Workers stranded as Lagos-Ibadan road gridlock worsens (Punch)
Some Lagos State workers were forced to return home on Wednesday after the gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway took a turn for the worse.
The gridlock, which affected the two lanes of the road, led to a standstill of vehicular movement for many hours.
Some commuters, who became frustrated with the situation, disembarked from commercial vehicles and trekked to their destinations. Read more
NLC seeks more funds in NHIS (Guardian)
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to invest adequate funds into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to address most of the health challenges, including emerging diseases and also address the issue of medical tourism.
Wabba, who spoke at the Strategic Retreat of NHIS, State Social Health insurance Schemes and other key stakeholders yesterday in Goshen City, Nasarawa State, said part of the impediments and challenges of extending insurance coverage to Nigerians today is less than 10 percent since inception is actually the issue of funds. Read more
Sowore: Soyinka, others in court, judge fines FG N.2m (Punch)
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and some activists on Wednesday appeared at the Federal High Court in Abuja, in solidarity with SaharaReporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, who is being prosecuted alongside Olawale Bakare, for organising the #RevolutionNow protest in August last year.
The Wednesday’s proceedings were, however, stalled because the Attorney General of the Federation’s office, which took over the prosecution of the case from the Department of State Services in December, had not been able to serve the amended charges and other documents relating to the case on the defence counsel to enable the trial to commence as scheduled.
Displeased with what she described as frivolous and uncalled for, the trial judge, Justice Ijoma Ojukwu, awarded N200,000 fine against the prosecution.
She postponed the trial till Thursday, warning that she would not entertain the case if the prosecution fails to present evidence of the payment of the N200,000 fine or come to court with the cash. Read more
Cambodia to take cruise ship rejected by five countries over coronavirus fears (Metro)
Passengers stranded at sea for nearly two weeks over a coronavirus scare are finally due back on dry land after Cambodia agreed to rescue a condemned cruise ship. The MS Westerdam was turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may have the deadly airborne disease. Crew members said no one on board was sick, but that didn’t stop Thailand, Guam, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines turning the vessel away. Fears were mounting over food running out for the 1,455 passengers and 802 members of staff, until Cambodia stepped in to save the day. Read more
Residents boo Buhari, Boko Haram attacks Borno capital (Punch)
A large crowd of Borno residents, on Wednesday, booed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as his convoy drove from the Maiduguri International Airport to the centre of the city.
Buhari, upon returning from a five-day trip to Ethiopia for an African Union summit, paid a condolence visit to the North-Eastern state, following a Boko Haram attack on Sunday.
As his convoy moved to the city at 1:30pm, he was booed by residents, who lined up along the airport road.
At the airport, the President did not shake hands with some traditional rulers, who came to welcome him.
During previous visits to Borno State, Buhari received a warm reception from residents of the state, which is regarded as one of his strongholds. Read more
Electricity sector pensioners protest non payment of N25bn arrears (DailyTrust)
A protesting retiree displays a placard urging authorities to pay pension to all pensioners Pensioners under the auspice of Nigeria Electricity Power Authority/Power Holding Company of Nigeria (NEPA/PHCN), on Wednesday, staged a peaceful protest demanding the payment of N25,332,295,129.5 pension arrears due to them from 2012 till date. Addressing journalists during the protest in Benin,vice chairman, South-south National Union of Pensioners (Electricity Sector), Comrade Monday Adodo, said the amount is the arrears due to them since 2012 when NEPA/PHCN was privatized. He said as at the time of privatization, the pensioners’ outstanding benefits were over N25 billion. “The breakdown is as follows: Harmonization Arrears N14,306,479,450.49k, Monetization Arrears N7,072,029,6074.96k, Year 2000 Retiree/Retirement Benefits N3,037,607,883.08k,” he explained. Read more
Man, 42, beats wife to death in Benue (DailyTrust)
A 42-year-old man, Ejiro Patrick, on Wednesday allegedly beat his wife to death in Tyomu community, a settlement outskirt of Makurdi town in Benue State. Witnesses said that Patrick who hailed from Delta State, engaged his wife in a quarrel over suspicion that she did not completely remit monies derived from some sold family items. The deceased’s husband according to the witnesses, in a fit of anger punches his wife to coma at the riverside. Daily Trust learnt that the deceased was later rushed to the hospital where she died. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) to the Benue state Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said the 42-year-old fisherman has been apprehended and currently in police custody. Read more
Nigeria gets three testing centres for coronavirus (Nation)
The federal government has acquired necessary reagents to test for suspected cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the briefing after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House.
