​AFCON 2021: Nigeria Defeats Benin to qualify

The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Squirrels of Benin Republic by a lone goal on Saturday to secure their qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Cameroon next year.
The injury time goal by Paul Onuachu at the Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto Novo, ensured that the three time African champions retained top spot in Group L.
With one match remaining in the qualifiers, Nigeria now has 11 points, followed by Benin Republic with 7 points.
Earlier in the day, a barren draw between Lesotho and Sierra Leone in the group’s other match had already cleared Nigeria’s passage to the tournament.
Nigeria’s final AFCON qualifying match will be against Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.

CAF had recently increased the number of groups from 4 to 6, meaning the number of teams that will participate in the continental showpiece has increased from 16 to 24.
Of the teams that have qualified for the Mundial, Gambia and Comoros Islands will be making their debut in the competition with Nigeria set to make her 19th appearance at the tournament.

​Borno Is Always First On Paying Counterpart Funds,Says UBEC Chairman

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic  Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi has revealed that Borno State Government  under the leadership of Prof Babangana Zulum is always the first to release counterpart funds, which states are required as show of commitment before states can access funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission.

Bobboyi stated this on Friday when he received the Governor of Borno, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He was speaking at an open session where journalists were allowed before the meeting continued behind closed doors.

“I have always found solace in somebody in position of authority, particularly to the level of running a state to have particular interest in education. Borno has consistently shown that over the years.” Dr. Bobboyi said.

Dr. Bobboyi expressed his delight over what he described tremendous achievements in the education sector despite all the challenges and difficulties facing Borno.

He added that cooperation with Borno while implementing interventions has always been effective.

“I find that continuity quite pleasant, where throughout the years I have spent in UBEC, Borno has never delayed in paying counterparts, infact they use to be the first with all the difficulties” Dr. Bobboyi said.

Speaking earlier, Governor Zulum gave the highlight of various collaborative projects, the Governor expressed appreciation to the commission for their support.

Zulum was accompanied by the Senator representing Borno north, Abubakar Kyari, Chief Whip of the national assembly, Barr. MT Monguno, Hon. Ali Kotoko and former commissioner of education, Hon. Musa Inuwa Kubo.

​Don’t host Tinubu’s birthday party in Govt House, Arewa youths tell Ganduje

For alleged moves to turn Government House, Kano into venue for the birthday party of National leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu,the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) has cautioned Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and advised him to move the event elsewhere .

“The plan is an insult on the symbol of authority that the Government House has been to the Kano people for decades,” they said.

A statement issued by the AYCF National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima yesterday, frowned at the choice of Kano Government House as the only place in the North for celebrating Tinubu’s birthday.

“He kept quiet while Northerners were under attack in Oyo and some parts of the Southwest,” they said.

“While people from Ganduje’s Northern Nigeria were being maimed, Tinubu kept mute even when Northerners’ assets were being destroyed in some parts of the Southwest,” they alleged.

“In the guise of hunting down imaginary herdsmen he could not even condemn the violence. Yet, this is shamelessly the special guest for Ganduje in Kano Government House,” they said.

“Kano is not only the financial nerve centre of the North, but also the symbol of the region’s cultural and historical pride, up to today and we won’t fold our arms and watch this pillar of the North turned into a birthday party venue for people who are not officials of any government in the country.”

The youths urged Ganduje “not to allow himself to be used as the only governor in the North to avail a whole symbol of authority—the Government House for a private citizen’s birthday party, something no Lagos State Governor has ever done to even the most respected politicians or private individuals from the North.

“Why can’t the governor of Lagos State, where Tinubu has a lot of influence do so inside the Government House, Alausa? Has Governor Ganduje ever hosted Aminu Kano’s remembrance in Government House? And if Governor Ganduje is so desperate about pleasing Tinubu, either as associate or political godfather what stops him from using any event

centre or stadium in Kano Municipal that could be more conveniently used for such purposes? Why must it be Government House?”

“We wish to advise Governor Ganduje to drop this primitive idea of hosting a private individual inside Kano Government House, or else we will apply all legitimate means of stopping this embarrassing wastage and denigration of the official abode of a Governor for fun,” they stated.

