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Maiden Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament begins in Gombe



The maiden Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football (SACF) Tournament will begin in Gombe from Wednesday with the final to be played on Sept. 22.

The Coordinator and Chairman, Seyi Akinwunmi, said in on Tuesday in Lagos that the competition would help encourage scholarships to indigent students.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that SACF is a duly registered Non-Profit Organisation aimed at educating and developing indigent but intelligent and talented children in Nigeria.

Akinwunmi said that the foundation was birthed six years ago when he was elected the 1st Vice-President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

“This was done to complement the work of my already existing foundation known as the Courage Education Foundation (CEF) set up over 10 years previously for the development and education of indigent children in the society.

“The Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation (SACF) alongside its sister foundation, the Courage Education Foundation (CEF), is focused on generating and providing funds for the education of intelligent but indigent children.

“It also promotes the education and encouragement of talented indigent young footballers. We have held several projects in Lagos which has resulted in our sponsoring the education of over 200 children.

“Some of those that benefited have now graduated from tertiary Institutions while others have played for the Nigeria junior football teams,” he said.

Akinwunmi added: “We have now decided to spread our philanthropy and message of the importance of education alongside a football career, across the six geopolitical zones starting with the North-East Zone.

“Hence the birth of the Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament which will take place in Gombe State.

“The Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament will host 18 students from each of the North-East states as well as 18 each from 2 two invited teams.

“One from an academy in Jos and the other from an IDP Camp in Borno respectively, making a total of 144 school children.

“The objective is to use the tournament to convince the children of the value of amalgamating football and education,” he said.

Akinwunmi said he was confident that the 144 school children and their parents and families would serve as the foundation’s ambassadors across the North-East states.

“The media reports that it will generate in those parts will ensure that many more support from Nigerians.

“It will also encourage those with affiliations to the North-East will come out to support the 2nd edition of the Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament.

“Other Zones Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Football Tournament as they successively come up in the near future,” he said.

Akinwunmi noted that each of the students would be given school bags and materials to aid their education, they will also be given football jerseys and other prizes.

“In addition, we will give scholarship grants worth N150, 000 to the best players from each of the participating states, while the host state will have an extra slot for the scholarship grant.

“We are also specially giving the contingent from the IDP camp, a scholarship grant worth N250, 000,” he said

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)


Virgin Orbit’s maiden test launch fails to reach orbit




The California-based satellite launch company Virgin Orbit on Monday conducted its first orbital launch attempt, but its air-launched rocket failed to reach orbit.

The LauncherOne rocket was launched over the Pacific Ocean just off the California coast. After being released from the carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl, the rocket successfully lighted its booster engine on cue — the first time the company had attempted an in-air ignition.

However, an anomaly then occurred early in the first stage flight, and the mission safely terminated, the company said in a release.

The carrier aircraft and all of its crew landed safely at Mojave Air and Space Port in California, concluding the mission.

“Our team performed their prelaunch and flight operations with incredible skill today. Test flights are instrumented to yield data and we now have a treasure trove of that,” said Dan Hart, chief executive officer of the company.

“We accomplished many of the goals we set for ourselves, though not as many as we would have liked,” Hart added.

Virgin Orbit’s next rocket is in final stages of integration at its manufacturing facility in Long Beach, California, with a half-dozen other rockets for subsequent missions not far behind, said the release.


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Yobe SUBEB unveils maiden strategic plan



Yobe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), says it has prepared a pioneer Strategic Plan to improve quality at basic and post basic level of education in the state.

Prof. Musa Alabi, Executive Secretary of the Board, told newsmen on Saturday in Damaturu that there was no strategic plan guiding its operations since inception in the state.

Alabi said the maiden strategic plan was initiated under the administration of Gov. Mai Mala Buni.

He said: “I want to use this opportunity to inform the public that we have already commenced and about to complete our strategic plan to improve primary and junior secondary education in the state.

“This is the first time that the Board is coming up with a strategic plan which will be launch soon.

