Wednesday, June 30, 2010

President Goodluck Jonathan suspends Super Eagles

Nigeria's president has suspended his nation's football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.

Special presidential adviser Ima Niboro told reporters the decision by Goodluck Jonathan will "enable Nigeria to reorganise its football".

The Nigerian Football Federation is to be dissolved and an interim board appointed, the BBC understands.

Nigeria were knocked out in the group stages without winning a game.

Niboro said: "President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraws from international competition for two years to enable the country to put its house in order.

"This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing World Cup."

The president also plans an audit of the country's World Cup organising committee.

"If any financial misappropriation is discovered, all officials responsible will be held accountable," Niboro added.

The NFF released a statement apologising to "all football-loving Nigerians" for the country's early exit from South Africa.

"No previous board has qualified Nigeria for all major tournaments internationally," the statement read, adding that officials wanted Swedish coach Lars Lagerbeck to remain at the helm.

Rotimi Amaechi, head of a special presidential task force on the World Cup campaign, said Nigeria would write to football's world governing body Fifa to explain its decision.

"We went to the World Cup and found all sorts of problems and we felt we should sit back and look inward," Amaechi told reporters.

Under Fifa rules, government interference with national teams is strictly forbidden.

"At the time of writing, we have no official information on this matter," a Fifa statement read.

"However, in general, Fifa's position regarding political interference in football is well known. Our statutes do not allow for any political interference."

Nigeria's risks their national and club teams, plus referees, being banned from all international competitions - and their officials would not be allowed to attend meetings or events.

Nigeria were set to begin their bid to qualify for the 2012 African Nations Cup finals in September against Madagascar.


Related stories: Super Eagles in champagne party after dissapointing World Cup perfomance

Lars Lagerback takes blame for Super Eagles' Fall

Leave Sani Kaita alone

Poverty blamed for child trafficking

Inspector General of Police Ogbonna Onovo yesterday said poverty and evil religious practices are some of the factors that promote child trafficking. Onovo, represented by Deputy Inspector General John Hamza Amadu, spoke at the 4th specialized meeting on Child Trafficking in West Africa, organised by the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) in Abuja.

"We must strive to eliminate factors that promote this evil act; some of them being poverty, obnoxious traditional practices of child fostering, seasonal labour migration and evil religious practices," he said.

Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Josephine Anenih said efforts to combat trafficking of children must target rural communities where more people reside.

Founder of Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) Mrs. Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar said an effective tool which African countries must adopt to fight and eradicate child trafficking is adequate legislation and strong law enforcement.

Daily Trust

Related stories: Child trafficking - Nation to strengthen collaboration with ILO 

Nigeria is the largest African source of  trafficked women to Europe and Asia

Return to Nigeria's Witch Children 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Lady gets citizen of distinction award

First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan was yesterday in Toronto, Canada, named the 2010 Citizen of Distinction by the Management of Toronto East General Hospital.

A statement issued by her Media Assistant, Ayo Adewuyi, said the honour was conferred on her during her visit to the hospital, which was part of events of the G-8 spouses programme holding in that country.

According to the statement, "It is in recognition of her continued support to the poor through her youth scholarship awards and medical support and assistance to children with heart conditions."

Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), the statement noted, is a large Urban Full-Service Community Teaching Hospital providing comprehensive care to a diverse population of 400,000 people representing over 45,000 cultural and linguistic groups.

It said that the visit by the First Lady was the first of such by any visiting dignitary.

The 2010 Citizen of Distinction Award was presented to her by the Chief Executive Office of the hospital, Rob Devitt accompanied by the hospital Foundation chair, Teresa Vasilopolous and the top management of the hospital.

The First Lady, the statement said, assured the medical staff of the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to the realization of the three health related Millennium Development Goals namely, reduction of child and infant mortality; improving Maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS.

According to her, "As a mother, I recognize the hardship the women of Nigeria go through during child birth and I am working with relevant Government agencies to ensure our women enjoy the pleasure of motherhood."

She expressed the hope that the award which automatically makes her the Champion of Toronto East General Hospital would be the beginning of good working relationship with Nigerian Health Institutions, particularly the National hospital, Abuja.

She commended the efforts of the health workers for providing life-saving care for the patients particularly women and children, pointing out that the exploits of Professor Isa Odidi and Dr Leke Badmus-two Canadian-Nigerians- in Canadian health care delivery served as a testimony to Nigeria's capacity to participate globally in health related issues.

President of TEGH, Teresa Vasilopolous, said the visit represented the attention that the Hospital has been garnering on a national scale for its high quality patient care and many awards of excellence as the destination of "Healthcare Excellence."

This Day

Kanu denies rumour of him quitting

There have been reports since Nigeria's ouster from the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa quoting the 33 -year old legend as saying that he would retire from the international game.

"I never told anybody that I was quitting international football. Of course, I remember the question being posed as we left the mixed zone after the match in Durban (against Korea Republic). All I did say was that I would first go on a holiday with my family and think over everything. It would be my decision", said Kanu.

Nigeria's most successful footballer also lambasted a report quoting him as having said he would no longer be willing to work with the Nigeria Football Federation.

"That report is mischievous. I never spoke to anyone about not wanting to work with the Federation. My brother, I have been in the national team for the past 16 years and I know the difference between white and black. The present NFF leadership has done a lot; they have been committed, energetic and forthright, and have shown they have the interests of the players at heart.

"Surely, there is room for improvement as we go forward. But life is about learning and putting those lessons into use for future good".

If he musters the will and courage to continue, and is around for the next World Cup, Kanu will be on line to be only the second African player to feature at four FIFA World Cup finals, after Cameroonian Rigobert Song set that in the on -going finals in South Africa.

Kanu previously played at the 1998 and 2002 finals, after narrowly making the cut for 1994, and was unlucky not to have made it a third straight finals as the Eagles, captained by Jay Jay Okocha, could not muster what was needed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

Captain Okocha himself claimed to have missed his way in London as the team flew out to an important away game which it lost, and which proved decisive in the race to Germany.

Daily Champion

Related stories: Nwankwo Kanu to retire from international football after World Cup

Nwankwo Kanu to release biopic and book after World Cup

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nigerian idol is the real deal

For entertainment enthusiasts, and millions of talented but opportunity-challenged acts spread across the country, the next few weeks promises to be interesting, as the world's biggest music talent show Idols comes to Nigeria. Optima Media Group (OMG), one of Africa's biggest production companies, announced this week it has secured the right to produce Idol in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa.

