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Give pupils conducive learning environment, NGO tells Abia govt








Mr Emeku Uche, National Secretary, EasyLife Initiative for Rural Youths (ELIRY) an NGO, has called on Abia government to give public school pupils a conducive learning environment as  their right.

Uche who made the call in Aba on Wednesday said politicians had no right to deprive children of good quality education while they sent their children abroad to study.

“I believe it is gross injustice for political leaders not to put basic infrastructure in schools for the younger ones, knowing that the biggest industry in Abia is education.

“They would not put the schools in order for the children of the poor to learn and yet their children go abroad to study and they pay, there in hard currency.

“They refuse to look at the schools or improve their infrastructure, yet every month, they receive federal allocations and claim to have education ministry budgets. That is very bad and unacceptable.

“Few public primary schools in Abia are in a sorry state and although the state government had returned some schools to Church owners, the ones government retained are nothing to write home about,“ he said.



Uche said that in some of the schools, part of the compounds had been given out to tenants while some had had their playing grounds and agricultural farms sold off to individuals.

He also lamented the lack of secured environment in which the pupils are made to learn, adding that such had exposed them to security risks and infections from fecal matter dumped by miscreants on their premises daily.

Uche said that although education in private schools had gone technological “in this age, the public school pupils in Abia are still left with no libraries, electricity or water for their studies.“

Citing School Road, Township and City Primary Schools, he said that their compounds had been sold off to give way for market, wondering how pupils can study under noisy market environments.

“Most of the spaces used for agricultural studies in the primary schools when we were growing up have all been turned to an extension of Eziukwu Market (the Cemetery Market).

“I believe that Abia House of Assembly Speaker, who is a vibrant young man, will add these things to the oversight functions of the Assembly and make the necessary changes the people of Abia are hoping for.

Edited by Dada Ahmed


BRT boss gives reason for queues at Ikorodu bus stations



Primero Transport Services Ltd., operator of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), says blockage of BRT lane by other traffic responsible for queues at Ikorodu and few other bus stations on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the BRT operator had on Thursday announced an upward review of transport fares across all routes with effect for May 29 to meet up with current challenges.

The BRT operator had earlier withdrawn its services from May 25 over losses occasioned by COVID-19 new transport guidelines that mandated it to commute only 20 passengers per trip instead of 70.

The firm resumed operation on Friday morning with a new fare regime, promising to roll out 320 buses to end long queues and wait time its bus stations.

“We will be back in full operations and will put 320 buses out to make sure people get to destinations in time and safely.

“We will ensure that going forward, the wait time and queues at bus stations is reduced,” Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director of Primero Transport Services Ltd, had assured.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, NAN correspondent observed queues at Ikorodu Bus Station with commuters complaining that they were yet to see reduction in waiting time at BRT bus stations.

Reacting on the queues, Tinubu told NAN that while the firm rolled out 305 buses on Monday to commute people to their destinations, blockage of BRT corridor by other traffic affected turnover of buses.

“The queues was caused by traffic blocking our corridor this morning. When the task force showed up and freed our buses, there was no more queue after that.

“We rolled out 305 buses, we can only appeal to the law enforcement agencies to help us clear the corridor to ensure no encroachment.

“We also appeal to drivers to respect the corridor and not go on it.

“Finally, the government need to fix the bad portion of the road at Kosofe that causes the traffic in the first instance,” the MD said.

NAN reports that the BRT operator had announced that a trip that cost commuters N200 had been increased to N300, and that of N300 had risen to N500.

Tinubu had said that the firm understood the plight of the people and the economic situation, but that the step became imperative to keep serving the commuters diligently and to provide a world-class service for them.

According to him, cost of operating the buses has increased so much that the firm is finding it difficult to survive and sustain operations, and had been piling up losses.


Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Havertz goal gives Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 win at Freiburg



Bayer Leverkusen secured a scrappy 1-0 Bundesliga victory at Freiburg on Friday, bouncing back from a midweek setback to win with an opportunist goal by forward Kai Havertz.

The result lifted Bayer Leverkusen, who were hammered 4-1 by VfL Wolfsburg at home on Tuesday, two places up to third on 56 points from 29 games.

They are eight points behind champions and leaders Bayern Munich who entertain Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday.

Freiburg stayed eighth on 38 points after stretching their winless run to four games since the Bundesliga restarted on May 16 following a two-month lay-off caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Havertz netted a 54th minute winner for the visitors when he poked a close-range shot through goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow’s legs after Leon Bailey threaded a superb pass through to the 20-year-old.

