A leading sports betting and digital entertainment company, BetKing, reiterated on Tuesday its commitment to strengthening corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs for the growth and development of the country. The company also launched its betking mobile lite app, which allows its customers to stay on top of betting odds.Gossy Ukanwoke, CEO of BetKing, had this to say during a press conference in Lagos, marking the brand's fourth anniversary.Ukanwoke said the company will remain committed to CSR initiatives that will enhance the country's growth and development.He listed BetKing's CSR focus areas such as business and commercial support, youth training and education, as well as sports.“Playing in Nigeria for the last four years has been rewarding for our customers, who are our main focus and we are proud of that.“We are still waiting for one of our lucky fans to win the third car. We also live up to our commitment to corporate social responsibility.“We reached many communities during the first wave of the pandemic and we intend to continue reaching as many communities as possible.Ukanwoke also wished the Nigerian Super Eagles success in the upcoming World Cup play-off against the Ghana Black Stars.Also speaking, Dare Kafar, head of marketing, told the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) that the Super Eagles' quest to qualify for the World Cup will give customers the chance to win multiple prizes."We have a lot of giveaways for our customers and the goal is for everyone to be a winner, so our chances are good," Kafar said.BetKing Director Tony Pinheiro (SAN) praised the company's customers and employees for making the brand a household name.“I am proud of our brand and what we have achieved in four years, impacting the lives of our customers."We are a brand aware of our CSR and we intend to continue putting smiles on faces," said Pinheiro.Likewise, Oladapo Olasope, chief financial officer of BetKing, said that the company is committed to guaranteeing its transparency.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Tuesday said that 18 ships had arrived the Lagos Port Complex and were discharging petrol and other items.
It listed the items being discharged as bulk wheat, general cargo, frozen fish, container, automobile gasoline, pet coke, and petrol.
The authority said that 26 other ships expected to arrive the port from Sept. 6 to 21 were carrying bulk wheat, general cargo, frozen fish, bulk sugar, bulk salt, automobile gasoline, bulk gypsum, butane gas, petrol and containers.
It indicated that one other ship had arrived the port and was waiting to berth with petrol.
The wife of Taraba governor, Dr Anna Ishaku, has enjoined Jalingo Local Government Area chairman to provide skills training for the youth in the area.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony on Tuesday in Jalingo, Ishaku said that providing skills training for the youth would reduce restiveness.
She said that partnering with non-governmental organisation, such as Hope Afresh Foundation, would also help local government areas to achieve a lot in the area of skills training.
“Hope Foundation had partnered with past local government administrations and the gesture had massively empowered youths who were subsequently self- employed,’’ she said.
She further expressed her determination to continue collaborating with the Jalingo Local Government Area through Hope Afresh Foundation to achieve the desired goal.
Earlier, the chairman of the local government, Alhaji Hassan Jauro, pledged to provide skills training to the youth to end insecurity in the area.
He pledged to sustain the partnership with the Hope Afresh Foundation in the area of youth empowerment.
“With youth empowerment programmes, criminal activities and other social vices would get away,’’ he said .
The chairman, however, described the award presented to Mrs Ishaku as deserving honour in recognition of her support to the family planning programmes in the state.
The Kano State Hisbah Board has restated commitment to work with Federation of Muslims Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) towards building decent and crime free society.
The Commander-General of the Board, Dr Harun Ibn-Sina stated this in a statement by Lawan Ibrahim-Fagge, Public Relations Officer of the Board, on Tuesday in Kano. Ibn-Sina made the pledged when the National President (Amirah) of the association, Hajiya Rafi’at Sani paid him a courtesy visit in Kano. Represented by the Director-General of the Board, Alhaji Abdullahi Balarabe, the director said such collaboration was imperative to enable the board discharge its mandate towards achieving positive result in the fight against moral decadence.
He urged the association to expand the scope of its intervention in the area of education, health and sensitisation activities to rural women, in view of the role they play in shaping moral attitude and discipline in the society.