'We're starting with 'Nigerian Idol', obviously because Nigeria has the biggest market for us, and the Nigerian music industry is the biggest, and most promising on the continent right now' Chichi Nwoko, a spokesperson for OMG told journalists in Lagos early this week.

Nigerian Idol, Nwoko says, is 'a dream come true because finally we get to give millions of youths an opportunity to be heard - a genuine opportunity. Nigeria is blessed with such amazing talent!

Unfortunately, most of these people don't have a structured platform to make their voices heard. We want to say to them - accept no Limitations. You can make your dream come true!'

The stories of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, or Jennifer Hudson, better explain the power and promise of the Idols platform. Before entering for the American Idols, they were just regular "wannabes", hoping to someday to be a music star, but with no clue on how to break into the mainstream music scene. Today, they're bonafide music stars, with a global audience and an assured career.

Nigerian Idol, the producers say, will produce the biggest music star this year. The man or woman who'll sing Nigerians to sleep and wake them up the next morning. The one singer that will in a matter of months, move from obscurity to celebrity; from shame to fame; the one singer who will move from the back seat to the A-league.

Forms will be available in July and audition held across Nigeria for persons aged between 16 and 28. A panel of four judges, will be faced with the daunting prospect of choosing 50 talented singers to face the viewing public who will decide, in a series of live shows, who most deserves the chance of stardom.

Nigerian Idol will be aired both on cable and terrestrial television across Nigeria between September and December 2010.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Super Eagles in champagne party after dissapointing World Cup perfomance

At a time that Nigerians are still gritting their teeth over the dismal performance of the Eagles in South Africa in the on-going World Cup, Sports Vanguard can reveal that the players celebrated their ouster with champagne in Durban.

Nigeria needed a win over South Korea to sail through to the second round after Argentina had beaten Greece 2-0. But the Nigerian players floundered opportunities with Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Obafemi Martins the chief culprits.

Even as Nigerians mourned the exit of the Eagles, the players showed no remorse over their defeat as they went out on a champagne party in Durban.

Very reliable sources who attended the show of shame confirmed to Sports Vanguard that many people could not believe that the players who held their heads in pretence at the end of the match were the ones popping champagnes in the night.

A very high official who would not want his name in print described the party as the highest act of irresponsibility by the players. It is not the first time that Nigerian players would fumble in big competitions and go partying.

Greece 2-0. But the Nigerian players floundered opportunities with Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Obafemi Martins the chief culprits. Even as Nigerians mourned the exit of the Eagles, the players showed no remorse over their defeat as they went out on a champagne party in Durban.

Very reliable sources who attended the show of shame confirmed to Sports Vanguard that many people could not believe that the players who held their heads in pretence at the end of the match were the ones popping champagnes in the night.

A very high official who would not want his name in print described the party as the highest act of irresponsibility by the players. It is not the first time that Nigerian players would fumble in big competitions and go partying.


Related stories:  Lars Lagerback takes blame for Super Eagles' Fall

Sani Kaita receiving death threats

Sani Kaita apologizes for red card

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Leave Sani Kaita alone

A ridiculously funny remix of a Nigerian Super Eagle fan defending Sani Kaita dubbed over the infamous clip of the delirious Britney Spears fanatic.

Related stories: Sani Kaita receiving death threats

Sani Kaita apologizes for red card

Hitler defends Nigeria

Animated short 'Planes Immigrations Nigerians'

Naija Who Wants To Be A Billionaire. Warning...Extremely Funny

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Increased oil production ups country's economy By 7.23%

The increase in oil production in Nigeria has catapulted the economy of Nigeria by 7. 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2010.

The increase in crude production was occasioned by the relative peace in the Niger Delta region where over 90 per cent of oil production takes place.

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said that the oil production in Nigeria has risen tremendously.

Though Alison-Madueke did not give the figure for the current level of production, she said that the increase was as a result of progressive impacts of post amnesty program given to militant by the federal government in the country.

The minister who was represented by the Director, Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), Andrew Obaje disclosed this at the 2-daysTechnology Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.

Alison-Madueke maintained that the conference afforded the government and other stakeholders an avenue to deliberate on the better ways forward in addressing issues surrounding the oil and gas industry.

She said the country is blessed with huge oil and gas resources which are currently estimated at about 37.2 billion barrels reserved for oil and 183 trillion cubic feet for gas as at January 2010.

The minister however said that these valuable assets have not been fully exploited in the moist efficient and economical way to the benefit of Nigerians, adding that due to the limited technological resources available to Nigeria.

"Am delighted to be here today to share with this body of professionals the current and future technology challenges in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

"Current Nigeria's deep offshore oil and gas resources are yet to be fully developed and exploited despite government efforts to attract international investor," he said.

The minister said the development and production of deep offshore resources is underpinned by the availability of the state-of-art technology, which she said in most cases is capital intensive that posed major challenges to Nigeria for sector.

"Our vision for the oil and gas industry is to have a sustainable growth in a manner that is profitable, safe, efficient and environmentally friendly.

"The Federal Government focus is on critical short and medium term deliverables that will create the desire impacts on the generality of Nigerians," she added.

Talking on Deep offshore Discovery, Exploration and Exploitation, the minister said that this are one of the area were Nigeria has to invest heavily in order to optmise her investment.

She said deepwater field pose great challenges to operators because of the difficult terrain, for example initiating well control and operation using electronic instead of the traditional Hydraulic control system presently being used.

Daily Independent

Related stories: New source of oil found in the Niger Delta by Chinese and Nigerian firms 

Video report on Nigerian oil tycoon Kase Lawal

Oil War

Lars Lagerback takes blame for Super Eagles' Fall

Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback says he should take the blame for the country's inability to reach the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Swede cut a disconsolate figure in the post-match press conference after his side had drawn 2-2 with South Korea, missing out on the qualification for the Last 16 which a win would have secured, this despite creating a host of opportunities in the game.

Lagerback refused to blame his players, who were so wasteful in front of goal, and says the buck stops with him.

"I am to blame, as the coach I have the responsibility to make this team win," Lagerback said. "I am the one picking the team, I am the one doing the game-plan and I am the one training the team.

"This is a very difficult time for us, we are disappointed and sad for the moment. I was of course disappointed with all the missed chances, and the [Korean] time-wasting, which I do not believe was fair play."

Lagerback would not blame the team's build-up for the failure, or their decision to switch training camps from Durban to Richard's Bay at the last minute.

"The players have had a very good attitude and worked very hard in training. In these matches it is small margins between success and failure. We hit the post at 1-0, so we were just a matter of centimetres from making it 2-0, and they could have made all the difference."

Asked whether he would be staying on in his post, the Swede was evasive.

