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Late Herrera header snatches draw for Atletico against Juventus



Atletico Madrid produced a typically spirited comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in a thrilling finale to Wednesday’s blockbuster Group D opener.

Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera leveled in the 90th minute with a thumping header from a corner in the Champions League first game clash.

This was after defender Stefan Savic had pulled a goal back for the Spaniards in the 70th with a header from close range.

Atletico were the brighter side in the first half but Juventus went ahead in the 48th minute.

This was after Juan Cuadrado sent an unstoppable curling shot into the top corner after a break engineered by a punt forward from defender Leonardo Bonucci.

Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo was kept unusually quiet after scoring a hat-trick against Atletico in last season’s competition.

But his side doubled their lead in the 65th minute with a header from midfielder, Blaise Matuidi, following another quick counter.

But with bullish coach Diego Simeone motivating them from the sidelines and a typically boisterous Wanda Metropolitano crowd roaring them on, Atletico snatched a draw.

The two sides have a point each while Lokomotiv Moscow top Group D after beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 away from home. (Reuters/)


Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Maharazu Ahmed

General news

CAN gets new exco in Plateau



The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau Chapter, has elected new officials who would steer its affairs for the next three years.

The election held on Saturday in Jos, had Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos emerged as Chairman.

Lubo, who took over from Rev. Dr. Soja Bewarang, had served as the State Secretary of the association in the state.

In a keenly contested election Lubo scored 43 votes to defeat his opponent, Rev Dr Steven Dangana of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) who secured 36 votes.

Other officials elected are Bishop Stanley Fube, Secretary, Senior Apostle Maximian Ewurum, Assistant Secretary, and Rev Dr Laje of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) emerged Treasurer.

Speaking to Journalists shortly after taking oath of office, Lubo, the newly elected chiarman, promised to stand for the course of Christians in the state.

He added that one of his cardinal agenda would be to unite all Christians in the state.

“I am praying to God to give me the wisdom and strength to stand for the right of Christians

“We shall work hard to unite all Christians irrespectives of our denominations in Plateau,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the election waa conducted by Rev. Dr Israel Akanji, the Chiarman of CAN in the North Central Zone.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Nigeria, India deepen bilateral defence cooperation



The Nigerian Government and India have moved to deepen the existing mutually beneficial bilateral Defence Co-operation at ministerial levels between the two countries.

The Special Assistant to the Minister of Defence on Media and Publicity, Mr Mohammed Abdulkadri, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Abdulkadri said that the indications to this move emerged during the India’s High Commissioner, Abhay Thankur, courtesy call on the Minister of Defence,  Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), in his office.

He said that while hosting the Indian High Commissioner to NIgeria, Magashi raised the issue of bilateral interest to the two countries.

He said the discussion between the representatives of the two countries was done behind closed doors.

”The highly classified and restricted matters that are strategic to common interest of the two countries were witnessed by Senior Military Officers and some Principal Personnel of the Ministry and the Indian Defence Adviser, Colonel Cachin Dubey.

“It is on record that the two countries Armed Forces enjoy Defence co-operation in the areas of training and exchange of Military programmes as captured in the Memorandum of Understanding,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Indonesian capital eases novel coronavirus-related restrictions




A woman wearing a face shield walks on a road in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 5, 2020. Indonesian capital Jakarta‘s administration began easing the novel coronavirus-related restrictions in weeks ahead as the country is preparing for a new normal scenario. (Photo by Edy Susanto/Xinhua


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WHO warns of risks of COVID-19 explosion in South Asia’s densely-populated region




World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that as COVID-19 cases keep growing in South Asia, there are risks of disease explosion in the densely-populated region.

Particularly in South Asia, not just in India, but in Bangladesh… and in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia with large dense populations, the disease has not exploded, but there is always the risk of that happening,” Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said during a press conference in Geneva.

“And as the disease generates and gets a foothold in communities, it can accelerate at anytime,” he added.

“The number of cases in India has been going up by an average of a third per week, so probably the doubling time of the epidemic in India is about three weeks at this stage. So the direction of travel of the epidemic is not exponential, but it is still growing,” he said.

Ryan said the measures taken in India “certainly had an impact in dampening transmission, and as India, as in other large countries open up and as people begin to move again, there’s always a risk of the disease bouncing back up.”

“I think the important thing is to really keep track of the the growth rate, the doubling time of the virus and make sure that that doesn’t get worse,” said WHO‘s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan.

As India is a “heterogeneous and huge country with very densely populated cities,” Swaminathan said it’s important to wear face coverings.


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World Environment Day: Plateau commissioner decries indiscriminate dumping of waste



As the world celebrates this year’s Environment Day, Plateau environment commissioner Usman Idi has decried the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents of areas waste evacuators cannot access.

The commissioner told the News Agency of Nigeria , on Friday in Jos that the situation was impeding the evacuators’ efforts to discharge their duties diligently.

He said that the Plateau Environmental Protection And Sanitation Agency (PEPSA) had designated areas for residents to dump their waste to ensure a clean and healthy environment.

