FIBA Threatens Sanctions Over Nigeria’s Basketball Suspension

The Nigerian girls had lost their fight game against China. Photo: FIBA

 

World basketball body FIBA has threatened to sanction Nigeria over its decision to withdraw from international competitions for two years.

FIBA in a letter signed by its Head of Legal, Jaime Lamboy, and dated May 18, 2022, the body said Nigeria’s decision was in breach of Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes.

“National member federations shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” the letter addressed to Nigeria Basketball Federation President, Musa Ahmadu-Kida, read in part.

Article 10.2 of the FIBA Statutes stated that on the initiative of the Secretary-General, FIBA Central Board may suspend a national member federation for the breach of Article 9.7.

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The implication of the sanction would mean that Nigeria will miss out on the 2024 Olympic Games, as well as the 2025 World Championships for the male and female teams.

FIBA also reacted to a letter earlier written to them by the Ahmadu-Kida-led NBBF board.

“In such letter, you pre-emptively informed FIBA of the apparent decision by the Nigerian Government (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development) intending to have Nigeria take a break from all international engagements for two years and enabling an Interim Management Committee to run the affairs of the basketball in Nigeria,” the letter read.

“As you already are aware, Nigeria is due to participate in the following FIBA competitions in the upcoming months: FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers (FBWC23 Qualifiers) FIBA 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup (FWBWC22).

“As you are aware, any withdrawal of Nigeria from the abovementioned competitions will trigger potential disciplinary sanctions as per the FIBA Internal Regulations. Furthermore, if the absence of Nigeria from international competitions for the next two years materialises, the consequences may spread out well past such a two-year period.

“For example, please note that the withdrawal from the FBWC23 Qualifiers is also a withdrawal from the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification process. Similarly, depending on third-party results, the same situation could apply with respect to FIBA AfroBasket 2025.”

“Accordingly, we request from the NBBF to immediately inform FIBA whether its participation in the abovementioned competitions is or not ratified.

“We take the opportunity to remind the NBBF of its obligations to manage its affairs with no influence from third parties, as per Article 9.6 of FIBA General Statutes.”

This is coming a week after President Muhammadu Buhari approved with immediate effect, Nigeria’s withdrawal from all international basketball competitions for two years, following a lingering leadership rift in the NBBF.

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, had explained that the withdrawal would help the country revamp the sport from the grassroots, as well as put an end to the basketball crises.

Nigeria’s GDP Records 3.11% Growth In First Quarter

A file photo of a bus park in Lagos.

 

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

In its latest report published on Monday, the NBS revealed that the figure showed sustained positive growth for the sixth consecutive quarter since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarters two and three of that year.

“The first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance,” the report said. “The observed trend since Q4 2020 is an indication of gradual economic stability.

“The Q1 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51 per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 2021 by 2.60 per cent points and lower than 3.98 per cent recorded in Q4 2021 by 0.88 per cent points. Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66 per cent in Q1 2022 compared to Q4 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.”

 

In the quarter under review, according to the data agency, the aggregate GDP stood at N45,317,823.33 million in nominal terms – a performance that was higher when compared to the Q1 2021 which recorded an aggregate GDP of N40,014,482.74 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25 per cent.

It added that the nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25 per cent growth recorded in Q1 2021, and higher compared to the 13.11 per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter.

While broadly classifying the Nigerian economy into the oil and non-oil sectors, the NBS revealed that the nation recorded an average daily oil production of 1.49 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q1 2022.

This value, it stated, was lower than the daily average production of 1.72mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2021 by 0.23mbpd, and lower than the Q4 2021 production volume of 1.50mbpd by 0.01mbpd.

“Real growth of the oil sector was –26.04 per cent (year-on-year) in Q1 2022, indicating a decrease of 23.83 per cent points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021,” the report said. “Growth decreased by 17.99 per cent points when compared to Q4 2021 which was –8.06 per cent.

“Quarter-on-Quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 9.11% in Q1 2022. The oil sector contributed 6.63 per cent to the total real GDP in Q1 2022, down from the figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and up compared to the preceding quarter, where it contributed 9.25 per cent and 5.19 per cent respectively.”

 

According to the data agency, the non-oil sector grew by 6.08 per cent in real terms during the reference quarter (Q1 2022).