The Minister also disclosed that Nigeria has set up three laboratories across the country to test suspected patients for the disease. Read more
Pope Francis rules against ordaining married men in Amazon (BBC)
Pope Francis has ruled against ordaining married men in the Amazon region as a means of addressing the shortage of Catholic priests.
Bishops backed the measure last year, but the decision needed the Pope’s approval to be implemented.
Catholic priests are required to abide by the rule of celibacy upon ordination except in cases where married Anglican ministers have converted.
Celibacy is seen as the devotion of one’s life to God. Read more
Coronavirus: Chinese Grand Prix postponed over virus fears (BBC)
The Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, has accepted a request from Chinese organisers to postpone the Shanghai race, due to take place on 19 April.
In a statement, it added all parties would take the “appropriate amount of time” to discuss potential new dates. Read more
Coronavirus could kill 45,000,000 and infect 60 per cent of global population (Metro)
Coronavirus could kill 45 million people as it is dubbed a ‘greater global threat than terrorism’, experts have warned. Experts believe each person that tests positive with the virus will go on to infect 2.5 more people, meaning such a high ‘attack rate’ could infect 60 per cent of the world’s population if it is not controlled. Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, warned those infected who have never visited China could be just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. His warning came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) called the virus, which has been officially named Covid-19, ‘the worst enemy you can ever imagine’ and that it poses a greater global threat than terrorism. WHO compares ‘public enemy number one’ coronavirus to terrorism Play Video Loaded: 0%Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time0:00 / Duration Time0:22 Fullscreen. Read more
US investigates Harvard and Yale over foreign funding (BBC)
The US has launched investigations into Harvard and Yale universities over suspicions they received undisclosed funds from foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and China.
The US Department of Education said the elite schools did not fully report hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign gifts and contracts.
Harvard and Yale told the BBC they were preparing responses for the government.
It comes amid a clamp down on foreign funding to academic institutions.
Under US law, universities are required to report all gifts and contracts from foreign sources that exceed $250,000 (£193,000). Read more
Coronavirus reaches London as Chinese national becomes first diagnosed in capital (Metro)
A case of the coronavirus has been recorded in London for the first time. The person is a Chinese national who was diagnosed this afternoon. She is believed to be on her way to hospital where she will receive medical attention. Experts have previously warned that London is at greater risk than other cities in Europe due to its large population and admiration by tourists. It is estimated that around 142,000 travel from China to the capital between January and March every year. Read more
Italy Salvini: Senate votes for far-right leader to face trial (BBC)
Italy’s Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to put far-right leader Matteo Salvini on trial over charges of holding migrants at sea.
Mr Salvini, who previously served as Italy’s interior minister, is accused of illegally keeping people on a boat off Sicily for days in August 2019.
Some 116 migrants remained aboard the Gregoretti for close to a week.
On Wednesday, a majority of senators voted for the trial of the anti-immigration League leader to go ahead. Read more
PSG into French Cup semi-finals with easy win at Dijon (BBC)
Paris St-Germain extended their unbeaten run to 22 matches in all competitions as they hammered Dijon to reach the French Cup semi-finals.
Dijon held out for 47 seconds before Wesley Lautoa scored an own goal, though Mounir Chouiar did equalise.
Edinson Cavani had a goal ruled out by VAR but Kylian Mbappe lashed home and Thiago Silva headed in a third.
Pablo Sarabia scored from two Mbappe crosses and Senou Coulibaly scored another own goal in a thumping finale. Read more
Yobo’s appointment irks fans (Punch)
Ex-Super Eagles defender, Joseph Yobo’s appointment on Wednesday as the Super Eagles assistant coach has led to reactions on Twitter, with somes fans querying his appointment, while others expressed their disappointment.
The former Everton defender enjoyed a 13-year spell in the Eagles, making 101 appearances in 2014, and ventured football punditry, making appearances in high-profile games on TV.
However, the 39-year-old has now ditched punditry for football management following his appointment as the new Eagles’ assistant coach by the Nigeria Football Federation. Read more
Ighalo practises sharp shooting ahead of Man United debut against Chelsea (Guardian)
Odion Ighalo has taken a step closer to being ready for Manchester United action, after hitting the training ground to work on his finishing.
