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Gary Lineker urges Three Lions to ‘treasure’ Euro 2020 final

Gary Lineker has urged the England players to “treasure and enjoy” Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy – but believes it is just the beginning and success will soon come even if they are beaten at Wembley. Gareth Southgate’s side are preparing for their first major tournament final in 55 years, something not even Lineker achieved during his time as a Three Lions player. The former Tottenham, Everton and Barcelona forward also praised the players for the showing a “shining social conscience” off the field which represents the “very best” of England. In an open letter to the England team in the Players’ Tribune, Lineker said: “I wish I was playing with you. This is the sort of occasion you dream about as a player. And honestly, it’s much less nerve-racking out on the pitch than in the sta...

UNICEF to supply AU states 220 million coronavirus vaccines

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply up to 220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine to all 55 member-states of the African Union (AU) by the end of 2022. Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of this year, UNICEF stated in a statement issued on Thursday in New York. The agreement, between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen last March. That agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022. The AU established AVAT in November 2020 to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continen...

PDP vice chairman: Electronic transfer of results, a must for free, fair polls

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-south has called on the National Assembly to retain electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act The National Vice Chairman, South-south of the party, Dan Orbih, made the call on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin. He was reacting to the purported removal of the provision for the electronic transfer of result provision from the proposed amendment Act currently being debated by the National Assembly. “Nigerians should resist the removal of electronic transmission of election results during elections from the Electoral Act because it is an invitation to unending electoral fraud,” Mr Orbih said. The introduction of electronic transmission of election results from the polling units to collation cen...

Provost advocates national confab on education

Provost of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Isu, Ebonyi state, Prof Ruben Okey Okechukwu, has advocated an education conference in the country to discuss the way out of the many challenges confronting Nigeria’s education system. According to the professor, the report of the conference will help in addressing the many challenges that have bedeviled the nation’s education system. He noted that a similar conference convoked immediately after the civil war in 1970 had developed education immensely which led to the introduction of the universal primary education. On the ravaging insecurity plaguing some parts of the North, leading to kidnapping of students in exchange for ransom, he urged government to urgently arrest the ugly trend. Okechukwu, who spoke in Abuja after he was confe...

Mexico coach: Victory vs Nigeria good test ahead Concacaf Gold Cup

Gerardo Martino, Technical Director of the Mexican national team, has described the win against the home-based Eagles as a good test for his side ahead of this year’s Concacaf Gold Cup. A brace from Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera and a goal each from Jonathan Dos Santos, former Barcelona forward and Rogelio Funes Mori, earned Mexico a comfortable 4-0 win in Los Angeles, USA, in the early hours of Sunday. Speaking at a virtual press conference, the former Barcelona coach said: “It always gives peace of mind, especially since we are on the eve of a very important tournament for us. “Recovering feelings of the game and scoring goals, gives a greater margin of tranquility, this is a friendly match, it has been a good test and a good way to introduce ourselves into what is to come.” ...

JAMB chief accuses institutions of awarding fake certificates

The Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has accused some higher institutions of mobilising and awarding IJMB/JUPEB certificates to individuals who did not attend their institutions. Oloyede alleged that some of the certificates issued by the Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) and Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) centres for Direct Entry into universities were fakes He made the allegation in Abuja on Tuesday, at the 2021 Batch ‘B’ pre-mobilisation workshop of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on the theme ‘Sustainable Mobilisation Process: The Role Of Stakeholders’. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IJMB and JUPEB are national educational programmes approved by the Federal Government. They are quali...

AfreximBank to support Ogun infrastructural development with $200 million

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) has disclosed its plans to support infrastructural development in Ogun State with an envelope of $200m. The fund, according to the bank, will be dedicated towards projects and other developmental initiatives embarked upon by the incumbent administration in the state. The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afrexim Bank, Benedict Oramah, who made this known when he led management of the bank on a courtesy visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun at his Oke-Mosan Office, Abeokuta, on Monday, equally said the bank would partner Ogun on ensuring that the 250-bed Specialist Hospital, Abeokuta, is completed and begin operations soon. Oramah, while noting that the bank has been investing heavily in the health sector in Africa to develop vaccines ...

Private polytechnic owners set to clamp down on illegal operators

The National President of the Association of Private Polytechnic Founders/Rectors in Nigeria, Pastor Bassey James, has said that illegal school operators across the country would soon run out of business. He stated this in Uyo while briefing newsmen as part of the activities marking the maiden matriculation of Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, scheduled for Saturday, June 26, 2021. James mentioned that a total of 300 students would partake in the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, even as admissions were still ongoing in the institution. According to him, the association had written to both the national and state assemblies to inform them of the ugly incident even as he had met with some of the perpetrators of the illegal business and had given them a timeline...

Gianluigi Buffon: Why I turned down Champions League for Parma

Gianluigi Buffon has said he rejected ‘two opportunities to even win the Champions League’ so that he could help Parma come back into Serie A and hasn’t lost hope of a spot at the 2022 World Cup. The 43-year-old shot-stopper signed the two-year contract and will be presented to the media this evening after leaving Juventus for the club where his career first started as a teenager. “I have many memories, above all the motivation and hope is to write a few more important pages in the history books of this club, and I know I can do it,” Buffon told Sky Sport Italia. “That is the main reason I returned here, along with the other 999 reasons! I felt such strong emotions, as an emotional reaction is the only way to keep delivering at this level at my age. “I knew Parma would give me something th...

Fish once labeled a ‘living fossil’ surprises scientists again

The coelacanth – a wondrous fish that was thought to have gone extinct along with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago before unexpectedly being found alive and well in 1938 off South Africa’s east coast – is offering up even more surprises. Scientists said a new study of these large and nocturnal deep-sea denizens shows that they boast a lifespan about five times longer than previously believed – roughly a century – and that females carry their young for five years, the longest-known gestation period of any animal. Focusing on one of the two living species of coelacanth (pronounced SEE-lah-canth), the scientists also determined that it develops and grows at among the slowest pace of any fish and does not reach sexual maturity until about age 55. The researchers used annual growth rings depo...

White House considering talks between Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping

The White House will consider arranging talks between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as the two countries spar over issues including human rights, a top U.S. official said on Thursday. Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the two leaders are due to “take stock of where we are in the relationship.” Beijing fumed over a communique issued at Biden’s urging by the Group of Seven leaders on Sunday. It scolded the country over human rights in its Xinjiang region and Hong Kong while also demanding a full and thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus in China. “Soon enough we will sit down to work out the right modality for the two presidents to engage,” Sullivan told reporters on a conference call. “It could be a phone call, it cou...

France coach fires warning ahead of Euro 2020 opener

Didier Deschamps has attempted to play down the hype surrounding his France side going to the European Championship, warning those who think they “have already won” that plenty of hard work lies ahead. The 2018 World Cup winners are favourites to land this summer’s tournament, with Deschamps possessing a hugely talented squad with depth in all areas. That has understandably caused excitement among the supporters across the country, something Deschamps is keen to temper before the big kick-off. Asked whether not winning the tournament would be considered a failure given the talent at his disposal, Deschamps told Mundo Deportivo: “Right away there is talk of failure. We are world champions. I am aware, and the players are too, of our strengths. “We have quality, talent, high-level players, b...

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