9jadiaspora news items

Enugu pensioners honour Gov. Ugwuanyi for good governance

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - 8 min 26 sec ago

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Enugu State Council, yesterday honoured Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State with an outstanding Award of Excellence as “A Pensioner-friendly Governor”.

The pensioners said that the honour done Gov. Ugwuanyi was in recognition of his good works in the state and uncommon leadership qualities, which they added have enabled his administration to pay their monthly pensions promptly in spite of the nation’s economic challenges that have made it impossible for many state governments to pay workers’ salaries, “not to talk of retirees’ pensions”.

Presenting the award to the governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Barr Emeka Okeke, at the 2017 Annual Pensioners’ Day Celebration, held in Enugu, the state Chairman of the Union, Comrade Damian Udeani, in his address stated that “the retired civil servants in Enugu State are lucky to have a Governor who cares”.

Comrade Udeani said that Gov. Ugwuanyi “has been paying pensions regularly  to this category of pensioners”, adding: “Recently, retired primary school teachers were paid four months arrears of pension and also some arrears of gratuities. You can imagine the number of sick pensioners the payment of these arrears has saved from imminent death. For this, we say kudos to our Pensioner-friendly Governor “.

The pensioners appreciated the governor for approving the verification of state pensioners who failed to participate in the last verification exercise organized by the state government to audit the strength of the retirees, and urged those involved to “make sure they do not miss the verification this time” that will last for two months.

“As we go into the year 2018, I enjoin our pensioners to be strong in prayers for ourselves and for those in authority. I thank His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for accepting our award of excellence”, the chairman said.

Responding on behalf of the governor, Barr Okeke thanked the pensioners for the award and assured them of the state government’s commitment to improving their welfare.

The Labour Commissioner informed the pensioners that the state government has set up a committee headed by the Head of Service to look into the outstanding pension arrears owed by the past administrations to retirees in some government parastatals, such as the Enugu State Water Corporation and Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) with a view to offsetting the said arrears.

North is not poor, shouldn’t be afraid of restructuring – Masari

THE PUNCH - 15 min 18 sec ago

Katsina State Governor, Malam Aminu Bello Masari, has said that northern Nigeria is not poor and should not be afraid of restructuring.

Masari, who addressed the retreat of Northern senators forum in Kastinsa on Tuesday advised the north not to be afraid of restructuring.

He advised the senators against opposing restructuring.

“We have resources. We are not poor,” the one time Speaker of the House of Representatives said.

“We should not be afraid of restructuring.’’

He advised that the north should not be derided and “we should not be afraid’’.

The north, he said, had enough resources.

He identified quality leadership as the only problem facing the north.

NAN

Fifa punishes Nigeria for ineligible player in World Cup qualifying

BBC NEWS AFRICA - 19 min 9 sec ago
Fifa punishes Nigeria for fielding Abdullahi Shehu when he should have been suspended in their 1-1 draw with Algeria in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Car prize is extra motivation, says Ismael

THE PUNCH - 39 min 40 sec ago

One of Nigeria’s foremost road race runner Sadjo Ismael is focused on winning the 10-kilometre race at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon slated for February 10.

Sadjo who won the Nanmig International 10 kilometre Road Race in far way China last month with a new personal best of 31.00 said winning in Lagos was now a big deal for any road race runner,

“The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is no longer an ordinary road race; it is now an IAAF Bronze Label race, so every road runner will love to run in a label race because it boosts your status as road race runner.

“Secondly, there is the extra motivation of winning a brand new car donated by GAC Motor for the first male and female runner who won the 10-kilometre race, for me winning the car is a big deal, so am working very hard to ensure that I win the medal and the car.’’

To win the men automobile car worth N11m, Sadjo hired an Ethiopian trainer and intended to move to Addis Ababa from China but changed his plan because of weather.

“I got a manager who was ready to sponsor my training in Ethiopia, we also hired a coach but the weather forced me to change my plan. It will be very cold in Ethiopia by December and January, the weather in Lagos is warm so I will not be able to compete. What I have decided is to return to Nigeria and train, while my Ethiopian coach will send programme to my coach in Nigeria.’’