It explained that the rate was higher by 5.28 per cent points compared to the rate recorded same quarter of 2021 and 1.34 per cent points higher than the fourth quarter of 2021.

“This sector was driven in the first quarter of 2022 mainly by information and communication (telecommunication); trade; financial and insurance (financial institutions); agriculture (crop production); and manufacturing (food, beverage, and tobacco), accounting for positive GDP growth.

“In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 93.37 per cent to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2022, higher than the share recorded in the first quarter of 2021 which was 90.75 per cent, and lower than the fourth quarter of 2021 recorded as 94.81 per cent.”

I Have No Apology For Being ‘Mad About Nigeria’ – Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he is “mad” about Nigeria and he has no apology for being passionate about Africa’s most populous nation.

He stated this while playing host to presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Muhammed Hayatudeen, at his presidential library home in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“Passion means madness; that you are mad about Nigeria. I am and I have no apology for that because I have no other country I can call my own,” Obasanjo said.

“I have no other country I can go to and say that ‘Yes, I have come to live here’. Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo speaks while receiving PDP presidential aspirantMuhammed Hayatudeen, at his presidential library home in Abeokuta on May 19, 2022.

 

The ex-president also spoke on four factors responsible for the low level of socioeconomic and political development of the country despite different opportunities that have presented themselves for real development.

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He said lack of passion, vision, innovation, and knowledge have largely responsible for the low level of development.

On insecurity, Obasanjo maintained that Nigeria can overcome its numerous challenges with the right leader who would be willing to make tough decisions.

This is even as he called on all Nigerians to be ready to make sacrifices to put the country back on the right path.

He added, “It is an agonising situation for you, obviously, and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, as bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.

“And you are right in saying that, wherever you go now, one of the things you hear is that Nigeria is not on the table, but why shouldn’t Nigeria be on the table? What does it cost Nigeria to be on the table?

“I will say four things, of which I was reminded this morning. One is knowledge. If Nigeria is not at the table, maybe the knowledge that we should have of ourselves, of our situation, of our continent, and indeed of the world is not that adequate, if that knowledge is adequate, we will do what is right, when it is right and how it is right.

“The second is vision, what is the vision that we have? And if you have no vision, you may have eyes, but you are blind. And I believe that is part of our situation.”

In his remarks, Hayatudeen said that even as a military Head of State, former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought about many policy reforms that transformed the nation.

He said he was grateful to the former leader for playing host to him and his entourage.

Three Nigerians Eye Historic Europa League Glory With Rangers

A photo collage of Aribo, Calvin Bassey, and Leon Balogun of Rangers.

 

Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, and Calvin Bassey will be aiming for history when Glasgow Rangers take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

The match could even be more historic if  Rangers’ manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst lists the Nigerians in the squad for the tie in Seville.

Wednesday’s match is another landmark game. It will be the first time three Nigerians will feature for a club that got to the European final. Finidi George and Nwankwo Kanu played for Ajax in the 1995 Champions League final against AC Milan while Mikel Obi and Victor Moses were part of the Chelsea team that won the Europa League in 2013.

READ ALSO: [WAFU B Tournament] Nigeria Reaches Final, Qualify For 2023 U20 AFCON

‘The Boys Are Buzzing’

Rangers’ Nigerian midfielder Joseph Ayodele-Aribo attends a team training session at the Rangers Training Centre in Glasgow on May 12, 2022, ahead of their Europa League final football match against Eintracht Frankfurt on May 18th. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

 

Rangers face the Germans in Seville aiming to add to their 1971/72 Cup Winners’ Cup success.

Victory for Rangers will be a huge compensation for the trio who featured as Nigeria failed to make the 2022 World Cup.

But Aribo is determined to banish the memories of the World Cup miss and Nigeria’s Round of 16 crash at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

“All the boys are buzzing. We know what an opportunity we have and we are ready to go, to be honest,” Aribo said.

‘It’s Just Crazy’

Leon Balogun scored in the team’s run to the final. [email protected] Balogun.

 

For Calvin Bassey, 22, playing in the Europa League final is a dream come true.

“When I look at it four years ago, I was just like an U18s footballer. I’m in the youth team and now four years on I can potentially play in the Europa League final,” he told Rangers’ TV.