​Okiemute In Early Lead At Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble Tournament  As Day One Ends 

Okiemute Tega raced to the top of the table at the end of Day One proceedings of the Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble Tournament, (EEAST) racking up eight wins and just a defeat  in the first nine rounds of games at the two-day championship taking place in Lekki, Lagos.

Okeimute who is ranked No.10 at the tournament garnered a total of 804 cumulative points to end the day as  Day-One Champion.

Snapping at his heels is the chasing  Avwhenaga Oshevire (No.6) who has the same score but falls short with a lower 614 cumulative points.

The septet of Prince Omosefe (No. 9), youth prodigy Enoch Nwali(12),  Eta Karo (No.2),  Gbadebo Olufemi (No.42), Ibukun Faloye  (No. 23), Osikhena Ojior (No.15) and Dokun Esan (No. 13) all records 7 wins and two defeats each but are separated by cumulative points of 843, 613 ,579,569, 498,477 and 315 respectively to underline the competitiveness of the EEAST.

2015 WESPA Champion and tournament ranked No. 1 Wellington Jighere occupies the 10th position with 6 wins after nine rounds of  games with a 949 cumulative points.

73 players are competing across the Masters, Intermediate and Opens categories for the top prize as well as other spot winners’ positions in the maiden edition of the competition which has so far  lived up to pre-tournament ratings according to scrabble enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the chief sponsor Emmanuel Egbele is urging all to keep upholding the Covid19 Protocols.
Hostilities resume by 9am this Saturday, the final day where seven rounds of games will be played to determine the winners.

​Nigeria’s development plans must be dynamic – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday emphasised the need for Nigeria to evolve a national development plan strong enough to absorb shocks and adapt to swiftly changing national and international conditions.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this in a keynote address delivered virtually at the 19th meeting of the National Council on Development Planning with theme “National Development Planning in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges.”

He said such plan was necessary in order to bring about a society and economy that works for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, adding that such plan, among other things, must promote economic diversification, be modern, ambitious, realistic and flexible.

Prof. Osinbajo in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said “it is generally agreed that the primary purpose of planning in our economy is to accelerate growth and development outcomes that will improve the lives of Nigerians.

“To be meaningful, our planning processes must lead to tangible outcomes in the form of growth that exceeds population growth. Indeed, our plans must bring about an economy and society that works for all Nigerians.”

 Referencing the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) as an example of deliberate efforts aimed at ensuring inclusive growth, the Vice President said that an aspect of national planning that is often overlooked is how to manage distributional outcomes in a rapidly changing economic environment.

“This point is readily understood if we recall that the strength of feelings on issues like the national minimum wage or indeed the deregulation of PMS prices is related to their expected impact on the poor segments of society.

“It is accordingly important when drawing up national plans to take account of the interests of the more vulnerable members of society. This is why social investment and social protection are at the heart of the Buhari Administration’s policy interventions.

“Indeed, top of mind for Mr President is how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in this decade as we radically re-engineer the productive base of our economy in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the digital and creative sectors,” the Vice President explained.

Summarizing the core objectives and targets of a desirable national development plan for the country, the Vice President emphasized that “our development plans must be inclusive and promote economic diversification”.

According to him, “They must promote coordination among the various tiers of government as well as coordination between ministries, departments and agencies at all levels.

“Our plans must also be modern and ambitious and yet realistic and flexible enough to absorb shocks and adapt to swiftly changing domestic and international conditions

“Our plans must accelerate domestic resource mobilization and build capacities for planning, implementation and must create the best possible environment for the private sector to invest and operate

“At the core of thinking in our planning must be the aggressive incremental eradication of poverty and the creation of wealth and good-paying jobs. Our planning must be capable of meeting the aspirations and opportunities for a huge and growing youth population.”

The Vice President also tasked stakeholders to work hard to overcome challenges of implementation and coordination in the execution of the development plans noting that “implementation remains the Achilles Heels of our planning efforts. And another make or break issue for planning is coordination.”

