2017 AFCON: CAF Gives Countries Preparation Grants

 

2017 AFCON: CAF Gives Countries Preparation GrantsThe Confederation Of African Football (CAF), has given the 16 countries that would feature in January’s AFCON in Gabon, $237,500 each to prepare for the tournament.

The money forms part of CAF’s responsibility to ensure that participating teams at the nations cup get the needed funds to partake in the competition.

The amount released is 50 per cent of the total amount all participating teams will get from CAF.

Each participating federation is expected to receive a total amount of $475,000.

Police Advocate National Unity And Patriotism

Police Advocate National Unity And Patriotism The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, has appealed to religious and political leaders in Nigeria to be patriotic and exhibit acts capable of unifying the country and her people.

Addressing senior officers of the police force in Abuja, Mr Idris decried the actions of some leaders in southern Kaduna, which led to the escalation of the recent crisis that engulfed the area‎.

The Police boss, who however commended officers and men of the force for their role in restoring law and order in southern Kaduna said:

“Some of us are yet to imbibe the principles of leaderships. Whether you are a religious leader, whether you are a community leader, you should have some principles. And as leaders, what is lacking is love of Nigeria.

“I think we have to love Nigeria more in 2017.It is very important,” he stressed.

He further stated that: People just forget that this country belongs to all of us. Both the poor and the rich. You are where you are because God made you to be there.

“It is not because you have any special qualities. And I think it is very important.

“People should take leadership as a responsibility. All of us should be held responsible for this country,” the commissioner stressed.

Calabar Carnival: Ita-Giwa Commends Efforts Of Cross River Govt.

ita-giwa1The only female Carnival Band Leader in West Africa, Ita Giwa, popularly referred to as, Mama Bakassi, has commended the Cross River State Government for efforts put into the just concluded Calabar Carnival.

She also stated that the emergence of her band, ‘Seagull’, as winner of the event, came as a result of the group’s hardwork.

“Such a relief, I feel good, I feel happy, I thank God, a lot of efforts, a lot of emotions, a lot of determination, some bit of desperation to it, but we won.”

She then congratulated all other participating bands for their time, talents and display of creativity.

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa gave the commendation at a street party organized by the state government for all the revellers who participated at the just concluded carnival, to unwind and have fun following tedious months of preparation before the Carnival.

“I am paying back to the society that made Ita-Giwa. By being here, I inspire these people a lot.

“I am working and i’m happy that my mind is engaged at this age which I see as a privilege from God and an opportunity given to me to engage my mind positively.”

Describing the process of the event, she said: “I think the interpretation was different, we took more time to look at details and then, we also tried to make it very real. We had what looks like almost a forest with baboons and monkeys in a normal forest environment without human being interference”.

The Band leader was further quoted to have said: “We tried to make it as real as possible and then, the revellers were better behaved, very organized and they understood their parts.

“We got revellers to understand the story from the very stage of putting the scripts together, so when you’re dancing, you know what you’re dancing to”.

Ita-Giwa then called on all Cross-Riverians to join hands and support Governor, Ben Ayade, in achieving all his lofty ideas for the state.

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017Nigeria’s former leaders and current Vice President, Yemi Osibajo, have collaborated to release a hymn in which they advocated a greater, united and more peaceful Nigeria in the year 2017.

Singing Isaac Watts’ hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” were: the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Chairman of Nigeria Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan, Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and Former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Admiral, Ebitu Ukiwe.

The VIP choristers released a video recording of the rendition on Monday.

Thereafter, in a goodwill messages to Nigerians, Yakubu Gowown said: “We pray to God, to continue to grant us that peace and unity that this country dearly deserves”.

They believe that: “In spite of the mess we tried to make of the country, God manages to always rescue us when we get to the edge of the precipice and we thank him for that”.

Furthermore, they expressed gratitude to God for “accepting and accommodating us, despite the mess we’ve made of ourselves”.

Meanwhile, speaking on the state of the country, Obasanjo believes that “God created Nigeria as we are, and he doesn’t make a mistake. So, we should thank him for that”.

Mr Shonekan, also encouraged citizens to continue to work hard in order to achieve desired results.

The former leaders equally expressed appreciation to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr Osinbajo, for coming up with the idea of bringing them together to render the song.

Niger Govt. Calls For Speedy Construction Of Suleja – Minna Road

Niger Govt. Calls For Speedy Construction Of Suleja – Minna RoadNiger state government has appealed for speedy work on the dualization of the Suleja – Minna road, so that it would provide the gate way for the Minna International Airport to be used as alternative, when the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport Abuja is shut down in February, for rehabilitation of its run ways.

The Commissioner of information Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, in a statement, said that Minna airport is the closest to Abuja and therefore feels it would be good for it to be used in place of the Abuja airport that serves several administrative and commercial purposes.

According to the Commissioner, the Niger state government would be ready to assist in making sure that Minna airport is used as alternative for the months Abuja airport will be closed, if the will is shown in that direction.

He stated that the decision by the Niger state government to draw attention to the airport in Minna was borne out of the fact that the government does not want the rehabilitation of Abuja airport to have adverse effect by way of loss of man power.

Vatsa explained that the state government is confident that the Minna airport has the requisite facilities and manpower to serve as a very good alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja while Niger state is very peaceful and secure.

“We have always been saying it that because of times like this, Minna airport should be used as alternative to Abuja and in the most Economic way a cargo airport, but with the planned closure of Abuja airport for rehabilitation I think it is wise economically to use Minna to serve Abuja.

“You can see from here to Abuja is just about one hour plus, if the Dualization work on Minna- Suleja road is fast tracked and completed as planned by the federal government.

“It could be faster; we therefore call on the authorities to look into this viable alternative” he appealed.