“It is just crazy just looking at how far I have come and how happy I am every day for being here and just being a part of it.”

Balogun’s Role

Bassey’s compatriot, Balogun will be playing in his first European Cup final. The 33-year-old should be in the matchday squad if fit. Already, he has a goal to his name in the competition. He was on the scoresheet for Rangers against Crvena Zvezda.

Overall, he has played 10 games for Van Bronckhorst’s men in the Europa League this season.

‘Chance… To Be In History Books’

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (R) during his time at Feyenoord Rotterdam. Credit: Van Bronckhorst/Twitter
File photo: Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (R) during his time at Feyenoord Rotterdam. Credit: Van Bronckhorst/Twitter

 

The game is also hugely significant for the club. When administration, liquidation, and relegation all blighted a broken Rangers in 2012, none thought they would be so swift in recovering.

But if the Rangers’ recovery was complete when they won the Scottish Premiership again last season, a final in Seville now offers them a shot at European glory too.

“We’re one game away from making history,” Rangers midfielder Aaron Ramsey said on Monday as the squad departed for Spain, the final leg of a journey that began eight months ago in defeat and disappointment.

With the chance to play in the Champions League on the back of winning the Scottish title, Rangers instead lost to Malmo in the third qualifying round, a result that set up a play-off to reach the Europa League with Alashkert from Armenia.

There were more prestigious opponents to come as Rangers, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst from November after Steven Gerrard left for Aston Villa, defeated Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, and Leipzig in the knock-out rounds to reach their first European final in 14 years.

A victory would earn the club its first cup on the continent since Rangers beat Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in Barcelona to lift the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.

“This is a chance for them to be in the history books of this club and really get a historic win,” said Van Bronckhorst.

“Then the stories they will tell in years to come will be the same stories that the players from 1972 tell to my players.

“I’ve said it before you have to dream of something to really achieve it. You can work hard and really give everything to achieve your goal and that is beautiful.”

Nigeria Will Sustain Investments In Aviation Security, Safety – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari (RIGHT) Secretary-General of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Mr Juan Carlos Salazar, Director, Air Transport Bureau, Mr. Mohammed Khalifa Rahma, Director, Technical Cooperation Bureau, Mr. Jorge Vargas, Regional Director ICAO WACAF and Regional Director, ICAO EASF, Mr Barry Kashambo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria will sustain investments in aviation security and safety.

The President said that more investments will be deployed to the provision of infrastructure and facilities for safe, secure, environmentally friendly, and sustainable civil aviation.

He stated this on Tuesday when he received the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar, at the State House.

According to the President, Nigeria will support the ideals and aspirations of ICAO and the achievement of its strategic objectives, in collaboration with the other Member States of the Organization.

“Nigeria became a member of the ICAO Council in 1962, and since then, it has continued to make valuable contributions to the Council’s work and its activities.

“It is pertinent to also mention that Nigeria has been playing a key role in supporting the implementation of ICAO Policies and Programmes internationally, and particularly in the African region.

“To this end, Nigeria has ratified international air law instruments like the Montreal Protocol and amendments to some articles of the Chicago Convention. Nigeria is also championing the cause of Aviation safety, security, and facilitation in Africa,’’ he said.

The President told the ICAO delegation that he has approved the establishment of Aerospace University in Abuja to cater to research and development as well as provide manpower for the industry.

“In this regard, Nigeria is looking forward to the continued support of ICAO under its ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative,’’ he added.

President Buhari also noted that the Nigerian Government has established independent agencies in order to enhance aviation safety and security while ensuring effective and efficient provision and management of infrastructure in all aspects of the industry.

“These include the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for safety and economic oversight of the industry; the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency for air traffic services; the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria for management of Government-owned airports; the Nigerian Meteorological Agency for meteorological services; and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, the nation’s main aviation training organization, established in 1964 in collaboration with ICAO and the United Nations Development Programme.

“Nigeria is fully committed to working with other States and support the implementation of the Global Aviation Safety Plan, the Global Air Navigation Plan, as well as the Global Aviation Security Plan,’’ the President said.

As part of its support, President Buhari said Nigeria, over time, seconded auditors to support various ICAO programmes in the areas of safety and security.

“We have also contributed experts on various ICAO technical panels, commissions, and working groups.

