Lagos will invest heavily in transportation in 2020 – Sanwo-Olu (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State government has stated it would be prioritising investment in critical infrastructure this year with a new vigour. The governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement yesterday from his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, said his administration would renew its focus on waterways and rail transportation in the current year.
The objective, Sanwo-olu explained, was to disperse traffic on the roads and give commuters a new choice in mass movement across the state. Read more
Lagos to pay three months minimum wage arrears (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has promised to pay public servants three months’ arrears of the new minimum wage, the implementation of which took off in November 2019.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, stated this on Thursday at the 2020 Annual First Working Day Thanksgiving Service for public servants in the state.
Hamzat said the gesture was to recognise the commitment and contributions of workers to the realisation of the goals of the state government.
He solicited the cooperation of the workers for government to deliver on major projects in the state, including the Blue Line Rail, the Red Line Rail, the Bus Rapid Transport, which would have multiplier effects on the well-being of residents. Read more
Lagos moves to optimise independent power plant output (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday disclosed his administration’s plan to expand the capacity of the state-owned independent power plant (IPP). Sanwo-Olu said his administration would be harnessing private investment to boost the output of the IPP in response to the growing need to sustain his predecessor’s ‘Light-Up Lagos’ project.
The governor disclosed this during a facility inspection of the IPP in Alausa, which is being managed on behalf of the government by Alausa Power Limited. Read more
Lagos arraigns woman for maltreating stepchildren (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has arraigned a woman, Funmilayo Samson, before the state Magistrates’ Court in Ikorodu for allegedly maltreating her stepchildren.
PUNCH Metro had reported that officials of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights had on December 27, 2019, rescued the children and arrested Funmilayo after a post about her alleged maltreatment of the victims went viral on social media.
Funmilayo was reportedly to be in the habit of locking the children, aged 12, nine and three, outside the house without food and beating them, which left bruises on their bodies. Read more
Island Maternity delivered 3,500 babies in 2019 – MD (DailyTrust)
The Medical Director of Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Dr Olufemi Omololu, has revealed that the hospital delivered an average of 3,000 to 3,500 babies in 2019. Disclosing this yesterday at a gift presentation ceremony by Vitafoam Nigeria Plc to the first three babies delivered in 2020 at the hospital, Omololu said that the hospital, which is also known as ‘the baby factory’ delivered about 300 babies a month.
Asides giving the first three babies a baby cot each, all mothers who delivered a few days earlier, as well as members of staff of the hospital, were all given one Vitafoam product or another. Read more
Minimum wage negotiations: Labour soft-pedals as 15 states miss Dec 31 deadline (Punch)
No fewer than 15 states have yet to conclude negotiations on the new minimum wage two days after the deadline the organised labour gave governors to sign agreements with their workers.
Investigations on Thursday by The PUNCH showed that Ekiti, Cross River, Benue, Gombe, Osun, Sokoto, Oyo, Niger, Ogun, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers, Kwara, Taraba and Anambra states had not agreed on consequential adjustments of salaries as a result of the new minimum wage.
It was gathered that while Lagos, Kaduna, Bauchi, Kastina and Borno states had agreed to pay the new minimum wage, others started negotiations few days to the end of the deadline. Read more
Jos residents lament biting cold, spend more hours indoors (DailyTrust)
Residents of Jos are lamenting the prevailing biting cold that has befallen the city, saying the weather condition is disrupting their routine activities. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that temperature in the town has dropped to an average of 11 degrees Celsius in the evening, but rises to about 19 degrees in the afternoon.
Some of the residents complained that the cold weather had disrupted their routine activities as they spent longer hours indoors. Read more
Sudan plane crash: Children among victims in West Darfur (BBC)
A Sudanese military plane has crashed in West Darfur state killing at least 18 people, including four children.
The aircraft crashed five minutes after taking off from an airport in the state capital of El Geneina.
It had been delivering aid to the area, where there have been deadly clashes between ethnic groups in recent days.