“The strategic plan is for us to chat our own course”.

Alabi noted that it was part of new strategic plan to recruit enough and qualified teachers into the system to fill the existing gaps and replace the unqualified ones.

“We have plans to redeploy unqualified teachers to other sections of the civil service and recruit new and qualified ones to fill in those positions.

“Unless we do that there is no way we can have a system running the way we want it.

“We will surely do the recruitment and we hope that will be the turning point,” he said.

Abali disclosed that the Board would construct mega schools in various local government areas in addition to the existing model schools in the state.

He said that the mega schools would be established at Potiskum, Nguru, Damaturu, Gashua and Buni Yadi, among others.

The chairman explained that the mega schools were designed with bigger size and capacity to change the face of education in the state.

“We hope before the lifespan of this administration to have three to four of these mega schools in each local government area, to solve the problem of congestion in schools”.

Alabi revealed that various school development projects were so far executed under Universal Basic Education (UBE) interventions such as construction over 200 classroom blocks, 42 offices and stores as well as 33 x 2 bed rooms and 75 x 3 bed rooms staff quarters.

He lsited other projects to include construction of fencing and barb wiring in 13 schools; provision of 17 boreholes, procurement of 14, 317 classroom furniture and 619 units of teachers’ furniture, among others.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Rabiu Sani Ali

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Coronavirus: Olusegun Agagu varsity postpones maiden convocation



Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) Ondo State has postponed its maiden Convocation ceremony, scheduled for March 21 over the scourge of Coronavirus.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ondo State recorded its first case of the Coronavirus on Wednesday in Akure, as the victim flew in from Maryland, United States of America.

Prof. Sunday Ogunduyile, Vice Chancellor of the university, disclosed the postponement to NAN on Thursday, after rising from a four-hour board meeting with the governing council members of the institution.

The VC said the cancellation was painful because of the resources that had been put in the ceremony but said no preparation and resources was more than human lives.

He pleaded with the graduating students, parents, associates and friends of the institution who had been preparing for the convocation for the inconveniences the cancellation might cause.

“The governing council of the institution and the management has decided to cancel the maiden convocation ceremony because of the scourge of Coronavirus.

“Although it is painful because of the resources that have been put in place for the ceremony, no preparation or resources can be equated to human life.

“We don’t want to record casualties or death which may cause regrets and maybe the cancellation will afford us the opportunity to do it better at another scheduled time.

“I use this medium to plead with all concerned to bear with us,” Ogunduyile said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu


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Hapag Lloyd liner makes maiden call at Ports & Cargo Terminal



Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd., the flagship company of SIFAX Group and concessionaire of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, has added a new client to its growing list of clientele.

Mr John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Ltd., made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.

According to him, the latest addition is the Hapag Lloyd AG Ltd., a German international shipping and container transportation company which is the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity.

He added that the shipping line made its maiden call at the terminal recently with one of its largest vessel, Navios Azure, a container ship built in 2007 with gross tonnage of 39,906 tonnes and length overall of 260.5 metres,” he said.

Jenkins while welcoming the vessels crew to the terminal expressed the company’s delight at the vessel’s maiden call, saying that the development was a testimony of the terminal’s readiness to provide cutting-edge port terminal services to more clients.

“We are excited to have this ship berth at our terminal today.

“We are delighted that Hapag Lloyd, which is one the world’s largest ocean shipping fleet owners, prefers our terminal for their operations and the shipping line will call frequently at this terminal.

“This business relationship with Hapag Lloyd is one of several partnerships we have been working on in the past few months.

“This new wave of patronage is a result of the massive investments we have made both in modern equipment, quality personnel and improved processes over the years.

“All these have translated in better service delivery, which is what an average client wants,” he said.

Capt. John Trafiero while responding on behalf of the vessel’s crew members, said that they were overwhelmed by the hospitality and excellent service provided by the company and expressed his joy at berthing at one of Africa’s prime ports.