“The Government of Nigeria has adopted a civil aviation policy, which is centered on liberalization and Public-Private-Partnerships Initiative. These have resulted in huge investments in the nation’s airport infrastructure and services, increased capacity utilization, and a phenomenal increase in the number of domestic operators. Indeed, the domestic and international traffic has experienced tremendous growth since our assumption of office in 2015.

“Nigeria is the headquarters of the Regional Safety Oversight Organisation, the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization and also, a major contributor and participant in the Regional Accident Investigation Agency, the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency,’’ he added.

Recently, according to the President, Nigeria made a robust donation to the ICAO voluntary Air Transport Fund in order to be part of the Global efforts for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have also made a significant financial contribution to the Safety and Human Resource Development Funds, in addition to hosting several ICAO meetings and regional workshops, including the widely acclaimed successful third ICAO World Aviation Forum, as well as several other workshops on safety oversight,’’ he said.

Also speaking at the event, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Abubakar Sirika, commended President Buhari for the giant strides taken under his administration in the areas of aviation safety, security, and development.

“Our profile improved significantly during your tenure, Mr. President. Passengers rose from 8 million to 18 million in four years, while security and safety also went up significantly,” he said.

The ICAO Secretary General lauded what he calls “the leadership role Nigeria plays in civil aviation in Africa,” saying the country’s record is one of the most impressive in the world.

“The number of airports have doubled, and passengers are growing in spite of COVID-19. The record of safety is the most important performance indicator of all. I recognize the excellent work by your government to maintain high standards, in line with international best practices,” Salazar said.

Stressing that it’s important to maintain the track record, the ICAO scribe stressed that there was no end line in civil aviation, “we keep chasing targets that go on and on.”

He urged President Buhari to sustain the support being given to the sector, to attract further investment, tourism, and continued growth.

Troops Neutralize 18 Terrorists, 115 Bandits In Two Weeks

Army Speaks About Recent Attacks On Military Bases In North East
A file photo of troops. Source: [email protected]

 

Troops of the Nigerian military have neutralized 18 terrorists and 115 bandits in various operations in the Northeast, Northwest, and North Central regions of the country.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this during the bi-weekly media briefing at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, where he highlighted some of the achievements of the military within the last two weeks.

He said troops of Operation Hadin Kai sustained an aggressive posture by conducting clearance operations in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist/Islam State West Africa (ISWAP) province terrorists and other criminal elements in the theatre of operations in Borno State during which significant results were recorded including the neutralization of twelve terrorists and the recovery of guns as well as ammunitions were made.

“The troops’ operational efforts yielded significant results in some locations in the northeast such as Mandara Mountain, Kwatara Hill, Fadagwe Village in Gwoza local government area, Timbuktu Triangle, Buk Village in Damboa Local Government Area, Hawul Village, and Mallam Fatori in Biu Local Government Area all in Borno State.

“Notably, own troops during a robust clearance operation engaged ISWAP terrorists at Mandara mountain in Gwoza Local Government Area and Timbuktu Triangle in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno; during the encounter, 10 terrorists were neutralized.

“Troops also recovered four aa-guns, 2,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 10 bicycles, 1 unexploded improvised explosive device, one mowag apc, one truck mounted with 122 artillery gun, one machine gun, four AK 47 rifles, one 60mm mortar tube with five bombs,” General Onyeuko stated.

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In a similar vein, Onyeuko revealed that the troops “had an encounter with Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists along with Debiro-Shaffa village in Hawul local government area, and there, two terrorists were neutralized and the troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, three magazines, 143 rounds of 7.62mm special, one Dane gun, one pump action rifle, and six cartridges.”

He said a total of 174 terrorists, mainly members of ISWAP, have also surrendered to the military in the last two weeks.

According to him, “the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province have continued to surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre, a total of 174 Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa province terrorists and their families comprising of 43 adult males, 58 females and 73 children from villages around Bama and Dikwa local government area of Borno state surrendered to own troops. All surrendered terrorists and their families have been profiled.”

In the northwest, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 96 bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kebbi states during clearance patrol, rescuing eight kidnapped victims.

Major General Onyeuko said the troops also recovered 574 rustled cattle, 22 motorcycles, three AK-47 rifles, 21 rounds of ammunition, 2 locally fabricated rifles, two pump action guns, one locally-made pistol, and five rounds of 7.62mm special, and four phones.

