Friday, July 25, 2014

Female weightlifter wins Nigeria's first gold at the Commonwealth Games

India’s Sanjita Chanu won the gold with 173 points.

Team Nigeria on Thursday in Glasgow recorded its first medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games when Nkechi Opara won bronze in the women’s weightlifting 48 kg event.
Opara scored 70 in snatch; and 92 in clean and jerk for total 162 points.

India’s Sanjita Chanu won the gold with 173 points, while her compatriot, Saikhom Mirabai, won silver with 170 points.
The result placed Nigeria joint sixth with South Africa and New Zealand who also have one bronze medal each.

England was, however, leading on the medals table as at 6 p.m. on Thursday with seven medals, comprising three gold, two silver and two bronze.
They had earlier in the day pushed Australia into second place, with India in third place, and Canada and Scotland joint fourth.

The women’s 48 kg event was one of two in the weightlifting competition, which was one of many on the first day of competition at the games.
In the other weightlifting event, Nigeria’s Rasaq Tanimowo was in line for a gold medal as he was leading the pack in the competition before the final round of lifts.
The 2014 games, which got underway on Wednesday, will end on August 3.

Premium Times

Nigeria looking to keep Stephen Keshi as Super Eagles coach

 The Nigeria Football Federation has revealed it wants discussions with Stephen Keshi in the hope of persuading him to return as Super Eagles coach.

The development is a U-turn from the governing body after it allowed Keshi's contract to expire after the World Cup.
However, Nigeria's sports ministry is understood to feel Keshi has made" outrageous" demands over a new deal.
The 52-year-old led Nigeria to their third African title in 2013 and the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil.

But his reign as coach was littered with problems over money, as he experienced a number of delays in receiving his salary, and issues around his control of team selection.
He has reportedly sought a new deal that would double his $30,000-a-month salary, ensure monies are paid upfront to avoid delays and also allow him to pick his staff.

Following a meeting of the NFF executive committee, the board "mandated the technical sub-committee to open channels of communication with Stephen Keshi with a view to extending his contract, as the NFF is still interested in working with him".
It added: "The technical sub-committee is to report back to the executive committee within one week."

Meanwhile, Nigeria's sports minister Tammy Danagogo says football officials in the country must put aside their differences for Nigeria to go beyond the round of 16 at the World Cup.
"The only way we can go beyond round of 16 is to ensure that the right things are done," he said.
"If [the round of 16] is a jinx we must break it. And it is by ensuring that the right things happen; by ensuring that NFF does not complain that the minister is disturbing them.

"It is by ensuring that club owners are not complaining against the NFF, it is by ensuring players and coaches are not complaining that NFF or club owners are short-changing them."


Related stories: Nigeria Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi steps down after 2-0 defeat to France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Nigeria Super Eagles refuse to train due to unpaid FIFA World Cup 2014 appearance fees

Nigeria possibly has first ebola case

A Liberian man has been taken to hospital in Nigeria after he developed sysmptoms of the deadly disease Ebola, which has killed hundreds in West Africa in the biggest recorded outbreak.

Nigerian officials said on Thursday that the man was being tested in Lagos, and it was not clear if he was infected with the disease, which has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak began in February.

If confirmed, the case would be the first on record in Nigeria, Africa's most populous state with a population of 170 million.

The 40-year-old Monrovia man arrived in Lagos on Sunday and was taken to hospital on Tuesday suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhoea, said Yewande Adesina, the special adviser on health for the Lagos state government.

"Results are still pending. Presently the patient's condition is stable and he is in recovery… The diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped. He is still under isolation."

A third laboratory outside Nigeria must also test the samples before a final determination on Ebola can be reached, Adesina said.

The patient travelled from the Liberian of Monrovia to Lagos via Togo's capital Lome.

The WHO has recorded more than 900 cases of Ebola in the epidemic that has raged across West Africa in recent months. Liberia has recorded 172 cases of the disease, including 105 deaths.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kaduna hit by two deadly explosions

Two explosions have ripped through the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, killing at least 40 people, police say.

The first explosion targeted moderate Islamic cleric Dahiru Bauchi while the second one targeted senior opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, a BBC reporter in the city says.