"I have very much enjoyed my five months with the Super Eagles and I will compile a report on the World Cup for the Federation, but I cannot say whether I will continue. I have no idea whether that is possible," he said.

Striker Kanu, possibly playing for the last time in a green shirt, admitted that the players were devastated by their exit, and also refused to to be drawn on his future.

"The question of whether I will retire… you will know the answer soon. Right now I am just sad and need to go away and assess things. I will decide soon," Kanu said.

All Africa

Related stories: Super Eagles to get N4.5 million each to beat Korea 

Sani Kaita apologizes for red card

Sani Kaita receiving death threats

Lagerback finds Greece defeat bitter 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Eagles to get N4.5 million each to beat Korea

Nigeria Football Federation has promised the Eagles' players 30, 000 dollars each (about N4.5m) if they beat South Korea on Tuesday.

Nigeria have lost two of their group B games and are in danger of being dumped out of the World Cup. But a win against Korea and a little favour from Argentina against Greece will offer the Eagles a chance of moving to the round of 16.

NFF president, Sani Lulu, met with the players last weekend and dangled the 30, 000 dollars carrot before the players, in order to ginger them for the decider against the Koreans.

The Eagles have not collected any bonus so far for the World Cup. They were promised 10, 000 dollars each (about N1.5m) for a win.

"The players will pocket 30,000 dollars each if they beat Korea and qualify for the next round. It was something the NFF leadership agreed with the players."

The Eagles will earn a further 12,500 dollars per head for victory in the Round of 16.

Lulu told the team to rise to the occasion, adding that the whole country is behind them.


Related stories: Super Eagles to get U.S.$33,000 each as match bonus

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Sani Kaita apologizes for red card

An apologetic Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita has given more details leading to the incident that got him to see red and invariably cost the Super Eagles three precious points at the World Cup.

Kaita was sent off in the 33rd minute in his team's surprise 2-1 loss to Greece in a Group B match on Thursday after he appeared to lunge at Vasileios Torosidis with a foot in a touchline scuffle.

The sending off proved to be the turning point of the game as Greece soon drew level before grabbing a winner for their first-ever World Cup victory.

"The guy (the Greece player) hit the ball on my body (stomach) and abused me, saying some very unprintable things. That really got me very angry. That is why I reacted like that to him. But that was a big mistake by me and I will remember for a long time," Kaita said.

"I cannot stop apologising to all Nigerians for making this costly mistake. I am very sorry and I pray that we win our next game (against South Korea) to qualify for the next round, where I hope to redeem my image with a good performance if I'm picked," he added.

"I couldn't sleep all night thinking about what my action has cost my country, but I hope that Insa Allah (by the grace of God) we will win our next game and thereafter I promise to put my life down on the pitch to ensure we go very far in this competition."

The former Sparta Rotterdam ace therefore called on Nigerians not to give up on the Eagles, but rather support the team for Tuesday's match against South Korea in Durban.

"The mood in camp is really high. They have accepted my apology and they are now desperate to win our next game for me so that we could move to the second round of the competition," he offered.

"We still need the support and prayers of Nigerians for us to get the qualification ticket to the next round. Nigerians would see a different Sani Kaita Insa Allah when we qualify.

"And I promise that what happened yesterday will never happen again."


Related stories: Sani Kaita receiving death threats

Lagerback finds Greece defeat bitter 

Kaita shows no remorse 

NDLEA discovers cocaine in sandals, arrests four suspects

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended a Spain-based Nigerian, Ezeugha Sunny, for trying to smuggle one kilogramme of cocaine inside his sandals.

The suspect was detected during routine check on Iberia flight on Wednesday when he carefully packed the cocaine in two 500-gramme parcels and neatly hid in a pair of sandals he was putting on at the time of screening.

Three other suspects, Abuku Prince Kennedy, 26; Oparaji Anthony, 40, who lives in Spain and Tochukwu Christopher Okeke, 35, who lives in Monrovia, Liberia, were tested positive to drug ingestion.

NDLEA Airport commander, Hamza Umar, said Okeke swallowed 45 pieces of narcotic substances on his way to Liberia. He was to board Arik flight when he was tested positive to drug ingestion.

Anthony ingested 71 wraps while Kennedy swallowed 45 wraps.

Hamza, who said the suspects were still on observation to expel the drugs in their stomach, warned drug traffickers to stop their nefarious activities.

Sunny, a factory worker in Spain, claimed to have been given pair of sandals by a contact in Lagos.

In his words, "I work in Spain but I lost my job some months ago. Though I am single, it is difficult to cope in Europe without a job. It is joblessness that led me into drug trafficking. I needed money for my upkeep and when they told me that the drug will be inside my sandals. I felt it was a good plan to escape arrest. But my desire did no work out." The suspect hails from Anambra State and is said to have lived in Madrid for over 10 years.

Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, attributed the seizure to dedication and excellent profiling techniques applied by undercover officers of the agency at the airport.

Giade said, "The seizure is unique and the dedication of the officers must be commended. Drug barons will have their drug concealment methods discovered because we are prepared and committed to our duty of drug control. Regular training in both interdiction techniques and passenger profiling is also our strength".

He also said jobless Nigerians living in Europe were fast becoming the targets of drug barons and advised them to return home and be legitimately employed rather than smuggle drugs and end up in prison custody.

He said suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.

Daily Champion

Related stories: Cocaine and politics

Two Nigerian drug traffickers excrete 160 wraps of Cocaine while in custody

Drug traffickers stuff cocaine in roasted chicken

Sani Kaita receiving death threats

Death threats are being sent to Super Eagles player, Sani Kaita over earning a red card during the World Cup match against Greece last Thursday.

However, news close to the Eagles' camp has it Nigeria is not taking this lying low and a course of action is being mapped out to protect the midfielder.

Kaita told the German news agency that he had received death threats via email, and team Media Officer Idah Peterside said the NFF had written an official letter to FIFA and the Nigerian government.

"He has received over 1000 threats to his email, so we are not taking this lightly.

"We have spoken to the Nigerian Minister of Sports to inform him about the situation, and we are also writing to FIFA to notify them," Peterside said.He added that the minister and other Nigerian officials were disappointed at the situation.

"Here is somebody on national service who is trying to do his best. For people to threaten his life is shocking and disappointing.

"He is shaken, but is getting support from his team mates and team officials."

This Day

Related stories: Kaita shows no remorse 

Lagerback finds Greece defeat bitter 

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

84 year old woman arrested for selling babies

The weather was cool this Thursday evening as it had rained for hours in some areas of the Lagos metropolis while other areas were bone dry as usual and commuters were bracing up for the notorious gridlock which gets worse when it rains.