He further explained that “in the last two weeks’ operation whirl stroke carried out kinetic and non-kinetic operations in its theatre.

“Some of the areas in which the operations were conducted are; Akula, Alijo, Hillega, Ihuwakaa, Akirga, Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward, Tyodoo in Mayongo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, Kwanta Sule Village, Gbekyor in Guma Local Government Area, Tse Ogo Village in Ugbaam Council Ward, Tse Jundo in Mbamema Council Ward of Ukum Local Government Area and Tse Kyegh Ugondo in Logo Local Government Area All in Benue State.

“The renewed intensity by own troops in the fight against banditry and other criminal elements resulted in the destruction of many bandits’ camps. Notably on 24 February 2022, while on fighting patrol, own troops responded to a distress call from Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area about the criminal activities of Iortyom Wuave aka Janta, a notorious armed militia gang leader on operation whirl stroke wanted list.

“Our troops mobilized and moved to the location and in a subsequent gun battle, Janta was neutralized.

“Relatedly on 25 February 2022 troops raided the hideout of the notorious armed bandits at Tse Jundo in Mbamena council ward in Uukum Local Government area of Benue State. During the shootout with troops, 2 of the notorious armed bandits – Terdoo Kiorga aka Apaapa and Orkulam Mom aka Orbutee were neutralized.

“The duo has been on the wanted list of Operation Whirl Stroke and is known to have unleashed mayhem on Zaki Biam and its environs in the past.

“Furthermore, 5 AK 47 rifles, 1 pimp action rifle, 1 pistol, 1 local made gun, 3 AK 47 magazines, 127 pieces of 5.56mm rounds, 6 pieces of 9mm rounds, 4 rounds of 7.62mm, 12 cartridges, 5 cell phones, and assorted charms were recovered and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions”.

In another development, troops on patrol and clearance operations encountered bandits in Kutunku, Baban Lamba villages in Wishishi, and Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state.

In the encounter, seven bandits were neutralized, three AK-47 rifles, five magazines, 71 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 37 motorcycles, and 10 mobile phones were recovered.

Within the period under review, Operation Whirl Stroke has cumulatively neutralized nine bandits and recovered eight AK-47 rifles, eight magazines, 208 special ammunitions, and 15 cell phones.

ASUU Strike: Nwajiuba Apologises To Nigerian Students, Says His Children Are Affected

A file photo of the former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba.

 

The former Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has apologised to Nigerian students over the lingering strike by the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU), saying his children are also affected. 

Nwajiuba, a presidential aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), tendered the apology during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“I do apologise to Nigerian students because as their minister, I will take responsibility.  But also, on behalf of the Federal Government, I would say ‘please understand what the issues are’,” he said during the current affairs show.

“All my four children have passed through Nigerian universities. I still have two who are at home now, because they are all in public universities.”


READ ALSO: [ASUU Strike] FG Working On A Funding Structure For Public Universities – Nwajiuba

As part of moves to end the incessant industrial action by university lecturers in public schools, he said the Federal Government is working out a funding structure for the varsities.

“I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves,” the APC chieftain explained.

“Because you see, there are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them,” Nwajiuba added.

“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable.”

According to Nwajiuba, university lecturers should find other means to press home their demands instead of going on strikes.

“In the last 20 years, we have had nearly 16 strikes. So, my position has not been that ‘Please, ASUU is talking rubbish’,” Nwajiuba said. “No, this is not true. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.

But he said, “the only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes cannot cure the problem”.

His comment came on the heels of ASUU’s extension of the strike embarked on by the union since February 14. The lecturers are accusing the Federal Government of unwillingness to heed their demands.

ASUU Strike: FG Working On A Funding Structure For Public Universities – Nwajiuba

The Federal Government is working on a funding structure for public universities in the country as part of moves to tackle the incessant strikes by lecturers in these institutions. 

This is according to the former Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba who noted that the government’s funding of public universities is unsustainable.

“I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

The presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election maintained that with the number of public universities in the country, these schools have to get new ways of making money to fund their institutions.

“Because you see, there are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them,” he argued.

“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable.”