Earlier, Sani lauded the board for its campaign against immorality and vices as well as promoting good social virtues among youth and women in the state.
According to Sani, the association focuses at the promotion and protection of the interest of Muslim faithfuls, and thanked the board and people of the state for their support.
Sani urged the board not to relent in its efforts to enforce compliance with the ban on sales, circulation and consumption of alcoholic drinks in the state.
She also commended the executive members of the association for putting up effective leadership qualities which enhance effective running of its affairs in the state.
An NGO, Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), Nigeria, on Tuesday, launched its electronic Performance Monitoring System (PMS) to ensure speedy trial of detainees in the country.
Programme Manager, NULAI-Nigeria, Mr Mahmud Yusuf said the electronic PMS and Training Manual was for FCT Magistrates’ Courts and the Department of Return of Cases and Archives.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project, which began in 2018, was supported by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.
S. States Department.
Speaking at the launch, Yusuf decried that many inmates were still in detention due to manual collation of court cases.
“We found out that the reason for such delays in administration of justice was that in most of the cases the court had moved; the Presiding Judge had been elevated or deceased or there was an issue with the court so you had that backlog of cases that were not assigned a return date.
“We are monitoring the performance of judges not on the way they adjudicate cases but on the way they discharge and fast track the cases.
“In 2020, over 180 cases did not have returning dates at the Kuje Custodial Centre.
We submitted a list of these places to the then chief judge of the FCT.
“We thought that how could we address this issue.
That was where we came up with the idea of a system that will help in tracking the assignment and then monitor the case so that we don’t have cases lost within the system like we had the 180 cases.
” Yusuf further said that PMS was a technological innovation aimed at building the capacity of the Nigerian Correctional Service to have a digital structure and provide assistance for legal representation.
“In the area of legal representation, we have partners in Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Baze University, University of Abuja and Nile University where students helped in interviewing persons under detention in Kuje and Keffi correctional centres.
“These students give us the reports and we engage lawyers to provide pro bono services,” he said.
The programme manager also said that the pilot project was in seven magistrate districts in the FCT, including Kuje, Bwari and Gwagwalada Area Councils, adding that with time, it would be expanded to other states.
Launching the project, Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Husseini Yusuf who was represented by Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, said the project would help provide solutions to some of the problems faced by magistrates.
“Today, we are indeed making history by launching our first ever PMS to revolutionise the administration of justice for optimum efficiency.
“This innovation bears an eloquent statement of our unflinching commitment as a court to continually prioritise deployment of technology as judicial aid.
“This is to enhance greater efficiency in the administration of justice by helping to provide solutions to complex problems that were previously handled manually.
“I have no doubt therefore that this performance management system will support the courts to facilitate monitoring and tracking of assignment of cases.
He said it would also assist to identify and resolve gaps and obstacles to timely trial, particularly in scheduling of court dates.
Director, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.
S. States Department, Mr Jason Smith said they supported the project for people to have access to justice.
Smith said the bureau had been supporting the strengthening of the justice system in Nigeria and wanted everyone to have access to justice, especially the criminal justice system.
On her part, Chief Registrar, FCT High Court, Hadiza Mohammed, said the project would help in achieving efficiency in courts.
She commended the U.
S. for spearheading and sponsoring the project, adding that it would help in the FCT judicial system.
A law firm, has written a petition to the EFCC and ICPC alleging embezzlement and misappropriation of funds against the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme.
Professor Ikpeme has, however, dismissed the petition as “arrant nonsense’’.
“I have a copy of the petition.
I have seen it.
The content is total rubbish,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar on Tuesday.
In the petition deposed to by one Mr Nelson Louisa, the law firm also accused Ikpeme of nepotism and ethnic bias in recruitment, appointment and promotion at the teaching hospital.
It enjoined the anti-graft agencies to invite members of the hospital’s management board for proper clarification on various contracts executed by the Ikpeme administration.
