Cagliari escape sanctions over Lukaku abuse

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku: first Belgian to score 100 goals in English Premier League

(Reuters/NAN) Serie A club Cagliari again escaped sanctions over alleged racist behaviour by their fans.

This was after the league’s disciplinary tribunal decided on Tuesday not to take action over monkey noises aimed at Inter Milan’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku.

The tribunal said in a statement on Tuesday that “in terms of dimension and real perception”, the chants could not be considered discriminatory under the league’s disciplinary code.

“The tribunal has decided not to apply sanctions to Cagliari,” it said, referring to the incidents in the match on Sept 1.

Cagliari were, however, fined 5,000 euros ($5,530) after their fans threw plastic bottles onto the field in a 3-1 win at Parma on Sunday.

Against Inter, monkey noises could be heard from the Cagliari supporters as Lukaku stepped up to take a penalty which he converted to give his side a 2-1 win.

Lukaku said at the time that he had been a victim of racism and Cagliari called the fans’ behaviour shameful.

The tribunal said in a statement that public security officials had informed it of “chants, animal noises and jeering” towards Lukaku.

It added, however, that “these were not interpreted by the stewards nor federation delegates as discriminatory.”

The tribunal used similar arguments last season when it declined to sanction Cagliari after alleged racist insults were aimed at Moise Kean, who was playing for Juventus at the time.

In 2017, Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari, playing for Pescara at the time, walked off the pitch, also complaining of racist abuse at Cagliari’s ground.

Serie A took no action against Cagliari, saying only around 10 fans were involved.

The tribunal made no mention of the alleged racist insults which media reports said were aimed at AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie during a 1-0 win at Verona on Sunday.

Verona said that their fans jeered the referee but denied racism.

Italian football has been blighted by racism over the last decade. In one incident in 2013, AC Milan walked off the pitch during a friendly against a lower division side in protest at racist chanting.

In 2014, Carlo Tavecchio was elected head of the Italian Football federation (FIGC) weeks after making a comment about a fictitious African player he named Opti Poba “eating bananas”.

The FIGC cleared him of wrongdoing but he was barred from holding any position with world soccer’s governing body FIFA for six months.

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Chemical weapons: FG warns producers, marketers

Chemical weapons
Chemical weapons

By Muhammad Nur Tijani

The Federal Government has cautioned producers and marketers of chemical weapons against allowing it into the hands of non-state actors.

Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, gave the warning at a sensitisation workshop in Kano on Tuesday.

The workshop was organised by the federal government to educate major stakeholders in the North west on sound management of chemicals as part of measures to prevent its getting into wrong hands.

Aduda said the workshop was also aimed at promoting awareness and safety, by strengthening the understanding of stakeholders on proper handling of chemical and biological weapons.

Aduda said chemical producers, marketers, transporters and users, as well  as regulatory authorities involved in implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) participated in the workshop.‎

‎”The objective among others, is to raise awareness among relevant national stakeholders and representatives of the chemical industries in the North -West zone on the CWC and its national implementation in relation to the chemical industry.

“Ensure that chemical weapons imported into the country are used for the purposes for which they are meant and government also makes sure that these chemicals do not get into the hands of non-state actors; it ‎will‎ have great repercussions,” he explained.‎

The permanent secretary said similar workshops were held in Lagos and Port harcourt.   ‎

Some of the participants who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commeded the federal government for organising the event, which they said had enhance their knowledge on how best to handle chemical weapons.‎

They urged the government to evolve a National Action Plan to guide and regulate the use and threat of chemical weapons in Nigeria.

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Iran’s Supreme Leader rejects talk with U.S.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday, said that Iranian officials had unanimously ruled out talks with the U.S.A at any level.

Khamenei was quoted by his official website as saying that“Through negotiations, the Americans are seeking to impose their demands on Iran and prove the effectiveness of maximum pressure campaign.’’

He said Washington’s maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian nation had failed to achieve its goals.

According to him, talks with the U.S. will only be possible within the framework of P5+1 group consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Khamenei said Washington should return to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal that it abandoned in 2018, if the U.S. wants any talk.