They were not unduly perturbed because though the homeward journey was going to be long but the weather was cool. Then along came a newspaper vendor displaying an evening paper with the headline: "Lagos Shuts Baby Factory: Woman, 84, Arrested For Selling Babies". All eyes were drawn to the paper and a commuter, Iyke, bought a copy to read.

 "Wonders will never cease in Nigeria. Abracadabra, the more you look, the less you see. That has been our experience in this part of the globe," commented Iyke.

"O boy, read it out loud please," a number of commuters pleaded with Iyke who said tongue-in-cheek: "You guys should not disturb me. After all you saw the vendor or do you think the papers are for decoration? They are for sale, so go and buy your own," thereupon he began to read the story aloud to the hearing of all.

"This is insane! How can an old woman who is close to her grave and should be making peace with God turn something meant to be a blessing into a curse? Was the orphanage home registered by government?" Femi wanted to know.

"Yes, the report said she was granted license by the state government some years ago to operate the orphanage," Iyke replied, adding: "But trust our people to exploit every loophole. The 84-year-old woman built an unapproved maternity centre where babies are delivered and also a school in the same place."

"Wait a minute, where were the government agencies in charge of all these things all the while? They just issue licence and no follow up and that gives people the chance to do whatever they want," noted Jossie. "I believe they would have discovered these atrocities if they had been up and doing. I hate the lackadaisical attitude of the average civil servant. Nobody cares.

I shudder to think about the fate of those unfortunate kids that had been sold, maybe to ritualists."

"Money is everything in this part of the world so people go to any length to make it. My question is, how was she getting those pregnant girls to deliver and sell their babies to her?" asked TJ.

"They may be young ladies who got pregnant and were afraid to go home to face their parents; so such people are grateful to whoever will take care of them and keep the baby at the end of the day so they could go on with their lives," answered Ify.

"It is possible that she recruits young boys and girls and pay them peanuts for the purpose of breeding babies for her. Much the same way you breed animals for sale, like what happened during the slave trade. It's just so sad how low we have sunk," lamented Eunice.

"All these are possible because of the 'I don't care' attitude of our leaders who are busy stealing and stashing our money in foreign banks while we are here suffering. Young people are ready to do anything to keep body and soul together. So unscrupulous elements in the society exploit these loopholes," said Kate.

"This is not the first time such a thing would be happening. Some years ago, it was one orphanage home somewhere in Isolo, Lagos State which was shut down and the operators arrested. Nobody knows what became of them. I hope the ministry concerned would henceforth live up to its responsibilities and government should provide them with all they need to discharge their duties creditably," counselled Ken.

"The public should also be at alert. If they see such evil going on in their environment, they should alert the security agencies or the relevant arm of government as it happened in this case. This evil must stop," said Iyke.

"The woman said she only gives out babies who were not wanted by their mothers, and that she never asked the prospective adoptive parents to pay but asks for donations of between N100,000 and N200,000. So what do you call that?" asked Zuby.

"It's wickedness, pure and simple, no other name for it," replied Ken.


Related story: Pregnant woman swallows 350 grams of cocaine

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goodluck Jonathan on a mission to stem the rise of kidnappings

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed on Thursday to stem the rising spate of kidnappings in the country which he said was a "menace" to development.

"The issue of kidnapping is a problem that the government must tackle frontally and I have decided that we will tackle it frontally," Jonathan said during a meeting of leaders of his ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.

"We can no longer continue to live in a society where even if your wife is going to church, you have to look for an APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) to follow her. If the children are going to school, you have to look for machine gun-carrying security people to follow them," he said.

Kidnappings for ransom by criminal gangs which used to be restricted to the country's oil-producing south, have recently spread to the south-east Igbo region.

The police said last week more than 300 suspected kidnappers, mostly the Igbo ethnic community, had been arrested since February.

Jonathan said the situation in the south-eastern state of Abia was so alarming that the government could no longer accept it.

"I am saying now that we will spend the last money government has to crush this terrible menace because without security we can't even develop," he added.


Related stories: Kidnapping culture in Nigeria on the rise

Plans to introduce the death penalty for Kidnapping underway in Nigeria

Nollywood star Pete Edochie Kidnapped

Kaita shows no remorse

Sani Kaita, after practically kicking dust into the eyes of Nigeria with his unguarded conduct of kicking a Greek player on the thigh in an off the ball incident that earned him a red card, showed no remorse after the 2-1 loss.

Kaita had been praised to high heavens by Lagerback a day before the game and he ended up disappointing him like Judas did to Jesus Christ.

More annoyingly yesterday was the manner that Kaita strolled into the mixed zone blocking his ear drum with his music and aided by Obinna Nsofor to ignore questions from the press.

A motley of journalists had gathered round to find out from the player why he betrayed the Eagles with his conduct. He looked them in the eye and strolled away.

Nigerian journalists begged for comments but he felt bigger than the country and moved on. Technical Committee Chairman of the NFA, Taiwo Ogunjobi, had to literally force him back knowing that it was against FIFA rules to shun the press at the mixed zone of the World Cup, it was too late as more important players came out and occupied the attention of the press.

Back to the match, Greece earned its first World Cup win, coming from behind to beat 10-man Nigeria 2-1 in Group B on Thursday.

Vassilis Torosidis poked home a loose ball in the 71st minute after a mistake from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to make history for Greece, which had lost all four previous World Cup matches and never had scored a goal.

Nigeria opened the scoring in the 16th minute at Free State Stadium when Kalu Uche's curling free kick from 35 yards deceived everyone, particularly goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, who moved the wrong way.

But the game changed in the 33rd minute when Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita was shown a straight red card for kicking Torosidis.

Striker Dimitris Salpingidis equalized in the 44th minute with a deflected shot before Torosidis' winner.

Nigeria broke through first when Uche's free kick sailed over the heads of Costas Katsouranis and Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie and into the far corner of the net -- with Tzorvas completely fooled.

Odemwingie, who had won the free kick, appeared to pull his head out of the way to allow Uche's curling effort to carry on to the Greece net.

But with Nigeria in control, Kaita's undisciplined move handed Greece its best chance of breaking its World Cup losing streak.

Kaita was sent off by Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz after he kicked out at Torosidis and caught the Greece striker on the upper thigh after the ball went out of bounds.

Greece pressed and made its advantage pay off a minute before halftime when

Salpingidis' shot deflected off the unlucky Lukman Haruna and into his own net.

Enyeama, who won his second successive man of the match award despite the mistake on the winning goal, then made a string of saves in the second half.

