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15.11.18

Video Assistant Referees 'VAR' To Be Used In Premier League Next Season

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Video Assistant Referees To Be Used In Premier League Next Season
Video assistant referees
 
Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season, after clubs agreed in principle to the move, BBC reports.
 
The Premier League will now make a formal request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa.
 
VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup, is in operation in Italy and Germany's top divisions, and has been utilised in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games.
 
The Premier League has been carrying out "non-live" trials this season.
 
VAR will also be used in the Champions League from next season.
 
There have been growing calls for it to be introduced into the English top flight for several years.
 
But in April Premier League clubs voted against it being used for the 2018-19 season.
 
On Saturday, Southampton forward Charlie Austin called for a change after he was denied a goal for offside against Watford, a decision he called a "joke".
 
Saints manager Mark Hughes added: "All the major sports have video reviews and for some reason the Premier League, which is watched all around the world, is still in the dark ages."
 
VAR has been trialled regularly in a "non-live environment" in the Premier League this season, although match officials have not been contacted by those conducting the trials.
 
Clubs were given an update at a meeting on Thursday.
 
A statement from the Premier League said its testing programme would continue for the rest of the season "with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently".
 
How VAR decisions are communicated to fans in the stadium will also be addressed.
 
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live's Afternoon Edition: "I think it is a good thing. I know a lot of people are against it but we've got to embrace it now and move forward.

"We've seen this season a number of incidences that have been called wrong, especially this weekend when there were a number of goals ruled out when they shouldn't have been.

"I think as long as we get the training and education right, and we get the right personnel, that's the most important thing for me.

"The referees will still want to go out and get the key match decisions right, it's very important that referees are not hiding behind the VAR - they've still going to be making these big calls correctly."

N2.5 Billion Fraud Uncovered In Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation

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N2.5 Billion Fraud Uncovered In Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation
The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Ishaq Kawu. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is investigating the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) over the misapplication of N2.5 billion seed grant released to the agency by the federal government for its digital switch-over programme.
The commission, in a statement signed by Rasheedat Okoduwa, its spokesperson, on Thursday said it has so far quizzed the NBC Director General, Ishaq Kawu, and other top management staff of the agency over their alleged involvements in the misapplication of the fund.

The presidency had in 2016, released N10 billion to the Ministry of Information and Culture for the digital switch-over programme which entails migration of telephone lines from analogue to digital platforms and a White Paper was issued directing that the process be specifically handled by government-affiliated companies.
Based on the guidelines provided by the White Paper, two companies were nominated to handle the process, one of which was ITS, an affiliate of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). About N1.7 billion was released to it as seed grant for the commencement of the switch-over.
However, ICPC said on Thursday that through investigation, it discovered that the process was fraught with alleged corrupt practices.
“It was alleged that Mr Kawu fraudulently recommended a private company called Pinnacle Communications Limited, to the Minister of Information and Culture, for the release of N2.5 billion against the guidelines contained in the White Paper.

“The N2.5 billion was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Pinnacle Communications Limited in May/June, 2017 for the programme.

“The DG NBC during interactions with the Commission could not justify why the government White Paper was flouted leading to the release of money to an unqualified company,” the statement said.
It added that the Managing Director of Pinnacle, Dipo Onifade, during interrogation confirmed the release of the funds to the company. He could not justify that the money was used for the purpose of digital switch-over.

The commission also said through investigation, it discovered several suspicious transfers of large sums of funds from the account of the company into the bank accounts of several organisations and individuals.
It found out that N100 million of the fund was paid into the personal bank account of Mr Onifade in Zenith Bank which he claimed was for legal services that he had rendered to the same Pinnacle Communications where he is employed.
Also investigation revealed that another N450 million was transferred into the account of Sabdat Investment Limited, a Bureau de Change, which then converted the money into dollars and handed it over to the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa, in his Kaduna residence as he usually did with other funds.
Mr Omoluwa had repeatedly failed to honour invitations, the Commission said.
“He had also sought the leave of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop the investigation as well as unfreeze the Zenith Bank account of the company that was frozen by ICPC, but was however ordered by the same court to appear before ICPC for interrogation before the next adjourned date of 3rd December, 2018 before his case would be heard.