The petitioner alleged also that Ikpeme was deliberately withholding payments due to contractors, and that he was involved in multiple awards of same contracts and over-invoicing.
The petitioner cited many cases, one of which was the award of contract on the construction of a one-kilometre road within the hospital.
He stated but that the length of the road was not up to half a kilometre.
“He re-awarded the same contract to a different construction company for N158 million whereas the road had been previously cleared and graded by a different contractor during the administration of his predecessor, the petitioner wrote.
In his reaction, Prof. Ikpeme said he was prepared to defend himself as he was not involved in any of the allegations listed against him by the law firm.
The visa facilitation agreement between the European Union (EU) and Russia could be suspended as early as next Monday, the union’s Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Tuesday.
“This suspension means Russian citizens will no longer enjoy privileged access to the EU, for example, for tourist and leisure purposes,” Johansson said in Brussels.
EU’s foreign ministers endorsed going back to stricter rules for Schengen visas for Russian citizens at a meeting last week.
A visa issued by any Schengen country grants access to all 26 members of the passport-free zone.
Johansson said EU countries could formally sign off the measure before the end of the week, allowing stricter rules to come into force as early as next Monday.
Should the visa facilitation agreement be suspended, Russian tourists will face longer waiting times for their visas and will have to pay a processing fee of 80 euros (79 dollars) instead of 35 euros.
Visas valid for multiple entries will be restricted too, Johansson said.
The move is another punitive measure by the EU in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The visa agreement between the EU and Russia has been in place since 2007. Shortly after the invasion, EU countries already suspended visa facilitations for businessmen, government officials and diplomats.
Johansson also announced on Tuesday guidelines for issuing new visas once the facilitations are fully lifted.
These should ensure that “journalists, dissidents, human rights activists, students and people that travel for family reasons” could still travel to the Schengen area, Johansson said.
A Clinical Pathologist, Dr Wale Olusanya, has advocated the establishment of more laboratories, equipped with modern and effective cancer diagnostic equipment to check incidences of cancer in the country.
Olusanya, who is the Centre Manager of Bola Tinubu Health and Diagnostic Centre (BTHDC), made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that data from the Global Cancer Observatory shows that cancer is a major health challenge in the country, causing an estimated 78,899 deaths in 2020 and about 124,815 new cases diagnosed yearly.
He, however, added that more laboratory screening tests with appropriate devices could offer reliable results for prompt diagnoses, which could save lives and reduce patient’s hospitalisation.
The pathologist said accurate data from cancer screening could assist doctors to detect malignant cells before they spread to other parts of the body.
According to him, tests can reveal significant abnormalities in different body organs and help in monitoring the progression of cancerous cells for proper management.
He explained that a combination of imaging tests such as CT scan, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) would assist in the early detection of tumors, inflammation and other signs of cancer, especially in patients that are at a high risk.
He said “cancer treatment is more effective in the early stages.
This is the reason why we need to bridge the gap in screening by establishing more laboratories that have modern equipment.
“We have the expertise and relevant diagnostic tools that use modern technology in screening.
This aligns with our mission of enhancing patient care and safety.
“Our partnership with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has helped doctors to detect latent cancers at an early stage.
“This helps them in properly managing the disease and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.
“For cancer survivors, these screening procedures help in identifying untreated cells and reoccurrences.
” Olusanya also said that the BTHDC was planning more partnerships to support hospitals in the treatment of cancer.
He added that to provide continued support to patients, BTHDC had been working with stakeholders to understand the challenges in cancer diagnosis.
The collaboration would assist to meet the needs of providing accurate data that would aid diagnosis and treatment for better outcomes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the BTHDC is a public-private partnership project between LASUTH and the PPC Healthcare, a leading innovative healthcare solutions provider.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank (AfDB) said it’s fund, the African Development Fund (ADF), would introduce a Climate Action Window to mobilise between four billion dollars to 13 billion dollars for climate adaptation for ADF countries.
In a statement from the AfDB on Tuesday, Adesina said this at the Africa Climate Adaptation Summit which took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Monday.