READ ALSO: APC Inaugurates Screening Committees In Abuja

‘Point of Departure’

A file photo of the main gate of UNILAG.

 

Nwajiuba, who last week resigned his position in the cabinet to concentrate on his presidential dream, said “this (a new funding structure) is something I would implement if you give me your mandate to be president.

“I know that even if it is not implemented now, the universities autonomy law needs to be reactivated.”

The former minister’s comment adds to the debates about funding for public universities in the country. Lecturers in these institutions have been on strike since February 14, pushing their demands, which include better funding for universities.

But the APC chieftain believes ASUU should reconsider strike as a means to press home their demands.

“In the last 20 years, we have had nearly 16 strikes. So, my position has not been that ‘Please, ASUU is talking rubbish’,” Nwajiuba said. “No, this is not true. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.

He, however, said, “the only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes cannot cure the problem.”

“We need our children back in school. It hurts parents; it hurts us,” the presidential aspirant noted. “My own children are here. I don’t have children in private universities.”

NFF Names Jose Peseiro As New Super Eagles Head Coach

In this file photo, former Venezuela’s Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro gestures during the Conmebol Copa America 2021 football tournament group phase match between Venezuela and Peru at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 27, 2021. EVARISTO SA / AFP

 

Jose Peseiro has been named as the Super Eagles head coach, months after his initial deal with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) collapsed. 

An NFF statement on Sunday said the appointment is “with immediate effect, subject to the signing of agreed terms” between the football body and the Portuguese.

“Peseiro is expected to lead out the Super Eagles for the first time during the upcoming tour of the United States of America, during which the three-time African champions will slug it out with Mexico and Ecuador ‘A’ Teams in prestige friendlies,” the statement added.

“The Eagles will tango with the El Tri at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, the State of Texas on Saturday, 28th May before flying to New Jersey to confront Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on Thursday, 2nd June.”

The educationist with a degree in physical education/sports sciences will be assisted by former international George Finidi. Salisu Yusuf will now serve as the 2nd Assistant as well as head coach of the CHAN and U-23 national teams.

“Usman Abdallah is 3rd Assistant while Eboboritse Uwejamomere will be the match analyst and another former Nigeria international, Ike Shorounmu will be the goalkeepers’ trainer,” the NFF said.

Peseiro, 62, featured as a striker during his playing days and has a wide range of experience coaching several clubs and national teams across Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

He has coached at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Panathinaikos, Rapid Bucharest, Sporting Braga, Victoria Guimaraes, Al-Hilal, Al-Wahda, Al-Ahly Cairo, Sharjah FC, and Real Madrid (assistant coach during the Galacticos era).

Aside from these, he worked as head coach of the Saudi Arabian and Venezuelan national teams.

READ ALSO: An Ex-Madrid Assistant Coach… Six Things To Know About New Eagles Manager

Another ‘Opportunity To Work’

In this file photo, ex-Sporting coach Jose Peseiro gestures from the sideline during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and Boavista FC at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on October 28, 2018. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

Before Sunday’s confirmation, the Glass House had appointed Peseiro as the head coach of the three-time African champions following Gernot Rohr’s dismissal in December. Austin Eguavoen was handed an interim coach role to take Nigeria to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Peseiro was then expected to be an observer during the competition after which he would take over and lead the country to the ill-fated World Cup play-off with Ghana.

But the NFF backtracked on the move after the AFCON, citing the “positive performance” of the team at the competition where Nigeria crashed out in the round of 16 against Tunisia.

“We believe that perhaps in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him,” the NFF said while announcing the reconstitution of the Super Eagles coaching crew in February.

In the wake of the decision, Peseiro refuted claims that he was confirmed as the Nigerian head coach.

The former Porto FC boss wrote on his Instagram handle that it was a “fact that I never confirmed and these (negotiations) did not materialize due to disagreement regarding contractual clauses and financial matters.”

Days after the Super Eagles of  Nigeria failed to pick one of Africa’s tickets to the 2022 World Cup, Eguavoen, however, quit his post.

2023 Presidency: If Not South East, Let PDP Support North East – Kalu

File photo of ex-Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

 

Senator Orji Kalu has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to throw its weight behind a presidential candidate from the North East if the party will not give it all to hopefuls from the Southeastern region of the country.