” In compliance with the court order, Mr. Omoluwa has appeared before the Commission where he made useful statements to investigators,” the ICPC added.
***
Source: PREMIUM TIMES

IMF Predicts Weak Revenue Generation For Nigeria

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IMF Predicts Weak Revenue Generation For Nigeria
 
The International Monetary Fund’s prediction of a weak revenue generation for Nigeria in the short term may have some implications, according to reports.
 
This is coupled with the Federal Government’s recent projections of lower revenue for 2019 than budgeted for 2018.
 
According to a research report by the FSDH Merchant Bank Limited titled ‘Low revenue generation: Implications for Nigerian economy and financial market,’ the declining crude oil price may place additional macroeconomic pressure on Nigeria in the short term.
 
The Federal Government would need to urgently adopt active partnership arrangements with the private sector to improve infrastructure, the researchers noted.
 
It pointed out that the Monetary Policy Committee members of the Central Bank of Nigeria had limited options: which were to either maintain current policy rates and increase the yields on Nigerian Treasury Bills at the Open Market Operations; or increase the Cash Reserve Requirement to mop-up the expected liquidity in the financial market.
 
While the FSDH research expects the yields on the NTBs to increase in November, it stated that there were opportunities to take profit on some Nigerian Eurobonds investments and buy back later when prices drop.
 
There are strong growth opportunities in the telecommunications industry despite its temporary challenges, according to the research.
 
It noted that investors should position in stocks that would pay dividends.
 
While expatiating on the ratio of government revenue to nominal Gross Domestic Product, it noted, “Nigeria’s ratio of revenue to the GDP was the lowest between 2012 and 2017.
 
The IMF expects it to remain as the lowest in the medium-term among some countries it listed which are: Venezuela, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Angola, Morocco, China, South Africa, United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
 
In order to address this, FSDH research expects the Federal Government to do the following: Adopt Public Private Partnership, provide more support for the non-oil sector to generate more revenue, and intensify efforts to generate more tax revenue.
 
It further explained the Federal Governments assumptions from the medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper.
 
It added that the proposed new national minimum wage would place additional pressure on the government’s fiscal position.

14.11.18

Power Outage Hits Lagos Int'l Airport Leaving Passengers Stranded

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Power Outage Hits Lagos Int'l Airport Leaving Passengers Stranded
Passengers stranded at Lagos airport
 
A BBC reporter, identified as Yemisi Adegoke, took to her Twitter page, @briticoyemo, on Tuesday night to reveal how air passengers were stranded on Tuesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos following a power outage.
 
According to multiple online reports, the passengers were said to have been kept in the dark for hours as immigration officials did not address the anxious crowd, as the airport did not switch to another alternative power while the power outage lasted.
 
It was gathered that the airport officials were said to have taken foreigners among the passengers to another section of the airport where there was power.
 
Scenes at the airport during the blackout
 
Passengers were said to have been frustrated as they could not proceed with the boarding processes.

“At Lagos International Airport and there is currently no power…and by the look of it NO GEN,” Adegoke tweeted.

“Passengers going MAD because officials started allowing foreigners to go to the other side or the airport, where there is electricity. One woman was yelling “would they do this for us if we were in their country?”
 
The light was later restored while passengers were attended to by immigration officials.
 
Read her tweets as she narrated the event at the airport below;

N5.8 billion Fraud: You Have Questions To Answer - Reps Tell Osinbajo

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N5.8 billion Fraud: You Have Questions To Answer - Reps Tell Osinbajo
VP Yemi Osinbajo
 
The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, has insisted that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has some questions to respond to on the approval of N5.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
 
Chairman of the committee, Mr Ali Isa, stated this while briefing reporters after Tuesday’s plenary at the National Assembly in Abuja.
 
He explained that the Vice President has a case to answer because he is Chairman of the governing council of NEMA.
 
Isa added that Professor Osinbajo was the Acting President at the time when the fund was approved.
 
He, however, stressed that the Committee did not mention the Vice President in its report presented on Thursday last week.
 
The committee has investigated the allegations of violation of public trust in the activities of the emergency agency.
 
