83m Nigerians To Benefit As Buhari Signs National Health Authority Bill Into Law

In this file photo, President Muhammadu Buhari assents to Executive Order 11 on National Public Buildings Maintenance at the Council Chambers of the State House in Abuja on April 6, 2022


Eighty-three million Nigerians are set to be covered as President Muhammadu Buhari signed the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022 into law. 

This is according to a statement released by presidential aide Garba Shehu on Thursday.

He said the bill repeals “the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

Garba Shehu quoted his principal as saying during the signing of the law that a Fund will be set up “to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission”.

READ ALSOEl-Rufai Raises Alarm Over Presence Of Boko Haram, ISWAP In Kaduna

“For the large number of vulnerable individuals who are not able to pay health insurance premiums, a Vulnerable Group Fund will be set up to include a component of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund due to the Authority, Health Insurance Levy, Special Intervention Fund, and any investment proceeds, donations, and gifts to the Authority,” Buhari was quoted as explaining.

Buhari noted that the Authority will liaise with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enroll Nigerians into the scheme.

This is part of moves to ensure the delivery of quality health care. The new Act also enables the Authority and state governments to develop information management systems and digital records to enhance data collection, monitoring, and quality assurance.

The Nigerian leader, therefore, urged the Health Reform Committee to work with state governments, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure the implementation of the articles in the new Act, the statement added.

Barcelona Sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang left Arsenal without ‘saying goodbye’.


Barcelona have signed former Arsenal captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing until 2025, the club said on Wednesday. 

“It’s Auba time!” declared the club in a tweet which included a video of  Aubameyang declaring “I’m here Barcelona fans! Forza Barca!”

“The player will sign a contract until June 30, 2025, with an option to agree departure on June 30, 2023,” said the club on their web site, adding that the deal for the 32-year-old included a 100 million euros ($113 million) buyout clause.

“Aubameyang is a remarkably fast striker and has an eye for goal, having racked up over 300 as a professional. His powerful but accurate shooting have made him one of the most feared goal-getters in the European game,” said the statement.

READ ALSO: Police Release Man Utd’s Mason Greenwood On Bail

His previous club, Arsenal, on Tuesday released Aubameyang. That cleared the way for the striker, who was already in Spain, to sign for Barcelona as a free agent outside the transfer window which closed on Monday night.

Aubameyang is believed to have taken a significant cut on his Arsenal wage, which started at around 300,000 euros ($337,000) a week. Barca continue to be hampered by enormous debts, which amount to more than a billion euros.

They sit fifth in La Liga, a point behind Atletico Madrid, who they play at home on Sunday when Aubameyang could make his debut. Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on the last day of the 2018 January transfer window for a reported 56 million pounds, a club record at the time. In almost exactly four years at the club, he appeared in 165 competitive games and scored 92 goals

But his form had dipped rapidly since signing a three-year contract that reportedly made him the Premier League’s highest earner at the time in September 2020.  Aubameyang was dropped for a north London derby last season for arriving late for a team meeting and was stripped of the captaincy in December for what Arsenal described as “his latest disciplinary breach”.

In January, Aubameyang was part of the Gabon squad at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon but missed the first two games with coronavirus before being sent homme after team medical staff said they had detected “cardiac lesions”. The British Press Association reported that Arsenal delayed announcing Aubameyang’s departure as a gesture of respect to Barcelona, whose president, Joan Laporta, said on Tuesday that the official unveiling may come later in the week


Brentford Sign Eriksen Months After Euro 2020 Cardiac Arrest

In this file photo, Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen runs during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / various sources / AFP)


Christian Eriksen has completed a remarkable return to the Premier League, signing for Brentford just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at last year’s European Championship.

The 29-year-old playmaker, who has been fitted with a pacemaker, has signed a contract with Thomas Frank’s side until the end of the season.

The ex-Tottenham player left Inter Milan last month by mutual consent. The pacemaker meant he was not allowed to play in Italian football, but other leagues do not have the same rules.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Eriksen Part Ways With Inter Milan ‘By Mutual Consent’

“Brentford FC can confirm the signing of Denmark international midfield player Christian Eriksen, subject to international clearance,” read a club statement, saying he had joined after completing a medical assessment.