Participants at the meeting include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Mohammed Bello; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba; Commissioners for Budget and Economic Planning from the 36 States, among others.

​Ganduje says land registration will boost IGR

The Kano State Government has said that the existence of Systematic Land Titling and Registration (SLTR) will boost Internally General Revenue (IGR) in the state.

This is contained in a statement issued by Murtala Shehu, Public Relations Officer of the Bureau for land Management on Friday in Kano.

Shehu said that Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje stated this when he declared open a seven-day retreat for the development of draft bill for SLTR.

“The data would be used to identify local businesses that we can invest in and also identify needs in terms of education, healthcare and other development issues that need to be addressed.

“Achievement recorded by SLTR pilot scheme is highly committed to its sustainability,’’ the governor said.

Ganduje said that the exercise would be scaled up until it covered the entire state.

“There is need for people to register their property in Sectional Titling and Systematic Land Titling and Registration because property ownership has been in practice all over the world,’’ he added.

Dr Zainab Braji, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Management, said the objective of the retreat was to prepare the working document of the draft bill as well as its validation and ratification

Braji said that this was to produce sectional titling, systematic titling and registration, 2021.

​Borno Assembly passes confidence vote on Zulum, sends security after impeachment mischief

Borno State House of Assembly on Friday passed a vote of confidence on Governor of the state, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, putting to bed, a mischievous online publication which falsely claimed rift between the assembly and the governor.

Speaker of the Assembly, AbdulKarim Lawan announced the resolution on Friday at a special meeting held at the assembly complex in Maiduguri, during which members of the assembly, took turns to speak highly of Governor Zulum outstanding performance with series of government projects sited in their constituencies. 

The Speaker implied that the lawmakers were surprised when they saw a online medium  reporting the house had contemplated impeaching Zulum that is today considered a role model of leadership all over Nigeria. 

“The house has passed a vote of confidence a in the leadership style of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum. Ordinarily, the house would not have responded to that malicious report but we felt we should speak in order to avoid innocent members of the general pubic being misled to believing that totally false story especially considering the fragile security of our state and also the giant strides recorded by Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s administration in all sectors of the economy. Fact is that we have very cordial and harmonious working relationship between all arms of the Borno State Government. There was never any problem let alone so called attempt motive to remove our hardworking Governor who built and accelerated people’s confidence in governance. The house totally dismiss that news publication, we commend the mainstream media and reputable online media organizations for ignoring that mischief and we strongly call on relevant security agencies to bring to book, the perpetrators of that malicious news report” Speaker Lawan said. 

Our correspondent reports that a largely unknown online medium reported on social media that the assembly had attempted impeaching Zulum weeks back, in what many considered a political to stir controversy in Borno and heat up the polity, especially since the cordiality between Zulum and the state assembly members is public knowledge.

​Adamawa Poly Closes Down Indefinitely Following Students’ Riot

Adamawa State Polytechnic Yola, has closed down indefinitely following a riot, suspectedly ignited by graduating students of the institution.

Albert Matila, Information Officer of the institution confirmed that all the students of the polytechnic were ordered to vacate the school with immediate effect.

He said a joint security team of ‘Operation Tsaro’ comprising of soldiers and other security agencies were able to tame the riot.

Matila said, graduating students of the crime prevention department are supposedly celebrating their exit from the school and later took to the streets, blocking motorists; a situation that later turned violent.

He said students Union office classrooms and some hostels were razed down by the students.

He said no life was lost as at the time of this report as firefighters were on the scene to control the inferno.

The rioting students blocked the gate of the institution and Galadima Aminu way pelting stones on motorists and pedestrians, causing heavy traffic.

Security: ‘We Will Equip Our Markets With Modern Security Gadgets,’ Says Gov. Ganduje 

In an effort to enhance and consolidate the security situation in Kano markets, which eventually helps in making businesses safer in the state, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that, “Modern security gadgets will be installed in our markets.”

“The security gadgets could easily and sharply identify those taking weapons, if there are, and other dangerous items- as the case may be –  to markets. In case that could happen, May Allah forbid. They will be identified from the entrance,” he explains. 

