Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs Wins First Post-Bolt Olympic 100m Gold

 

Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs outshone a field of unusual suspects to claim a shock Olympic gold in the men’s 100 metres on Sunday, breaking retired Jamaican star Usain Bolt’s 13-year hold on the blue riband event.

Jacobs, 26, timed a European record of 9.80 seconds, with American Fred Kerley taking silver in 9.84sec in one of the most understated major championship 100m races of recent times.

Canada’s Andre de Grasse, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Games, repeated the feat in 9.89sec.

The athletes were introduced in a dramatic light show — the stadium floodlights were shut off and 12 projectors cast 3D images of the world, zooming in to the Tokyo skyline, and then the name of each sprinter.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke Storms Into 100m Final At #Tokyo2020

The lights came back on, swiftly followed by a horrendous false start for Zharnel Hughes in lane four, the Anguilla-born Briton not even bothering to question his disqualification.

Dressed in light blue singlet and lycra shorts, the US-born Jacobs, in lane three, made a good start, held his nerve through the drive phase, and powered through to the line.

Jacobs joyously ran into the arms of Italian teammate Gianmarco Tamberi, who had just shared gold in the men’s high jump and was waiting at the finish line.

The race, run in stifling temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit), had a distinctly underwhelming build-up and feel to it as hot favourite Trayvon Bromell bombed out of the semi-finals in which China’s Su Bingtian and Jacobs unexpectedly set Asian and European records respectively.

The Tokyo Olympics are the first since Athens in 2004 to take place without Bolt, who went on to win three consecutive Olympic 100m titles in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, as well as three straight 200m crowns.

And for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Games, there was no Jamaican in the final, Bolt’s long-time former teammate Yohan Blake failing to qualify from his semi-final.

The field was instead filled with a raft of relatively unknown sprinters, with Jacobs’ main claim to fame a European 60m indoor title earlier this year.

The 100m in Tokyo, and the circus around it, has arguably been a pale imitation of Bolt’s glory years during which the charismatic Jamaican not only dominated the sprints but also captivated a truly global audience.

While the spectacle that Bolt brought to the blue riband event has been missing since his retirement in 2017, so also has been the emergence of a new generation of sprinting hopes.

Many have been lauded as the athlete to fill Bolt’s spikes, but no one has yet lived up to the considerable weight of expectation.

Added to that, the 68,000-capacity Olympic Stadium in Tokyo had no cheering fans because of coronavirus restrictions in the Japanese capital.

Instead, there were sparse pockets of athletes and team officials who did their best to create something of an atmosphere at what is normally one of the most widely anticipated events of the entire Games, commanding a huge worldwide television audience.

AFP

Governors Honour Fallen Heroes On 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day

A picture combination of Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

 

The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day was on Friday celebrated across the country, with state governors honouring fallen heroes for paying the supreme price in ensuring that the country remains peaceful.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day,  which is usually marked on January 15 of every year, honours members of the military who fought and are still fighting in various theatres of conflict within Nigeria and across the world.

Katsina State

In Katsina State, the government reiterated its commitment to supporting all security agencies to ensure that the state regains its past glory.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari

Representing the State Governor was the Deputy, Mannir Yakubu, who acknowledged the contribution of the Armed forces during the rescue of 344 school children of the Ƙankara Government Science Secondary School kidnapped by armed bandits on December 11th, 2020.

He appreciated the gallant troops of the Nigerian army and that of the Air Force for their untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of citizens in the state.

Oyo State

The Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde also joined millions of Nigerians across the country to celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

Governor Seyi Makinde

He called for more support for security agents and promised that his government would continue to support security agencies to achieve a safe and secured state.

Rivers State 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State asked other stakeholders to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to change the Service Chiefs to end insurgency, banditry, and other violent crimes in the country.

Governor Wike stated this during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at Government House, Port Harcourt, after the traditional parade at the Isaac Boro park.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Holds Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration

The governor said the federal government must end the killings in the country in the shortest possible time, stressing that changing the service chiefs will allow for the introduction of new strategies to fight the insurgents and bandits.

Cross River State 

In Cross River State, South-South Nigeria, the state governor, Ben Ayade announced a donation of a brand new bus to ease the logistics of the servicemen.