Both escaped unhurt.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has carried out a wave of bombings and assassinations in Nigeria since it launched a brutal insurgency in 2009.

It often targets Muslim leaders opposed to its militant ideology. Curfew imposed

Body parts and damaged vehicles lay on the busy Alkali Road in the city centre where the bomb targeting Mr Bauchi exploded, reports the BBC's Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar from the scene.

Kaduna police chief Shehu Umar said at least 25 people were killed and 14 wounded in that blast, apparently caused by a suicide bomber.

Another 15 were killed in the second blast, he said, while an emergency worker put the number at 19.

Mr Bauchi had completed a preaching session in the nearby Murtala Muhammed square, and was driving through the area in an open-roofed vehicle, greeting thousands of well-wishers when he was targeted.

Followers of the renowned cleric reacted angrily, throwing stones at the security forces and accusing them of failing to protect Nigerians, our reporter says.

The security forces retaliated by firing tear gas.

About 90 minutes after the first attack, a second explosion ripped through the crowded Kawo area, targeting the motorcade of Gen Buhari, a former military ruler of Nigeria and a senior member of the All Progressive Congress opposition party.

Gunmen rammed a vehicle into his convoy, firing shots at it, our reporter says, adding that two of Gen Buhari's bodyguards were slightly wounded in the attack.

The state government has now imposed a 24-hour curfew in the city and surrounding areas.

"The measure is aimed at forestalling a breakdown of law and order," said government spokesman Ahmed Maiyaki.

In May, the emir of the northern area of Gwoza, Shehu Mustapha Idris Timta, was shot dead in an attack blamed on Boko Haram.

In January 2013, the then-emir of Kano, Al Haji Ado Bayero, survived an assassination attempt.


Related stories: Death toll of civilians killed in Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria this year reach 2,053

PayPal signs "tens of thousands" in first week of launch in Nigeria

PayPal has signed up "tens of thousands" of Nigerians in its first week of operating in Africa's biggest economy, with consumers already purchasing items from Britain, China and the United States via its online platform, a company official said.

E-commerce remains in its infancy in most of Africa but is growing exponentially with the advent of online retailers such as Jumia, partly owned by South African phone operator MTN, and a growing middle class with money to spend.

Citizens of Africa's most populous nation could not buy goods directly from foreign merchants before the launch by PayPal, the payments unit of online auctioneer eBay Inc.

"We have seen great uptake by Nigerians ... in terms of coverage," Malvina Goldfeld, PayPal's head of business development for sub-Saharan Africa, said in Lagos on Tuesday.

PayPal entered Nigeria and 10 other nations last month, providing online payment alternatives for consumers via mobile phones or PCs in markets often blighted by financial fraud. The new markets bring the number of countries PayPal serves to 203.

Goldfeld said that Paypal secured a few deals with electronics suppliers in China and Dubai ahead of its launch and that it had partnered with Nigerian lender First Bank, which has more than 10.5 million customers.


PayPal launched its platform in South Africa four years ago, Kenya last year and now Nigeria, Goldfeld said, giving the company access to shoppers across 40 sub-saharan African countries.

Goldfeld said the biggest interest has been in products from the United States, Britain and China, adding: "People are buying everything ... (but) there's definitely a concentration in electronics and fashion."

Online retailer Jumia told Reuters in April it had 100,000 Nigerian customer accounts and sales were increasing by 15 percent a month

However, worries over internet security and online fraud have held back e-commerce growth in Nigeria, where 63 million people have active internet data subscriptions but only 1 percent of them make online transactions, First Bank said, noting that online purchases are expected to reach $1 billion this year.

Though challenges remain - including abysmal infrastructure, port delays, other supply chain woes and the task of persuading shoppers to trust websites with their bank details - Goldfeld says PayPal's reach will help to speed improvements.

"A lot of the merchants that we work with ... already ship to Nigeria. I think that the growth of e-commerce will push the logistics customers to up their game," she said.


Related stories: PayPal coming to Nigeria

Western Union launches online service in Nigeria

Bitcoin interest grows in Nigeria