Frank, who worked with Eriksen while in charge of Denmark’s Under-17s squad early in his career, welcomed his compatriot to the club.

“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford,” he said.

“He is fit but we will need to get him match fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level.

“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football. He can find the right passes and is a goal threat.”


Guardiola Seeks New Signing For Injured Mendy

Manchester City’s Spanish coach Pep Guardiola/ AFP


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will seek to make “three or four” major signings this summer, with a replacement for the injury-hit Benjamin Mendy a top priority.

Mendy has been plagued by knee problems since joining from Monaco for £52 million ($69 million) in 2017, forcing Guardiola to use a number of makeshift left-backs in Aymeric Laporte, Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

“Today, he’s not fit,” said Guardiola. “It’s not about (the physicality of) English football, it’s the fact that he’s not able to play, he’s been injured during two seasons.

“If it happens in two seasons it can happen three, yeah definitely. Hopefully not, we’ll work with that, he’s working with that, but the truth is we could use him in a few games.

“That is the reality. At the end, the strongest guys, every day are there. That is the truth. That’s why we are looking for, maybe, you know, for the next season.”

READ ALSO: City Back At Premier League Top After Win At Bournemouth

Guardiola is hopeful of adding up to four new faces in the summer. Back up for Fernandinho in holding midfield is another top target.

City’s business in the transfer market may even be hastened by a FIFA investigation that could lead to a transfer ban, similar to that imposed on Chelsea last week.

Chelsea have appealed their ban for two transfer windows over the signing of foreign minors.

City are facing a similar probe into their conduct over foreign youth signings, meaning the need to stockpile talent this year could be more important than ever.

“There are three or four positions I think we have to try to look for and some ideas we have,” added Guardiola.

City missed out on Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and Manchester United’s forgotten Brazilian Fred last summer in the search for a successor to Fernandinho.

The 33-year-old’s presence has been badly missed at times when sidelined by injury this season.

But Ilkay Gundogan ably deputised for a 1-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday and is expected to maintain his place in that role with Fernandinho some weeks away from a return to action.

Guardiola is keen for the German to extend his contract beyond 2020 having rejected the club’s first offer.

“I think Gundo, in the first season he couldn’t play because of a tough injury, six or seven months out, but always when he was able to play a lot of games he is an incredibly important player,” added Guardiola.

“He knows what we want, he knows what we think about him but it’s the same as other cases like we said in the past, at the end, the last decision is not in our hands.

“We try to speak with him, we want him to extend the contract right now. Yesterday would have been better than today, and today better than tomorrow. But if he doesn’t want to, we cannot do anything else.

“If he was 100 percent (certain to stay), then the deal would have been done, we are still in negotiations.”


Bayern To Complete Signing Of Chelsea Teenager Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi controls the ball during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 8, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP


Bayern Munich, who are targeting young talent in the current transfer window, have confirmed their strong interest in English teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi amid reports the defending German champions have agreed to a fee with Chelsea.

“We definitely want to sign him – he has the qualities which would fit very well into our team,” Bayern’s director of sports Hasan Salihamidzic said Wednesday at their winter training camp in Doha.

“He is very fast and good at dribbling.”

According to Sky, Bayern and Chelsea have agreed to a transfer of 39 million euros (35 million pounds, $44.6 million), but it is unclear whether Hudson-Odoi would move in the current Bundesliga transfer window, which closes at 1700 GMT on January 31, or in July.

It was reportedly the fourth bid Bayern have tabled for the talented Hudson-Odoi, who has made just one Premier League appearance this season.

If he moves to Munich, he will become the third English teenager currently in the Bundesliga alongside Jadon Sancho, 18, who left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, and Riess Nelson, 19, on loan from Arsenal at Hoffenheim until July.

The 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi, who can play as a winger or forward, played 79 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night in the English League Cup semi-final.

His sole Premier League appearance so far this season was as an injury replacement in a 2-1 win at Watford on December 26.

The England Under-19 international is set to face more competition next season at Stamford Bridge with the arrival of US winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund in July.