He used the occasion to extoll the sacrifices of ex-servicemen whom he said risked their lives to keep Nigeria one.

Speaking at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day parade held at the Millennium Park, Calabar, Ayade, flanked by his Deputy, Professor Iwara Esu, and other top government functionaries, lamented the pitiable condition of them saying Nigeria has the responsibility to take care and protect them.

Ebonyi State

The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony held across Nigeria was also observed in Ebonyi State.

The ceremony which took place at the Unity Square in Abakaliki the state capital on Friday was held in remembrance of Nigeria’s fallen heroes.

Also, the deputy governor of the state Eric Igwe, who represented the state governor David Umahi, performed the wreath-laying at the ceremony.

As part of the occasion, 36 pigeons representing the 36 states of the federation were released to symbolise the peace our fallen heroes laid down their lives for.

Imo State 

In Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their resilience and patriotism in protecting the territorial integrity of the country even in the face of daunting insecurity challenges.

The governor disclosed this at the Heroes Square in Owerri the Imo state capital the venue for this year’s armed forces day celebration.

Governor Uzodinma promised that his government will continue to support the military as well as families of retired and late military officers who fought for unity and peace in the country.

Below are some of the pictures from the Armed Forces Remembrance Day:

 

Zulum Signs ₦248 Billion Budget Into Law For 2021

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has signed into law, the 2021 appropriation bill passed by the State House of Assembly.

Speaking on Monday at the Government House in Maiduguri after signing the budget, the governor asked all ministries, agencies and departments to comply strictly with the provisions of the 2021 appropriation law.

Zulum also directed his cabinet members to accelerate activities in their ministries for the people of the state to derive maximum benefit.

He also reiterated his administration’s commitment to prioritising security, education, healthcare, agriculture, provision portable water as well as reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees.

The governor expressed appreciation to the leadership and members of the House of Assembly for their cooperation with the executive arm.

READ ALSO: FG To Kick Off 774,000 Jobs Scheme On Tuesday, Says Keyamo

The budget was however increased from ₦208 billion proposed by Zulum, to ₦248 billion, which the House explained was to cater for industrial projects by the Borno plastic industry and the Maiduguri International Hotel amongst several others.

Governor Zulum had in his initial presentation proposed ₦135.1b was for capital projects which represented 65 per cent of the budget sum, and ₦72 billion for recurrent expenditure.

On his part, the Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan explained the increase of the budget from ₦208 billion to ₦248 billion was to cater for industrial growth that will increase job opportunities.

2021: Sanwo-Olu Signs ₦1.16trn Budget Into Law

File photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu signing the 2020 budget at the State House in Ikeja on December 31, 2019.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu has signed into law the 2021 budget of ₦1.16trn, noting that his administration will continue its work of rebuilding the state.

Sanwo-Olu, show signed the budget on Thursday reiterated the government’s commitment in advancing economic growth, and expanding opportunities for residents of the state to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus.

“With the passage of the bill, we will continue our work of rebuilding Lagos, advancing economic growth, and expanding opportunities for Lagosians to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus,” he said.

“As we already know, 2020 will go down in history as a peculiar year largely defined by the COVID 19 Pandemic and the ENDSARS protests, which were recklessly hijacked by those who destroyed some of our public assets and private businesses.

READ ALSO: 2021 Budget: Deliver On Revenue Targets Or Get Sanctioned, Buhari Warns MDAs

“We are, however, fortunate to be going into the New Year, with an already passed budget, which will help to expedite our recovery process.

“A significant portion of the budget has been committed to human capital development, youth engagement, social intervention initiatives, and the completion of ongoing projects that are critical to achieving the objectives of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

“The Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget will present to the general public the full details and breakdown of the budget in due course.”

The budget christened the Budget of Rekindled Hope consists of N702,935,416,976 capital expenditure and N460,586,793,741 recurrent expenditure.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

REMARKS BY MR BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU, GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE AT THE SIGNING OF THE 2021 APPROPRIATION BILL ON THURSDAY 31ST DECEMBER 2020

Protocol

In a moment and on this last day of the year 2020, I will give my assent to the 2021 Appropriation Bill recently passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The quick passage of the bill reflects the harmonious relationship between the State Executive and the Legislature as well as our mutual dedication to the progress of our State and the prosperity of Lagosians.

