Reps consider legalising hemp cultivation, registration for traders
The House of Representatives is proposing legalisation of cultivation and trading in cannabis for medical and cosmetic use, research purposes as well as revenue generation for Nigeria.
This is being proposed in the Cannabis Control Bill 2020, sponsored by Miriam Onuoha, which is awaiting second reading.
The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Regulate the Cultivation, Possession, Availability and Trade of Cannabis for Medical and Research Use, and Related Purposes.’
Cannabis cultivation and sale are presently outlawed in the country. Read more
Sanwo-Olu expresses concern over rising COVID-19 cases (Guardian)
Rattled by the rate of community spread of COVID-19 among citizens, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday expressed concern over rising cases of confirmed persons in the state.
In a note he posted on his social media handles, he wrote: “Lagos, there is an urgent need for us to be more circumspect in the way we live, interact and socialise with our friends and family.
“Many people are ignoring COVID-19 warnings and guidelines, thereby exposing themselves and others to the virus. We are well into the second wave of the pandemic. Yesterday (Tuesday), Lagos scarily recorded its highest number of infections in one day – 712. We have already recorded a frightening spike in infection cases. This spike brings positive cases to a total of 32,720 in Lagos alone.
“This second wave comes with severe symptoms, and the higher number of positive cases we detect, the higher number of casualties we are bound to record. We do not want this, but for this to be avoided, we must be intentional and cautious. Read more
Lagos begins N10k payment to Epe residents (Punch)
The Lagos State Government through the Ministry for Wealth Creation and Employment, has started the payment of N10,000 to residents in the Epe Local Government Area.
A statement on Wednesday said this was in continuation of the payment of eligible residents in the cash transfer initiative of the Federal Government.
The Household Uplifting Programme, aka Conditional Cash Transfer, was introduced in 2016 as one of the four social investment programmes of the Federal Government to tackle poverty and hunger. Read more
Traditional wedding compere trains youths in Lagos (Guardian)
Oluremi Akintola-Samuel, a popular traditional wedding compere and CEO of Strictly Weddings, has announced plans to train young men and women interested in hosting traditional wedding and engagement ceremonies.
Oluremi has raised over 100 women in the craft, starting with training women in groups of five, 10 and in some cases 20 in a year, who have all gone on to become successful engagement compares.
The training would be held in Lagos beginning this month and is also for those in the industry who seek to upscale in the art of compering.
Oluremi said she was inspired by her mother who did traditional wedding compere; she learned and began practicing the art of compering through that since 2003. Read more
LUTH cautions against shunning coronavirus vaccine (Punch)
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital has warned that shunning the vaccination against COVID-19 is hazardous for the country at this trying time.
At a briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, the institution said there had been an alarming upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, advising that everyone should continue to observe the laid down guidelines to curtail the virus.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, who described those speaking against the vaccine as conspiracy theorists, said they initially denied the presence of COVID-19 in the country. Read more
To pacify Labour, FG summons meeting over electricity tariff hike (Thisday)
The federal government has summoned a meeting of the Committee on Review of Tariffs and Charges in the Electricity Sector to consider the new pricing of electricity by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), rejected by the organised labour.
Already, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have asked the federal government to reverse the tariff increase or face the consequences.
However, to stave off another industrial crisis, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, told THISDAY yesterday that a meeting of the committee has been scheduled to address the concerns. Read more
Pipeline explosion causes panic in Rivers community (Guardian)
Residents of Oduoha Community in Emohua Council of Rivers State were thrown into panic after a gas pipeline operated by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) exploded on Tuesday.
The Guardian learned that a gas pipeline that runs through the community to a terminal in Bonny Island had exploded in the community, creating a heavy impact on the environment.
It was also learnt that the vibration and leakage from the scene were still raging yesterday, as the community expressed fear at the development.
Paramount Ruler of Oduoha, Chief Ferdinand Ogbuehi, said the explosion caused serious panic in the community, noting that scores of residents had already fled the locality for safety. Read more
FG to borrow unclaimed dividends, dormant accounts’ balances (Thisday)
Despite opposition from stakeholders, the federal government has perfected ways to borrow funds from unclaimed dividends and dormant bank account balances unattended to for at least six years, thanks to the 2020 Finance Act.
