Months

Zinedine Zidane: I don’t think I’m a disaster of a coach

Zinedine Zidane has responded to more questions of his future at Real Madrid by pointing out that he is not “a disaster of a coach”, but is also unable to speculate on how long he will be sticking around at Santiago Bernabeu. The Frenchman has secured two titles in La Liga and three Champions League crowns across two spells as Blancos boss, and remains in the hunt for more glory down both of those avenues this season. Questions have, however, been asked of whether he will remain in his current post through to the end of his current contract in 2022, with calls for change at various intervals being added to a pot that also includes links to Serie A giants Juventus. Asked at a pre-match conference about those who continue to suggest that his success is down to good fortune, the World Cup win...

Coronavirus: Nigeria has vaccinated over 1 million people – NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has announced that Nigeria had so far vaccinated over a million eligible people out of its target of 70 percent of the nation’s population. The NPHCDA disclosed this on its official Twitter handle, on Thursday. Newsmen report that for the country to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, it had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022. The country kicked off vaccination on March 5, 2021, commencing with healthcare workers who are mostly at risk to the infections, being the first responders. It noted that the vaccine roll-out would be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, l...

CSOs threaten to occupy National Assembly over Electoral Act amendment

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations has threatened to occupy the National Assembly after Ramadan fasting, if the lawmakers fail to pass the Bill for an amendment of the Electoral Act. The CSOs which include Center For Liberty, Concerned Nigeria, The Electoral Hub, and Raising New Voices Initiative, issued the threat at a joint news conference on Thursday in Abuja. The Co-convener, Centre for Liberty, Mr Dare Ariyo-Atoye, who read the joint speech of the CSOs, said they were worried that the 9th National Assembly was yet to pass the bill. According to him the passage of the bill could have given them lasting legacies and written their names in gold. Ariyo-Atoye said that in the last 15 months, CSOs had consistently engaged lawmakers and appealed to the NASS to make the passage of a n...

Federal government okays N20.1 billion for Nigerian customs equipment

The federal government has approved a total of N20,114,002871 for the acquisition of various operational equipment for the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa on Wednesday. The Minister said further that Council also approved the sum of N539,277,673 for the construction of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) building at the Ilupeju Medium and Small Taxpayers’ office in Lagos. On the breakdown of contracts approved for Customs, the Minister said a total of 427 operational vehicles, worth N14.55 billion and nine assorted gunboats worth N5,564,002,871 were a...

CAC aims to register new company within three hours

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it will be possible for companies in Nigeria to be registered within three hours, before the end of 2021. The commission tweeted this on Sunday via its verified Twitter handle. It said, Garba Abubakar, the commission’s registrar-general, gave this indication at a recent dinner in honour of the chairman, governing board, CAC and Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to Spain, Ademola Seriki. The commission announced last December the upgrade of its online registration portal for business. It said the upgrade would include features that allow the automation of key services and processes in line with the federal government’s effort to Nigeria’s ease of doing business. Newsmen had reported how the new regulation protocol has left businesses in the country s...

National Assembly legislative aides protest non-payment of arrears

The National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum on Tuesday in Abuja protested the non-payment of their 20 months’ salary arrears. Zebis Prince, who spoke on behalf of the protesting Aides, said that since the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, their salary arrears were withheld by the management. He said that the matter was referred to the House Services Committee with the mandate to among other things investigate the irregularities in the payment of legislative Aides. He however said that the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) insisted on getting directives from the chairman of National Assembly Service Commission before payment of the arrears. “We are disturbed that despite an express legislative resolution mandating the CNA to ensure payment three weeks after, the Chief Accounting Office...

MSF: Maiduguri, environs record 1,158 cases of measles

Médecins Sans Frontières Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) known as Doctors Without Borders said that 1,158 cases of measles were recorded within Maiduguri and environs within the past five months. A statement on Monday by Mr Abdulkareem Yakubu, Borno Field Communication Officer of MSF, said that the cases were recorded from December 2020 to April 3, 2021. According to the statement, Zabarmari, a village near Maiduguri, has the highest cases. “So far a total of 1,158 children with measles have been recorded in Gwange Paediatric Hospital in Maiduguri. “In response, MSF strengthened the hospitalisation capacity in both Gwange and Fori health facilities, increasing the number of beds from 65 to 105 in Gwange. “MSF has also launched activities in partnership with the authorities in the town of Za...

Israeli study: South African coronavirus variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa may evade the protection provided by Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is very low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit. But among patient...

South-West PDP congress: Seyi Makinde, Ayo Fayose’s groups fight over 756 delegates

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, are to test their popularity with 756 delegates that will elect officials of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West on Monday. While Makinde is backing a former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Taofeek Arapaja, for the position of chairman, Fayose is mobilising for Dr Eddy Olafeso. Olafeso, who is from Ondo State, is a former occupant of the office. He resigned to contest the party’s governorship ticket in the last Ondo State election, which he lost to Eyitayo Jegede (SAN). Makinde had wanted the congress to hold in Ibadan, but the Fayose faction wanted it in another venue, saying the Oyo State capital was not safe for it and its supporters. However, two days ago, the National Working Committee of...

NNPC to partner Borno government to establish gas power plant

The Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Mele Kyari has said that the corporation will partner with Borno State Government to establish a Gas Power Plant following the vandalization of the national grid by insurgents which put the state almost three months into total blackout. Kyari who led a powerful delegation on a courtesy call on Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Friday said, the Federal Government will not fold its arms and neglect the state which is been ravaged by insurgents, especially cut off from the national grid, as power is a source of income to the teaming people of the state. “We are here with my colleagues, the Head of Gas and Power Business, Engineer Yusuf Usman, Representatives of Greensville Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is a...