LFZ projects ready by the first quarter of 2023, Sanwo-Olu assures (Vanguard)
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that the ongoing construction of multi billion dollars Lagos Free Zone project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure on Friday, a two-day working tour of the Lagos Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.
The governor stated that the investment in the Lagos Free Zone can quadruple the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) .
Sanwo-Olu expressed commitment ofhis administration to put in necessary measures to ensure the project is delivered on schedule. Read more
3 nabbed for robbing UK returnee, neighbour of valuables worth N14m (Punch)
Three suspected members of a robbery gang operating in Ayobo, Ishefu, Baruwa and Gowon Estate areas of Lagos State, have been nabbed for allegedly dispossessing a United Kingdom returnee and his neighbour of cash and other valuables estimated at N14m.
The UK returnee identified simply as Tobi and his next door neighbour, Okeowo, were reportedly attacked about two weeks apart on Gemade Estate located within Gowon Estate.
One Aje, the kingpin said to be at large, reportedly led the suspects, Sheyi Olayiwola, Sadiq Adeniji and Maduka Godwin, to the two operations.
It was learnt that Aje alerted his gang shortly after Tobi returned from the UK in December 2020 and they stormed the victim’s house on the night of December 18, carting away naira notes and foreign currencies estimated at N1m. Read more
COVID-19 scare: Yabatech to resume physical academic activities (Vanguard)
Physical academic activities that were suspended for over a month due to the death of a senior member of staff from COVID-19 complications will now resume on Monday at the Yaba College of Technology.
The College stated this in a press statement titled “Academic Board Decision on Resumption of Academic Activities” and signed by the Registrar, Dr S. O. Momodu.
The College assured that all necessary steps had been taken to ensure the safety of staff and students on campus.
It also enjoined students and staff to maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizers, wear facemasks and observe all other safety protocols.
“The Academic Board at its meeting held on Thursday, March 18. 2021 considered, approved that the College should return to normal Academic activities immediately. Consequently, normal classes will commence on Monday, March 22, 2021. The hostels will be opened on Sunday. March 21, 2021. Read more
Ex-airman appeals for implementation of 40% approved pension scale (DailyTrust)
An ex-Airman, Mohammed Suleiman, has appealed to the Chairman of the Military Pension Board to implement the 40 percent newly approved pension scale.
In a letter of appeal made available to Daily Trust in Kaduna, Suleiman who was discharged as a retiree from the Nigerian Airforce on medical grounds in 2014 with 100 percent disability pension, said he has been receiving 100 percent of his salary as monthly pension as stated in chapter 14 section 22 of the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (HTACOS).
He said, “The HTACOS which is for soldiers and ratings allows airmen that have a degree of disability not less than 66 percent to be paid 100 percent of his last salary but when the new payment commenced in January 2019, only eight percent was added to my pension instead of 40 percent. Read more
Nigerians happier than Ghanaians, South Africans, Russians, others, ranked 59th in latest happiness index (Tribune)
Nigeria has been ranked in 59th position in the latest happiness index released on Friday, putting the country above countries like Russia, Georgia, Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and others.
According to the ranking index of the report released on Friday afternoon, Finland was ranked the world’s happiest country while Zimbabwe was ranked last in the ranking comprising 95 countries.
According to the report published on the organisation’s website www.worldhapiness.report, Nigerians are even happier than some countries in Europe including Russia which was ranked 60th, Georgia, ranked 73rd, and North Macedonia ranked 75th. Read more
Burna Boy’s Grammy’ll make people take work seriously- RMD (Punch)
Ever since singer, Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy, was announced as the winner of the ‘Best Global Music Album’ category of the Grammy Awards 2021, the ‘Twice as tall’ singer has been lavished with praises from his fans and other Nigerians.
Commending the singer, popular actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, in an interview with Saturday Beats opined that Burna Boy’s Grammy win would make people take their work a lot more seriously. He said, “It is going to make everyone stand up and take their work a lot more seriously. Once the international light shines on all of us, it would make people sit up and dream better like there are no limitations. When one sees one’s countryman or someone one feels one is in the same mold and category with win an award, it would make one feel like one can also do it.”
RMD also added that Burna had broken the glass ceiling. He said, “Burna Boy has broken the glass ceiling (with) his consistency and protest music. You don’t have to whine your waist from morning till night anymore to get attention. You can actually continue from where Fela stopped .For Burna and Wizkid, it is such a beautiful time to be a Nigerian musician. Don’t forget that streaming has already democratised the space.” Read more
Troops kill scores of bandits in Zamfara, rescue 10 kidnap victims in Kaduna (ThisDay)
The Nigerian Army said yesterday that troops of Operation Hadarin Daji killed scores of bandits in Zamfara State and rescued 12 kidnapped children and women abducted in Kaduna.
One soldier was killed while three others were wounded in the Zamfara clash.
This comes as troops of 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna rescued 10 persons, who were recently kidnapped from their quarters at Kaduna International Airport.