You will recall that on November 10, 2020, I presented to the House of Assembly the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N1.55 Trillion, which we christened the Budget of Rekindled Hope. The total size of the budget passed by the Legislature now stands at N1,163,522,210,717.00 with capital to recurrent ratio of 60:40. It comprises N702,935,416,976 capital expenditure and N460,586,793,741 recurrent expenditure.

With the passage of the bill, we will continue our work of rebuilding Lagos, advancing economic growth, and expanding opportunities for Lagosians to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus.

As we already know, 2020 will go down in history as a peculiar year largely defined by the COVID 19 Pandemic and the ENDSARS protests, which were recklessly hijacked by those who destroyed some of our public assets and private businesses.

We are, however, fortunate to be going into the New Year, with an already passed budget, which will help to expedite our recovery process. A significant portion of the budget has been committed to human capital development, youth engagement, social intervention initiatives, and the completion of ongoing projects that are critical to achieving the objectives of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda. The Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget will present to the general public the full details and breakdown of the budget in due course.

I assure you that the 2021 budget will be prudently implemented with the people as our focus because we are determined to provide the right economic environment for Lagosians to thrive. As the world combats the coronavirus, we will make the necessary sacrifices to further place our State on the path of abundance and economic recovery. We are going into 2021 with the unwavering determination to engender sustainable and inclusive growth.

I promise Lagosians that the 2021 Budget will indeed rekindle hope, deliver substantial economic growth, and bolster our efforts to rebuild Lagos. We will make tough choices where necessary and seize opportunities as needed while ensuring that no Lagosian is left behind.

With the enormous challenges of the outgoing year, we are conscious of the fact that in order to efficiently and successfully implement the 2021 Budget, we must be selfless and dedicated. We are up to the task- with our collective resilience, we will achieve our key goals in all sectors, and nothing will stop us from justifying the trust of the people in this Government.

I implore all stakeholders and residents of Lagos, the organized private sector, artisans as well as small and medium-sized business owners not to relent in supporting this government by voluntarily discharging their civic responsibilities. The growth and prosperity we seek can only be collectively achieved.

On our part, we will ensure that the resources entrusted in our care are efficiently and prudently managed. We will be non-discriminatory in the distribution of resources. This is a budget for all Lagosians irrespective of their social, economic, ethnic, or religious background.

I thank the Honorable Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa and the members of the State House of Assembly for the thorough and expeditious consideration of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, which resulted in the passage of the budget before the end of the year. Thank you for collaborating with the Executive to satisfy the yearnings of the electorate.

I wish all Lagosians a prosperous Year 2021.

Thank You

Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State

31 December 2020

 

 

 

Obasanjo Urges Nigerians To Pray Hard Ahead Of 2021

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians to pray more ahead of the new year.

He believes that through prayer and more hard work, the situation of the country can be turned around.

The former president gave the admonition on Wednesday while speaking to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He also urged Nigerians to be grateful to God despite the current insecurity, socio-economic and political challenges slowing down the growth and progress of the country.

“In all things, we must give thanks. This year 2020 has been a year of challenge for the whole world, particularly for us in Nigerians.

“We have gone from one form of insecurity to another. From insecurity to bad economy. On top of all that, we have COVID-19 and I believe we have to work hard as we pray hard, so that in this coming year 2021 can be a glorious year for us,” the former President said.

He, however, noted that Nigerians should not blame God for the situation but rather themselves, because they have a choice to do what is right.

“It will not happen unless we work to make it happen. We do not have to blame God for our situation. We have to blame ourselves.

“Nigeria does not have to be poor and no Nigerian has to go to bed hungry. That we have a situation like that is the choice of our leaders and the followers alike. So, my prayer is that God will make 2021 a better year.”

Makinde Signs ₦268bn Budget Into Law For 2021

A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has signed into law the 2021 budget of ₦268bn, noting that it will consolidate his administration’s infrastructure initiatives.

Speaking on Monday during the signing of the document at the Government House in Ibadan, Makinde said that the real implementation of the budget would commence in earnest, as the state targets at least 70 per cent execution.

