Second wave: Lagosians can’t afford fresh total lockdown, says Sanwo-Olu (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says the people of the state cannot afford yet another total lockdown as Lagos enters the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The economic capital of Nigeria was locked down for over five weeks between March and May this year as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown had a tremendous effect on economic activities with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry putting the loss at about N3bn in the period under review.
Many jobs were also lost as airlines, hotels, banks, amongst others cut their workforce due to the crushing effect of the lockdown. Read more
Lagos teacher arraigned for aiding malpractice during WASSCE (Punch)
A teacher at a private secondary school in Agege, Lagos, Kareem Olawale, has been charged with examination malpractice at a magistrates’ court sitting in the Ogba area of the state.
Olawale, 49, was reportedly invigilating candidates sitting the last West African Senior School Certificate Examination at the school when he was caught reportedly sharing English Language questions on a WhatsApp platform.
An official of the West African Examination Council was said to have reported the teacher to the police at the Area G Command, Ogba, and he was arrested. Read more
TETFund approves N5bn special intervention for UNILAG (Nation)
The Board of Trustees of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has increased the national research fund to N8.5 billion in 2021.
The research fund is present at N7.5 billion.
The board also announced N5 billion as a special intervention to the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The amount will be captured in the 2021 budget of the agency. Read more
Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: FG to adopt new measures against gas pipeline accidents (Vanguard)
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, has scheduled an emergency stakeholders meeting to seek a solution to the hazard of gas lines in the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction/rehabilitation project.
Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that the meeting was important for all stakeholders to rub minds on how to avert danger on the Right of Way (RoW) on the project.
NAN reports that that there was panic on the highway on Wednesday as a gas pipe got ruptured during construction works by Julius Berger on a section of the highway. Read more
Lagos lotteries board exceeds target by 100% (Nation)
Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) has called for full support and commitment of lottery operators in the state towards achieving the Board set plans to make Lagos gaming sector the best in Africa.
Speaking at the 2020 Lagos Gaming Operators’ Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Bashir Abiola Are, advised the operators to always focus on positivity.
Are disclosed that the Board met the set target and recorded over 100 per cent increase in the set target by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget despite the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that enviable accomplishment amid the numerous wrongs that characterised year 2020, is a testament to the grace of God and the tenacity of a relentless team of hardworking individuals at the State lotteries board. Read more
Third Mainland Bridge: Social miscreants slow down construction as FG postpones shutdown (Nation)
Mr Olukayode Popoola, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, has lamented the disruptive activities of ‘Area Boys’ who sometimes open the closed section of the Third Mainland Bridge to traffic to endanger the safety of motorists.
The controller told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that their actions jeopardised the safety of road users, adding that security had been beefed up to nip the problem in the bud.
“Sometimes where we closed, Area Boys reopened to traffic especially when they notice law enforcement agents are not around.
“We had to call the Police, the FRSC to intervene because the action of the Area Boys delayed construction works for some days because safety is of importance to everybody. Read more
Rush for NIN registration will hasten 2nd COVID-19 wave, warns rights group (Thisday)
An Advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has warned that with dearth of registration facilities and the rush by Nigerians to avoid being cut off from their mobile phone lines following the directive to cut off those without National Identification number, the second wave of COVID-19 spread would be hastened.
The group while drawing flak on the directive and approach of the Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Mr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to within a short period and without putting facilities on ground to enable compliance by the over 100 million subscribers within 14 days, saying that such was wont to create panic and rush that would have scant regard for social distancing.
HURIWA described the directive as “grotesque and an irregular attempt at causing massive catastrophic health emergency of unimaginable dimension.” Read more
Okowa felicitates with Saraki at 58 (Guardian)
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has congratulated former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki as he turns 58 on Saturday.
The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba, acknowledged Saraki’s unparalleled efforts at repositioning and ensuring the independence of the legislature when he served as President of the 8th National Assembly.