The ADF countries are Benin, Burkina Faso. Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger and Rwanda.
Others are Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritania, Sao Tome & Principe, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Zambia and Nigeria.
The AfDB president said the fund mobilised would be used to support 20 million farmers with access to climate resilient agricultural technologies, 20 million farmers and pastoralists access to weather-indexed crop insurance.
He added it would revive one million hectares of degraded land, and provide renewable energy for about 9.5 million people.
He, however, stressed the need for financing to tackle the challenge of climate change in Africa and called on developed countries to provide the 100-billion-dollar annual climate finance as commitments made to developing countries.
“The African Development Fund’s 16th replenishment now presents such a unique opportunity!
Never have the stakes been so high for Africa’s low income and fragile states that depend on the ADF.
“Nine of the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change in the world are in sub-Sahara Africa and all of them are ADF countries.
Yet, ADF countries do not have access to global climate finance.
“Commitments made by developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars annually in climate finance for developing countries are long overdue.
Africa can no longer wait.
“This is the time to support the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme.
This is the time to support ADF 16th replenishment.
This is the time to support the Climate Action Window of ADF-16.” Adesina stated that Africa received only three per cent of global climate financing, adding that if the trend continued, the continent’s climate financing gap would reach 100 billion dollars to 127 billion dollars per year through 2030. “The current climate financing architecture is not meeting the needs of Africa.
New estimates by the African Economic Outlook of the AfDB shows that Africa will need between 1.3 and 1.6 trillion dollars between 2020-2030, or 118 billion dollars to 145 billion dollars annually.
This will enable the continent to implement its commitments to the Paris Agreement and its nationally determined contributions.
“The African Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAA-P) is Africa’s own programme, supported by African Heads of State, to mobilise more resources for climate change, to advance the objectives of the African Adaptation Initiative.
” He further said the bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation were mobilising 25 billion dollars for the programme, to which the AfDB had committed 12.5 billion dollars.
He explained that the AAA-P had an upstream facility at the GCA and a downstream facility at the bank.
“The upstream facility, which needs capitalisation of 250 million dollars, will help to mainstream solutions on climate adaptation.
“The downstream facility at the bank, to be capitalised at 1.75 billion dollars, will help leverage additional adaptation finance by a factor of four times, to deliver seven billion dollars of additional adaptation finance.
“GCA and the AfDB are already showing very good results on the AAA-P.
The AAA-P upstream facility at the GCA has helped to generate three billion dollars of mainstreamed climate adaptation investments by the bank, from agriculture, to energy, transport, water, and sanitation.
” He thanked the UK for its delivery on the promise of GBP 20 million for the upstream facility at the GCA, which had been fully disbursed, adding that the bank would fulfill its commitment in mobilising 12.5 billion dollars.
The ADF was established in 1972 and became operational in 1974 as a separate legal international organisation part of the bank.
The fund is supported by 32 donors, including the bank, who replenish the fund every three years.
The international development partner country officials (deputies) of the ADF and the senior management of the AfDB would meet in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss the fund’s 16th replenishment (ADF-16) from Sept. 15 to 17.
As the nationwide strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) persists, private universities in Lagos have shared their experiences on students’ enrolment for the new academic session.
Recall that the union had, on Feb. 14, embarked on a one-month strike, making several demands on the Federal Government.
The union had gone on strike to protest the non-implementation of an agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2009. It said the Federal Government had failed to release the revitalisation funds for public universities and refused to allow the use of the University Transparency Accountability System (UTAS) for their payment.
The striking lecturers want the UTAS for the payment of their salaries and allowances, rather than the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) used by the Federal Government in paying its workers.
They are also unhappy with the inability of government to produce the white paper report on the visitation panel to universities, among other issues.
ASUU rolled over the one-month strike several times until its National Executive Committee (NEC), on Aug. 29, resolved to turn it to a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.
It claimed that despite dialogue with the Federal Government, most of the demands of the union still remained unattended to.