With the coming into force of the law, which empowers the federal government to borrow from the two sources, proceeds from the two sources will stand as special credit to the federal government through the Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund contained in the Finance Act 2020, recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Part of the law provides that, “Any unclaimed dividend of a public limited liability company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and any unutilised amounts in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank, which has remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of not less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account, shall be transferred immediately to the trust fund.” Read more
US Capitol: World leaders react to ‘horrifying’ scenes in Washington (BBC)
World leaders have condemned the violent scenes in Washington, where rioters supporting US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building.
The action forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Many leaders called for peace and an orderly transition of power, describing what happened as “horrifying” and an “attack on democracy”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “disgraceful scenes” Read more
Every patient in intensive care unit dies after oxygen supply fails in Egypt (Metro)
All the coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit in Egypt reportedly died after the oxygen supply to the ward failed. The oxygen level had dropped below 2% in the ward at the El Husseineya Central Hospital in Ash Sharqia province, the Middle East Monitor reports. One of the patient’s relatives recorded heartbreaking footage of the aftermath at the hospital in the North East of the country. ‘Everyone is dead,’ he is heard saying in Arabic behind the camera, ‘Everyone in the ICU has died. Read more
Georgia Senate election: Democrats take control with Warnock and Ossoff wins (BBC)
The Democratic Party of US President-elect Joe Biden has won control of the Senate – and of Congress overall – with two victories in the state of Georgia.
Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue respectively.
Democrats will control the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House for the first time since 2009.
An estimated four million Georgians turned out to vote in the run-off election. Read more
Cardi B, Mark Ruffalo and Piers Morgan lead stars blasting pro-Trump protesters for storming US Capitol (Metro)
Celebrities such as Cardi B, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad, and Piers Morgan have slammed pro-Trump protestors for storming the US Capitol Building. A US Congress hearing to certify Joe Biden as president was halted on Wednesday after Donald Trump supporters forced their way into the building. Vice President Mike Pence was rushed away from the Capitol to a safe location, with senators being evacuated to safety through underground tunnels. Read more
Biden blasts Trump supporters’ ‘siege’ of Capitol (BBC)
US President-elect Joe Biden has blasted the “insurrection” of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the US Congress in a riot that saw a woman shot dead.
The Democrat demanded outgoing President Donald Trump “step up” and repudiate the violence.
Mr Trump, who had urged the demonstrators to march on the Capitol, later called on them to “go home”.
A joint session of Congress confirming Mr Biden’s election win has resumed after it was suspended by the mayhem. Read more
Kathy Griffin: Kim ‘tried everything to make it work’ with Kanye (PageSix)
Comedian Kathy Griffin has weighed in on the news that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting a divorce.
On Twitter, the outspoken performer, who used to live next door to the high profile couple and often joked about them in her act, was uncharacteristically sober when discussing their marriage.
“I think she really tried,” the Emmy winner wrote Tuesday. “Truly loves him. I like her. He certainly isn’t the devil or anything, but I believe she tried everything to make it work. He made her laugh a lot and she embraced his eccentricities. She loves being a mom more than anything.”
“There’s my two cents,” she added. Read more
Senate rejects Cruz-Gosar challenge to Biden’s Arizona electoral victory (NYPost)
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a challenge to Joe Biden’s Arizona Election College victory after a day of violence rocked the US Capitol.
The objection to Arizona’s electoral votes — brought by GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar — failed by a resounding 93-6.
Six of President Trump’s allies in the Senate, including Cruz, Josh Hawley (R-MI), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AK) supported the motion.
Lawmakers met in a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to certify Biden’s 306-232 victory, which dozens of Republicans said they would challenge. Read more
El-Merreikh dump Enyimba out of Champions League (Punch)
Nigeria Professional League side, Enyimba, crashed out of the CAF Champions League after losing 4-2 on aggregate to Sudanese side, El-Merreikh.