He said that Saraki contributed immensely to the political development of Nigeria as a former Governor and President of the Senate. Read more
Yuletide: Prices of local rice, tomatoes drop in Enugu (Vanguard)
Barely five days to Christmas, prices of foodstuff, particularly local rice and tomatoes, have dropped slightly in major markets in the Enugu metropolis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A survey conducted by NAN on Saturday showed that the prices of stoned and de-stoned local rice and tomatoes dropped when compared with October prices.
A 50-kilogramme bag of de-stoned local rice sells between N24, 000 and N26,000 as against N26,500 and N28,000, depending on the brand sold two months ago.
Also, a 25 kilogramme bag is sold at between N12,000 and N13, 500 as against N14,000 and N15,000 in October. Read more
Twitter is revamping its verification process in January (Metro)
Twitter will launch its new verification process from January 20 after receiving feedback from thousands of users on how policy for the blue tick icon should be shaped. Inactive and incomplete accounts stand to lose their verified badge once the rules come into force, though the social network said it would not affect accounts of deceased members. In 2021, the firm will work on new ways to designate different account types, with plans for memorialised and automated accounts. Read more
COVID-19: Explosion kills nine coronavirus patients in Turkey (BBC)
Nine people have been killed after an oxygen ventilator exploded at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in southern Turkey, officials say.
The blast caused a fire in the intensive care unit of the private Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep, the local governor’s office said.
At least one of the patients died while being transferred to another hospital. Read more
UN Security Council extends DR Congo peacekeeping mission for one year (France24)
The UN Security Council on Friday extended its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo by one year, while initiating a plan for a gradual withdrawal from the country.
A French resolution concerning the mission, known as MONUSCO, was adopted by 14 out of 15 members of the Security Council, with Russia abstaining.
It will “extend until 20 December 2021 the mandate of MONUSCO in the DRC,” providing for a maximum deployment of 16,300 soldiers and police. Read more
New, faster-spreading strain of coronavirus confirmed in Britain (CBC)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discussing with his senior ministers on Saturday what urgent action to take after it was confirmed that a new strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could spread more quickly and lead to a surge in cases.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said that while there was no current evidence the variant of the novel coronavirus caused a higher mortality rate or impacted vaccines, urgent work was underway to confirm this.
“We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyze the available data to improve our understanding,” Whitty said in a statement. Read more
Covid: Chile’s president Sebastián Piñera fined $3,500 for no-mask selfie (BBC)
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has been fined $3,500 (£2,588) for breaching coronavirus rules by posing for a selfie with no facemask on.
Mr Piñera apologised after the photo of him with a woman – also without a mask – went viral earlier this month.
The president admitted he should have worn a mask when the woman requested a photo on a beach near his home in the town of Cachagua.
Chile has strict rules about wearing masks in public. Read more
Ethiopian Refugees Evacuate Sudan Border Camps (VOA)
Ethiopian refugees are evacuating border camps in Sudan as aid resources are diverted to Um Rakouba, the country’s main camp, where many still lack food and shelter.
Refugees say the camp, which is far from the Ethiopian border, may be safer after the Sudanese army said a cross-border raid on Tuesday killed some of their soldiers and damaged property.
In the past week, hundreds of families have been bused from camps near the Ethiopian border here to the Um Rakouba camp deeper inside Sudan, where most of the roughly 50,000 new Ethiopian refugees are now staying. Read more
Official review shows MI6 agents engaged in ‘serious criminality’ abroad (RT)
While debate rages over controversial spying legislation in the UK, other disclosures indicate British spooks have long been secretly free to commit crimes with impunity anyway.
There has rightly been intense controversy over the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) bill in recent months.
The legislation would enshrine in law the ability of undercover operatives – both employees of British state agencies and their informants – to not only commit extremely serious crimes, up to and including rape, torture and murder, but also insulate them from criminal prosecution and civil actions for doing so. Read more
Alex Iwobi agrees with Theo Walcott’s Arsenal ‘fear’ comments (Metro)
Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi has agreed with Theo Walcott’s comments that Arsenal’s players look scared and is hoping to inflict more misery on his old club on Saturday. The Gunners are in the middle of a dreadful run of form, having picked up just five points from the last 27 available, and they are currently closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League places sitting in 15th place in the table. They drew 1-1 with Southampton last time out, with Walcott getting on the scoresheet, and he claimed afterwards that he ‘felt a lot of fear in Arsenal’ during the game. Read more
Suarez double sends Atletico clear at top (BBC)
Atletico Madrid went three points clear at the top of the Spanish La Liga table with two games in hand following victory over Elche.