A dull first half produced a solitary chance for Freiburg in the 43rd minute, when Lucas Hoeler fired wide of the far post with only Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to beat.

With Bayer Leverkusen gaining the upper hand after taking the lead, Julian Baumgartlinger had a goal disallowed for the visitors in the 63d minute.

The goal was disallowed for a push on Dominique Heintz and that finally seemed to spring the home side into action.

Nils Petersen missed Freiburg’s best chance for an equaliser in the 87th minute, allowing Hradecky to keep out his scuffed shot.

This was after a flowing move left him with time and space inside the penalty area.

In Saturday’s other standout fixture, former champions Werder Bremen, who are in danger of relegation as they are six points adrift of the safety zone, visit ninth-placed Schalke 04.

Schalke 04 are on a 10-match winless league run.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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COVID-19: Navy gives palliative to another host Lagos community



The Nigerian Navy (NN) has given palliative to another set of 340 households in Alayabiagba community in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area in Lagos state in commemoration of its 64th anniversary.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items include rice, beans, vegetable oil, condiments and face masks.

Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, the Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command (WNC), who represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) led the delegates to the palace of the Baale of Apapa Alayabiagba.

He said that the Navy was a responsible and responsive organisation that puts its host host communities into consideration.

The CSO said that the NN recognised its host communities, saying that they were partners in progress and the palliatives were also a way of meeting up their Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Navy is a responsible and responsive organisation that takes into consideration the partnership of the host communities especially the general populace in carrying out our activities.

“We have a role to impact in their lives and they also have a responsibility to assist us in our operations.

“So, we see this as an opportunity to always  impact in the live of our host communities. Due to the  COVID-19 pandemic associated hardship, we need to reach out to the most vulnerables,” he added

He said that all the Commands were also reaching out to other host communities, saying that Western Naval Command had reached out to two host communities.

“Actually, the activities are running concurrently in other Commands, Eastern, Central and other bases and the centre at Abuja, in Lagos.

“Yesterday we were at Ijegun/Amuwo community; Navy Town barracks and we had the same food items and we are here today in this community,” he said.

Bashir also admonished the community on the need to adhere to the guidelines laid down by the Presidential task force on measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yayah Adeshina-Ojora, the Baale of the community, commended the Navy for reaching out to his community.

“We thank God for the Nigerian Navy for what they are doing for our people because this is another Navy Town. We appreciate what they are doing.

“This particular one is special because the NN came in another way, the other time, it was with free medical assistance.

“But today, they came because of the after-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching out to the less privileged,” he said.

NAN reports that the 690 households received the palliative

The week long activities which began on May 22 will end on June 1.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Gov. Akeredolu gives N47.6m car loan to primary school teachers in Ondo



Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Thursday, gave out N47.6 million as car loans to primary school teachers in the state.
While presenting the cheques to the teachers in Akure at the Government House, Akeredolu explained that the same opportunity would be extended to other teachers as soon as the state became buoyant.
The governor, who said that arrangement had been concluded to employ more teachers in the state, urged them to guard against every form of abuse and corrupt practices.
Responding, one of beneficiaries, Mr Willie Famuwagun, thanked the governor for the gesture, which he described as a rare privilege and a demonstration of the value placed on teachers in the state.
Earlier, while appreciating the governor, Mr Sunday Adeleye, state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the gesture was the first of its kind since the creation of the state in 1976.
Also speaking, Mr Victor Amoko, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, gave kudos to the governor, urging the beneficiaries to maximise the money for better economic advantage and educational advancement.

Edited By: Moses Solanke and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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LASG to deliver Agege flyover September, gives assurance on 4th Mainland Bridge



The Lagos State Government on Wednesday promised to deliver the Agege flyover bridge in September to tackle gridlock on the axis.

Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the year 2020 ministerial press briefing to commemorate first year anniversary of the governor in office.

Adeyoye said that the 1.5 kilometres Agege Pen-Cinema Flyover Bridge was designed to reduce travel time for residents of Ifako-Ijaiye, Agege and Alimosho Local Government.

“The construction of Pen Cinema flyover and access roads in Agege, currently at over 50 per cent stage of work, is scheduled for completion in September this year 2020.

“On completion, the flyover is expected to resolve the perennial traffic gridlock in Agege and its environs,” she said.