“Otherwise, no talks at any level will be held between Iranian and American officials, neither in New York nor in other places.’’

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday also ruled out the likelihood of any meeting between the Iranian and U.S. presidents in the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 under the pretext that the deal was not comprehensive.

Subsequently, the U.S. administration launched a “maximum pressure campaign’’ and reinstated sanctions on Iran’s economy, mainly on Iran’s oil exports. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Gov. Udom hosts IOCs over move to end gas flaring

………Plans over 5,000 new jobs with gas initiative

Gov. Udom Emmanuel with representatives of the IOC during the inspection on the intelligent Building in the state
Gov. Udom Emmanuel with representatives of the IOC during the inspection on the intelligent Building in the state

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, on Tuesday hosted multinational companies comprising Mobil Producing Nigeria, Vitol and BlackRhino in Uyo and expressed desire for more partnership to create job opportunities in the state.

This is even as he expressed optimism that the planned partnership with the IOCs to tap the gas that was hitherto flared wold come to fruition soon and create over 5,000 jobs.

Speaking at the meeting with IOCs led by the Lead Country Manager, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Mr. Paul McGrath, Gov. Emmanuel appreciated the companies for accepting to partner the State.

He assured that the enabling environment would be created in the state for he IOCs, while reiterating that his administration’s determination to create job opportunities through industrialisation which he noted was only possible when investments thrive.

The Governor explained that the state had taken steps to build the necessary gateways for investors and appealed to the Federal Government to assist in the realisation of its vision.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to give us enough support for the investors that are coming in because people that will work here are not only Akwa Ibom people.

“The day we start the Ibom Deep Seaport project at least 5000 people will be on board handling different jobs, skills will be transferred and training will be offered.

“We will develop capacity and the rest of the things will come up so the chain effect of that positive impact is what we cannot overlooked, he stated.

The Intelligent building in Akwa Ibom still under construction
The Intelligent building in Akwa Ibom still under construction

Justifying the partnership with Vitol, the Governor explained that the company would partner others ” to stop gas flaring then channel the power to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and other uses”, explaining that ” we cannot have gas then complain in this country”.

The Governor who embarked on inspection of the 21 Storey Intelligent building shortly after the meeting, said the building has been a demonstration of government’s commitment to partner with the Corporate Organisations in the provision of conducive working environment, adding that residence for staff will be added.

Earlier, the Chairman and Lead Country Manager, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul McGrath, thanked the Governor for the opportunity given the company to partner in the development of the state .

Mr. McGrath pledged the company’s readiness to eradicate gas flaring and produce more Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) using Vitol and BlackRhino as facilitators.

Also, the African Head, Vitol, Mr Pierre Barbe, said their major focus in their investment in Nigeria is to end gas flaring and sanitise the ecosystem, saying that the initiative will make gas available for power generation and production of LPG for domestic consumption.

On his part, the President BlackRhino, Brian Hertily, assured that when the necessary modalities are put in place for conversion of gas into energy the state will attract more industries for job creation.

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UNGA: Nigeria to seek global support to combat terrorism

Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama
Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama

By Lizzy Okoji

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that the Nigerian Government would use the Forum of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to seek global support fighting terrorism and increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Onyeama made this known on Tuesday in Abuja during a Pre-UNGA briefing with newsmen stating the expectations of the Nigerian government during the high level summit from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30.

According to Onyeama, Nigeria would take advantage of its position as President of the 74th UN General Assembly to project the country and articulate priorities of the country, what t seeks to achieve and areas for global support.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari will be lead the Nigerian delegation which would include Members of his cabinet and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure Nigeria have the best technical resources.

Onyeama listed other priority issues of the country to be discussed at the summit to include: issues of Peace and Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG ) which covers socio-economic, education, humanitarian issues regarding child’s right.

Other issues are: poverty eradication,  illicit financial flows, recovery of stolen assets,

“More strategically as a country, it is an opportunity to project our country as an important member of the international community.

“And having the Presidency of the General Assembly is something that also gives us that higher visibility and great influence.

“We would also want to use that to push agenda of importance to us as a country, our fight against corruption, repatriation of foreign loots, engaging with other countries.