“Today, we are signing into law our Budget of Continued Consolidation. This completes the first phase of the process for the 2021 fiscal year budgeting. After this signing, the real work of implementation begins,” he said.

“First, we got the good people of Oyo State involved in the budgeting process through the town hall meetings, then we prepared the budget and passed it on-to the state’s House of Assembly for approval.

While commending members of the State House of Assembly for approving the 2021 budget in a timely manner, the governor said the synergy between all the arms of government in the state has made the governance process easier for everyone.

READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: I Am Focused On Kogi Development, Says Yahaya Bello

He described as untrue the rumours that the lawmakers padded the budget and that the executive rejected it and forced a revision.

Speaking further, Governor Makinde said the 2020 budget fell short of the 70 per cent target but recorded a performance that was a little above average at 50.32 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic meltdown occasioned by the fall in oil prices.

He pledged that the state government would “work harder and smarter next year to ensure that we meet our performance target of at least 70 per cent.”

“We met a lot of our goals because we used the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), and the Contractor’s Project Financing Scheme to finance many projects.

“We also made use of targeted loans for project financing. Of course, the reward for hard work is more work. So, for the 2021 fiscal year, we will continue to be innovative and creative in our approach to financing,” he added.

We Are Ready To Conduct Census In 2021, Says National Population Commission

 

NPC Boss, Nasir Kwarra, speaks during a press conference in Abuja on December 21, 2020.

 

The National Population Commission has announced its readiness to conduct a nationwide census from June 2021 to early 2022.

NPC Chairman, Nasir Kwarra, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the official presentation of the demographic dividend scorecard in the nation’s capital.

While acknowledging that the census has been delayed by five years, the commission said it has been in talks with the Federal Government on the issue.

“On our part we are ready. We can start conducting census from June 2021 to early 2022”, the NPC boss said.

“The issue of a census is at the front burner. We know that on our part we have already been delayed for about 5 years, but we are doing our best to speak with the government so that they can make a proclamation.

The last population census was conducted across the country in 2016.

FG Targets 10million Tons Of Rice Production By 2021

 

 

The Federal Government says it is targeting the production of ten million metric tons of rice in the country by the end of this year’s dry season farming.

The Federal Government has said that already a total of five million metric tons have been produced in the wet season, while five million metric tons will be produced during the dry season.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, this will be made possible through increasing the cultivation of the commodity to an expanse of one million hectares of land.

At the flag-off of 2020/2021 dry season, rice farming and distribution of inputs in niger state, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Niger state Governor Abubakar Bello are of the view that the country can be self-sufficient in rice production relying on the anchor borrowers’ programme of the apex bank.

Niger state is one of the leading states in rice production, with vast arable land.

At least three hundred and eighty thousand metric tons of rice are produced annually in the state, but even that is considered far lesser than its capacity, and it’s the reason the state government is now taking advantage of the dry season farming.

With the closure of Nigeria’s borders by President Muhammadu Buhari, rice importation has also been banned, thereby increasing the volume of local production of the commodity. But the policy has also led to a hike in the price of rice, a concern the rice farmers association of nigeria hopes to address through its triple ‘a’ agenda.

Handball Federation Of Nigeria Releases Programmes For Next Year

A file photo of the logo of the Handball Federation of Nigeria.

 

The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have released their programmes for the year 2021.

In the list of programmes and activities released by the Secretary-General of the federation, Maigidansanma Mohammed, the Prudent Energy Handball Premier 2021, which is the top tier handball league in Nigeria leads the list of activities for the year.

The league sustains the format of two phases, the first phase to hold in May in Abuja while the final phase will hold in Lagos sometime in October.

The Women National Handball team will also be busy. They will be representing the country at the 24th Women’s Seniors Africa Nations Cup in Cameroon from the 11th to the 20th of June 2021.

The Nation’s Cup for women, which was supposed to happen in August 2020, was postponed by the Confederation of Africa Handball because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 36th African Clubs Championship for the Winners’ Cup will hold from March 31 to April 9 2021.

READ ALSO: Abu Dhabi Royal Family Member Buys Half Of Israeli Football Club

Meanwhile, the 2020 National Handball League Division One, which will see enable teams to gain promotion to the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2020 will hold in February while Sokoto state will host the National U12/15  Handball Championship in August.