But when he fumbled a low shot from Alexandros Tziolis and Torosidis pounced on the loose ball for the crucial goal, Nigeria's chances for advancement just about disappeared.


Related stories: Lagerback finds Greece defeat bitter

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Eagles declare Greece must-win

Lagerback finds Greece defeat bitter

Super Eagles coach, Lars Lagerback has expressed disappointment with the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Greece yesterday, bemoaning the lack of communication between coaches and referees following Sani Kaita's red card.

"It is difficult. Maybe, I have been in this business too long," the 61-year-old Swede said.

"I am extremely disappointed with the lack of communication between us and the referee. We were not allowed to speak to them and ask why Kaita was sent off."

The Super Eagles took a first half lead when Kalu Uche's free kick crept in at the far post but goals from Dimitrios Salpingidis and Vasilis Torosidis left Nigeria with a mountain to climb in order to achieve qualification from Group B.

"All I can do is congratulate Greece, they scored two and we scored only one," Lagerback continued.

"We have to take this and restart tomorrow. The sending off was hugely important. Under the circumstances, I am proud of the way we played with one man down.

"The ball seems to be moving a bit strangely, but it is the same for both teams so it doesn't matter," he added, alluding to the mistake from his goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama that gifted Greece the winning goal.

The Swede also admitted that the Eagles performed below expectation against a weak Greece side.

"I'm disappointed with the performance of the team. I think the Eagles could not click," he said, even as he remained positive that the Eagles could still make it to the next round only if the Argentina beat Greece while the Eagles win convincingly against South Korea.

"Everything is not lost yet. Let us hope Argentina wins against Greece and we are able to perform better than South Korea."

Super Eagles next match come up on June 22 against South Korea.


Related stories: Lagerback explains Maradona snub

Messi hails Enyeama

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Child trafficking - Nation to strengthen collaboration with ILO

Nigeria is to strengthen collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) towards combating child trafficking and other forms of forced labour.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu gave the country's resolve in an address to the plenary session of the ongoing International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Noting recent approvals by President Goodluck Jonathan in safeguarding jobs threatened by the worldwide economic recession, Wogu equally pledged the government's determination to bring all citizens under a safety net in a comprehensive social security scheme soon to be announced.

"On Child Labour, Chairperson, Nigeria notes with great concern the rising incidence of this scourge, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. We therefore associate ourselves with the efforts of the ILO in combating this menace. In this respect, Nigeria has not only ratified the relevant ILO conventions but has put in place the necessary institutional mechanisms to ameliorate the situation," Wogu said.

He equally disclosed the government's plans of further securing the well being of workers through the introduction of a comprehensive national policy on social security.

In a related development, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Iyom Josephine Anenih has decried the increasing rate of child abuse in the country saying it is a serious issue that requires immediate attention from all stakeholders.

The minister stated yesterday in Abuja at the celebration of the 2010 Day of the African Child (DAC) that poverty along with other cultural traits has resulted to middle men exploiting the desperation and ignorance of parents to procure children for trafficking.

Anenih, who was represented by the Director of the National Women Development Centre (NWDC), Hajiya Fatima Hassan reiterated that the trafficking rackets have assumed alarming proportions channeling huge numbers of children into employment markets of major towns, even outside the shores of Nigeria.

She added that the involvement of the children in drug abuse, domestic and forced labour, child prostitution, pornography, as well as forced marriage, rape and abduction negates the rights of the child to survival and good life.

Wogu also used the opportunity to commend the ILO for its efforts in sustaining economic recovery noting that the contributions of the ILO especially the endorsement of the Global Jobs Pact by government and social partners is already manifesting in various national development efforts.

"Nigeria notes with appreciation the role of the ILO in situating employment issues at the heart of the recovery process. The endorsement of the Global Jobs Pact by regional and multilateral agencies as a tool for combating the devastating effects of the global economic and financial crisis is already manifesting in various national development efforts," Wogu said.

This Day

Related stories: Nigeria improves and rises to Tier 1 in 2009 T.I.P. report

Alarming increase of Nigerian girls trafficked to Italy

Nigeria is the largest African source of  trafficked women to Europe and Asia

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

West Ham want Vincent Enyeama

New boss Avram Grant is keen on the Hapoel Tel-Aviv stopper, who was superb for the Super Eagles against Argentina last week.

Israeli Grant now plans a £4m swoop.

A Hammers insider said: "Enyeama was absolutely superb against Argentina and he'd be a brilliant buy.

"So Avram Grant is using his Israeli connections to clinch a deal as soon as the World Cup ends."

The news is another blow for England No 1 Green after his horrific blunder gifted the USA a draw in last Saturday's tussle.

The Sun

Related story: Messi hails Enyeama

Rebranding country is not for money-making - Akunyili

Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili has said in Abuja, that "Re-branding Nigeria Image" project was not a money-making venture.

Akunyili made the clarification at a forum to initiate the project to replace the former image project, Heart of Africa.

She said: " I want to assure Nigerians that this is not a money-making venture. If money was my goal and I say it with all sincerity, I would have stuck with the Heart of Africa project, since it was mainly overseas oriented.

"I would have planned trips to countries, pick my allowances and have few hours meeting with Nigerians and foreigners, pay courtesy calls to information ministers, have photo sessions, take some rest and maybe do a little shopping. "But I have chosen the tedious option of evolving a home-grown branding which will involve all Nigerians."

Akunyili maintained that the Heart of Africa, just as past projects as Green Revolution and Vision 2000, failed to achieve their desired objectives due to a lack of public support.

Akunyili said: "Heart of Africa could not fly for many reasons. The name was contentious as Malawi was the first to use that slogan.

"Many other African countries have laid claim to being the Heart of Africa. Secondly, it was launched overseas and that automatically disconnected the ordinary Nigerians.

"However, we are not going to throw away the baby with the bath water. We will incorporate all the positive aspects of the Heart of Africa and other government initiatives."

According to her, the new branding project will be cost effective, as the ministry will only make use of local consultants. "We also intend to get free publicity for our international audience through Nigeria private institutions," she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the focus of the Heart of Africa, started in 2004, was image management through campaign against negative stereotypes.

In 2008, the project, which is domiciled in the Ministry of Information, received N300 million budget. The House Committee Chairman on Information and National Orientation, Mr. Dino Melaye, lamented the waste of billions of naira in the Heart of Africa project by past administrations.

"I had told the minister during the defense of the Ministry's budget last month that we are not going to approve one naira for the Heart of Africa project. "This is because billions of naira appropriated for the project in the past was used for travelling and tourism globally. "Domestic issues should have been tackled domestically. You have to tackle the problems in this country before you start gallivanting abroad," Melaye told NAN.