“This is a resounding welcome we have received here today and it will stick in our memories wherever we sail to.

“Though we are sailing back very soon, my crew and I cannot wait to be back here again,” he said.

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi

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Nigeria set to host maiden Afrika business, investment forum – FG



The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on Sunday said Nigeria is set to host the maiden edition of the Afrika Business and Investment Forum (AFRIBIF) 2020.

According to a statement by Mrs Olukemi Arodudu, the Director,  Investment Promotion of the ministry, the forum will commence from March 23 to 27, at Nicon Luxury in Abuja.

It said the forum, themed “Reshaping business and investment to meet demands of trade and fourth industrial revolution”, is organised by the ministry in collaboration with CB Network Global Concept.

“AFRIBIF will improve economic, political and social atmosphere in the continent through sharing of business ideas and networking between investors, to create right environment for Africa to leapfrog into fourth industrial revolution.

“It will provide platform to address challenges militating against every aspect of African economies and proffer solutions to exchange controls and taxation issues to bring about benefits in African markets.

“The forum will promote increase direct investment for African countries and enhance research development by both public and private entities.

“Furthermore, explore innovations in the formal and informal sectors, clarify roles of policy in trade and investment issues, and promote accelerated development in all sectors of the African economy,” the statement read in part.

It said that foreign and local investors, diplomats, high ranking government officials, the academia are expected to attend the forum.

It added that feature panel discussions, experience sharing, paper presentations and exhibitions would also feature at the forum.

It, however, urged Nigerians to log on to duly register and participate at the forum.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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20 bag first class as Ondo Varsity holds maiden convocation



Twenty graduating students of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUTECH), Okitipupa, Ondo State, will bag First Class honours during its maiden convocation slated for March 21.

The convocation is for the 2014/2019 session.

Prof. Sunday Ogunduyile, Vice-Chancellor,  OAUTECH formerly Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), made this known at a media facilities tour of the institution on Wednesday in Okitipupa.

According to him, a total of 205 students bagged Second Class Upper, 264 students with Second Class Lower, while 84 students made Third Class.

He said that most of the graduating students were from the Faculty of Sciences, being the pioneer faculty.

Ogunduyile said that the institution had graduated five sets, but were not convoked from the institution which was established in 2008, but began operations in 2011.

He also noted that the institution now had two more faculties: Faculty of Engineering, and Engineering Technology and Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“The institution began operations in 2011 with one faculty, and we have graduated five sets who have not been convoked and this is why we are having the maiden convocation ceremony.

“As we have two more faculties added, I can assure you that we will have more post-graduate students in the category in few years,” Ogunduyile said.

The vice-chancellor, after the facilities tour, said the slow pace of development in the institution was due to paucity of funds from the state government and lack of Tertiary Institutions Fund (TETFUND) projects.

He, however, thanked Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for giving the institution a facelift to contest among its peers in the country.

The vice-chancellor listed some of the infrastructure development put in place by Akeredolu’s government to include road networks to the institution, the Senate House, University Auditorium and the  University Library.

He also said the institution had just met the requirements of TETFUND.

The vice-chancellor said that TETFUND would soon sponsor the completion of most of the uncompleted projects in the institution with the support of other stakeholders.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that various uncompleted buildings still adorned the permanent site of the university.

NAN also reports that new buildings like the Senate House, University Auditorium and University Library, just completed by the state government would soon be inaugurated.

Many programmes like sensitisation programmes, sporting activities, convocation lecture, among others, were lined up for the week-long programme from March 18 to March 22.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye

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Lagos State wins maiden Maltina School Games



Lagos State on Wednesday emerged overall winner of the first edition of the Maltina School Games held at Yaba College of Technology, Akoka Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Lagos State won with 21 gold medals, 12 silver and five bronze, while Federal Capital Territory, Abuja came second with four gold medals 13 silver and 10 bronze.

Kano State came third with three gold medals, four silver and eight bronze.