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Istanbul Nightclub Attack

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Istanbul Nightclub AttackThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has on Monday, released a statement claiming responsibility for the raid.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the deadly New Year’s attack at an upscale Istanbul nightclub which left 39 dead.

As authorities in Turkey continue their search for the attacker, the terror group offered no further clues about the identity of the assailant.

“In continuation of the blessed operations which ISIS carries out against Turkey, a soldier of the brave caliphate attacked one of the most popular nightclubs while Christians were celebrating their holiday,” the group said in a tweet.

Earlier on Monday, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, distanced itself from the attack, which took place at the Reina nightclub during the early hours of January 1.

“No Kurdish forces have anything to do with this attack,” it said in a statement. “The Kurdish freedom fight is also the fight for democratization of Turkey. That’s why we won’t target innocent and civilian people.”

Dozens of people were hospitalized following the attack. As of Monday, 46 were still being treated, including one American, according to the Istanbul governor’s office. A handful of the injured were in critical condition.

According to the BBC, officials say some 15 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Rivers Security: Nigerian Army Dislodges Criminal Gangs

army-bootThe Nigerian Army has continued to dislodge criminal gangs in Omoku, River state, following the terror that was unleashed in parts of the state during the December 10 rerun elections.

It was confirmed that 15 people were horrifically murdered including a soldier, two policemen, four personnel of the Civil Defence Corps and eight civilians, while ammunition, weapons and vehicles were taken away by the bandits.

The General Officer Commanding 6 division, Major General Kasimu Abdulkareem, disclosed this while parading arms, ammunition and other items recovered from some of the criminal dens.

Abdulkareem, explained that the operation is in continuation of a clean-up exercise to recover and mop up illegally acquired weapons from cultists and militants who continue to terrorise communities and some parts of the country in general.

Senate President Flags Off Made-In-Nigeria Competition

Private sector, Government, Economic development, sarakiNigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday, flagged off a Made-in-Nigeria challenge, aimed at encouraging local manufacturers in the country.

He made the announcement in a statement posted on his twitter handle, where he also said that in the next few weeks, products that have the potential to grow sustainable business, expand the market and create jobs would be selected.

According to him, selected persons would then meet with business owners, investor and government agencies in order to promote their growth.

Saraki said, by March 2017, some of the finalists in the challenge would be invited for a Made in Nigeria Round-table at the Senate.

In order to participate in the challenge, interested persons have been asked to shoot a short video between 45 seconds and 3-minutes long, showcasing their products or services that serve as alternatives to imported ones.

 Furthermore, “We will also use the opportunity to get feedback on the public procurement act passed by the Senate in 2016, which mandates government agencies to give preference to local manufacturers in the procurement of local products and service,” Saraki stated.

Economic Recession

With the crash in oil prices, in a country that has solely relied on oil as a major source of revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria has since begun to look for alternative sources of revenue generation.

Areas such as agriculture and manufacturing, have proven to be the most viable means of resuscitating the nation’s economy, from what has been described as the worst recession in Nigeria’s history.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had stated that the Federal Government was committed to developing local capacity, by using made in Nigeria items in national building plans.

The recent move by the Senate President, seems to be a sure sign that the government is indeed set to improve the manufacturing sector among others, as well as create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship.

It is equally set to improve the quality of made in Nigeria goods in order to make them attractive for export into the international market.

Christians In Delta Celebrate New Year

churchChristians in Asaba, the Delta state capital, gathered at the St. John-Mary Vianney Catholic Church for a thanksgiving service to celebrate the New-Year.

In his sermon, ministering Priest, Mr Chukwuekwu Nwutu, adviced Christians to positively adjust to the challenges facing the country in oneness and unity even as they hope and expect better opportunities in the year ahead.

“God speaks to us about the reason for believing that we can be better human beings. For me, a new year provides better opportunities, new reasons to resolve again to work even better together as a people, without looking at where people come from or language they speak or the God they worship”

“Because when we begin to see ourselves as Nigerians, then we can build a Nigeria of our dreams but when we base our relationships on tribe and language, then we are going to continue in a vicious circle” he added.

He also implored country leaders at all levels to put national interest above every other things, in order to get Nigeria out of the current hardship.

Some other Deltans present, expressed their joys, encouraging every well-meaning Nigerian to be steadfast and hopeful for greater things ahead.

“We thank God Almighty for making us to see the year 2017, we pray God intervenes in the killings in our country.

“We continue to pray for them. Things are so difficult in the country, so they should try and resolve the lingering issues that affect our economy.”

For most Nigerians, the new year brings new beginning, new hope, new resolutions as everyone seems to be in high spirit ready to explore what 2017 brings.

Niger Governor Reshuffles Cabinet

Niger, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Tuesday made a minor change in his cabinet.

The governor redeployed the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, as well as his counterparts in Agriculture and Rural Development, Aliyu Abdullahi and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Musa.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, after the last State Executive Council meeting for the year 2016 revealed that there would be more changes in 2017.

Governor Bello, who thanked the commissioners and council members for their cooperation and contributions, was not so impressed with their performances saying he could only give a pass mark of 60%.

“I commend every one of you but you must all sit up because 2017 will be a year of fulfilled promises. I can give you a pass mark of 60% but much is expected of you by next year.

“Everybody must sit up because we must deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates,” he said.

Governor Bello redeployed the Mr Jikantoro to Local Government Affairs while Mr Abdullahi is to take over from him.

He also directed Mr Musa to take over from the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Dr. Umar Ibrahim Tiffin, that of Justice, Mr Ndagi Wali and the Director of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makunsidi are to report to the Head of Service for new redeployment.

The Director of Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Health would also resume at the Hospital Management Board.

While wishing all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, Governor Bello tasked them to show more commitment in carrying out their functions in accordance with his mandate.

He said that “more changes will come with the new year”.