“In our quest to successfully deliver on SDG objectives that cover our social economic challenges, terrorism, and countering violent extremism.

“Is also something we would want to maintain at the highest levels of global priorities because  it is our major challenges.

“Mr President has just come back from a summit of ECOWAS Heads of States on Peace and Security in the West Africa Sub-region so this is still a challenge that we are facing.

“And it is important to use that opportunity to keep the global community engaged and supportive of what we are doing, our fight.

“And also taking the opportunity to a greater United Nations for support in that fight against terrorism but also in the global conflicts taking  place in Africa,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama said tha Nigeria has been very present in Peace Keeping interventions  across the continent under the framework of the African Union.

He added that with such large troops from Nigeria it was important to have financial and other support from the UN peace keeping  division.

The Minister said that President Buhari would also be having bilateral meetings with some Heads of States and engaging with different personalities  like Bill Gates to discuss attracting FDI.

Onyeama explained that the Foreign revenue streams of the Country expected hence,  the  need to diversify  to attract more Foreign Direct Investment into our country.

He said that Nigeria would also be soliciting support of the UN to recharge the Lake Chad which has shrunk by 90 per cent and has affected the source of livelihood of people living across the region.

Onyeama added that  Nigeria  will use the opportunity to canvass support for a number of Nigerians and the country itself vying for certain international position,  engage with countries to try to get their support so that the nation can deliver on the positions.

“For instance, Nigeria is keen to be elected into a category of the International Maritime Organisation.

“We didn’t make it the last time round, so we are persisting this time and with the challenges that we have, maritime challenges, we feel that it is important that we be on the governing bodies for regulating maritime issues.

“We are also vying for a position on the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, we are vying for a seat under part two on the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.

“We have a candidate that we are pushing to be on the Committee Against Torture, we also have a candidate that we are pushing for election to the United Nations Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

“So, we will be taking advantage of our presence there during the General Assembly to also lobby for these positions,” Onyeama said. (NAN)

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Average price per litre of kerosene up in August – NBS

Average price per litre of kerosene up in August - NBS
Average price per litre of kerosene up in August – NBS

By Folasade Akpan

The average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene increased to N319.94 in August 2019 from N316.03 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The bureau, in its “National Household Kerosene Price Watch (August 2019)” obtained from its website on Tuesday in Abuja, said the increase is by 1.24 percent month-on-month and 10.80 percent year-on-year.

The report by the bureau indicates that states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Abia, N375.55;  Enugu, N365.47; and Ebonyi, N358.33.

It also said that states with the lowest average price per litre of kerosene were Abuja, where it sold for N245.50; Kwara, N261.11; and Benue, N261.90.

“Similarly, average price per gallon paid by consumers for kerosene increased by 0.19 percent month-on-month and by 11.92 percent year-on-year to N1, 213.53 in August 2019 from N1, 211.18 in July.

“States with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene were Gombe, N1, 400; Adamawa, N1, 360.00; and Borno, N1, 355.

“States with the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene were Bayelsa, N1, 030; Akwa Ibom, N1, 079.58; and Osun,N1, 085.22.”

The NBS said that in arriving at the statistics, field work was carried out by its staff in all states of the federation, supported by supervisors who were monitored by internal and external observers. (NAN)

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Woman arrested for killing ‘hubby’ over daughter’s birthday party

A knife with blood
A knife with blood

By Oladapo Udom

The homicide detectives section  from Surulere Division of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested one Stella Peter, 23, for stabbing one Mr Bala Haruna, 25, to death.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSP Bala Elkana, said on Tuesday that this was because Haruna refused to release money for the  birthday party of the baby Stella had for him.

Bala said that the ‘couple’ were not actually married but had been living together at No. 2. Tejuosho Avenue, Surulere in  Lagos State for three years in a statement.

Elkana said the man and woman had a  baby girl that just turned one.

Elkana said, “An argument ensued between them which turned violent and the woman used a kitchen knife to stab the man in the back which led to his death.

“The woman accused the man of refusing to release money for their daughter’s birthday party.”

The DSP said that the homicide detectives section  from the State Criminal Investigation Department ( CID), Yaba,  had taken over the investigation.