Sadjo’s tough competitors for the 10 kilometre top medal and GAC Motor’s car include Hamadjam Soudi, who travelled to Kenya, to train for the event and Kefas Williams.

BREAKING: Appeal Court sends Saraki back to Code of Conduct Tribunal

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - 55 min 33 sec ago

The Senate President says he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The post BREAKING: Appeal Court sends Saraki back to Code of Conduct Tribunal appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

ICPC may revisit files of 20 indicted ex-governors –Chairman

THE PUNCH - 56 min 11 sec ago

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission says it might revisit the case files of 20 former state governors it indicted for corruption in 2008.

Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr. Abdullahi Bako, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that the case files were shelved due to a combination of legal and financial impediments.

“The cases came up when the governors were still in office, and the law provides for the setting up of an independent council to investigate them.

“Unfortunately, at that time, the Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, which was to appoint the council, had no money to pay for such gigantic operation or assignment

“That was why nothing was done about it. But the files may be revisited now that they have left office, especially of those with prima facie cases against them.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the commission in mid 2008 announced the setting up of a committee to investigate several petitions of alleged corrupt acts against the governors.

At the end of the exercise, 20 of the ex-governors, whose identities were not released by the commission, were allegedly found to have violated the ICPC Act.

Bako also told newsmen on Tuesday that the commission was awaiting the directive of the Federal Government on what to do with the assets recovered from the looters.

“We are not auctioning the assets. There is a body set up by the government to audit recovered assets all over the country and abroad.

“It is left for the government to decide thereafter; it is not for the individual anti-corruption agencies to dispose of anything,’’ he said. (NAN)

Nigeria, Libya to boost oil production amidst OPEC output cut

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 6 min ago

Less than two weeks after OPEC’s decision to extend oil production cuts, Libya and Nigeria are signalling their intent to raise output in 2018.

While several oil ministers at the November 30 meeting of the OPEC suggested the two nations had joined the output-curbing deal, both are working to add to their peak production from 2018.

On Friday, oil company Total said its new Egina field offshore Nigeria was on track to start in 2018, adding 10 per cent to the country’s production.

The field will have a capacity of 200,000bpd and launch in the fourth quarter of 2018, counterbalancing production constrained by ageing pipelines, perpetual theft and sabotage.

“That could certainly change the dynamics,” said Ehsan Ul-Haq, head of crude and products at Resource Economist, a consultancy.

The Nigerian petroleum ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the Egina field startup, and whether production elsewhere would be curtailed as a result.

On Saturday, the head of Libya’s UN-backed government met the head of Libya’s National Oil Corp and the governor of Tripoli’s central bank to discuss how the corporation could get more cash to raise oil output next year.

The NOC received a quarter of its requested budget in 2017, hampering efforts to sustain oil output near 1 million bpd.

Any additional funds could help make crucial repairs to the country’s energy infrastructure, a regular target for militant attacks, and boost output above the roughly one million bpd mark where it currently stands.

Libya’s NOC has so far not spoken officially about the OPEC deal and declined a Reuters request for comment.

NO CAPS

The developments may come as a surprise to market observers who, after the November 30 meeting, believed Nigeria and Libya had agreed to participate in the OPEC agreement by imposing official caps at their peak 2017 production levels.

Instead, the two countries merely provided their production outlook for 2018 and an assessment that the combined total would not exceed 2.8 million bpd, their forecast output for 2017, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

That outlook was dependent on both countries’ finances and security situation, one of those sources said.

The headline of a statement issued by Nigeria’s petroleum ministry on the day of the OPEC meeting stressed, in block capitals, that Nigeria and Libya were exempt from cuts.

Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu emphasised in the statement that the nation’s condensates, a form of ultra-light crude, were exempt from any total, giving it leeway in calculations.

He also told local media there was “no obligation” to do anything.

Oil production from the two countries has averaged 1.7 million bpd and 900,000 bpd, respectively, this year according to Reuters assessments.

It has swung in each country in a range of 340,000-350,000 bpd.