PEPSA designated places where refuse will be dumped and where the trucks can pick it, but people have nelected the areas. They throw their waste at every corner. This is very worrisome.

“Some people even throw waste into rivers making it impossible to evacuate such dirt.

“Some areas are not motorable because of indiscriminate erection of buildings, but people in those  houses feel they can dump their waste at their door step, ignoring the designated areas. The evacuators cannot go door to door,” he said.

The commissioner said that the waste plant at Mistali in Bassa Local Government would soon take off, and expressed optimism that the gesture would increase the number of waste collectors and create employment opportunities.

He said that 5,000 tree seedlings were planted in March at the Bukuru nursery under the UN REDD+ programme coordinated by the Federal Government, adding that Plateau had also benefited from the two FG afforestation interventions.

“One such intervention is in Ganuwuri, Riyom Local Government. It is 80 percent completed and we have planted 25,000 seedlings.

“The other one is in Mangu Local Government and is situated at Langai forest reserve. There, fencing has been completed and 15,000 seedlings will be taken to the site,” he said.

He said that Nigeria Erosion and Water Management Programme (NEWMAP), funded by the World Bank, facilitated the planting of 50,000 trees with 25,000 seedlings each, planted in Kanke and Shendam local Government Areas.

He said that as part of efforts to preserve the environment and discourage tree felling, the state distributed gas cylinders and stoves provided by the federal Government to communities close to the forest reserves across its 17 local governments.

Idi said that the world environment day was a key moment to create awareness on the need to conserve the environment as it assures good health and more productivity.

He added that tree planting not only beautifies the environment, but provides clean air.

NAN reports that the theme for the 2020 world environment day is “Biodiversity”.

Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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General news

Nigeria will miss late Olumilua’s wealth of experience – Ekiti Rep



Rep. Femi Bamisile, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), says Nigeria will miss the wealth of experience of the former governor of old Ondo State, late Bamidele Olumilua.

Bamisile, in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Friday, described the death of the elder statesman as a ‘colossal loss’ to the society.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Olumilua died in his country home at Ikere-Ekiti on Thursday at the age of 80.

According to Bamisile, the former governor was a forthright, disciplined, God-fearing and patriotic Nigerian hero, who had contributed his quota to the development of Ekiti and Nigeria as a whole.

The lawmaker also described Olumilua as one of the stabilising factors of the APC Elders’ Forum in Ekiti with an unbiased judgmental tendency.

Some of the achievements of Olumilua’s regime as a governor of old Ondo State between January 1992 and November 1993 were testimonies to his selfless service to the society,” he said.

Commiserating with the family of the deceased, Ekiti people, Gov. Kayode Fayemi, and Nigeria as a whole, Bamisile prayed God to grant the late politician eternal rest.

He, however, charged the immediate family to take solace in God and advised them to protect the legacy, especially the good name left behind by the octogenarian.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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COVID-19: Partial lockdown in Plateau very effective against virus spread – Commissioner C



Plateau Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang, has said that the partial lockdown imposed on the state has been very effective in the fight against the novel Coronavirus.

Manjang said this in an interview with newsmen in Jos on Friday in the wake of perceptions among residents of the state that the lockdown was needless since there were normal movements of people for four days in a week.

He said the partial lockdown had curtailed the number of infected people from escalating as compared to other states which did not have lockdown imposed on them.

“I can tell you that the lockdown has been very effective as far as government is concerned.

“We have cases in other places where there is no lockdown and they have been recording alarming numbers.

“Who knows what would be happening in Plateau if we did not take the right steps; the number may have been more than what we are seeing today,” he said.

On the rumours that the government would totally lift the lockdown in the state, Manjang stated that the executive order remained in force until when it was reviewed.

He also noted that the public continued  to defy the stay-at-home order during the lockdown as heavy vehicular and human movements  were being experienced in the state.

“The executive order by the governor remained; it has not been reviewed yet, we are going into a meeting to review the situation and make sure we don’t kill the economy.

If I tell you that the lockdown would be removed totally I will be jumping the gun, if the governor says so, I am just a megaphone, I will relay the information to you.

“The lockdown is temporary, our human nature is such that we don’t want to be locked in one place, it is not deliberate that we want to keep people in one place.

“The lockdown is mandatory for our own good, it is all over the world, we should obey government’s order for out own good,” the commissioner said.

He advised the people to always wash their hands and maintain social distancing, stating that hand washing was a more effective way of self protection against the disease than the use of masks and sanitisers.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Right of Way charges: Emulate Gov AbdulRazaq, Minister tells Govs




Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has advised Nigerian governors to emulate their Kwara State counterpart AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq over the recent reduction of the Right of Way (RoW) charges for telecommunication companies.

Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to Gov AbdulRazaq, in a statement on Friday in Ilorin said the Minister gave the advice in a letter of commendation to the governor.

“We hope all other Governors emulate your patriotic gesture,” Ajakaye quoted the minister as saying.

