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FG tasks youths on skills acquisition for national development



FG tasks youths on skills acquisition for national development

Federal Government has challenged Nigerian youths on the need to acquire relevant skills and training to fast track socio-economic development of the nation.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola, gave the charge on Monday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2019 World Youth Skills Day.

Adesola, represented by Dr Maryam Abdullahi, the Director, National and Social Mobilisation Department of the ministry, said that the day was set aside to appreciate the huge contributions of skills acquisition to nation building.

“This has multiplier effects at reducing restiveness, poverty, as well as encourage and support job creation, which invariably leads to reduction in unemployment rate among youths.”

The permanent secretary said that the Federal Government, through the ministry and other relevant government departments, would continue to create enabling environment to empower youths and make them self reliant.

He added that government’s interventions such as the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) and the NYSC Skills Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme were geared toward tackling poverty and empowerment.

Mr Dennis Zulu, the Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office, Nigeria, said that the day was meant to create awareness on the need for youths to acquire skills, including technical and vocational education.

Zulu, who was represented by Dr Runo Onosode of ILO, said the organisation would continue to collaborate with Federal Government to empower youths and make them useful to the society.

Abdulrahman Kadiri: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


Four past champions highlight 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge: Patrick Beverley, Spencer Dinwiddie, Derrick Rose and Jayson Tatum




Defending champion Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and former champions Patrick Beverley of the LA Clippers, Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets and Derrick Rose of the Detroit Pistons will display their vast array of talents in the 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the United Center in Chicago.

Tatum is one of five 2020 NBA All-Star selections in the eight-player field, joined by the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton, the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis and the Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam.

The 17th Taco Bell® Skills Challenge is part of State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest and AT&T Slam Dunk. All-Star Saturday Night will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States at 8 p.m. ET. NBA All-Star 2020 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Tatum and Dinwiddie won the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge in 2019 and 2018, respectively. Beverley, a Chicago native, was crowned champion in 2015. Rose, a Chicago native and the 2010-11 Kia NBA MVP while playing with the Chicago Bulls, earned the Skills title in 2009 as an NBA rookie. 

The 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge is a three-round, obstacle-course competition that tests the players’ dribbling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting. Featuring a mix of guards and frontcourt players, the event showcases a head-to-head, bracket-style tournament format. First-round matchups will be determined on the night of the event.

Here is a closer look at the 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge participants:

Bam Adebayo, Heat (1st appearance): A first-time NBA All-Star selection in his third season, Adebayo is one of five players averaging at least 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in 2019-20. He has recorded his first three career triple-doubles this season.  

Patrick Beverley, Clippers (2nd appearance): The 6-1 guard is a two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection, a career 37.9 percent shooter from 3-point range and a premier rebounder at his position. Beverley is averaging 5.8 rebounds per game this season, just below his career high of 5.9 rebounds set in 2016-17.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets (2nd appearance): He is averaging a career-high 21.3 points and 6.4 assists per game. The NBA G League veteran has improved his scoring average in each of his four seasons with Brooklyn.

Khris Middleton, Bucks (1st appearance): An NBA All-Star selection for the second straight year, Middleton is posting career highs in scoring (20.4 ppg), field goal percentage (50.8) and 3-point field goal percentage (44.2) to go with 5.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He scored a career-high 51 points against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 28.

Derrick Rose, Pistons (3rd appearance): Rose is shooting a career-high 49.8 percent from the field and averaging his most points (18.5 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg) since the 2011-12 season. A three-time NBA All-Star selection, Rose last appeared in the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge in 2011.

Domantas Sabonis, Pacers (1st appearance): Sabonis is averaging career highs across the board as a first-time NBA All-Star selection, with 18.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. He ranks third in the NBA in double-doubles (38) and has recorded his first two career triple-doubles this season.          

Pascal Siakam, Raptors (1st appearance): Siakam has become the first NBA G League veteran to be named a starter in the NBA All-Star Game. This season, he has already set a career high for 3-pointers made (84) to go with career-high averages of 23.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.  

Jayson Tatum, Celtics (2nd appearance): The 21-year-old first-time NBA All-Star selection is averaging career highs of 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.36 steals per game in his third season. Last year, Tatum made a half-court shot to win the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge.        

2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge Rules
Two players compete simultaneously on identical courses and the fastest finisher reaches the next round. In the first round, the eight players are paired to participate in four head-to-head competitions. The four winners advance to the second round, where two more head-to-head showdowns determine the two finalists. The first finalist to successfully complete the course is declared the winner of the 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. Click here ( for a complete explanation of the rules.

See below for the 2020 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge field and a list of previous winners.







Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat




Patrick Beverley

LA Clippers




Spencer Dinwiddie

Brooklyn Nets




Khris Middleton

Milwaukee Bucks




Derrick Rose

Detroit Pistons




Domantas Sabonis

Indiana Pacers




Pascal Siakam

Toronto Raptors




Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics





2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey

2012 – Tony Parker, San Antonio

2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans

2013 – Damian Lillard, Portland

2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix

2014 – Trey Burke, Utah and Damian Lillard, Portland

2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami

2015 – Patrick Beverley, Houston

2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami

2016 – Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

2008 – Deron Williams, Utah

2017 – Kristaps Porzingis, New York

2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago

2018 – Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn

2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix

2019 – Jayson Tatum, Boston

2011 – Stephen Curry, Golden State

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General news

Lalong engages first class female graduates to imbibe leadership skills



Lalong engages first class female graduates to imbibe leadership skills


Jos, Dec. 9, 2019 Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau said that he had directed that all first class female graduates in the state should work in his office.