Other competitions are the Granoller Cup  Championship holding in Spain in July, Partille Cup International Championship  holding in Sweden around June/July, the 6thNational Youth Games  holding in Ilorin and the National Sports Festival which is expected to hold from January 3-18, 2020 in Edo State, amongst several others

The federation will also organise referees training/seminar in February, coaches seminar will be organised by the continental handball governing body CAHB and Seminar/Workshop for Nigeria Handball coaches in November 2021.

Kaduna Govt Holds Townhall Meeting, Presents 2021 Budget Estimate Of N237b

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai (File Photo)

 

The Kaduna State Government has held a town hall meeting over a draft of the 2021 budget to get the input of citizens of the state on aspects they want to be addressed.

According to the Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Thomas Gyang, the state government is proposing to spend N237billion in the draft estimate for 2021 of which N157.56bn is capital and N79.96bn recurrent expenditure.

Gyang also disclosed that the 2021 budget, tagged ‘Budget of Discovery’, takes into account the economic impact of COVID-19 and the continuing uncertainty it has unleashed on the economy.

Speaking further, he also disclosed that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the state government has been able to record about 85 per cent in the implementation of the 2020 budget.

Read Also: ‘How Many Nigerians Have Cars, Generators?’: Presidency Defends Petrol Hike

The virtual town hall meeting had government officials, members of civil society organisations, the academia, and the organised private sector in attendance.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai who was represented by his deputy explained that the 2021 draft budget reflects the Putting People First governance agenda of his administration.

He also noted that Education and Health are the principal components of human capital development, while investments in infrastructure are critical to maintaining competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism, creating jobs and promoting the well-being of the people.

Tokyo Olympics Postponement Will Cost IOC ‘Several Hundred Million Dollars’ – Bach

 

The postponement to 2021 of the Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus pandemic will cost the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “several hundred million dollars”, its president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

“We already know that we have to shoulder several hundred million US dollars of postponement costs,” the German wrote in a letter to the Olympic movement, warning that, while the IOC would honour its financial obligations to Tokyo, it would probably have to make cuts.

“We also need to look into and review all the services that we provide for these postponed Games,” he said.

“The IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the operational burden and its share of the costs for these postponed Games.”

The IOC, which has approximately $1 billion (926 million euros) in reserves, took the historic decision to postpone the Games, scheduled to open on July 24, until July 23 to August 8, 2021.

If the coronavirus pandemic is not brought under control within a year, the Games cannot be postponed again and will be cancelled, the head of the organising committee (COJO) Yoshiro Mori warned on Tuesday.

A task force, which brings together the IOC and various partners, including COJO, “has established the priorities and management strategies to make these postponed Olympic Games feasible and successful”, Bach said.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Germany Extends Foreign Travel Warning To Mid-June

These include creating “a safe environment with regard to health for all participants”.

“At this moment, nobody knows what the realities of the post-coronavirus world will look like,” he said. “What is clear, however, is that probably none of us will be able to sustain every single initiative or event that we were planning before this crisis hit.”

He added that the IOC should also view the crisis as an opportunity.

“We can fairly assume that, in the post-coronavirus society, public health will play a much more important role. Sport and physical activity make a great contribution to health,” he wrote.

Bach also said the Olympic movement should consider its relationship with esports in light of social distancing.

“Whilst maintaining our principles by respecting the red line, with regard to the Olympic values, we encourage all our stakeholders even more urgently to ‘consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers’,” he said.

AFP

 

IOC Postpones Tokyo Olympics Till Next Year

 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday.

The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.

Abe had earlier said Bach was in “100 percent agreement” when Japan asked the IOC to push back the Games.

The IOC had come under pressure in recent days to postpone the world’s biggest sporting event, with teams, athletes and sports bodies all calling for a delay.

READ ALSO: IOC Urged To Make Quick Olympic Decision As US Backs Postponement 

The postponement comes after top federations announced they would pull out of the Tokyo Games, the highest-profile event to be affected by a virus that has decimated the sporting calendar.

Around 1.7 billion people across the world are in lockdown to prevent the further spread of a virus which according to an AFP tally has killed over 16,200 people and infected more than 377,000.

AFP