In a statement on Thursday, Kalu was of the opinion that as the primary elections for political parties draw closer, it is important to pay attention to which geopolitical zone gets the presidential tickets of the two major political parties – the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the PDP.

He said, “if there is any zone that understands the pains of South Eastern Nigeria for being shut out of the presidential seat, it is its counterpart, the North East.

“The two zones remain the only zones that are yet to produce a president despite having the most capable hands to govern the country,” Kalu argued.

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“I believe in regional zoning and I will continue to repeat it as long as the issue of ‘Equity, Fairness and Justice’ is concerned. My reason is not only because it worked in 1999 when all the parties zoned their presidential tickets to the South West, but because it is the only true definition of fairness and equity.

“My clamor for the South East to produce the president after President Muhammadu Buhari was borne out of the enormous clamour and desire for the development and strengthening of our dear nation.

“I have also maintained that anything less than South East must be North East, otherwise it is hypocrisy and wickedness. The South East has given its full support to the South West and the South-South and when it got to the turn of the South East, the language changed to ‘Power is not given but taken’.

“In the absence of this clear non-agreement of the southern brothers to support zoning of the tickets to the South East, I wielded my support to the North East with the hope that justice is closer to the South East,” the lawmaker explained.

According to him, if in any circumstances, the PDP fails to give its ticket to the South East, he would encourage the party for fairness and equity to support the North East. He added that in that situation, the North East could produce candidates for the two major political parties.

While acknowledging that his position may not be palatable to ‘the theorists’ and to the few who are emotive to the core, the former Abia State governor maintained that the real “fairness, equity, and justice” is what he stands for.

The Senator in buttressing the reason for his stand regarding the 2023 presidency, said Nigeria is a large country where justice is the only means to strengthen the unity of the nation.

Buhari Ready To Resolve ASUU Strike ‘Once And For All’ – Presidency

 

Femi Adesina has said President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to resolve the lingering strikes by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) “once and for all”. 

The presidential aide made the comment on Channels Television’s Politics Today, arguing that the varsity teachers’ action dates back years.

“He (Buhari) appealed to ASUU to consider the plight of those young ones. It shows that the president is ready to have this matter resolved once and for all,” Adesina said during the show on Thursday.

He explained that President Buhari is seeking a lasting solution to the strike, maintaining that there have been industrial actions “under everyone”.

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Presidential Appeal

ASUU is accusing the government of not listening to their demands.

 

“Last week, I saw something on Facebook that Alhaji Shehu Shagari was appealing to ASUU to go back to class. Alhaji Shagari ruled 43 years ago. And he was appealing to ASUU to go back to school,” the presidential aide said.

“That shows you that this is an endemic issue. Left to the government, the students will go back tomorrow but then the issue has to be resolved conclusively so that in another six weeks, eight weeks, or six months, we don’t go back to where we are today.

“It would not vitiate the legacy of the president in any way because this dates back in time. It was there under Shagari; it was there under Buhari as a military leader; it was there under Babangida, and it was there under Shonekan — under everybody.”

Earlier in the day, Buhari had appealed to the striking lecturers to consider the students’ plight and call off the strike.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on ASUU to consider the plight of the students and call off the ongoing strike action,” Buhari said at the 19th National Productivity Day and conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit award held at the State House in Abuja.

“I also call on students to exercise patience as we try to address the nagging issues in our university system within the ambits of available resources.”

FG Withdraws Nigeria From International Basketball Competitions

A file photo of the D’Tigers, Nigeria’s male basketball team.

 

The Federal Government on Thursday announced the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved Nigeria’s withdrawal from the competitions.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, the minister said a committee would be set up to oversee basketball leagues in the country.

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“Following the unending crisis which have plagued and nearly crippled the development of basketball in Nigeria, President Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years. This is with immediate effect,” he said.

According to the Minister, the withdrawal of Nigeria is to concentrate efforts towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.

“This will also allow for the setting up of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in Nigeria,” he said.

Dare also reiterated the government’s interest and commitment to the development of the sport of Basketball in Nigeria as well as huge talents of our youth domestically in an atmosphere that is free of rancour and squabbles.

He called on players, officials, fans, and other stakeholders of the sport to remain calm as the government embarks on far-reaching initiatives to reposition, sustain and stabilize the game of Basketball for growth and success in the long-term interest of the country.