Dr Elvis Otobo, Deputy Director, Public Relations and Marketing, Caleb University Imota in Ikorodu, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the now indefinite strike was worrisome.
On how the strike had impacted enrolment in the private university, he told NAN that over the years, the institution had been recording considerable enrolment.
He said that this was in line with its mandate of teaching, research and community service.
“I will say that the whole issue about strike in the public universities is unfortunate.
“However, we have been on top of our game in terms of deliberate upgrade of infrastructure, moral and academic excellence.
“Coming to enrolment, I will say yes, there is an increase, but I really will not want to attribute that solely the the prolonged ASUU strike.
“We have built capacity, developed infrastructure and have been holding our own not just in Nigeria, but globally.
“Right now, I may not be able to give you the statistics of enrolment, but I think it is quite commendable,” Otobo said.
Mr Samuel Ighalo, Strategy and Communications, Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos, on his par, said they had over 100 prospective applicants already and were eagerly waiting for them to begin.
Ighalo said that admission for the new session just started last month and the applicants so far received were across all programmes, while admission was still ongoing.
“The programmes include law, nursing, architecture, medical lab science, public health and environmental management, and toxicology.
“About 160 applicants applied last session, while this year, 100 have applied so far, with admission still ongoing.
“Our new session will kick off this September ending, but generally, the strike is also helping us to get new applicants,” he said.
Efforts to get the enrolment pattern in other private universities in the state were unsuccessful.
NAN reports that fees in public universities are generally low, when compared to that of private ones.
Meanwhile, the state-owned Lagos State University(LASU), Ojo, on Monday matriculated 6,377 students for the 20212022 Academic Session.
Two other newly-created state-owned universities, Lagos State University of Science and Technology, and the State University of Education are also unaffected by the strike.
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, in Abuja, met with Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors of federal universities toward ending the protracted ASUU strike, which is nearing seven months.
At the end of the meeting, the Federal Government again set up a 14-man committee to look into the grey areas of the ASUU demands.
Mr Ben Goong, the Spokesperson of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu disclosed this at a press conference at the end of the meeting.
“After enormous two-hours deliberations, the meeting constituted a committee made up of four Pro-Chancellors, five Vice Chancellors and others, to be chaired by the minister of education to further look at the grey areas ASUU is demanding, particularly the areas where there has been no consensus.
“As I speak to you, that committee is meeting and they will proceed to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the outcome of the deliberations of that committee.
“Two basic areas that the committee will be looking at is the ‘no work no pay’ issue and the issue of remuneration of university lecturers,” he said.
On the demand of ASUU to use the UTAS, Goong explained that it was not part of the areas under consideration as government had already set up a committee to fine-tune the two payment platforms including the existing IPPIS.
He said that in few days’ time, the committee would conclude and thereafter meet with President Muhammad Buhari Meanwhile, students affected by the strike in public universities have also continued to lament the unending industrial action by the lecturers and deadlock in talks with government.
Olaseun Ajiboye,100 level Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), said he barely started her first year in school when the disruption started.
He said it was not a good feeling, being at home without knowing when they would resume.
Ajiboye said that he waited for two years before getting the admission and ASUU and federal government decided to add more to the years of waiting.
“This isn’t the best position to be in at all, because, no classes or school activities, and I feel like I’m missing out on university life,” he said.
Olalekan Amusan, 400 level student of Mechanical Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH),Ogbomoso, appealed to ASUU to reconsider the students’ delay in education advancements.
“My friends in private universities have left me behind ,we might even stay longer in schooI because we do not know when the strike will be over,” he said Adedoyin Ishola, 400 level student of Philosophy,Federal University of Technology Akure(FUTA) said the indefinite ASUU strike was depressing.
Ishola said that she was in her final year, about to defend her project, when the union announced the strike.
“ASUU turned my four years to seven years, when I’m not studying medicine; I am currently learning graphics designing.
“I pray God will touch both ASUU and Federal Government’s hearts,” she said.