Adeyoye also said that plans were on to expand the Agege-Berger Road to reduce travel time in the state.

“We realised that after completing the bridge, there is a gap that will be created and that is why we have decided that the Agege-Berger Road should be expanded to reduce traffic within the axis,’’ she said.

Adeyoye said that one of the major facilities that would accompany the expansion works was a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane to move huge number of residents.

“This will afford the people the opportunity to connect Agege and Abule-Egba from Berger axis of the state.

“That is what we have slated for next year. We have started working on the design as I speak and I am sure that by the end of the fourth quarter, we will be done with all the designs and cost of the road ahead of next year’s budget,’’ she said

She said that the Sanwo-Olu government would complete projects inherited from the previous administration.

According to her, the 4th Mainland Bridge will also be pursued vigorously to ensure its actualisation.

She said efforts were on to get the right contractors for the Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge project, promising that the best bids for the project would soon be revealed.

The 4th Mainland Bridge, which is a project that has been in the pipe-works for about 20 years and intended to provide a useful additional link between the Lagos Mainland [Ikorodu] and the Eti-Osa corridor is in consonance with State Transport Master Plan (STMP) and the Eti Osa/Ikorodu Master Plan, with the adoption of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as the procurement model.

“The project procurement process has commenced with the successful completion of the Expression of Interest (EoI) Stage, which had 52 proponents/Bidders show interest and 32 compliant responses.

The Request for Qualification (RFQ) stage is nearing completion, and this is expected to lead to the next stage, which is “Request for Proposal” (RFP) stage,’’ she said.

She said that government had achieved a lot in the last one year in works and infrastructure, especially in the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads through the Public Works Corporation (PWC).

While taking questions from journalists, she explained that the ministry, through its Public Works Corporation, had rehabilitated 354 roads toward achieving its zero tolerance for potholes in the state.

On the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Adeyoye said that the various sections being handled by the state government were progressing speedily at various completion stages to meet up deadlines.

The State Government is also vigorously pursuing the continuation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway Project, which was divided into 3 lots with LOT 1 spanning from Eric Moore to Mazamaza which has since been completed.

LOT 2, Segment 1; from Mazamaza – Agboju is also completed while Segment 2; Agboju – Trade Fair is at 76 per cent completion. Segment 3; Trade Fair to Okokomaiko is at 23 per cent completion.

“However, the section from Trade Fair to LASU entrance gate is scheduled for completion by the end of the year,’’ she said.

Speaking on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, she noted that the Sanwo-Olu administration was determined to complete the project, which was 92 per cent completed.

Adeyoye said the outstanding works, which include the completion of the four pedestrian bridges and other road furniture to enhance its safety and beauty, would be completed soon.

She said that the ministry’s mandate was to develop first-class infrastructure to support the state’s growing population.

The special adviser said it was also to serve as the critical development driver of the vision of being Africa’s Model Smart-City and a Global Economic/Financial Hub.

She said in spite of dwindling financial resources occasioned by the recent pandemic and global economic recession, the government was committed to impact on the lives of the citizenry positively.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Akeredolu gives palliative to corps members in Ondo



Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Wednesday gave some palliatives to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state.

Akeredolu, who was represented by the Chairman, Ondo State Palliative Committee, Pastor Akinola Olotu said that the government would not waver in its responsibility to the scheme.

The items presented include rice, beans, yam, eggs, vegetable oil, beverages, condiments, bread and drinks.

Akeredolu said that the corps members had displayed true meaning of patriotism and nationalism.

“Of a truth, our administration purposed to give palliatives to the poorest of the poor in all the 18 Local Governments that make up the state, but the exemplary services rendered by the members of the service corps to fight the novel virus should not go unrewarded,” he said.

The governor lauded the patriotic service of the corps members to the nation, especially at the challenging times of battling to contain the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

He acknowledged their production and donation of antiseptic hand sanitisers and face masks to the state government, hospitals, institutions, the vulnerable and indigent people across the state.

According to him,  the present administration in the Sunshine State values the youth and will ensure they are encouraged to remain productive for the overall interest of the state.

The governor said that the state was the first in the nation to visit hospitals and gave succour to patients, especially the pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as the sick and those recuperating.

In her brief remarks, the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs Grace Akpabio, said that she was not surprised at the kind gesture of the governor.

She said that he had shown himself to be a purposeful and dynamic administrator since he took the mantle of leadership in the state three years ago.

