The Nigerian Government is stepping up in its commitment to reducing the rate of milk importation while encouraging local production in the country.
This comes as the Niger State government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on dairy chain development with Royal FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc on Tuesday in Abuja.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello signed the MoU on behalf of the state government while the Managing Director of the company, Mr Ben Langat, signed for FrieslandCampina WAMCO.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, witnessed the signing after the bilateral consultations between delegations of both countries at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.
The agreement on dairy chain development is expected to save Nigeria about 1.2 billion dollars from milk importation annually, said a statement from the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
Earlier, President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte – who was at the Villa – met to discuss bilateral relations and agreed that Nigeria and the Netherlands would continue to work together to improve bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting said the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made with implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on deepening the bilateral relations between the two nations concluded and signed by the respective Foreign Ministers in The Hague in July 2018.
The communique signed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Oji Ngofa, and the Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy in Abuja, Ewout-Jan de Wit, said, “We welcome the steps that have been made to increase bilateral economic cooperation and are happy to see higher levels of bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments.
”The contribution of Dutch private businesses, both global players and small, micro and medium enterprises, to the Nigerian economy is duly noted.
“Investments by the Netherlands Investment Bank FMO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund are contributing to better access to finance and energy for the private sector.
“Nigeria confirms its commitment to continuing reforms for a conducive business and investment environment while the Netherlands pledges to continue assisting Nigeria for an increase in agricultural productivity especially horticulture, seed, and sustainable palm oil production.”
President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte also reiterated their commitment to the fight against human trafficking and appreciated the close collaboration between Nigeria and Netherlands in supporting the victims.
The Netherlands PM, who decried the challenging security situation in the West-African sub-region and Nigeria, noted the efforts of Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and in countering violent extremism.
“The Netherlands will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, in particular women and girls, in order to mitigate the impact of insecurity and displacement,” the communique added.
Prime Minister Rutte is on a two-day working visit to Nigeria.
He is leading a trade delegation of eight Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Dutch multinationals currently operating in Nigeria with huge investment portfolios in the agriculture, finance, oil and gas sectors.
Five-time world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have been tipped as favourites when they confront Netherlands in Tuesday’s Round of 16 clashes at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Golden Eaglets topped their Group B table after winning two matches (defeated Hungary 4-2 and Ecuador 3-2) and losing one (1-2 to Australia). Victories over Hungary and Ecuador were obtained at the Estadio Olimpico while the loss to Australia was in Brasilia.
Now, the Nigerian youngsters are back at the familiar surroundings of Estadio Olimpico and are determined to go all out for victory against the Dutch on Tuesday night.
Nigeria forward Ibrahim Sa’id is the only player to have scored a hat-trick at the tournament, and team captain Samson Tijani has also weighed in with two goals – both against Hungary in a tough-as-nails opener. Olakunle Olusegun, Akinkunmi Amoo, and Wisdom Ubani are yet to be among the goals and look forward to the game against the Dutch to make their mark.
Head Coach Manu Garba told the world media in Brazil that the will to win is part of Nigeria’s DNA, and the Class of 2019 is no exception. However, his Eaglets must overcome the disappointment of the unexpected loss to Australia in their final group game, and seize the encounter with the Dutch by the scruff rather than wait for any comeback performance.
“We will look to have the initiative from the beginning against the Netherlands. This is the knockout stage and falling behind at any stage could be tricky,” admitted captain Tijani.
The match will kick-off at 8pm Brazil time (midnight in Nigeria).
BRAZIL 2019 ROUND OF 16 MATCHES
Tuesday: Angola Vs Korea Republic; Nigeria Vs the Netherlands
Wednesday: Japan Vs Mexico; Spain Vs Senegal; Brazil Vs Chile; France Vs Australia
Victory in Amsterdam puts Chelsea level with last season’s Champions League semi-finalists on six points at the top of Group H and back on track to make the last 16 after a home defeat to Valencia on matchday one.
“It was very important after losing the first game against Valencia,” said Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
“We showed a great ability to control the game after the first 15-20 minutes.
“We had a lot of chances to win the game, we were brave, we pressed high and very happy to get a late goal from Michy.”
Batshuayi has had to be patient for his chance to shine under Lampard with Tammy Abraham’s fine form keeping the Belgian international on the sidelines.
Lampard introduced Batshuayi ahead of French international Olivier Giroud for the final 20 minutes and he had the desired effect by smashing in off the underside of the bar from Pulisic’s cut-back.
“The other two (Giroud and Batshuayi) stay patient, work hard, support the group and have talent. He’s waited for his moment and fully deserved it,” added Lampard.
Chelsea showed that their young side were ready for the European stage on Wednesday after Michy Batshuayi’s late winner fired them to a 1-0 Champions League win at Ajax that puts them square in the fight for the knockout stages.
Substitute Batshuayi struck in the 86th minute to seal a hugely impressive win in Amsterdam that puts Chelsea level on six points with last year’s semi-finalists at the top of Group H.