He gave an assurance that the committee would ensure that appropriate funds were provided for the new image project in the 2010 budget, after an appraisal of its performance this year.

Responding to the minister's address, the Director-General of NTA, Malam Usman Magawata, appealed for more government support, noting that the station was ready for the re-branding project.

"In NTA, we try to differentiate between national exposure and international appeal.Whatever that is not in the interest of Nigeria should not be for external consumption," he said.

Daily Champion

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Messi hails Enyeama


Lionel Messi saluted a "phenomenal" display from Vincent Enyeama after the Nigeria goalkeeper produced the performance of his life to deny the Argentine forward in their Group B game on Saturday.

"The goalkeeper was phenomenal," Messi said after Argentina were limited to a 1-0 win over Nigeria at Ellis Park with Enyeama producing a series of tremendous saves to thwart the world player of the year.

"He takes all the credit. We played a great game today and created a lot of chances. We just couldn't get the second goal."

Enyeama said he needed to put on the performance of his life to deny Messi his first goal at the 2010 World Cup. Asked how he stopped Messi from scoring, Enyeama said: "God is my secret, just God. He made me calm."

Argentina's winner came from a corner which followed a superb Messi chip which Enyeama had palmed over.

Midway through the first half, in a trademark cut inside from the right, the little ace hit a curling shot to the far corner only for Enyeama to dive and turn the ball away.

Messi threatened again near the end of the half when he curled a lovely shot toward Enyeama's top right corner with the keeper again leaping to tip the ball wide.

And shortly before the end Enyeama denied Messi once more, blocking a close range shot after the Argentine forward found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Pillar of Sports, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, gave kudos to the Eagles for a good fight, despite the loss to star-studded Argentina. He said the Eagles were graceful in defeat. "Nigerians should not lose hope. This team will improve," said the Pillar of Sports.

In a statement signed by Emeka Obasi, Special Assistant (Media) to Dr. Kalu, the former Abia State governor, lauded the boys' fighting spirit, and urged them to go for goals in subsequent matches.

Daily Champion

Related stories:  Lagerback explains Maradona snub

Eagles declare Greece must-win

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Lagerback explains Maradona snub

Nigeria head coach Lars Lagerback has explained why he didn't shake the hand of his counterpart, Argentina's Diego Maradona, after the match on Saturday.

Nigeria lost 1-0 to La Albiceleste at the Coca-Cola Park Stadium in Johannesburg and the Swede walked off-the-field without offering Maradona a handshake, a custom in soccer games, drawing conclusions from the media that he had been too upset with the loss or his players for the number of chances they missed in the second half.

"You can do that (shake hands) whenever you like. It doesn't have to be straight after the match. No, there was no reason why I didn't shake his hand," said Lagerback. "I have a lot of respect for him and it is not a problem for me shaking his hand," he said.

Turning his focus to the defeat, Lagerback said he was gutted, for the Super Eagles deserved a draw. "Of course I'm very disappointed but I was really impressed with my players, because they did very well against some of the best players in the world. We deserved a draw," he said.

Despite hailing his players' efforts, Lagerback admitted he felt they could have done better in dealing with Juan Veron's corner that picked Gabriel Heinze unmarked in the box to score Argentina's only goal with a diving header in the sixth minute.

"I have given my players a lot of credit for doing so well in dead-ball situations during the friendlies but the way games are played at this level is that if you lose concentration and don't mark players in the box you are going to be punished we were punished this time, otherwise I think we could have earned a draw, but we are not out of it yet," said Lagersback, whose side face Greece on June 17 in Bloemfontein in their next match.

Lagerback also defended the choice to start with Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi on Nigeria's left side of attack in place of a well-established Peter Odemwingie.

"We thought Obasi was the best player to play and that was the reason. I thought he did a very good first half but he got tired in the second half but he lived up to the expectation I had on him," he concluded.

This Day

Related stories: Eagles declare Greece must-win

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Video - Obafemi Martins talks about Eagles chances 

Eagles declare Greece must-win

Nigeria clashed with the Greeks at the 1994 World Cup with the Eagles running away with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Finidi George and Daniel Amokachi.

"It's a must win for us against Greece," Osaze Odemwingie said after the 1-0 loss to Argentina.

"I'm very positive. If we could just concede a goal against the big Argentina attack, it should be easier for us against the other teams. We just have to keep our concentration and score goals. We're now a bigger threat than we were at the Nations Cup in Angola."

Odemwingie, who admitted he was shocked to be dropped to the bench for the Argentina match, disclosed he will be a lot more selfish in front of goal after he failed to make hay during a quick counter attack late in the game.

"I was thinking of passing the ball when I should have shot at goal. The way Obafemi Martins was shouting on me to pass to him the ball, I thought he was in a better position. I lost concentration and the chance," he said. "Next time, I will just go for goal."

"We will get better by the next game and show the real Nigerian team. We only need to do a little more against Greece to win and we will be back in contention," added Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo, who also came face-to-face with Argentina at the 2002 World Cup.

Man of the match against Argentina, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, said Nigeria will be aiming for maximum points against Greece and Korea so as to make it past the first round of the tournament.

"I see no problems in us beating Korea and Greece and I think we will qualify quite easily," predicted Enyeama, who said he would have readily traded his heroics against the South Americans for the three points at stake at the weekend.

"Now the most important thing is to look towards the next game on Thursday against Greece and go on to win it," added Nigeria coach, Lars Lagerback.

Meanwhile, Taye Taiwo has said that he only suffered a cramp, which forced him to quit the Argentina match in the closing stages, but will be available for the game against Greece.

Taiwo appeared to have hurt his ankle when he fired a shot at Sergio Romero's goal, which missed target narrowly, but at the same time he also kicked the ground.

Daily Champion

Related stories:Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Video - Obafemi Martins talks about Eagles chances 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ibori's bail revoked, re-arrested in Dubai

Former Delta State governor James Ibori has been arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after the revocation of the bail he was earlier granted by a court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has submitted "overwhelming evidence" to the Dubai authorities to show that Ibori is a fugitive from justice in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government had earlier protested the bail granted the former governor in Dubai and threatened to withdraw the operational licence of the Emirates airline.

Ibori was rearrested by the authorities in Dubai after his sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori, and his mistress, Udoamakaa Okoronkwo-Onuigbo, were jailed in the United Kingdom for mortgage fraud and money laundering, among other offences.

Ibori's re-arrest is said to be preparatory to his extradition to Britain to answer charges of money laundering levelled against him.