On Wednesday, Bayern also confirmed the signing of French World Cup-winning defender Benjamin Pavard, 22, on a five-year contract from July 1 for 35 million euros.

Despite winning the Bundesliga title for each of the last six seasons, Bayern will resume the 2018/19 campaign on January 18 trailing current leaders Dortmund by six points.

They are looking for more youthful recruits to boost their aging squad with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, and Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez, both 22, also targeted.

“He is a very interesting player,” said Salihamidzic of Hernandez, who can play at left-back or as a central defender, but is under contract in Madrid until 2024 with a buy-out clause worth 80 million euros.

Werner, who has scored nine goals in 23 appearances for Germany, has been offered an extension to his current contract, which runs until 2020, by Leipzig.

Should he reject the offer, he is likely to transfer out of Leipzig at the end of this season, RB’s director Oliver Mintzlaff has confirmed.


Trump To Extend White House Invitation As Kim Signs Document

US President Donald Trump holds up a document signed by him and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP


US President Donald Trump said he would be “absolutely” willing to invite North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un to the White House after a historic meeting in Singapore.

Asked by reporters if he would invite him to Washington, Trump said: “Absolutely, I would.”

Trump’s comments come after weeks in the making after decades of war, antagonism and venom, the first encounter between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump was a crucial moment.

Within the first minute of their meeting in Singapore, the US president had proclaimed, he would know whether a deal over the North’s nuclear arsenal was possible.

The drive to the venue took both men through the tourist enclave of Sentosa island and past the towers of Shrek’s castle at a Universal Studios theme park.

But they emerged from their limousines grim and unsmiling, and the first few moments of their meeting appeared uneasy.

Although Kim agreed to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that fell short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal.

After a day filled with smiles and compliments in the sumptuous setting of a luxury Singapore hotel that was watched around the world, the US “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea.

Ahead of the meeting, critics expressed concerns that it risked being more about media headlines than substantive progress.

Asked about denuclearisation — the crux of the summit — Trump said, “we’re starting that process”, adding that it would begin “very, very quickly.”

But the text of the two men’s agreement made no mention of previous US demands for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation” — jargon for scrapping weapons and committing to inspections.

Melissa Hanham of the US-based Center for Nonproliferation Studies said on Twitter that North Korea had “already promised to do this many times,” adding the two sides “still don’t agree on what ‘denuclearisation’ means.”

In neutral Singapore, the leaders, who had previously hurled insults like “mentally deranged” and “little rocket man”, showered compliments on each other.

Trump said he had formed a “special bond” with Kim, whose regime has been accused of multiple human rights abuse and who is suspected of ordering the assassination of his brother at a Malaysian airport last year.

“We’ll meet again,” Trump said after a signing ceremony, standing with Kim on the verandah where they first met. “We will meet many times.”

Trump said he “absolutely” would be willing to invite Kim to the White House.


Obafemi Martins joins Levante from Rubin Kazan

Former Super Eagles striker; Obafemi Martins has moved to Spanish club Levante dumping his Russian club Rubin Kazan as he agreed to terminate his contract with the Russian club.

Martins who left inter Milan to Wolfsburg before he moved to Rubin Kazan is expected to earn an annual wage of around €600,000 every season.

Obafemi Martins was entitled to a wage of €2.2 million at Rubin Kazan after signing a deal worth €9 million from German Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg.

Martins signed a two-year deal with Levante on Tuesday and will be unveiled today.

Penalize non-performing ministers, labour leader tells Jonathan

The National Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Isa Aremu on Friday threw his weight behind the signing of performance contract between President Goodluck Jonathan and the members of his cabinet.

Mr Aremu said that performance should be tied to reward and sanctions.

The NLC Vice President spoke as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Performance contract not associated with budget criticism – Shamsudeen Usman

The Minister of National Planning Commission, Shamsudeen Usman on Friday denied claims that the signing of  performance contract between President Goodluck Jonathan and the ministers was as a result of the criticisms over poor budget implementation.

According to the minister, the move is to create a result-oriented government and ensure service delivery and accountability of leadership.

The minister  spoke as a guest on Channels Television’s morning programme, Sunrise Daily.