News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Gov AbdulRazaq had recently directed the reduction of the RoW fee for Telecom firms from N5, 500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometer of fibre, the second lowest in Nigeria after Kaduna.

The Commissioner for Communication, who announced the reduction on Sun, May 31, said the directive took immediate effect.

Until now, telecom firms were paying N5,500 per linear metre as the fee for laying fibre cables in the state.

The Governor said the decision was to strengthen digital penetration and improve ease of doing business ratings in Kwara.

The minister in the letter said he was highly delighted about the decision of Gov AbdulRazaq.

According to the minister, the reduction in the fee would go a long way in helping the implementation of the National Broadband Plan that was recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I wish to offer my sincere appreciation to you for adhering to the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020.

Your resolution of the RoW is truly commendable. It will enhance the prospects of broadband penetration in the country and promote a digital economy for a digital Nigeria.

“We believe an executive order will further give the decision a stronger policy backing,” Pantami said in the commendation letter.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Post-COVID-19: Experts call for review of Bilateral Air Services Agreement



Some aviation experts have called for an immediate review of Nigeria’s Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to create an enabling business environment for airlines.

They made the call at the third edition of the aviation webinar organised by a law firm, AELEX partners, on Friday in Lagos.

Mr Nick Fadugba, the Chairman of African Business Aviation Association (AFBAA), said the multiple entry points and the frequencies of foreign airlines had been a disadvantage to Nigerian airlines as opposed to the advantages the agreement was supposed to present.

“At the time the bilateral agreement was made, Nigerian airlines in play at the time were relatively new, and now to ensure the growth of the airlines, there’s a need to review the agreement to properly incorporate the airlines as the agreements do not favour the average Nigerian carrier.

“The  multiple entry points have diluted the domestic market for the carriers,” he said.

Fadugba noted that there was need to overhaul the current business plans of the airlines with emphasis on unit cost, load factor and yield.

He said that for the airlines to rise above the current situation, there should be cooperation among airlines through joint training, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), spares pooling, joint operation, interlining and code-sharing.

Another panelist at the webinar, Ms Iyabo Sosina, an international aviation expert and former Secretary General of African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), stated that the future of air transport in Nigeria was bright inspite of all the challenges at play now.

Sosina advocated the need for rebuilding and repositioning of the industry.

According to her, there is a need to focus on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) without unnecessary political interference with the authority.

She, however,  advised that airlines in Nigeria should be reduced to about four, adding that these airlines must be able to boast of between 10 and 20 aircraft each.

Sosina also noted that more than ever before, there was a need for airlines to initiate collaborative ways of doing business as mergers could not be forced.

This, she said, would make the industry stronger to be able to compete on not just the domestic level but also on the regional and international scenes.

Also speaking, Dr John Arthur of Ghana Airport Company, said  that airports need to start afresh by collaborating with each other and aviation stakeholders.

Arthur advised that African countries should come together to share expertise in order to make the aviation industry viable.

He also noted that countries should look at investing in non-aeronautical inclusions such as building malls in the airports.

Sindy Foster, the Principal Managing Partner at Avaero Capital Partners, stated that the Nigerian aviation industry had been in crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Foster, the lack of capitalisation and the low propensity of Nigerians to fly has been a major issue.

“There is need to look into the factors frustrating the airlines business, one of which is the ticket prices. Multiple taxations should be removed to encourage airlines growth,” Foster said.

Foster, however, disagreed with the Nigerian government over social distancing on flights by reducing load factor to between 50 and 70 per cent.

She said the airlines were already in a dire situation when they were operating at full capacity and asking them to reduce the load capacity was another way of putting down airlines striving to get back on their feet post COVID-19.

The Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Operations at International Air Transport Association (IATA), Ms Adefunke Adeyemi, said the airline industry in Africa had experienced a revenue loss of about 6 billion dollars and flights were down by 94 per cent at the end of April.

Adeyemi  stated that inspite of government implementing significant relief measures across the globe, there was need to do more.

According to her , IATA has advocated financial support for Africa from various organisations like UNWTO, World Travel and Tourism Council and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

Adeyemi, however, advised that in order to restart the aviation sector, it was necessary to restore public confidence in air travel, putting adequate health and safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring aviation essentials to jump start economies.

In his contribution, Mr  Richard Gimblett, a Partner at Holamn Fenwick Willian, a UK-based law firm, while supporting the points made by other panelists, stated that governments across the world were devising measures to restart the aviation sector.

He said that the Nigerian government should not be left behind.

Gimblett advised that the government could restart the industry by providing direct financial support to passengers and cargo carriers, ensure relief on fees, charges and taxes, make forex available for technological innovations, while also engaging with the leasing and financial community.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Webinar panel of discussion was moderated by Theophilus Emuwa.

Emuwa, who is also the Managing Partner and Head of Tax at AELEX, said there was need for transparency in the management of funds for the aviation industry to grow.

NAN also reports that AELEX is a full service commercial law firm.  

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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