FIFA Boosts World Cup Prize Money To $400million

The 32 national teams competing at the 2018 World Cup will share $400 million (344 million euros) in prize money, a 12 percent increase from the 2014 tournament, FIFA said Friday.

The purse at the previous edition in Brazil was $358 million — $35 million of which was awarded to champions Germany, with runners-up Argentina pocketing $25 million.

By contrast, countries who failed to advance beyond the group stage received $8 million.

At a meeting of the FIFA council in Kolkata, world football’s governing body also approved a decision to enhance the bidding regulations for the 2026 World Cup and appointed members of the bid evaluation task force.

Dates for several upcoming FIFA tournaments, including next year’s Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, were also confirmed.

The 2018 Club World Cup will run from December 12 to 22, while the Women’s World Cup in 2019 is scheduled to start on June 7 with the final to take place on July 7.


Gov. Dickson Releases N500M For Gratuity And Pensions

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has presented a cheque of N500 million for the payment of pensions and gratuity obligations owed retired civil servants in the state.

Presenting the cheque to the State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Frazer Okuoru, who is also the Chairman of the Pensions and Gratuity Verification Committee in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson urged the committee to ensure that the funds were disbursed to only genuine retirees.

The governor also asked the Committee to furnish his office with monthly reports on the performance of their job, noting that the release of the N500 million is the first instalment payment of the funds government intends to disburse in tranches to clear the arrears owed retired civil servants.

He described the backlog of pensions and gratuities owed by the state as unfortunate, explaining that the problem predates his administration.

In his response after the presentation of the cheque, The Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Okuoru, assured the governor that the Committee would diligently carry out its responsibilities.

He appealed to the pensioners to show understanding and patience to enable the committee clear the cheque and fine-tune modalities for actual payments to commence.

Kwara Communal Clash Claims 3 lives, Properties Worth Millions

Three people are reported to have died in the recent communal crisis between Offa and Erin Ile in Offa and Oyun Local Government Areas of Kwara State, which has witnessed the destruction of properties running into millions of naira.

Although the rift between the two communities over land dates back to forty-two years ago, there are conflicting reports over the cause of the current scuffle. While some residents blame it on the tussle over land, the Chairman of Offa Local Government Area, Mr. Saheed Popoola, attributed the latest violence to disputing transport unions.

Offa, the second largest commercial city in the state, after the state capital, Ilorin, has been deserted following the two-day crisis with its age-long neighbour, Erin Ile.

The latest fracas was the first in the New Year, but the sixth in the last two years and has been described as the worst in terms of the scale of destruction on both sides of the communities. A visit to Offa by Channels Television correspondent, Hakeem Garba, showed bullet pellets still littered the ground, although it could not be confirmed if they were fired by the warring parties or the military personnel drafted to the battleground to keep the peace.

The newly commissioned town hall in the town was not spared, as some of the windows were shattered with pebbles while a nearby petrol station was razed down.

Although the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew, this has made most of the commercial institutions located in Offa especially banks to shut down, while the students of the Federal Polytechnic were seen rushing to make their way out of the town with the few available commercial vehicles cashing on the situation to inflate transport fares.

Meanwhile, the state command of the Nigerian police in a statement signed by the public relations officer, DSP Femi Fabode, revealed that an hotelier, Bukola Lawal of Adlag Hotel, located at the border of the two communities, was reported to have lost his life in the crisis while a police officer was also shot dead, together with an unidentified victim while trying to escape the scene of the fight.

Efforts by our correspondent to get to Erin Ile, the other community involved in the dispute, was not successful as he was turned back by the security personnel stationed at the buffet between the two warring communities.


Dr. Dre Taking A Deep Into Music Streaming Service

Rapper and music producer Dr.Dre has taken another huge step in the music industry surely to allow the million dollar man to rake in more dollars into his coffers as he recently acquired MOG; as the headphone maker is indeed working on a streaming service to launch sometime next year.

Beats acquired MOG mostly for its technology, as music licenses are not transferable in a sale like this.

Beats thought in the line of spreading its tentacles before anyone thought of it as Dre’s ace in using MOG to accelerate plans to launch its own streaming service.

And recent info is that Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is affiliated with the project, which is codenamed Daisy.

The service will offer music streaming, but with a big focus on curation, both algorithm and human based and it’s the current low point of any on-demand streaming service.

5-storey building gutted by fire in Lagos

Tragedy struck on Saturday as a five storey building in Lagos was razed by fire, destroying property worth millions of naira.

The five-storey building, known as UBA Plaza, on Bread Fruit Street because the building houses a branch of the bank  on its third floor started burning around 5:00pm according to those present at the scene.

Uzuoma Aniekwe; a shop owner in the building, said the fire started shortly before 5:00 p.m., and as he got wind of it he started evacuating his goods from inside his shop on the ground floor and according to Aniekwe the fire started on the fourth floor and flowed rapidly to the fifth floor.

As of 08:20 p.m. in the evening of Saturday, firemen from the Lagos State Fire Service, UBA and Julius Berger Plc., were still battling the fire according to our reporter who was present at the scene of the incident as report had it that the fourth and the fifth floors were mostly affected by the fire.

A senior official with the Lagos State Fire Service in charge of rescue operation, said the arrangements products inside the warehouses was too compact for water to get through which gave rise to the unsuccessful penetration of water into the core part where the fire started from.

The official said the banking hall on the third floor might have remained intact, as well as many offices on the second floor.

In order to secure properties worth millions of naira to be looted by miscreants in the Breadfruit area police and officials of other security agencies quickly swung to action to protect these wares.

Capello close to sealing Russia coaching job

Inching closer to becoming the new head coach of the Russian national team, Fabio Capello and the RFU crossed another hurdle after agreeing to the terms of personal contract.

Capello is currently jobless, after leaving the English national team because of the country’s Football Association action against John Terry who was stripped of the captain’s arm band against his wishes.

The Russian Football Union’s acting president, Nikita Simonyan confirmed the progress saying ‘The personal contract has been agreed and what is remaining for the contract to be sealed finally is the signature of the parties’.

Russia chose Capello from the list of 13 local and foreign coaches, which was revealed earlier this month and included the likes of Pep Guardiola, Harry Redknapp and Rafael Benitez.

As hopes are high on the contract, the media in the country are so optimistic that the deal will be totally sealed and announced officially to the footballing world by Friday, a deal that will keep Fabio Capello in Russia for the next two years as agreed, making the Italian the highest paid coach in the world, with an annual salary of $12 million.

While in some quarters, the information making the round is that the 66-year-old Italian will only get $6 million annually which is less than what Dick Advocaat, his predecessor.

Capello has won five Serie A titles with AC Milan and Roma as well as two Spanish crowns and the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid.