with other players in Nigeria.

Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, also advised Nigerian ship owners to do away with sentiments and rely less on government in taking control of trading on Nigerian waters.

She advised operators in the shipping sector to drive their arguments with economic data to attract funds, while encouraging them to make use of alternative sources such as issuance of bonds to finance ship acquisition and other capital projects in the sector.

While lamenting low participation of indigenous operators, the former World Bank chief said: “Confronted with the low indigenous participation in the shipping trade, the Federal Government is, typically, planning to throw tax payers’ money down another black hole, a plan being hatched by apparatchiks for yet another special intervention fund to bail out local ship owners is misplaced and alarming in a country where such funds have been serially embezzled.

”Stimulating the maritime industry requires a more creative policy framework that will make shipping attractive to investors, ease access to cheap funding and encourage mergers.”



You know that great dark almost black, smooth and slightly bubbly drink? Is it called Supermalt?

It's sweet and it's kind of like beer might be if you don't add the yeast & hops. It's packed full of B vitamins and minerals, proteins, nutrients and antioxidants. Just what you need, right?

Supermalt is enjoyed by all ages as a natural part of a healthy diet. It is non alcoholic and famous of being highly nourishing and energizing. But is it really so healthy?

Let's have a look at its nutritional value compared to other fruit juices.

Per 100 ml*Supermalt®MilkOrange JuiceColaBeer
Calories (kJ/kcal)270/67204/49182/43168/40162/39
Fat (g)0.001.600.100.000.00
Carbohydrate (g)15.004.909.9010.102.70
Proteins (g)0.803.500.600.000.30
Vitamin B1 (mg)1.400.
Vitamin B2 (mg)0.800.
Vitamin B3 (mg)7.400.100.30-0.30
Vitamin B5 (mg)1.50----
Vitamin B6 (mg)0.700.
Vitamin C (mg)5.001.0039.000.000.00
Calcium (mg)8.00123.0010.0020.007.00
Iron (mg)

You might have noticed that in 100 ml malt drink has more carbohydrate aka sugar and calorie than in Cola. Wonder why you struggle to lose weight?

Some research suggests that sugary drinks make it harder for us to regulate the overall amount of calories eaten and a regular intake may be a factor contributing to obesity. Sugary foods and drinks can only make us gain weight if overall we eat more calories than we use for energy.

If you really want Supermalt to be a part of your healthy lifestyle. It is important that you eat a varied and well-balanced diet, get enough vitamins and minerals, and do regular physical exercise to maintain good health throughout your life.

Physical activity and good natural nutrition are key factors in leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.


I remember when I first met my Yoruba husband and asked him about his culture. He told me about respecting elders by prostrating as a boy and kneeling down as a girl. I also remember that I didn't know what prostrating meant so my husband had to lay down on the floor to show me.

Just in case if you are European and don't know what it means let me explain it to you. First look at this picture. 

The person is prostrating to the others, he's laying down, he's not shaking hands because that will be deemed disrespectful in Yoruba culture especially while greeting Royals. You can get away with not doing this "properly" in big cities or urban areas but even there you have to prostrate "halfway" . For women kneeling is the norm and just as with men women can do it "halfway" as well.

First I thought this was a bit weird but then I remembered that even Hungarian men give a slight bow when they greet older people as a sign of respect. So although it may seem quite extreme than one man lays flat before anotheraa, it is somewhat understandable. 


Food addiction is a real thing and often leads to overeating, particularly of unhealthy foods, which can cause obesity as well as increase risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. Although evidence suggests that some foods can be highly addictive some people still doubt this psychological effect.

What makes foods more addictive?

Foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt, or possibly a combination of all three. These three ingredients are thought to have addictive qualities, which may explain why addiction is more likely to occur in unhealthy junk foods compared with fruit, vegetables and lean protein.

Overeating sugar produces addictive eating behaviours, and it has similar effects on the brain as drug addiction. Sugar releases two substances ( opioids and dopamine ) in the brain, that are implicated in addictive behaviours.
Highly salted foods are also addictive as salt stimulates  - opiate and dopamine -  receptors in the brain, that is may be responsible for cravings and hunger.
Animal studies made scientists believe that foods high in fat can also cause addiction, however this addiction may differ to sugar addiction.

What are the most addictive foods?

Food addiction expert Ashley Gearhardt from the University of Michigan, a co-creator of the Yale University’s Food Addiction Scale has released a list of what she considers to be the most addictive foods in our diet.

 White Bread

Products that contain highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread are not much different from eating sugar as the carbohydrate is broken down to its more basic form, glucose, in the body very quickly. Less processed carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, take longer to break down in the body and therefore may have less of this effect.


High in fat and sugar, it is not surprising that donuts are on the list of the most addictive foods. Not only this but are they high in calories and have little nutritional value at all aside from energy.


Pasta and other carbohydrates boost tryptophan levels in the brain, which can cause sleepiness. This increase in tryptophan may also boost serotonin levels causing us to feel content, a feeling which we may be keen to replicate, leading to overeating of these types of food.


Basically sugar and fat in a pretty packet, cake is another food to offer very little nutritional benefit and have potential to be addictive. Keep them for special occasions and look for healthier sweet treats such as fruit.


High in fat, sugar and often salt too, cookies are a bit too easy to overeat. It has been suggested that even seeing foods that we find tempting can trigger dopamine release, so keep them out of sight to avoid over consuming.
Chips are a vessel for salt and fat and most people have probably experienced their addictive qualities before. Just look at the slogan for popular brand Pringles, who have gone as far as to use addictive qualities as a selling point, “Once you pop you can’t stop”.


Most of the population, particularly women, seem to find chocolate addictive in nature and indeed studies show that there may be reasons for this and that our cravings for this diet wrecker have scientific fact to support them.

Chocolate addiction, whilst maybe not as strong as those of alcohol and drugs is considered to be caused by numerous factors, from its pleasant taste and smell to biologically active components which have the potential to cause psychological changes similar to other addictive substances.

French Fries

No surprises here, 
after all what are French fries?
 Carbohydrate that is broken 
down to sugar coated
 with fat and salt.


Sugar is thought to have the most addictive properties, 
with recent researchers comparing the action
 of this food on our brains to that of cocaine.

Ice cream

Possibly one of the most addictive foods out there. Studies in animal models have suggested that using processed foods high in fat and sugar, such as ice cream, as a reward can rewire the brain so it no reacts to other foods that may have been considered rewarding before, such as fruits. If the same is true in humans, it would explain the feeling when only ice cream will do the job!


Have you been in the situation when you were going to exercise but then you choose to do something else? You feel like you have more important things to do. Some housework , a business phone call or just chill with your family. I'm sure it happened to many of us.

We feel like regular exercise is not important because we don't have to go to the doctor and we maybe even feel fit. But there are several benefits though the we can only get if we exercise regularly in a life time.

I took my time and I gathered al these benefits so when you are sitting on the settee and looking for your next excuses you can just read this list an get moving.


  • improves your mood
  • when you exercise regularly your body burns more calorie even when you are resting
  • produces endorphins, chemicals that can help you to feel more peaceful and happy.
  • helps people who have mild depression and low self-esteem
  • helps sleep better
  • decreases a person's risk of developing certain diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure
  • studies show that weight bearing exercises like jumping and running and brisk- walking help keep our bones strong.
  • help maintain our independence at old age
  • inactive people are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who are more active
  • improves some aspects of cognitive functions such as ability to shift quickly between tasks and ignore irrelevant information
  • helps you handle stress