Lalong, who disclosed this on Monday in Jos when he received the Minister of Women Affairs,  Mrs Pauline Tallen, said that already two had started work with him.

He said that his administration would continue to do its best for the girl-child.

“Recently, I told my Chief of Staff that any girls who have first class will work in my office to enable them to understudy his administration.

“That is what they do in other countries to prepare the youth for leadership roles.

“We have started already; and we have two first class graduates in law last year and they are working with us,” he said.

The governor said his administration had given a lot of priority to women, children and people with disability.

According to him, Plateau is one of the states in the country that has passed the Disability Act.

He said 70 per cent of the citizens empowered through the states Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency were women and the vulnerable.

The Minster of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, described as alarming, the rate of rape cases and other gender-based violence  in Nigeria.

Tallen expressed the need to urgently tackle the menace.

She said she had received reports of many incidences, which according to her, were becoming embarrassing to the country.

She said that there was need for continuous advocacy to create a society where women and children would be respected.

“I wish to appeal to governors to place emphasis on education of the girl-child to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

“We also have to ensure that the girl-child is not forced into marriage before the age of eighteen to reduce risks associated with early marriage,” the minister said.

She also called on State Governments to improve their health facilities to check maternal and infant mortalities, among others.

She, however, commended the Plateau Government for being among the twenty six states to domesticate the Child’s Right Act.

Tallen said her ministry would continue its advocacy to ensure that the remaining ten states did the same.

Edited by: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Lawmaker facilitates N40m skills acquisition equipment donated to Apapa Vocational Centre



Rep. Ayodeji Joseph, representing Apapa Constituency in the House of Representatives, said through his efforts, Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) donated N40 million worth of equipment to Apapa Vocational Centre in Lagos.

Joseph made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Monday shortly after handing over the equipment to the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr Owolabi Adele.

NAN reports that items donated are, industrial sewing machines, industrial ovens, catering equipment, chairs, furniture, refrigerators, desktop computers and LG plasma television.

Others are, hair dressing equipment, industrial fans, cameras, pressing irons, generators and clippers, for different skills acquisition.

I started facilitating this equipment to the vocational centre when I was the Apapa Council Chairman in 2008 and many people who did not learn any vocational skill got involved and became professionals in different fields.

When I became a member of the House of Representatives, I felt the best I could do was to improve my support to attract facilitation of more gesture.

That is the reason why I used my good office to talk to Border Community Development Agency (BCDA) to provide the equipment for the vocational centre.

All the equipment are for the vocational centre; not for any individual. Over a thousand people in Apapa community have benefited from the training,’’ Joseph said.

He, therefore, urged youths in Apapa to avail themselves of the opportunities at the vocational centre to acquire one skill or the other free to become useful to themselves and to help their families.

“If we cannot provide enough jobs for people, we should give people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs,” the lawmaker added

While receiving the equipment, Adele commended the efforts of the lawmaker and the support of BCDA to the residents of Apapa.

Adele promised that the council would hand over the equipment immediately to the vocational centre for the benefit of the youths in the area.

Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Adeleye Ajayi




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Ex-Chief of Army staff urges women, girls to acquire skills



Ex-Chief of Army staff urges women, girls to acquire skills

Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), has called on women and girls to take advantage of various skills acquisition programmes in the country to empower themselves economically.

He gave the advice on Saturday in Umuahia during the fundraising/ luncheon for completion of Skill Acquisition Centre by Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Women Association (MOUAUWA).

Ihejirika, who was the Chairman of the occasion, also advised women and girls to strive to acquire skills, irrespective of their fields of endeavours, so as to make them less dependent on their male partners.

“There is dignity in labour.Those who apply their energy toward skills acquisition are better off,” he said.

He commended members of the MOUAUWA for their commitment in making women and girls empowerment their primary target.

He described the MOUAUWA Skills Acquisition Centre, to empower women and girls in Nigeria, as a laudable project, adding that it would create an enabling environment for the empowerment and better future for Nigerian girls.

Nigeria News Agency reports that MOUAUWA is an association comprising the female staff of MOUAU which unites and protects the interests of women and girls within and around the university’s host communities and the larger society.

In her address, Mrs Bertha Otunta, the President of MOUAUWA, expressed delight that efforts to build an utra modern skills acquisition centre, to empower women and girls, had been yielding fruit.

According to her, the MOUAUWA Women/Girls Empowerment building has been roofed and plastared.

She said, “Let me remind us that Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike is the only agriculture specialised university in the whole of the South-East and South-South geopolitical regions.

“It is our university and it therefore behooves on us all to play strong role in empowering women, girls, boys and even men in agriculture and other self-empowering skills.

“In addition, the Skills Acquisition Centre we are building will help us generate income, some of which we can set aside to help the less privileged who abound around us.

NAN reports that the week-long event which started on Tuesday, with an awareness walk,  also include vovelty match and welfare visit to St. Vincent De Paul Centre for Mentally and Physically Challenged in Umuahia.

Edited & Vetted By: Dada Ahmed

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