Valencia will have the chance to draw alongside their group rivals with a win at Lille later on Wednesday.
“It’s feels huge, which always scares me because there’s a lot to do. We’re entitled to be excited about the way we played tonight,” Lampard told reporters.
“That’s the blueprint. No excuses from now to dip from that.”
Frank Lampard’s side had to ride their luck in the Johan Cruyff Arena, with Quincy Promes’ first half tap-in ruled out for the tightest of offsides and Edson Alvarez hitting the post with a diving header near the hour mark.
However, a youthful Chelsea showed they could compete with Europe’s top sides despite losing Eden Hazard in the summer, going toe-to-toe with one of the continent’s most dynamic attacking teams in a tight contest before winning their sixth straight match in all competitions.
They face Ajax at Stamford Bridge in the next round of games in a clash that on Wednesday’s evidence looks to be the key in deciding who tops the group.
“They’re still babies in terms of Champions League minutes… football will continue to give you tests all the time to I don’t want to say they’re there or ‘this is it’,” added Lampard.
“But I thought the balance of young players that are learning quickly and the experienced players who they rely on to set examples feels good.”
Stifled Ajax curse luck
In a match littered with sloppy passing in the final third, it was another substitute in Christian Pulisic who provided a moment of quality to slot a low cross across the area that Batshuyai got to first.
The Belgian’s finish squeezed in off the crossbar to send Chelsea’s players and fans wild and provide Ajax with their first defeat of a season that had seen them continue with the form that bewitched Europe last season.
Chelsea restricted Ajax’s talented attacking side, led by Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech, to just two shots on target, while academy graduates Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham initially led the charge at the other end.
Lampard spoke very highly of Hudson-Odoi on Tuesday and the winger was a threat on the left, even though the youngster was wasteful when he got the ball.
The 18-year-old gave the ball away in attacking positions a number of times in the first half and fired a very presentable chance wide in the 27th minute when a Marcos Alonso cross dropped to him in the area.
The only shot on target in the opening period came from Mount, who played a neat one-two with Hudson-Odoi before forcing Andre Onana into a smart save at his near post.
However it was Promes who came closest to opening the scoring when he pounced on Hakim Ziyech’s deflected shot to tap home, only to see the goal ruled out as he celebrated with his teammates and supporters.
The home fans could hardly believe their luck when Alvarez’s header bounced off the upright after the break, as Chelsea’s defence briefly wobbled before regaining composure and becoming the second team this season to shut out flamboyant Ajax.
Lampard sent on Pulisic and Batshuayi for Willian and Abraham and the move almost paid off immediately, the striker finding himself completely free in the box in the 73rd minute only to lash his finish way over the bar.
However he soon had his winner thanks to American Pulisic, himself just 21, who has been left out of the limelight this season but made an impact when he laid on his attacking partner for a huge winner.
Dutch police on Saturday arrested 130 climate change protesters who blocked a main bridge in central Amsterdam as Extinction Rebellion activists disrupted traffic in front of the French parliament in Paris.
The group, created in Britain last year, has carried out a wave of demonstrations around the world since Monday, primarily attempting to blockade city centre streets.
“The police has for the moment carried out 130 arrests at the Blauwbrug bridge” in the heart of the Dutch capital, the police said on Twitter.
Dozens of activists gathered at the bridge at around 9:00 am (0700 GMT), local media said.
The historic bridge connects several districts in central Amsterdam and dates back to the 17th century.
Some of the protesters slumped on hammocks hung from pillars supporting the bridge to prevent boats from passing underneath.
Protesters have multiplied in the city since Monday, when some 80 people were arrested outside the celebrated Rijksmuseum, one of Amsterdam’s top tourist draws.
In France, a few hundred activists blocked a key route to the National Assembly for a few hours but were dispersed by police in the afternoon.
“The police is not our enemy. it’s the big industrialists who exploit the living and the states who let them do it,” one demonstrator said.
Extinction Rebellion members occupied Paris’s central Chatelet area for five days until Friday evening.
Extinction Rebellion is demanding that governments drastically cut the carbon emissions that scientists say cause devastating climate change.
They are backed by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager whose searing UN address in September made international headlines, and by academics studying rising temperatures and sea levels.
Their protests have irritated drivers and some officials but raised the hopes of those who see climate change as a threat to the planet.
The movement is partially credited with pushing the UK government in June to become the first in the Europe Union to commit itself to a net-zero target for planet warming emissions by 2050.
Extinction Rebellion is demanding governments reach that target by 2025, as well as holding “citizens assemblies” to decide policies to achieve that aim.
Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay inspired the Netherlands’ thrilling fightback as they scored three times in the last 10 minutes to seal a dramatic 3-1 win over Northern Ireland in Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier.
Ronald Koeman’s side were in danger of a shock defeat when Josh Magennis put the visitors ahead at De Kuip.