After his first arrest in Dubai, the London Metropolitian Police said in a statement that Ibori was arrested at the United Kingdom's request on suspicion of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

The Met added that they are seeking extradition though the EFCC are reported to have also requested his extradition to Nigeria where he is to answer corruption charges.

Daily Trust

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Abacha's sons sue government over trial abroad

Two sons of the late head of the military government, General Sani Abacha, Mohammed and Abba, have sued the Federal Government before a Federal High Court, Abuja, challenging the circumstances that led to the criminal case initiated against the family in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Abacha sons said statements used as evidence against them in the court were not obtained lawfully by the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) raised by the government.

The Federal Government had challenged the competence of the suit, describing it as "frivolous, utterly baseless and completely misconceived".

In the originating summons, the plaintiffs want the court to restrain the defendant from providing mutual assistance or requests for mutual assistance to any country based on the evidence (oral or documentary) obtained by or under the investigations of the SIP.

Apart from the sons of the late general, 24 corporate bodies are listed as plaintiffs.

The attorney general of the federation and minister of justice is the sole defendant.

In the heat of the investigation, statements were taken from the plaintiffs by the investigative panel led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Peter Gana.

But the plaintiffs are claiming that they "were not informed that the true purpose for which their statements were sought was to provide evidence for an investigation and their possible prosecution by the states of Jersey, the Authorities of Leichtenstein, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France, the Bahamas and Switzerland.

"The plaintiffs were not advised on their right to consult a legal practitioner of their choice before making statements" before the SIP.

"No caution whatsoever was administered to the plaintiffs prior to the making of statements before the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Peter Gana.

They also want the court to restrain defendant from bringing or continuing any civil or criminal proceedings in Nigeria of foreign jurisdictions against the Plaintiffs based on the statements.

Besides, the plaintiffs are aggrieved that government reneged on its promised not to prosecute the family even after they had forfeited some $625,263,187.19 and 70,087,184.93 pounds as well as some assets in line with Decree 53, 1999.

According to them, the then Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN) in line with Decree 53, 1999 had written the Swiss Authorities on November 1, 1999, saying "no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted in any court against them in Nigeria".

To them, "following the promulgation of Decree 53, the work of the Special Investigation panel came to an end".

But the government through a notice of preliminary objection brought pursuant to Order 29 Rule 1 and 2 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009 and Section 2 of the Public Officers Protection Act CAP P41, 2004, has asked the court to dismiss the suit.

It said the suit is statute barred because it was not filed within three months that the cause of action arose, adding that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the suit.


Related stories: Sani Abacha's son convicted in Geneva, Swiss authorities’ confiscate $350m 

 Sani Abacha's son getting into politics

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nwankwo Kanu eyes Argentina upset

Argentina are the clear favourites to win Group B with a star-studded squad containing the likes of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tévez and Gonzalo Higuain.

However, Portsmouth striker Kanu does not think Nigeria's will be intimidated, in what will be their first competitive game under Swedish coach Lars Lagerback.  

 ''Argentina have the big-name players and everyone respects them. We also acknowledge that they are good and great players," Kanu said.

''But Argentina also have the same respect for us because they know the quality of our team and know that there is plenty that we can come up with at anytime.

''Yes, it will be tough but I believe we can overcome on the day. It is the World Cup and things do happen.''

Nigeria's other opponents in the group stage are Greece and South Korea.  


Related stories: Video - Djimon Hounsou talks about Kanu's road to the 2010 World Cup

 Nwankwo Kanu to release biopic and book after World Cup

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Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Video - Obafemi Martins talks about Eagles chances 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nigeria, U.S. officials meet over energy crisis

With a major meeting set for tomorrow and Friday in Washington DC, the United States (U.S.) capital, between top Nigerian and American officials, the President Barack Obama administration may have decided to get more involved in helping Nigeria solve its electricity generation problems.
According to sources, the meeting would consider quick and practical solutions to the power sector crisis in Nigeria under the aegis of the recently-signed U.S.-Nigerian Bi-National Commission.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, confirmed that the second working group of the bi-national commission, which will focus on energy and investment, would hold tomorrow and Friday at the U.S. State Department.

The Nigerian delegation to the meeting will be led by the Permanent Secretary,
 Ministry of Petroleum. It will include directors from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the ministries of Power, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Water Resources.

Adefuye confirmed that “one of the issues to be discussed is the possibility of accelerated increase in the quantity of power generated using all possible means,
 including nuclear energy.
“Interested U.S.-based companies under the auspices of the Corporate Council on Africa, which President Goodluck Jonathan addressed during his visit, will present proposals for accelerated power generation and distribution in Nigeria in line with the President’s promise to Nigerians.”
Sources said the foundation of the U.S. determination to assist President Jonathan on the power sector problem was laid during the Nigerian President’s recent visit to the U.S.

It was also learnt that the World Bank has again offered concrete assistance towards revamping Nigeria’s power sector.
According to sources, a senior U.S. government official on Energy, Mr. David Goldwyn, was last week in Washington detailed by the Obama administration to facilitate the U.S. government assistance to Nigeria on the power problem.

Goldwyn is the State Department’s Co-ordinator for International Energy Affairs. Sources told The Guardian that Goldwyn last week Wednesday held a closed-door meeting “with private sector energy and electricity companies active in Nigeria at the Department of State.”

Although no details of the Goldwyn’s meeting had been released, a Senior Media Advisor at the U.S. State Department, Kerry S. Humphrey, confirmed that the meeting held, adding that its details would be discussed later this week, apparently after the second working group would have met in Washington.
It is believed that the working group would develop a specific proposal to tackle the Nigerian power issue with the assistance of the U.S. State Department’s Energy Co-ordinator.

A source said: “The goal is to have a firm action plan in place which implementation will start immediately after the meeting with a delegation of U.S. experts taking off to Nigeria right after the meeting.”
The Obama administration is said to be keen on supporting President Jonathan on the power sector problem following Washington’s favourable appraisal of the Federal Government actions so far under the new Nigerian President.

The U.S. government may have also determined that Nigeria is again a reliable partner or ally, hence the helping hands it has decided to lend the country to solve its power problems.
This explains, according to sources, the deployment of several top U.S. government officials to deal with the Nigerian government. Indeed, there are no fewer than four senior U.S. officials directly supervising different aspects of U.S.-Nigeria relations.


Related stories: Deji Badmus reports on electricity crisis in Nigeria 

Goodluck Jonathan pledges to resolve power crises

CNN reports on Nigeria's electricity crisis

Nation in Darkness

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bill Gates meets Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan met with the second richest man in the world, Mr. Bill Gates and promised that his administration would eradicate polio in Nigeria.