The rescue operation was without any mishap or casualty.
A statement issued by the Army Headquarters said following a credible tip-off, troops of Sector 3 Operation Hadarin Daji stormed Kabasa Village in Magami Local Government of Zamfara State where armed bandits were attacking locals. Read more
Poor knowledge of history bane of youth in governance- Ex-Kwara Gov (DailyTrust)
A former governor of Kwara State, Abdufatah Ahmed, has said Nigerian youths must retrace their steps and understand the history of the country if they are to properly position themselves for leadership roles in the country.
Ahmed, who was governor between 2011 and 2019, spoke at the National Merit House in Abuja at the 5th edition of the Democracy Youth Round Table.
He said youth can’t get anywhere in the position of governance being only social media interventionists, adding that they must take their destinies in their hands.
He said: “Nigeria has a trajectory of history because I have seen youths participating in the past in the country’s governance. When the convener visited me some time ago, I told him the problem of Nigerian youth is that they don’t even know Nigerian history. Read more
NJC appoints 26 judicial officers, 18 Appeal Court justices, 8 heads of court, issues warnings to two judges (Tribune)
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has approved the appointment 26 judicial officers, 18 Appeal Court justices and eight heads of court.
A statement by the Director if Information of the NJC, Soji Oye, on Friday said the council, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria ((CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, made the appointments at its 94th meeting held on 17 to 18 December, 2020.
The NJC, according Soji Oye, has forwarded the names of successful candidates for the appointments to President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta states.
Those appointed as Justices of the Court of Appeal, the statement said, are Justices Bature Isah Gafai, Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo, Waziri Abdul-Azeez, Yusuf Alhaji Bashir, Usman Musale, Jauro Ibrahim Wakili and Abba Bello Mohammed. Read more
WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook down for thousands worldwide (Metro)
WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook crashed for thousands of social media users across the world this afternoon. More than 125,000 people have reported issues getting on Instagram over the past 24 hours, Downdetector states. There have been more than 26,000 reports of problems accessing WhatsApp. Meanwhile, a total of 3,000 people have reported issues with Facebook, while 5,500 said the Facebook Messenger app isn’t working for them. Read more
Algerians demonstrate in their thousands to demand free press, judiciary (France24)
Thousands protested in Algiers Friday to demand press freedom and judicial independence, as the Hirak pro-democracy movement keeps up its weekly demonstrations, despite a ban on gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Hirak protest movement was sparked in February 2019 over then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term in office.
The ailing strongman was forced to step down weeks later, but the Hirak continued with demonstrations, demanding a sweeping overhaul of a ruling system in place since Algeria’s independence from France in 1962.
“Freedom means expressing myself how I want and not how you want,” one placard on Friday read. Read more
Following Shootings of Asian Americans (VOA)
US President Joe Biden said “hate can have no safe harbor in America,” after meeting with Asian American leaders to discuss the killings of six Asian American women and two others near Atlanta this week.
“There are simply some core values and beliefs that should bring us together in America. One of them is standing against hate,” Biden said during remarks at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia,
Biden traveled to the southeastern state of Georgia Friday along with Vice President Kamala Harris to address the shootings and other incidents in which people of Asian descent in the U.S. have been the targets of apparent hate crimes. Read more
Sharon Stone ‘tricked into removing her underwear for “Basic Instinct”‘ (Metro)
Sharon Stone has claimed that she slapped director Paul Verhoeven after being tricked into removing her underwear on set of 1992’s Basic Instinct. Recalling the unpleasant circumstances while filming her role, the 63-year-old alleged that she was told to remove the item of clothing during her famous interrogation scene because it ‘reflected the light’. In an excerpt from her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, obtained by Vanity Fair, the actress, who was 32 at the time of filming, also said that she was promised her private area would not be visible on-screen. Sharon said she realised the agreement wasn’t honoured when she called to see the final version of the film in a ‘room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project.’ Read more
Congo’s Sassou Nguesso tipped to win fourth term in presidential elections (France24)
The Republic of Congo votes in presidential elections on Sunday with incumbent Denis Sassou Nguesso aiming to extend his decades-long hold on power in the Central African state.
Sassou Nguesso has accumulated 36 years in office — he was most recently re-elected in 2016, after which the opposition was effectively sidelined and his two main rivals sentenced to 20 years’ forced labour.
The 77-year-old retired paratrooper appears favoured to win a fourth term in Sunday’s ballot. The largest opposition group, the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy, is boycotting the vote.
Sassou Nguesso hopes for a first-round victory over six challengers, including former minister Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who was runner-up in 2016, and former finance minister Mathias Dzon. Read more
UN Chief: Killing of Myanmar Protesters ‘Utterly Unacceptable’ (VOA)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the continuing brutality of the Myanmar military, as at least eight anti-coup demonstrators were killed Friday in the central town of Aungban in eastern Shan state.