NAN

Unfazed by OPEC, Nigeria, Libya seek to boost oil output in 2018

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - 1 hour 11 min ago

Total says its new Egina field offshore Nigeria was on track to start in 2018.

The post Unfazed by OPEC, Nigeria, Libya seek to boost oil output in 2018 appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Man United under Mourinho boring, says Van Gaal

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 14 min ago

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes the club have become more boring under his successor Jose Mourinho, saying he would prefer to watch local rivals Manchester City in action.

During the Dutchman’s two-year stint as United manager from 2014, the club secured fourth and fifth-placed league finishes along with an FA Cup triumph.

However, Van Gaal was regularly criticised for his negative tactics.

Mourinho’s United won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge but the Portuguese has been accused of “parking the bus” in big games.

But Van Gaal believes the former Chelsea boss deserves more criticism.

“I would rather watch City play than United,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying.

“You need quality in a squad and it’s clear City have a better squad.

“…And yet, right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticised while it’s far more boring football.”

“What United produce now is defensive football. I always played attacking football… They don’t do that now because Jose Mourinho plays so defensive.”

English Premier League leaders Manchester City are on a record 14-game winning streak in the league.

United, who finished sixth last season, lost 2-1 to their neighbours on Sunday to slip 11 points adrift of them in second position.

Van Gaal, who was sacked the day after his FA Cup triumph, clarified that he had no personal issues with Mourinho but hit out at United CEO Ed Woodward.

He said the 46-year-old did not openly communicate with him.

“I have more problems with the CEO, Ed Woodward. He never discussed anything with me — and you can talk about anything with me,” Van Gaal added.

“With all my experience, I know the unwritten laws of football.

“A club has to prepare for the future. I can understand that and they should have approached me. Ed could talk to me but he did not.”

NAN

Manchester derby: Guardiola says City’s celebration not over the top

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 19 min ago

Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City’s celebrations after the Premier League leaders beat fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, saying they were “definitely not” over the top.

The Football Association has given both clubs until Wednesday to reply to a request for observations following reports of a tunnel brawl sparked by City’s celebrations after their 2-1 win on Sunday, which took them 11 points clear.

However, when asked if City behaved improperly, Guardiola, speaking in Manchester ahead of the club’s visit to Swansea on Wednesday, told reporters: “No. Definitely not. We were happy.

“We won a derby against Manchester United, one of the best rivals we have. We celebrated. I think if United win a derby, they celebrate. But where? Inside the locker room. That’s what we tried to do and we did.

United are understood to have taken exception to City’s post-match jubilation and an altercation involving up to 20 players and staff in the crowded corridor leading to the dressing rooms is reported to have left City assistant coach Mikel Arteta with blood streaming down his face.

United manager Jose Mourinho and City goalkeeper Ederson are reported to have had a confrontation while it is claimed Mourinho had milk and water thrown at him from the away dressing room.

“After what happened, hopefully, it cannot happen again. What happened we will explain to the FA investigation. United will do the same.”

AFP

Manchester United under Mourinho is boring – Van Gaal

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - 1 hour 20 min ago

The Dutchman was replaced as United manager by Mourinho.

The post Manchester United under Mourinho is boring – Van Gaal appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

You’re more likely to die riding Okada under a full moon —Experts

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 21 min ago

Experts have warned that extra care is needed when riding a motorcycle, aka Okada, during a full moon.

Researchers lament that full moon is causing more motorcycle riders to die.

They note that, for every two full moon nights, there was one additional fatal crash. They therefore urge motorcycle riders to be more careful when riding under a full moon.

The study, carried out by the University of Toronto and Princeton University and published in the British Medical Journal, was observational, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, the researchers said.

The researchers recorded fatal collisions for 30 years in the UK, United States, Canada and Australia.

They then compared the number that took place under a full moon with crashes one week earlier and one week after.

The risk was increased even further under a super moon, which is when a full moon looks bigger than normal because it’s at its closest point to Earth.

Researchers are of the opinion that motorcyclists are distracted by the full moon, which occurs about 12 times a year.

The official US registry of motor vehicle crashes from 1975 to 2014 recorded 4,494 fatal collisions on the 494 nights with a full moon, which is equal to 9.10 per night.

