Sanwo-Olu signs 2021 appropriation bill into law (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed into law the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill on Thursday.
The budget christened the “Budget of Rekindled Hope” consists of Capital Expenditure and a Recurrent Expenditure at a ratio of 60 to 40 per cent.
The governor assured that his administration would not relent on rebuilding the state.
He said, “With the passage of the bill, we will continue our work of rebuilding Lagos, advancing economic growth, and expanding opportunities for Lagosians to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus. Read more
Long queues return to Lagos NIMC offices (Guardian)
Despite the announcement of extension by six weeks for the registration of National Identification Number (NIN), Nigerians, in the bid to avert an impending disconnection of their SIMs, have besieged the office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Lagos to enroll for their NIN.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, had initially issued a two-week ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without NIN by today (Thursday). It later extended registration for NIN by up to six weeks, from December 31 to February 9, 2021.
At Ikeja yesterday, it was a distraught crowd that stormed the NIMC to enroll for their NIN. By 8:00a.m. the gate leading to the office in Alausa was already shut against Lagosians, who besieged the place despite existing ban on large gatherings due to the second wave of COVID-19. Read more
Enforce all COVID-19 protocols — Lagos CP charges Area Commanders, DPOs (Vanguard)
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has charged all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the state to enforce all COVID-19 protocols as highlighted by the Presidential Taskforce and the Lagos State Government, to the latter.
He gave the charge while addressing the officers at the Police Officers Wives Association, POWA Hall, Oduduwa, in Ikeja area of the state, yesterday.
The command boss who stated that the pandemic was real, emphasised the need to enforce the regular use of face mask by Lagosians, at public places as well as maintaining social distance. Read more
Kaduna demolishes ‘nude party’ building (Punch)
Following the arrest of organisers of the maiden edition of the Kaduna sex party, the building that would have hosted the event, has been demolished.
Officials of the Kaduna State Urban State Urban Planning Development Agency carried out the exercise.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Nuhu Garba, the property located at Sabon Tasha in Chikun Local Government Area of the state, was pulled down on Thursday. Read more
Gov. Mohammed decries high level of poverty in Bauchi (Guardian)
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state, on Thursday, expressed concern over the high level of poverty among residents of the state.
Mohammed, who made his concerns known in Bauchi at the swearing-in of eight appointees into various positions, said a lot had to be done by the state’s poverty alleviation programmes in 2021 to address the challenge.
He noted that there were lots of residents of villages and towns who looked up to government for assistance, and they must be provided with ‘palliatives’. Read more
President Buhari signs N13, 588trn 2021 Budget (Vanguard)
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja signed the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N13,588,027,886,175 into law.
The president’s action followed the earlier passing of the bill by the National Assembly on Dec. 21 during an emergency session convened for the purpose of passing the budget.
The signing of the budget is also in line with the president’s promise to return the nation to the January to December Budget circle.
The budget estimate was increased by the sum of N505, 607,317,942 from the estimate of N13, 082, 420, 568,233 presented to the joint sitting of National Assembly by President Buhari on Oct. 8, 2020. Read more
NiDCOM chair demands justice for Nigerian killed in Ireland (Guardian)
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman /CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has demanded justice for Mr George Nkencho, a 27-year-old Nigerian killed in Ireland.
Dabiri-Erewa in a statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, NiDCOM’s Head of Media and Public Relations, condemned in strong terms the killing of Nkencho,
She described as callous and wicked, the killing of the Nigerian by a police officer.
The NiDCOM chair, therefore, called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing.
She appealed to the enraged Nigerian community in Ireland to exercise patience and wait for the outcome of investigation into the unfortunate incident. Read more
2020 UTME: No date fixed for sales of application documents yet – JAMB (Vanguard)
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says no date has been fixed for the commencement of sales of the application documents for its 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Benjamin, who was speaking against the backdrop of reports in some sections of the media that the board had already commenced the sales of forms for 2021 application, said that the board had since distanced itself from such report.
According to him, the report is totally false, misleading and malicious. Read more
Nepotism, poor governance, bane of insecurity in Nigeria –Nnamani (Punch)
A former governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, has said that the agitations and restiveness in parts of the country could be curtailed and eradicated if infrastructure development and appointments into key offices in government are based on fairness, equity and justice.
Nnamani, who is representing Enugu East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, stated this in a goodwill message to Nigerians marking the New Year Day
He noted that any action or policy of government that tends to offend the sensibilities of citizens would always produce negative results. Read more
Pandemic dampens New Year celebrations around the world (BBC)
Restrictions are being placed on New Year festivities around the world as many countries struggle to curb new spikes in coronavirus cases.
Fireworks displays and other public gatherings have been cancelled from Sydney to New York.
Festivities are being particularly muted in Europe, amid fears over a new more contagious strain of the disease.
France has mobilised 100,000 police to break up New Year’s Eve parties and enforce a night-time curfew. Read more
The most pirated TV show of 2020 will surprise no-one (Metro)
For many years Game of Thrones held the dubious title of being the most-pirated TV show on the internet. That has now been passed on to Disney’s massive Star Wars hit The Mandalorian. According to the team over at TorrentFreak, the Disney+ exclusive was the most-pirated TV show of 2020 through torrent-sharing. It was closely followed by Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys. Despite the phenomenal success of Disney’s streaming service (which launched in the UK on the first day of lockdown in the spring) there are still people out there turning to illegal means to watch the show. Read more
Australia changes national anthem to reflect indigenous past (BBC)
Australians will sing a different version of their national anthem from 1 January after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a change to the words on Thursday.