Ex-Liverpool and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez slotted in England international Kieran Trippier’s cross in the 41st minute to put Atletico ahead.
Yannick Carrasco then set up Suarez for his second after the break, shortly before Lucas Boyle scored for Elche.
Substitute Diego Costa scored a penalty late on to make it 3-1 to Atletico.
Atletico had several chances in the first half – midfielder Marcos Llorente coming close following an excellent pass from Joao Felix. Read more
Nigeria has lost football culture – Babangida (Punch)
Former Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida, believes the country has lost its football culture, saying it’s contributed to the dwindling fortunes of the sport.
The Eagles have come under heavy criticisms for lack of a playing style, as the three-time African champions ended the year 2020 without a win.
In an interview on PUNCH Online interview programme, Kick&Follow, where top sports stars discuss topical issues in Nigerian sports, former Ajax winger said the present Eagles had no football culture, which had affected their uncoordinated displays in recent times.
He said, “We never knew Nigeria as a country that plays kick and follow football but we already lost our culture of football in Africa. Read more
Liverpool punish Palace with magnificent seven (Guardian)
Liverpool ended a three-month wait for an away win in the Premier League in comprehensive fashion with a 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Saturday to move six points clear at the top of the table.
In an ominous sign for the challengers hoping to dethrone Jurgen Klopp’s men as English champions, the Reds built on the momentum of a last-minute winner that beat second-placed Tottenham in midweek.
Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah scored twice at Selhurst Park, while Takumi Minamino, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson also netted. Read more
Eden Hazard set to return ‘very soon’ for Real Madrid (Guardian)
Eden Hazard will soon resume his injury-plagued Real Madrid career after recovering from a thigh problem, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Saturday.
Hazard has missed nearly 50 matches since joining Real from Chelsea in a deal worth up to 150 million euros ($184 million) in July 2019.
“We hope he will be back very soon,” Zidane said in a press conference before the champions face Eibar on Sunday. Read more
Oleksandr Usyk hints he will step aside for Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury (Metro)
Oleksandr Usyk has hinted he is willing to step aside and allow Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury in what would represent a ‘once in a lifetime’ unification bout. Joshua returned to the ring following a 12-month absence last weekend, knocking out the obdurate Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round of a one-sided fight. The former Olympic champion was reluctant to directly call out his British rival Fury afterwards, but his promotor Eddie Hearn insists it his duty to ensure the heavyweight blockbuster takes place next year, even if no belts are on offer. Read more
Lawyer for NBA ace says $1m lawsuit claimant from alleged parking lot spat was ‘unstable and rude’ (RT)
Atlanta Hawks guard Rajon Rondo and his girlfriend are facing a $1 million lawsuit after a woman filed a suit alleging that they “cussed out and beat” her in a “heated parking lot dispute”, calling her a “b*tch” during an assault.
Toktam Jorshari is taking legal action against what she claims was “assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy” stemming from the July incident at an apartment complex in Los Angeles where both Jorshari and Rondo’s girlfriend reside.
Rondo, 34, was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers at the time but signed a deal with the Hawks last month. Read more
Moukoko becomes Bundesliga’s youngest goalscorer in Dortmund defeat (BBC)
Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest player to score in the Bundesliga as his side lost 2-1 to Union Berlin.
The striker, aged 16 years and 28 days, equalised on the hour mark.
It beat the previous record set by Florian Wirtz, who scored for Bayer Leverkusen against Bayern Munich aged 17 years and 34 days in May 2020.
Union’s goals were both from set-pieces – on-loan Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi and Marvin Friedrich scoring.
Dortmund, who sacked Lucien Favre as manager on Sunday in the wake of the 5-1 thrashing by Stuttgart, are fourth in the league. Read more