Akpabio  said that the positive disposition of Akeredolu toward NYSC facilitated the construction of perimeter fence round the permanent orientation camp at  Ikare-Akoko, which had warded off those encroaching on the land

“Mr governor also released substantial amount of money to the scheme last year as a state subvention, which had been stopped long before he became the governor.

“Let me thank the chairman and members of the palliative committee for accommodating and factoring in the corps members into their plans,” she said.

A representative of the corps members, Mr Onyenwe Obumnene described Akeredolu as a loving and caring father to the corps members.

He prayed that God would grant Akeredolu wisdom to pilot the affairs of the state and lead the citizens to the promised land.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)



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UEFA gives Romania another week to submit restart plan



European soccer’s governing body, UEFA has given the Romanian football federation (FRF) until June 1, to submit plans on how it intends to complete the domestic season, the FRF has said.

UEFA last month gave European leagues an initial May 25 deadline to submit plans but the FRF requested an extension after the Romanian government said it was assessing the COVID-19 situation every two weeks.

UEFA has approved FRF’s request – the deadline for announcing the resumption plan has been extended until June 1,” the FRF said.

The federation added that the extension would allow them to analyse how current medical protocols would impact team training, etc.

The FRF hoped to resume the domestic top flight on June 13 but the decision needed government approval.

The FRF suspended all football competitions in the country in mid-March.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Fury hopes to ‘give fans what they want’ with Joshua showdown



Tyson Fury said he was eager to give British boxing fans what they want by fighting Anthony Joshua for the undisputed world heavyweight title, but said the duo must focus on their immediate opponents to make such a match happen.

Fury won the WBC title in Las Vegas three months ago with a seventh-round stoppage of Deontay Wilder.

Joshua defeated Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr in a December rematch in Saudi Arabia to reclaim his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles.

Joshua’s next fight is with mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev, but their bout, scheduled for June 20, was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Fury will take on Wilder in a rematch later this year.

“If I get knocked out by Wilder, then it won’t be on, will it?

“It’ll be another fight with Wilder… If he loses to Pulev, so close, but so far.

“In heavyweight boxing, you can never count your chickens before they hatch, so one fight at a time, one victory at a time,” Fury told Sky Sports.

Fury said a meeting with Joshua had the potential to be the biggest match since Britons Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno fought in 1993.

“All going well, God willing, we get on the big fight with me and Joshua, the all-British showdown, and I can give the fans what they want to see, especially the British fans,” he promised.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/ (NAN)

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COVID-19: Nasarawa monarch asks Muslims to pray for forgiveness of sins



As Muslims celebrate the Eid-el-Fitir after the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Yamusa, has advised Muslim faithful to pray to God to take away the Coronavirus ravaging the world.

The Emir made the call on Friday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria , in Keffi saying that the pandemic “is a punishment for many sins people have committed.

“According to Islam, such diseases afflict the people because of too many sins.

“So, we should ask God to wash away our sins and take away this disease from us.

“He said He created man only to worship Him, so we should worship and pray that He should forgive us so that this virus will disappear.

“He should give us the opportunity to see this Sallah and the subsequent ones,” the Emir said.

The royal father challenged the Muslims to remember that COVID-19 is real, hence everyone should comply with the social distancing rule.

“My advice to the Muslims is that we know that COVID-19 is real and it is one of the most deadly viral diseases in recent times.

“We should comply with the rules and regulations as well as the physical distancing so that our communities would be protected and the entire Muslims will benefit from this.

“I believe the use of face mask when going out can reduce the rate of infections to the barest minimum.

“I am advising Muslims to ensure they wear their face masks once they are leaving their houses.

“When you return you can remove the mask, sanitise your hands and avoid shaking one another because it is through contact that the disease can affect people,” he added.

He prayed God to forgive the sins of the people.

On the issue of hunger which may even kill faster than the virus, the Emir said it was the reason farmers were exempted from the restriction of movements as they were advised to follow all the safety protocols.

“Hunger may kill faster. True, that is why some states have given out facilities (palliatives).

“Farmers are not restricted, they are advised to use the mask and keep the social distancing rule.

“When a farmer works in the sun it helps to keep the disease away from him, from our layman’s point of view. It is a disease that does not enjoy such condition,” he said.

He prayed God to continue to bless the leaders, who had been working round the clock to overcome the virus, and protect them for the benefit of the states and country.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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