The anthem will no longer refer to Australia as “young and free” in an attempt to reflect the country’s long indigenous history.
The announcement was a surprise but welcomed across the government.
Mr Morrison said he hopes the change will create a “spirit of unity”. Read more
Stormzy and Maya Jama ‘spend Christmas Day together’ a year after split (Metro)
Exes Stormzy and Maya Jama reportedly spent Christmas together, over a year after their split. The couple dated for four years until they broke up in August 2019, with Stormzy shooting down claims he cheated on the presenter with Jorja Smith. Now, it has been claimed the stars are working on their friendship, after the rapper reportedly spent time at Maya’s London home on Christmas Day. A source told The Sun: ‘Stormzy and Maya remained friends after their split and they decided to spend some time together over Christmas. ‘They kept it very low key and remained at her place in the capital.’ Read more
Iran implicates UK firm, US base in Germany in Soleimani killing (AlJazeera)
An Iranian prosecutor has said a British security firm and an airbase in Germany had a hand in the assassination of Qassem Soleimani almost one year after the top general was assassinated by the United States in Iraq.
The allegations come amid mounting tensions between the two countries, as Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday accused outgoing US President Donald Trump of aiming to fabricate a “pretext for war”.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr claimed, without providing evidence, that London-based security services company G4S played a role in the killing of Soleimani, who was accompanied by Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several others. Read more
Justin Bieber reportedly studying to be a minister for Hillsong church (PageSix)
Justin Bieber is studying to become a minister — hoping to help lead Hillsong after the firing of his preacher pal Carl Lentz, according to a report.
“Justin doesn’t plan to give up his music career, but he feels there’s a bigger calling out there for him,” a source told OK! magazine.
“He wants to be a full-fledged minister next year,” the source insisted of the 26-year-old “Holy” singer.
The pop superstar has long praised Hillsong for saving him from his “dark” days of drugs, public meltdowns and arrests, becoming the church’s most high-profile backer and also a member of the choir, the report noted. Read more
Man Utd forward Edinson Cavani banned over Instagram post (BBC)
Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani has been given a three-match ban and a £100,000 fine for a social media post containing a Spanish phrase that is offensive in some contexts.
The Uruguayan, 33, pleaded guilty to a Football Association charge of using insulting and/or improper words.
Cavani sent the message after scoring a winner at Southampton on 29 November.
The striker subsequently deleted the post and apologised when the meaning that could be attached was pointed out.
Along with the ban and fine, Cavani must also complete a “face-to-face” education programme. Read more
Arteta seeks to trim bloated Arsenal squad (Vanguard)
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window is to trim their bloated squad as he seeks to build on a mini-revival at the Premier League club.
The Gunners were able to offload Emiliano Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer window while Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira departed on loan.
But forgotten man Mesut Ozil remained at the Emirates along with Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac, who has barely featured in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal have been linked with a loan move for Real Madrid playmaker Isco next month, but first of all technical director, Edu will attempt to raise funds by moving on those who are surplus to requirements. Read more
How the power of sport changed the world in 2020 (BBC)
Back in 2000, former South Africa President Nelson Mandela declared that “sport has the power to change the world.” Two decades years later, 2020 proved how right he was.
This was a year where athletes of all different talents – footballers; basketballers; track and field stars; tennis players; F1 drivers – from across the world mobilised.
They protested against racism. And they demanded change.
Sierra Leone’s US-based footballer, Kei Kamara – who joined in the protests following the death of George Floyd – told BBC Sport his children and their futures inspired him to make a stance.
“I lay down on the ground for nine minutes and my son actually then just lay down next to me, without me even asking him – and Kendrick is only three,” Kamara said.
“He just decided to lay next to me. And I turned around and I saw him and it just hit me so hard, like ‘wow’.
“I’m so, so grateful to every other race that’s standing with us now because it’s given us a voice”. Read more
Ex-Man Utd boss Docherty dies a 92 (Punch)
Former Manchester United and Scotland manager Tommy Docherty has died at the age of 92 following a long illness, his family announced on Thursday.
Docherty, who was known as “The Doc”, spent nine years as a player with Preston, and won 25 caps for Scotland.
He went on to manage multiple clubs — including Chelsea, Aston Villa and Derby — and had a stint in charge of Scotland. Read more
Sead Kolasinac speaks out after rejoining Schalke on loan from Arsenal (Metro)
Sead Kolasinac has told Schalke fans he’s ‘happy and proud’ to be returning on loan from Arsenal this winter and says he’s ‘100 per cent convinced’ the side will get out of their current predicament and remain in the Bundesliga. The 27-year-old left-back has struggled for regular game-time since Kieran Tierney’s arrival at Arsenal and put pen to paper on a six-month deal with his former club Schalke after several weeks of negotiations. Kolasinac’s contract will come into effect as of January 4 and the Bosnia and Herzegovina international will take over the captain’s armband from Omar Mascarell and wear the No.20 shirt. Read more
Reyna leads charge of Bundesliga’s rising teen stars (Guardian)
The Bundesliga returns this weekend after a two-week break with Borussia Dortmund’s American midfielder Giovanni Reyna leading a crop of talented teenagers rapidly becoming household names.
Reyna, who marked his 18th birthday in November by extending his contract until 2025, scored his first Bundesliga goal on the opening day of this season.
He has featured in all of Dortmund’s Bundesliga and Champions League games in 2020/21, scoring three league goals – including the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Frankfurt – and producing six assists. Read more