Mr. Gates is the Co-Chairperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is committed to the global eradication of the polio virus. President Jonathan said he welcomed the drop in polio cases in Nigeria from 256 in 2009 to just three in 2010.

Noting that the very significant drop was due to the joint efforts of the three tiers of government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other stakeholders, President Jonathan said that his administration would do everything to ensure that the goal of eradicating polio from Nigeria and the West African Sub-Region was achieved.

The President said that to prevent the polio virus from re-entering Nigeria from neighbouring countries, his administration would assist such countries with polio immunization programmes.

"We should be able to go beyond our borders if it becomes necessary to ensure that polio is eradicated altogether," he said. President Jonathan, then directed the Minister of Health, Prof. Christian Chukwu, to consult his counterparts in neighbouring countries on the subject.

He thanked Mr. Gates and his wife, Melinda, for their enormous contributions to the improvements in healthcare delivery and agriculture in developing nations.

Saying that Nigeria will also appreciate help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to combat malaria, President Jonathan welcomed the news from Mr. Gates that his Foundation was working to develop an effective malaria vaccine by 2015.

Mr. Gates told the President that since his last visit to the country in February last year, Nigeria has had a greater reduction in polio cases than any other country.


Related stories: Nwankwo Kanu PSA - Kick polio out of Nigeria

Jonathan meets Obama

Video report - Goodluck Jonathan takes over from Yar'Adua

Good luck, Jonathan

Video report - Where football stars are born

Christian Purefoy reports on the makeshift football pitches that were a springboard for Nigerian World Cup players.

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Nigerian Fraudsters targeting football youth

Monday, June 7, 2010

Video report - 20 people injured during Nigeria, N. Korea World Cup warm up match

Fake Tickets and wild crowds meant for a chaotic scene at the Nigeria and North Korea match in Johannesberg.

Related stories: Super Eagles beat North Korea 3-1

Super Eagles draw 0-0 with Saudi Arabia in friendly

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Video - Djimon Hounsou talks about Kanu's road to the 2010 World Cup

Actor Djimon Hounsou narrates Super Eagle legend Nwankwo Kanu's road to the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

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Video - Obafemi Martins talks about Eagles chances 

Super Eagles beat North Korea 3-1

Nigeria Yesterday Defeated North Korea 3-1 in a pre-World Cup warm-up match played at the Makhulong Stadium, Johannesburg.

A goal from Yakubu Aiyegbeni in the first half and one each from Obinna Nsofor from the spot and Obafemi Martins in the second half sealed victory for the Nigerians, their first under coach Lars Lagerback.

A careless back pass by Elderson Echejile gave the Koreans the leeway to beat Enyeama for their lone goal.

The match was temporarily stopped early in the second half by the match commissioner when reports reached him that at least 20 people, including one policeman, were injured after a stampede broke out at the stadium.

The match was suspended for about five minutes because of the reported injuries and safety of the fans in the overcrowded main stand where the fencing had been removed.

Police spokesman, Mveli Nhlapo, said the number of injuries had risen to 20, some of whom were taken to hospital. Precise figures were not immediately available.

The police officer sustained serious injuries when mostly Nigerian fans pushed the gate on to him in their effort to enter the 10,000-seater stadium to watch the match between the two World Cup participants.

"He was crushed by the gates as people stormed them, trying to get in," a police official at the scene told Reuters.

Among those injured was at least one child, according to an eye witness account.

Hundreds of fans, holding what police said were photocopies of tickets, tried to break down the gates after the match had started and police had closed them.

Medics said they had transferred 13 people to hospital but some of them had only minor scrapes.

Some 500 fans remained in the area around the stadium after the stampede. Inside the stadium there were still many empty seats as the match was not sold out. The standard of the game was, however, not impressive.


Related stories: Video report - 20 people injured during Nigeria, N. Korea World Cup warm up match

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Video - Obafemi Martins talks about Eagles chances 

Kanu, Utaka make Super Eagles squad

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

Ikechukwu Uche in shock over World Cup exclusion

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nigeria's growing mobile market

Major internet companies like Microsoft and Google are turning to countries like Nigeria, where new developers are emerging.

Related stories: Google maps Nigeria 

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All Nigerians to own phones by 2020

Video report on growing middle class in Nigeria

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Virgin Nigeria changes name to Air Nigeria

Barely 10 months after Virgin Nigeria changed its name to Nigeria Eagle Airlines, the airline has again changed its name to Air Nigeria.

This new name brings to two the number of times the airline has changed its name since it started operations in July 2005 till date.

The new name was made known to aviation journalists by the Chairman of the airline, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, at a media conference in Lagos.

According to the chairman, the new name was effected sequel to the board resolution on May 14, 2010, adding that it (the new name) has already been approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and that it was registered with a certificate number RC501975.

He said the full name of the company is Air Nigeria Development Limited (ANDL).

"Air Nigeria is born out of the need to have a national carrier that reflects the Nigerian identity and safeguard the integrity of the Nigerian people," he said.

The name, he added, became necessary in order to make the airline fully indigenous, noting that everything about the airline would reflect the Nigerian cultures with integrity show casing that Nigeria, as a nation, can do it.

The chairman also disclosed that the first branded aircraft in the new mane would arrive Nigeria before the end of next week from France and that other air planes in the airline's fleet will follow suit.

He disclosed that by October 1, 2010, a minimum of 10 aircrafts would be launched at a time in Abuja, assuring the staff that there would be no job lost.According to him, "As we increase the number of our fleet, job security is guaranteed as much people will be required to run the airline."

On the diagnose review of the company, Ibrahim said the diagnose review shows an enterprise in financial distress leading to operational delays but with a first class technical services.

Ibrahim assured that in a matter of days financial distress would have been over by 95 per cent, just as he also disclosed that the turn around which he said will last for six months will be limited to financial areas and not engineering department which the chairman described as first class.

On his meeting with Richard Branson, the Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, Ibrahim, said it was fruitful.

Daily Independent recalls that the former Managing Director airlines, Capt Dapo Olumide, on September 17, 2009, announced the changed the name and logo of the airline from Virgin Nigeria to Nigeria Eagle Airlines, a situation that pitched the airline against one of the commercial banks who the airline was indebted to.

The fear of the bank Daily Independent learnt was that the airline may not want to service its debt, as it may agued that it was Virgin Nigeria that owed the bank and not Nigeria Eagle Airlines.

Daily Independent

Related stories: Virgin Nigeria changes to Nigeria Eagle 

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