Army spokesman Amer Mohammed al-Hassan told AFP that among the victims were seven crew members, three judges and eight civilians, four of them children. Read more
Taxi driver arrested on suspicion of rape ‘after following passenger into home’ (Metro)
A taxi driver has been arrested on suspicion of raping a passenger who he allegedly followed into her flat after dropping her off. The 31-year-old woman had been at a work Christmas party in Brighton, on December 20, before her colleagues called a taxi on her behalf. He is alleged to have driven the woman to her home in Worthing, West Sussex, and is accused of following her into her flat where he launched his attack. Sussex police said the 37-year-old man raped the woman while she was intoxicated. Read more
Climate change has brought parts of Zambia to the brink of famine (BBC)
Zambia is wrestling with a devastating drought caused, according to experts, by a dramatic shift in weather patterns.
Temperatures in parts of Southern Africa are expected to rise by twice the global average as a result of climate change, and the UN is calling for urgent action. Read more
Mum accidentally buys cocaine-filled doll for daughter’s Christmas present (Metro)
A mum has told of the time she accidentally bought her daughter a cocaine-filled ‘merbaby’ and exposed an ‘international drug smuggling ring’. Elizabeth Faidley had bought the unusual toy from craft-site Etsy, after her daughter Ellie specifically requested ‘a real merbaby’ for Christmas. But when Ellie received the doll, named Pearl, she was horrified by her ‘hideous’ scaled skin, green hair and ‘creepy eyes’ – to the point that she even questioned whether Santa was real. In a bid to rectify the present, her mum then tried to dye the toy’s hair blonde, before discovering a ‘doll and teddy bear hospital’ in Secaucus, New Jersey. Read more
Qasem Soleimani: US kills Iran Quds Force leader, Pentagon confirms (BBC)
General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, has been killed by US forces in Iraq.
The Pentagon confirmed he was killed “at the direction of the president”.
It comes after reports of a strike at Baghdad’s international airport, which is said to have killed a number of people.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, called the move “extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation”. Read more
Kelly’s ex Aaliyah wanted ‘nothing to do’ with singer as new details come to light on controversial marriage (Metro)
Music boss Damon Dash has revealed that his ex-girlfriend Aaliyah wanted nothing to do with R. Kelly and that she was just a ‘sacrificial lamb’ in a follow-up documentary. In a first-look clip of the lifetime documentary titled Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, the 48-year-old claimed the late singer wanted nothing to do with R. Kelly after they got an annulment on their controversial marriage.
His marriage to Aaliyah was annulled after only a few months because of her age. Kelly had produced Aaliyah’s first album when she was 14 years old. Sadly, Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22. Read more
Wayne Rooney provides assist during debut as Derby County beat Barnsley (Metro)
Wayne Rooney registered an assist during his Derby County debut as Phillip Cocu’s side sealed a 2-1 victory over Barnsley on Thursday evening. The former Manchester United forward made his first appearance for the Championship club since signing from DC United and was announced as the club’s new captain before kick-off.
Derby spurned several chances to take the lead and Rooney even berated Jack Marriott after he fluffed a one-on-one by attempting a chipped effort which went well wide of Barnsley’s goal. But Rooney, who started the match in central midfield, turned provider on the stroke of half time as his whipped free-kick into Barnsley’s box was met by Marriott, who prodded an effort into the net. Read more
Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United: Reds go unbeaten in the Premier League for a full year (BBC)
Unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool made it a full year without losing in the top flight as Sheffield United were brushed aside at Anfield.
A slice of good fortune enabled the Reds to take an early lead – George Baldock’s slip allowing Andy Robertson to set up Mohamed Salah for a simple close-range finish in just the fourth minute.
But there was nothing fortuitous about their win, which Sadio Mane sealed, finishing at the second attempt after being played in by Salah.
It maintains the Reds’ 13-point advantage at the top of the division after nearest rivals Leicester and Manchester City both won on New Year’s Day. Read more
How Paul Pogba’s injury has affected Manchester United’s transfer plans (Metro)
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to alter his January transfer plans after confirmation that Paul Pogba requires ankle surgery. The Frenchman had been expected to return to first team action in United’s clash against Arsenal on New Year’s Day but Solskjaer confirmed he was not part of the squad as he required surgery that would keep him sidelined for a month.