He made the disclosure as he declared opened Seven-Day Retreat for the Development of Draft Sectional Titling (ST) and Systematic Land Titling and Registration (SLTR) Law, for Kano State, held at Manpower Development Centre, Dutse, Jigawa state, Thursday. 

The Retreat was organised by Kano State Bureau for Land Management in collaboration with ITC System Global Nigeria Limited. It was attended by the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, House Leaders, other legislators, Commissioners, Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Land Management, Directors from the Bureau, among others.
Jigawa state governor, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, was represented by his Deputy, Umar Namadi, during the opening ceremony.

While appreciating the peace being enjoyed by the state in the last couple of years, he wishes that, “All we need to do is to stand up and make our state safer and safer at all times. May Almighty Allah continue to see us through.”

“Our markets need to be secured at all times also. We thank Allah that Kano is the one of the most peaceful states in the country. 

As investors troop to the state and many more people for their legitimate businesses, it is therefore incumbent upon us to create more conducive atmosphere for businesses to continue thriving,” he said.

On the ST and SLTR governor Ganduje said “This idea is only complying with the global best practice. After all the deliberations and a final Draft is ready for legislative process, when it finally being passed into Law, our revenue generation drive will increase. And land management would be most effective and efficient.”

Adding that, “With the composition of those attending this Retreat, it is very clear for all, to understand that, the effort is meant for the development of the state. Not only development, but sustainable development of the state.”
Jigawa State Deputy Governor extended the well wish of the Jigawa state government on behalf of the governor, who was unavoidably absent, as he was attending other crucial engagements outside the state.

In his brief remarks Speaker Chidari commends the governor for the initiative of this magnitude, “We are assuring His Excellency the Governor that, we at the House, will do the needful in passing this Bill you are developing here, into Law,” he assured. 

“This will improve the revenue drive of the state. So that more developmental projects will come to our people at all levels in the state. Your Excellency take our words that, we will do our best to see that, this good initiative sees the light of the day,” he said.

Dr Zainab Ibrahim Braji, who is the Permanent Secretary of the State Land Bureau, said the aim of the Retreat was to prepare a working document that would be transmitted to the State Assembly for onward passage into Law.

The entire programme, SLTR is a programme that is aimed at enlightening the public on the importance and benefits of land registration. Parts of the areas it wants to achieve are, “…making faster and easier registration of property, providing better land information, increase economic empowerment through enhanced access to financing, improve transparency of process, among others.”

​Scrabblers Scramble For Over 700,000 naira at Maiden Emmanuel Egbele Tournament

Over 700, 000 naira will be on offer at the first Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble tournament which is slated to hold at the COWSLO Hall, Lekki, Lagos from the 26-27 of this month.

Top Jammers across the country are expected to jostle for honour and glory at the tournament which organisers promised would be a memorable event.

Players will compete in the Masters, Intermediate and Opens categories where a top cash prize of 150,000 naira is guaranteed for the winner.

Top 15 players as well as spot winners will also win cash prizes at the two-day competition schedule to  begin this Friday.

The Chief Organiser, Emmanuel Egbele who was appointed as a board member of the Lagos State Scrabble Association, said the tournament was conceived to impact on the development of scrabble as a sport.

“I will say that this tournament has been long in the works and it’s actually conceived sometime ago. Basically” he continued, “the whole idea is, Yes we know scrabble as a sport has a wide followership in Nigeria, and of course, you know  our country is one of the best if not the best in the world so, putting up a competition like this is to contribute to the development of the game. It’s also an avenue to give players the opportunity for to come out and play and be able to win some prizes especially as we all know that from last year due to the Covid19 pandemic,  there have been scarcity of competitions and some major tournaments in scrabble. So putting this together is to encourage players to come, play and win prizes & also to encourage new players that may want to come into the game”. 

“Don’t forget also that the National Sports Festival is coming up in April so, we also thought that putting it up at this time will afford those attending to use the tournament as a dress rehearsal” he said.