Ighalo is on a tailored programme to get him quickly up to speed at United, following his transfer deadline-day loan switch from Shanghai Shenhua.
The 30-year-old uploaded footage of himself putting in the hard work yesterday, as he bids to quickly return to Premier League standard and slot into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans, yet decided to delete it shortly after publishing. Read more
Halogen celebrates world number one wrestling star, Adekuoroye (Guardian)
Odunayo Adekuoroye’s rise to world number women wrestler is a testament that hard work and perseverance pays, says Halogen Group, which is the official sponsor of the matswoman.
Adekuoroye’s latest world ranking is coming after her feat at the final of the just-concluded 2020 African Championship in Algeria, where she won her sixth gold medal with a 10-0 lead against Eman Ebrahim of Egypt. Adekuoroye, who was adopted by Halogen Group ahead 2020 Olympic Games in support of the Federal Government’s adopt-an-athlete programme, defeated her three opponents, culminating in a 10-0 technical superiority victory over Egypt’s No. 12 in the 59kg class, Eman Ebrahim in the final. Read more
Chelsea reach agreement to sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax (Metro)
Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, according to reports. After failing to sign a player in the January transfer window, the 26-year-old is reportedly top of Frank Lampard’s shortlist ahead of the summer.
And according to De Telegraaf, Chelsea have a verbal agreement in place with the Dutch champions to sign Ziyech at the end of the season. Read more
Casillas weighing run for Spanish football presidency (Guardian)
Soccer Football – Euro 2020 Finals Draw – Romexpo, Bucharest, Romania – November 30, 2019 Wales is drawn out by Iker Casillas REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas plans to run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Spanish media reported on Wednesday.
Casillas told the national sports council (CSD) of his intention to run in the upcoming RFEF elections, reported the Cadena Ser radio station early Wednesday.
According to this media, Casillas “has made the decision to run” for the elections and has informed Irene Lozano, who as secretary of state for sport is president of the CSD. Read more
NPFL: Enyimba coach Osho expects tough opposition from Wikki Tourists (Vanguard)
Enyimba play Wikki Tourists Wednesday afternoon in Aba in a rescheduled Matchday 11 fixture and the defending champions interim head coach, Fatai Osho is foreseeing a very tough opposition from the opponents now managed by his immediate past.
Osho who spoke to npfl.ng, believes that Wikki’s new head coach Usman Abd’Allah will do everything possible to make life difficult for Enyimba because he knows the team inside out.
‘It is going to be a very difficult match. He [Abd’Allah] knows the team very well. He lead this squad to the title last year and to the semi-final of the CAF Confederations Cup in 2018. Read more
Dani Ceballos plays down rumours he could have left Arsenal in January (Metro)
Dani Ceballos has promised Arsenal fans he will be an ‘important’ player after the winter break and shut down rumours he could have left the club in January. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder, who joined on loan from Real Madrid last summer, was a regular in Unai Emery’s first-team but has since struggled for form and fitness and made just one substitute appearance under Mikel Arteta. Valencia registered an interest in Ceballos last month and the Spain international briefly considered terminating his loan deal at the Emirates to secure a move back to La Liga towards the end of the transfer window. Read more
Mohamed Salah: Tokyo 2020 decision with Liverpool and forward, says Egypt boss (BBC)
Mohamed Salah’s potential involvement at Tokyo 2020 will be a decision for the player and his club Liverpool, says Egypt coach Shawky Gharib.
The forward, 27, is on Egypt’s provisional 50-man list for the football tournament, which will hold its final on 8 August – the first day of the 2020-21 Premier League season.
“We cannot force Salah to participate with us,” Gharib told Reuters.
The tournament is for under-23 teams but three over-age players are allowed. Read more
Wladimir Klitschko backs Tyson Fury to beat Deontay Wilder on points (Metro)
Wladimir Klitschko has predicted Tyson Fury will beat Deontay Wilder on points in their showdown next week. Fury has vowed to knock out Wilder in their highly-anticipated rematch, while the WBC champion confirmed he planned to be more aggressive. After the first fight ended in a controversial draw, Klitschko believes the second fight will also go the distance. ‘Either Wilder is going to knock out Fury or Fury is going to win on points,’ Klitschko told the National. ‘I wish that actually, Fury, believe it or not, might make it. Might not. But I wish he’s going to make it. Read more