But the Feyenoord Stadium has been a fortress for the Netherlands and they have now won their last 17 games at the venue.
Memphis Depay sparked the dramatic finale with his 80th minute equaliser and De Jong bagged the crucial second in stoppage-time.
There was still time for Depay to strike again to complete the remarkable comeback.
The Netherlands sit top of Group C in the race to qualify for next year’s European Championships.
They are ahead of second placed Germany and third placed Northern Ireland, with all three teams having 12 points.
Significantly, the Netherlands and Germany have played one game less than Northern Ireland.
Koeman’s men will visit Windsor Park to face Northern Ireland again in November.
Koeman had warned his players to be wary of Northern Ireland’s “fighting machines”.
And Michael O’Neill’s side did everything in their power to claim a famous upset before running out of steam in the final minutes.
Kyle Lafferty, who is yet to score for Norwegian club Sarpsborg since joining in August, led the attack for Northern Ireland.
Lafferty was tasked with breaking down a Dutch defence anchored by Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk and he caused them some uncomfortable moments with his relentless pressing.
The Dutch were struggling to find any rhythm and when Ryan Babel teed up Georginio Wijnaldum, his shot was well blocked by Stuart Dallas, with Daley Blind blazing wide from the follow-up.
Northern Ireland kept up their defiant rearguard action as Steven Bergwijn’s shot was blocked by Jonny Evans.
By the time Wijnaldum shanked well over from Depay’s pass soon after the interval, it was clear Koeman’s team were growing frustrated.
Koeman sent on Donyell Malen and Donny van de Beek midway through the half in a bid to prise open the Irish defence.
Wijnaldum had an acrobatic strike hacked off the line by Leicester defender Evans.
However, it was Northern Ireland who snatched the shock lead against the run of play in the 75th minute.
When the Dutch made a hash of clearing, Dallas worked space on the touchline to loft a cross towards Magennis.
With Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt caught under the ball, Hull striker Magennis rose highest to head home from close-range.
But Depay came to the Netherlands’ rescue 10 minutes from full-time when the Lyon forward calmly slotted home from Malen’s pass.
Suddenly, the hosts were rampant and their pressure was rewarded in stoppage-time as De Jong poked home from virtually on the goal-line.
It was a heart-breaking moment for Northern Ireland and Depay finished them off when he rolled in his second goal off the post.
Nigeria and the Netherlands have signed a trade and international cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
Speaking with journalists after the signing of the new trade agreement supervised by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo said the trade agreement will open new frontiers for Nigeria.
Leader of the delegation from Netherlands, Mr Sigrid Kaag explained that the new trade agreement with Nigeria covers several areas of cooperation.
The Netherlands is Nigeria’s leading trade partner in Europe.
The International Criminal Court is on Monday to pass judgment on Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, dubbed the “Terminator” for allegedly masterminding massacres and using children in his rebel army.
Ntaganda, 45, is accused of overseeing the slaughter of civilians by his soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s volatile, mineral-rich Ituri region in 2002 and 2003.
Prosecutors gave horrific details of victims including some who were disembowelled and had their throats slit, as part of the evidence during his three-year trial in The Hague.
The ICC says it will announce at 0800 GMT “whether it finds the accused innocent or guilty beyond reasonable doubt.”
The soft-spoken Ntaganda — known for his pencil moustache and a penchant for fine dining — told judges during his trial that he was “soldier not a criminal” and that the “Terminator” nickname did not apply to him.
Rwandan-born Ntaganda faces 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity for his role in the brutal conflict that wracked the northeastern region.
Prosecutors portrayed him as the ruthless leader of ethnic Tutsi revolts amid the wars that wracked the Democratic Republic of Congo after the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda.
More than 60,000 people have been killed since the violence erupted in the region in 1999 according to rights groups, as militias battle each other for control of scarce mineral resources.
High profile setbacks
Prosecutors said Ntaganda was central to the planning and operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots rebels and its military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).
The FPLC killed at least 800 people as it fought rival militias in Ituri, prosecutors said.
Formerly a Congolese army general, Ntaganda then became a founding member of the M23 rebel group, which was eventually defeated by Congolese government forces in 2013.
The first-ever suspect to voluntarily surrender to the ICC, he walked into the US embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2013 and asked to be sent to the court, based in the Netherlands.
Ntaganda is one of five Congolese warlords brought before the ICC, which was set up in 2002 as an independent international body to prosecute those accused of the world’s worst crimes.
Ntaganda’s former FPLC commander Thomas Lubanga was sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2012.
But it has suffered several setbacks over recent years with some of its most high-profile suspects walking free, while it has also been criticised for mainly trying African suspects so far.
In a separate hearing on Monday, judges are to determine whether there is enough evidence for a Malian jihadist to face trial for demolishing Timbuktu’s fabled shrines, as well as for rape, torture and sex slavery.
Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was captured and transferred to the court last year.