In its report, it said the authorisation for the release of fund for emergency food intervention in the North East contravened Section 80(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
 
The committee had also recommended the sack of the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, for alleged mismanagement of N33 billion fund.
 
It indicted all the government officials involved in the release of N5.8 billion naira for the emergency intervention of food security in the North East.
 
The committee had urged the relevant government agencies to take steps to recover the money.
 
Professor Osinbajo had said the committee’s allegation against him was both ‘false and misleading’, saying he did not violate any law in the approval of the fund.
 
He gave the response in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
 
Read the full statement below;
 
"Our attention has been drawn to a report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness issued on Thursday, November 8, 2018, particularly in respect of funds released for “emergency intervention of food security to the North-East” in June 2017, when the Vice President was Acting President.
 
In its report, the Committee alleged that a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a Memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act. The House Committee also concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly. This conclusion is both false and misleading.
 
To start with, it is important to understand the context of the transaction. This was at a time when internally displaced persons and their host communities faced very severe food shortages throughout the North East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands, minimal cross-border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities.
 
On 15th April 2017, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP), a major aid organisation and food supplier to the region, had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to the corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.
 
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) moved urgently to prevent the looming disaster by establishing a strategic food intervention plan for the affected States. A Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Delivery to the North East was convened and the Committee met on the 13th of May, 2017 to kick off the process, with the then Acting President as Chairman. Other members of the Committee included:
 
(i) Minister of Finance;
(ii) Minister of Budget and National Planning;
(iii) Minister of State for Budget and National Planning;
(iv) Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development;
(v) Governor of Central Bank;
(vi) Deputy Chief of Staff to the President; and
(vii) Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
 
Resulting from the deliberations of this and subsequent meetings, the approval referred to in the House Committee’s Report was, in fact, based on a request raised by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a facilitator of the National Food Security Programme, vide a letter dated May 25, 2017.
 
As explained in the said letter, there was an immediate need to distribute grains, including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Programme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves.
 
It was in consequence of the Federal Government decision to urgently purchase the stored grains for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons that the CBN made the proposal for approval of 30,905.08 Metric Tonnes at N5,229,685,333.26. Of that amount, the then Acting President eventually approved N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs. This was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.
 
NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding & packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media & publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.
 
These presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President, who needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected States and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about them. The approvals were duly communicated by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Central Bank, Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Finance for implementation.
 
On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, the House Committee’s assumption that the ordinary rules of procurement would apply was wrong. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.
 
It is also wrong to assume that taxes and interests accruable to the government from these transactions in food items were deliberately ignored or waived by neglect. Of course, we expect that any loans advanced to any of the companies would be recovered with the agreed interests and that any profits made by such companies would be liable to tax in the usual manner.
 
The suggestion that the grains were never delivered to the target States is also a blatant falsehood. In actual fact, in order to ensure effective distribution of the grains, an Emergency Food Intervention Project Team was established, consisting of the Director General of NEMA and representatives of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Department of State Security, Nigeria Police and the Presidency.
 
The Committee also worked with respective State Emergency Management Agencies, as well as humanitarian agencies such as World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Deliveries were publicly made directly to the intended beneficiaries.
 
In fact, the then Acting President personally inspected the electronic truck-tracking unit established in Maiduguri for the purpose of monitoring the transportation and flagged off the food distribution on the 8th of June, 2017. Besides, there was the integration of a robust monitoring and evaluation system into the operation in order to facilitate a transparent and accountable process.
 
Therefore, all insinuations on this matter regarding purported indictments and perceived violations of due process or the constitution are baseless and totally false. Such interpretations are flawed and should be utterly ignored.
 
Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President
Office of the Vice President
9th November 2018."

Eating Local Food Can Help Prevent Diseases - Nigeria Experts

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Eating Local Food Can Help Prevent Diseases
Nigerian delicacies
 
A Consultant in Reproductive Endocrinology, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, urged Nigerians to cultivate the habit of eating local foods to prevent diseases such as diabetes.
 
Ashiru, who the Chief Executive Officer of a Lagos-based Detoxification Clinic, Mart-Life Detox Clinic, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Tuesday in Lagos .
 