Victorious Team Lagos State went home

with a cash prize of five million naira, while outstanding athletes will be given scholarship worth N500,000.

Ibrahim Anifowose, a student of Keke Secondary School, Lagos, told NAN that winning the scholarship would help his parents to provide for his educational needs.

” I am so happy that I was selected as one of the most outstanding athletes, I have always love sports, but this has given me the encouragement that I need to remain focused.

“I will learn to manage my time effectively, so it doesn’t affect my studies, I will learn to balance the two,” he said.

President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Olabisi Joseph, in an interview with NAN, said that sponsors like Maltina had given the children an opportunity to discover their talents.

“I know these children’s lives is changed forever, this wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsor Maltina, some of these children will continue to pursue athletics as professionals.

“I believe that there is so much we can achieve, talents are everywhere and we just need to continue to harness their potential,” she said.

NAN reports that spectators body  temperature were checked at the entrance and hand sanitisers were given in order to prevent possible transmission of the Coronavirus.

Dr Ademola Are, Director of Grassroots Programme, Lagos State Ministry of Sports, said that the sports ministry was committed toward building a synergy between NSSF and the ministry.

” Discovering these talents is not enough and that’s why I am here today, watching these children has proven that we can not just leave them alone.

“Maltina have taken a good step in the right direction, but we need them to continually show commitment, the Athletic Federation of Nigeria must be involved.

“There is need for a synergy among all parties involved I believe by so doing we will achieve so much,” he said.

NAN reports that the track and field competition for secondary schools was jointly organised by Nigerian Breweries (NB) plc and NSSF.

Sade Morgan, NB Corporate Affairs Director, said the games was Maltina’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focusing on raising a generation of future champions.

“Learning is not just in the classroom, learning outside the classroom is equally important.

“We couldn’t have done this alone without school sports federation, we can’t overemphasize the fact that we have lots of talents in this country, especially in tracks and fields.

” Today, we take this bold step to ensure that we give these children the opportunity and also to mentor them as we should to help them focus,” she said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi

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240 for finals of maiden Anaocha U-17 athletics championship



Two hundred and forty young athletes from primary and secondary schools in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra have qualified for the semi final stage of the Anaocha U-17 athletics championship.

The championship is organised by Chief Patrick Onyedum, the Chairman of the council and also Chairman, Anambra Athletics Association.

The elimination series of the grassroots championship, the first in the state commenced on Feb. 3 and had gone round the 10 towns in the council.

They are Agulu, Ichida, Nri, Aguluzigbo,  Obeledu, Adazi Ani, Adazi Nnukwu, Adazi Enu, Neni and Akwueze.

Johnny Igboka, Chief Coach, Anambra Athletics Association, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency at Neni on Monday, said the young athletics had shown a lot of promise.

Igboka said the finalists comprised the best male and female athletes in the 12 events featured in the championship.

He said semi finals would hold on Feb. 28, while the grand finale took place on Feb. 29 at Community Secondary School, Ichida.

He said no fewer than 450 budding athletes from schools drawn from the 10 communities making up the council participated in the championship.

In his remarks, the Chairman of Anaocha LGA said the competition was to re-enact the old tradition of competition among schools as well as using them as hunting ground for future athletes.

Onyedum said apart from serving as a motivation for other councils in the state, the championship would be used to hunt for athletes that would dominate Nigeria field and tracks in future.

“At the end of the championship, the athletes will be handed over to the Anambra Athletics Association for proper training.

“The choice of athletics is simple, I was an athlete, I am into administration of athletics and athletics have potential for medal haul at competitions because it is not a group event like football games.

“So far, the children have been doing well, meaning they have been looking for opportunity to express themselves.

“That is why we named it Anaocha championship, championship that can continue after my tenure as the council chairman,’’ Onyedum said.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/ Maureen Atuonwu




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Lagos launches maiden farmers’ market, pledges commitment to harness agric potentials



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