“The killing of peaceful demonstrators and arbitrary arrests, including of journalists, is utterly unacceptable,” Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters. “The military continues to defy calls, including by the [U.N.] Security Council, to end violations of fundamental human rights and return to the path of democracy.”
He said a firm, unified international response was urgently needed.
“The secretary-general will continue to stand with the people and their aspirations to achieve a peaceful, stable and prosperous Myanmar,” Dujarric added. Read more
Icelandic volcano erupts near Reykjavik (BBC)
A volcano has erupted south-west of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, the country’s meteorological office says.
It says the fissure is about 500-700 metres long (1,640-2,300ft) at Fagradalsfjall on Reykjanes peninsula. The last eruption there was some 800 years ago.
Iceland has recorded more than 40,000 earthquakes in the past three weeks.
In 2010, the eruption of another volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, brought air traffic to a halt across Europe. Read more
Guinea’s Kante: ‘disappointing’ to miss qualifiers (BBC)
Kante signed for Paris FC in 2018
Guinea defender Ousmane Kante has said he is “disappointed” to miss out on the country’s qualifiers for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations after clubs in the top two French leagues implemented a ban on their players leaving the European Union.
The ban, which was formally announced on Wednesday, prevents any player in Ligue 1 and 2 from travelling outside the EU / European Economic Area because of the amount of time they have to spend in quarantine when returning to France.
This has hit teams like Guinea – who have a number of France-based players, including Kante at Paris FC – ahead of the final round of qualifying fixtures for the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon.
“It’s disappointing because we are not qualified yet,” Kante told BBC Sport Africa. Read more
Plateau United triumph over Sunshine Stars in 2-0 win (Vanguard)
Three goals in the first half saw Plateau United triumphing over visiting Sunshine Stars in Jos on MatchDay 16 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The visitors could not find their rhythm especially in the first half as Plateau ran rings round the visitors throwing everything at the Sunshine Stars defence and could have scored in the first minute but Mustapha Ibrahim chose to shoot wide after Edozie could not effectively clear out of danger.
Plateau continued mounting pressure and got rewarded with Oche Ochowechi crafty shot with the outside foot that left keeper Suleiman Salihu stranded for the opener.
The pressure seemed to be much for the Sunshine defence and culminated in a blunder by a Tope Akinde foul on advancing Zulkifilu in the penalty box. Referee Kazzim Abdulsalam awarded the penalty which was converted by Mustapha Ibrahim. Read more
Bamford scores and sets up winner as Leeds beat Fulham (BBC)
Patrick Bamford hopes he can play himself into England’s Euro 2020 squad after scoring one and setting up the other as Leeds beat Fulham.
The game came the day after Bamford was left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first World Cup qualifiers.
Fulham, meanwhile, missed the chance to move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a third defeat in four games.
Leeds had two goals disallowed in the first half – first when Luke Ayling’s header was ruled out by the video assistant referee and then when Raphinha was well offside before slotting home. Read more
Katsina Utd stun Rangers in 2-0 to end winless streak (Vanguard)
Katsina United overpowered temporary league leaders, Rangers International 2-0 to bounce back to winning ways after a run of four games winless streak.
Rasheed Ahmed opened scoring on 14 minutes with a low strike as he swept in a shot mishandled by Goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu, while Atule Joseph converted from the penalty spot with seven minutes left to ensure maximum points for the hosts.
The attack leading to the first goal was engineered by Boubacar Massaly, whose shot was parried poorly by Mutawakilu before Rasheed finished off fine. In the second period defender Ebuka Anthony conceded a penalty when he hacked down a goal bound Rasheed Ahmed. The referee wasted no time pointing to the spot.
Katsina United started the game the more zealous side, knowing well that anything short of a win could endanger their chances of keeping a top flight status. Read more
PSG draw Champions League holders Bayern in quarters, Liverpool face Real (France24)
Holders Bayern Munich will take on last year’s beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals while record 13-time winners Real Madrid meet Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 final.
The draw also pitted Premier League leaders Manchester City against Borussia Dortmund, with Chelsea set to play Porto in the other tie.
Bayern defeated PSG 1-0 behind closed doors in Lisbon last August to win their sixth European Cup and remain the team to beat in Europe, having won 18 and drawn one of their 19 games in the Champions League since the beginning of last season.
The first leg is set to be played in Germany on April 6 or 7, with the return in Paris a week later. Read more
Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders to fight in front of 60,000 at AT&T Stadium in Texas (Metro) Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will fight in front of over 60,000 people at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in May. The super-middleweight unification fight, taking place on Cinco de Mayo weekend, will have the biggest sporting crowd in over a year after Covid-19 capacity restrictions were lifted in the state earlier this month. Canelo will put his WBC, WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine titles on the line against undefeated Briton Saunders, who will be defending his WBO crown at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Canelo, 30, has lost just once in his professional career, that defeat coming against Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013. Last December, he became the first man to beat Liverpool’s Callum Smith, taking his WBA title before comfortably defending the belts against mandatory challenge Avni Yildirim in Miami last month. Read more