The consultant spoke against the background of the World Diabetes Day, WDD, marked annually on Nov. 14 with the 2018 theme entitled, “The Family and Diabetes“.

“When we were growing up, what were the staple foods? We had garri in the form of `eba` and the ones we made to drink; `ogi`, which is pap; eko,  also made from corn.

“There is plantain of different types, beans, okra, ewedu and all these were our staple foods from generations.

“What have we done? We have replaced them with processed foods and junks; most children are now consuming some of these processed foods of which some of them are 100 per cent gluten..

“Most Africans are gluten intolerant; it is of very little nutritional value and danger to our environment.

“Also, we eat wheat products instead of cassava; we can make bread from cassava and tiger nuts; we can do a lot by making tiger nut milk, palm kernel milk, and coconut milk.

“Every single product of our local foods is healthy; we are looking outward instead of inward and those westernised foods are causing several damages to our health,“ he said.
 
The consultant said that there had been quite a lot of research carried out and publications on our local foods.
 
According to him, the result of the research , on local foods, have shown to provide nutritional value and help fight diseases in our environment.
 
“Of great use is bitter leaf; it is one of the most powerful medicinal foods we have in Nigeria and possibly Africa.
 
“It is very good for the inner function of our system.
 
“People who have problems with kidney disorders, it helps to reduce the creatinine (a product in the blood system that shows kidney function) level.
 
“In developed countries, they have now processed bitter leaf into capsules. Meanwhile, we do not know in Africa.

“It is nice to eat bitter leaf, even if it is just once in a week.
 
“Also, `Ogbono soup` which is known to be anti-oxidant-any antioxidant will prevent the buildup of free radicals which can lead to so many disorders, including cancer.
 
“We also have bitter kola which is good for the gall bladder. “
 
He said that diabetes was preventable just by watching what people ate.
 
According to him, the way forward to achieving a healthy lifestyle is through education on what people should eat.
 
“A large number of people can control diabetes just by diet.”
 
NAN

80% Of NAFDAC's Equipment Not Working - DG

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80% Of NAFDAC's Equipment Not Working - DG

The Director- General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control , Prof Mojisola Adeyeye , has said that 80 per cent of the equipment belonging to the agency has not been working.
 
Adeyeye made the statement on Monday in Lagos while receiving members of the Senate Committee on Health who were on a tour of federal health institutions in the state.
 
She said , “80 per cent of our equipment is no longer working and that is a major challenge to deliver on our mandate . The last time , the World Health Organisation visited our laboratory in Yaba , they scored us zero”
 
The NAFDAC DG also complained that the agency was understaffed and awaiting the approval of the Head of Service of the Federation to recruit more personnel.
 
On the debt profile of the agency, Adeyeye said she met a debt of N 3.2 bn when she assumed office , but she was able to reduce it to N 400 m .
 
The Vice - Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, urged the NAFDAC boss to jettison the idea of procurring buses manufactured abroad and patronise locally made vehicles in order to help grow the economy .
 
The Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuosho, commended Adeyeye for her efforts in revamping the agency .
 
Tejuosho, however, told the DG to prioritise the needs of the agency and present them to the Ministry of Health so that it would reflect in the 2019 budget.
 
The committee also visited on-going projects at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital , Idi - Araba , the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta , Federal Neuro- Psychiatrist Hospital, Yaba and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi .
 
Speaking with journalists at the end of the exercise, Tejuosho said the general observation in all the places the team visited was the problem of funding and prompt release of fund to the hospitals .
 
“Most of them have only received about 10 per cent of their 2018 capital budget , which makes it difficult for us to blame them for lack of performance. We cannot expect them to do a lot with only 10 per cent of the fund they need for the whole year .

“We chose the institutions that we visited today because they are the institution our people need to reverse medical tourism. Like the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Igbobi , they must be given special attention. This is because once you have an orthopeadic case , it is very difficult to be flown abroad until you are stabilised,” Tejuosho said.
 
He also promised that his committee would ensure the improvement of the budget appropriation for the hospitals , as well as appeal to the Federal Government to make enough funds available to the health sector.

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