Pogba’s latest setback represents a bitter blow for the Red Devils, who are already without Scott McTominay for the next two months due to the Scot sustaining knee ligament damage. The former Juventus star has already missed three months of the season with Pogba having followed a rehabilitation programme in a bid to recover from ankle surgery in the autumn. Read more
Chambers out for six to nine months after knee surgery (DailyTrust)
Arsenal defender Calum Chambers is expected to be out for six to nine months after he underwent surgery on Thursday for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, the Premier League side said. Chambers suffered the injury to his left knee in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. Arsenal said the surgery was successful. “The rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months. Everyone at the club will be supporting Calum to ensure he is back on the pitch as soon as possible,” Arsenal said in a statement. Read more
Li Tie: China appoint ex-Everton midfielder as head coach (BBC)
Former Everton midfielder Li Tie has been appointed as China head coach.
The 42-year-old succeeds Italian Marcello Lippi, who quit the job for a second time in November after a 2-1 defeat by Syria in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Li made 92 appearances for China and played at the 2002 World Cup. Read more
Arsenal open talks to sign Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich (Metro)
Arsenal have opened talks to sign Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich, according to reports in Germany. The Gunners have stepped up their efforts to recruit a new centre-back in the January transfer window as Callum Chambers faces up to nine months out after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during the defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano remains on Arsenal’s radar after the Gunners failed with a £55 million bid for the 21-year-old in the summer transfer window. But according to Sky Sports Germany, Arsenal are also exploring a cheaper alternative in Boateng. Read more
AFN promises to win medals at Tokyo Olympics (DailyTrust)
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has promised that the country would win medal at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo while reiterating its commitment to an open, transparent and efficient management of track and field events this year. The federation’s Acting President, Olamide George, in a statement signed by the Head of Media, Dare Esan, said that the federation has learnt from the mistakes made since the current board was inaugurated and will put all supporting structures in place this year to ensure a proper and sustainable growth for the sport.
“The era of square pegs finding unmerited home in round holes is over. The AFN will be governed by its constitution and international best practice. Read more
Australian fires: Nick Kyrgios to donate money and cricket stars to pay tribute to firefighters (BBC)
Nick Kyrgios will donate 200 Australian dollars (£106) for each ace he hits in events held in Australia in January to help those affected by the bushfires.
The Australian, 24, earlier called on Tennis Australia to host a fund-raising exhibition, with chief executive Craig Tiley confirming plans are being made.
Fellow Australians Alex de Minaur and John Millman pledged their own support, donating money for every ace they hit. Read more
Vidal bonus dispute clouds Barca’s derby preparations (DailyTrust)
La Liga leaders Barcelona will be looking to preserve their two-point lead over Real Madrid when they visit local rivals Espanyol on Saturday but their preparations have been hit by a legal battle with their own midfielder Arturo Vidal. The Chilean’s lawyers filed a complaint to Spain’s player’s union (AFE) last month citing an unpaid bonus of 2.4 million euros (2.04 million pounds), news of which emerged while the player was back in his homeland during the league’s winter break.
Barca have declined to comment on the complaint, while Vidal has said its an issue for his representatives but has declared it is “unfair” he has not received all of the 4.1 million euros his people believe he is owed in total in appearance bonuses. Read more
Dare pledges four football stadia by May (DailyTrust)
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has said four football pitches of international standard will be built and completed before the end of the first quarter of year 2020. The minister in his New Year message via his twitter said that talks were ongoing with a state government and some corporate players on how to revitalize the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan formerly known as Liberty Stadium.
“Talks are ongoing concerning the renovation of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, formerly, Liberty Stadium with government and a few private individuals. Our goal is to deliver four FIFA standard pitches by the first quarter of 2020 by God’s Grace,” the minister said. Read more