Enyimba could only manage a 2-1 victory over the visitors in Aba in the second leg of the Preliminary Round 2 on Wednesday after losing the first leg 3-0 in Omdurman two weeks ago.
The visitors shocked Enyimba when they took the lead in the eighth minute through Saif Terry – who grabbed a hat-trick in the first leg.
The Aba-based side however replied quickly, equalising through Victor Mbaoma, who restored parity via a tap-in in the 14th minute. Read more
Zambia’s Patson Daka: ‘I can be like Aubameyang, Salah, Mane’ (BBC)
Zambia striker Patson Daka believes he has what it takes to reach the top.
Speculation about a move to Europe’s elite for Patson Daka is somewhat inevitable because in-form players at Red Bull Salzburg get noticed and the Zambia striker is the latest.
The 22-year-old has made his mark at the Austrian champions, a club famous in recent years for producing high-profile talent, including Sadio Mane and Erling Haaland.
While Daka, who was named the Confederation of African Football’s Young Player of the Year in 2017, is a modest man he is also very determined and takes inspiration from the best on the continent.
“To see our big brothers like (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, (Mohamed) Salah, (Sadio) Mane, it’s something that gives me the dream that I can also make it,” he enthuses. Read more
Arsenal accidentally unveil new signing Omar Rekik after he’s spotted in training (Metro)
Arsenal are set to finally announce the transfer of Hertha Berlin centre-back Omar Rekik after the teenage defender was spotted in training with the club’s Under-23 side. The Gunners agreed a fee worth around £900,000 with the Bundesliga side on deadline day of the summer transfer window as part of the talks that saw Matteo Guendouzi move to the German capital on loan. However, Arsenal ran out of time to rubberstamp the deal and have had to wait until January to complete the final paperwork, with the fee now believed to have been negotiated down to £542,000. Read more
Man City beat rivals Man Utd to reach EFL Cup final (BBC)
Manchester City deservedly beat Manchester United to reach the Carabao Cup final and will now face Tottenham at Wembley as they look to win the competition for a fourth straight year.
Second-half goals from John Stones and Fernandinho secured their progress as City cut loose after a first period in which both sides had goals disallowed.
Stones exposed poor United set-piece defending when he nudged home Phil Foden’s free-kick from close range five minutes after the restart. Read more
Austin River’s insane 3-point spurt propels red-hot Knicks (NYPost)
Austin Rivers is becoming the Knicks’ Mariano Rivera — an elite closer.
No lead is safe against these Knicks. And Rivers.
Two days after rallying from 15 points down, the Knicks roared back from an 18-point hole to wipe out the Jazz, more late fourth-quarter magic from Rivers, their new standout closer.
Doc Rivers’ clutch son scored 14 straight points down the stretch that included four straight 3-pointers and a floater with the shot clock winding down as the Knicks moved to 5-3 after winning their fifth game in six outings. It’s their best record after eight games since the magical 2012-13 season. Read more
Messi scores two as Barcelona go third (BBC)
Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao to go third in La Liga.
Athletic took an early lead through Inaki Williams, but teenager Pedri equalised with a header soon after.
Messi, who also hit the post twice, then scored when he collected Pedri’s backheel and shot past Unai Simon.
A powerful first-time shot from Messi made it 3-1 and Barcelona held on for the victory, despite a late 20-yard strike from Athletic’s Iker Muniain. Read more
Celtics, Heat nearly postpone game after Trump supporters storm Capitol (NYPost)
Heat and Celtics players discussed postponing their game Wednesday night, just hours after a violent mob of President Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington and forced the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s election victory to be delayed.
Though Celtics players walked off the floor minutes before tipoff, no NBA games were postponed and the contest in Miami began as scheduled around 7:30 p.m.
Most members from both teams knelt during the national anthem in peaceful protest.
“2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed,” read a joint statement from the Heat and Celtics. “We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart after yesterday’s decision in Kenosha [in which a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file charges against the white police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man, in August] and knowing that protesters in our nation’s capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on.” Read more