He said that the suspect had confessed to committing the crime and that she would be charged to court for murder.

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ICPC seals NECAS headquarters, warehouse

ICPC Headquarters
ICPC Headquarters

By Muhammad Adam

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) has sealed up the national headquarters of North East Commodity Association (NECAS) in Yola over allegations of fraudulent activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the office was sealed on Monday night, while the National President of the association, Alhaji Sadiq Daware, is at large.

According to a competent source in ICPC office in Adamawa, the commission also sealed a warehouse holding 100  tractors believed to belong to NECAS.

“The commission in one of its operation arrested one Mr. Stephen Maduwa , the Adamawa State Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria .

“After the arrest of .Maduwa, three warehouses that are linked to him were searched at Bachure and Bekaji in Yola.

“After the search, the warehouses were found to be containing 164,000 bags of maize, 412, 401 bags of sorghum,  698 bags of rice and  508 bags of fertilizer,” the source said

The source said the commodities were estimated to be worth N2.10 billion.

The ICPC Commissioner in the state, Mr Idris Bakori, however, refused to comment on the .matter, insisting that the issue was still under investigation.

The Federal Government assisted NECAS to acquire 600 tractors and farm inputs for distribution to farmers in the Northeast region.

However, communities and farmers complained of the diversion of the items and called for the government’s intervention.

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Johnson says #Brexit deal emerging

 

Boris Johnson favourite to succeed Theresa May - Poll
Borish Johnson UK PM

Britain’s Boris Johnson said that a Brexit deal was beginning to emerge, but the EU said he offered nothing to break the impasse during a visit to Luxembourg where he was harangued loudly by protesters and rebuked for trying to shift the blame,

Don’t make the EU the bad guy,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said after a meeting with Johnson, describing the uncertainty over the timing and conditions of Britain’s exit from the European Union as a “nightmare”.

The British prime minister joined European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for lunch at the Bouquet Garni restaurant, an 18th-century building of bare stone walls and low ceilings in the medieval heart of Luxembourg.

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Affordable Houses: Stakeholders advocate good governance

 

Housing Esaste

By Franca Ofili

Mr Yemi Adelakun, Managing Director, Nigeria Integrated Social Housing (NISH) Affordable Housing Ltd has advocated good governance and a robust savings scheme to enable the country to deliver a proper cooperative housing scheme.

Adelakun made the call in Abuja on Monday at a stakeholders’ quarterly workshop on cooperative housing in Nigeria with the theme, “’Aggregating Off-takers’ Savings for Affordable Housing in Nigeria’’.

He called for a special savings scheme to ensure inclusive growth and development.

“The success factors of cooperative housing are good governance, trust, transparency and accountability, capacity building, respect and strict adherence to rule of law, checks and balances with continuous monitoring and auditing.

“Others are robust savings scheme, electronic data management and information communication technology,’’ Adelakun said.

He said the objective of the workshop was ‘’to organise, empower, and acquaint cooperative leaders with Innovative Cooperative Housing Principles.

According to him, the workshop will sensitise them to aggregate members’ equity contributions through saving for effective and sustainable delivery of affordable housing to co-operators.

Adelakun said the workshop was designed to strengthen the governance capacity, transparency and accountability of housing cooperatives through information and communications technology.’’

“The core inspiration behind the workshop is for NISH and partners to use this method to ensure that they develop a very strong and effective housing cooperatives system in Nigeria,’’ he said.

He identified six most critical challenges of affordable housing as land, technology, expert knowledge and skilled manpower; building materials, infrastructure and finance.

Adelakun said the lack of off-takers’ access to credit line was the major challenge that must be tackled for the country to achieve a successful affordable housing delivery.

Mr Anders Lindquist, Chief Business Development, EchoStone, said that every country had housing deficit but that Nigeria had the highest deficit.

EchoStone is an international provider of affordable housing solutions.

Lindquist called for more workshops to educate buyers and promised to work with the stakeholders to achieve their goals.

He called on government to be more interested in ensuring that affordable houses were made available to Nigerians.

Lindquist said that good governance was vital to achieving affordable housing.

He urged the workshop to ensure that action would be taken not just talk. (NAN)

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