On 988 nights recorded without a full moon, the data showed 8,535 crashes – equal to 8.64 per night.

“This gave a total increase of 226 additional fatal crashes over the study period, meaning for every two full moon nights, there was one additional fatal crash,” the study submits.

Similar results were found when data from the UK, Canada and Australia was analysed.

But the researchers added that the findings highlight the importance of constant attention when riding, and that extra care is needed when riding during a full moon.

“Additional strategies while riding might include wearing a helmet, activating headlights, scanning the road surface for defects, respecting the weather, being wary of left turning vehicles, obeying traffic laws and forgoing stunts,” the researchers added.
(Metro)

BREAKING: Appeal Court orders Saraki to face CCT trial on three charges

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - 1 hour 21 min ago

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed 15 out of the 18 counts of false assets declaration instituted against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson unanimously ordered the Senate President to return to the CCT to face trial on three of the counts.
Details later…

Trafficking of pills used by suicide bombers soars in Sahel

BBC NEWS AFRICA - 1 hour 25 min ago
The UN's drugs agency warns smuggling of the opioid tramadol, used by Boko Haram, must be stopped.

Russia vows to end Libyan crisis

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 30 min ago

Russia will “do everything necessary” to facilitate an agreement between rival camps in Libya to end the country’s political crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“We will assist in resolving all questions in negotiations between Tripoli and Tobruk, with whom we are regularly in contact,” Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with his Libyan counterpart Mohamad Taha Siala in Moscow.

“Russia will do everything necessary to fully normalise the situation in Libya and in regard to the international aspect of re-establishing the rights of the Libyan state,” Lavrov said.

Libya has plunged into political chaos and instability since the ouster and killing of its long-time leader Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed 2011 revolution.

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli has struggled to impose its authority across the conflict-ridden North African country.

A rival administration based in Libya’s east has refused to recognise the GNA.

AFP

CAF Champions League: Nigeria put faith in MFM FC, Plateau United

THE PUNCH - 1 hour 35 min ago

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football Club from Nigeria are unlikely to win the 2018 CAF Champions League, but they boast the most eye-catching name among the 58 contenders.

Known as MFM FC in football circles, the Lagos-based team are funded by the popular Pentecostal Christian organisation Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.

Nigeria are allocated two places on merit in the elite African club competition and they will be filled by national champions Plateau United and runners-up MFM.

The draw for the preliminary and first rounds of the Champions League will be made in Cairo on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football.

Mountain of Fire and Miracles, who play in a modest 5,200-seat stadium, boast one of the most striking football club names in Africa.

Others include 11 Men in Flight of Swaziland, Mysterious Dwarfs of Ghana, Chicken Inn of Zimbabwe, Invincible XI of Liberia and Naughty Boys of Botswana.

Nigerians hope Plateau and MFM can go far in a competition where many clubs from the African football powerhouse have made embarrassingly early exits.

Last year, Enugu Rangers and Rivers United failed to get past the first round and into the group phase with the latter surrendering a three-goal first-leg advantage.

Enyimba are the only Nigerian club to win the Champions League, lifting the trophy in 2003 and staging a successful defence the following year.

Alongside record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are the only three clubs to win back-to-back Champions League titles.

Ahly and five-time title-holders Mazembe are among the 58 entrants in a competition won for a second time by Wydad Casablanca of Morocco this year.

They edged Ahly 1-0 in the second leg of the final in Casablanca after exceeding expectations in Alexandria by forcing a 1-1 draw.

Esperance and Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, Entente Setif and Mouloudia Alger of Algeria, ASEC of the Ivory Coast, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and V Club of DR Congo are other former champions in the field.

AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville, Al Merrikh of Sudan, Gor Mahia of Kenya, Horoya of Guinea and Stade Malien of Mali have won second-tier CAF competitions.

The two-leg preliminary round ties are scheduled for February and the first round for March with the opening group games during May.

It requires 14 or 16 matches to become African champions with the rewards including a $2.5 million (about 2.1 million euro) prize and qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup.

AFP

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