The Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal announced on Monday that it quadrupled the amount to 108 million euros (around 120.2 million U.S. dollars) offered to companies that modified their production to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This measure was taken, according to the ministry, to encourage the production of materials considered essential to control the novel coronavirus, such as visors, masks and alcohol gel.
“The non-repayable support of Portugal 2020 regional operational programs was extended to 108 million euros, aimed at companies that converted their production to respond to the challenges of the pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.
Investments were made through the Norte 2020, Centro 2020, Lisbon 2020, Alentejo 2020 and CRESC Algarve programs, which are part of an incentive system for productive innovation and finance around 440 projects.
According to official data, so far contracts have been signed with 195 production initiatives, which allocated 40 million euros (around 44.5 million dollars) from European funds, including the Portugal 2020 program (PT 2020), a partnership between Portugal and the European Commission.
In addition, a program to support scientific research in the fight against the pandemic was launched, which is projected to invest 13 million euros (nearly 14.5 million), of which 3 million euros (around 3.3 million U.S. dollars) have already been allocated to 18 research projects.
Portugal has reported a total of 32,700 cases and 1,424 deaths from COVID-19, with 14 new deaths and 200 more cases recorded over the last 24 hours, the health authorities said.
Ligue 1: Mbappe shines as PSG hit top gear against Nice
France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Mbappe, who missed the opening three games after contracting the coronavirus, fired PSG ahead with a 38th-minute penalty.
He also had a big part in Angel Di Maria’s strike before Marquinhos headed home the third in the second half.
PSG made a sluggish start to their campaign as they lost the opening two matches and eked out a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday but they tore Nice apart with sublime skill and crisp one-touch passing.
Mbappe blasted his spot-kick into the roof of the net after he was fouled by Khephren Thuram and Nice goalkeeper Waller Benitez could only parry the forward’s crisp low shot for Di Maria to sweep home the rebound.
The visitors missed a string of chances in the second half with striker Mauro Icardi hitting the post, before Marquinhos added the third with a glancing header from a Di Maria cross.
Ander Herrera also hit the woodwork with a deflected shot in the first half while the home side were denied by acrobatic goalkeeping from Keylor Navas.
The result lifted PSG to seventh place on six points from four games, with Nice slipping to 10th also on six points.
In Sunday’s other stand-out fixtures, second-placed St Etienne, who have a maximum nine points from three games, visit 14th-placed Nantes and Olympique Marseille in eighth are at home to fourth-placed Lille.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Peter Ejiofor)
NIDO-Ghana plans webinar to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Ghana chapter, said on Saturday that it would organise a webinar as part of events to celebrate Nigeria’s sixtieth independence anniversary.
Mr Elija Iposu, Public Relations Officer of NIDO-Ghana, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Iposu said the event would be organised by NIDO-Ghana in collaboration with a Ghana-based private firm, Diplomats Extra and Milestone Communications.
According to him, the webinar, which will hold on Oct. 2, is a virtual ceremony with Zoom ID: 742450910 and the title: ’60 years of Ghana-Nigeria diplomacy’.
Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, former Director-General Institute of International Affairs, and Amb. Bulus Lolo, former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria are among high-ranking personalities expected to participate in the event.
Some other expected guests are Mr Oluwaseyi Adeyemi, Publisher, Inside Watch Africa Magazine, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, UN Senior Mediation Advisor, Prof. Baflour Agyeman-Duah, former UN Special Governance Advisor and Affail Monney, President Ghana Journalists Association.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 16, unveiled the logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary celebration.
He said that the celebration would be observed for a whole year, to end on Sept. 30, 2021 and would be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms
The Lagos State Government on Saturday permitted the reopening of cinemas and gyms, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the 18th update on the management of coronavirus in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that in October, the state government would announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy.
”Dear Lagosians, henceforth, cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
”This means that there must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day.
”Next month, October, we will announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy: night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and so on.
”For now, these will continue to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October 2020,” he said.
Accordings to him, places of worship are also permitted, while the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; the churches are permitted to resume their mid-week services.
”We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.
”All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was committed to continuing the maintenance of a balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.
He said that the state would continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activities must never be taken as an excuse to let down the guard against the pandemic.
According to him, some parts of the world are seeing a resurgence of infections, and rising possibilities of the kind of hard lockdowns being experienced a few months ago.
”Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable.
”The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitisers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi
Liverpool sign Portugal winger Jota from Wolves
Liverpool have completed the signing of Portugal forward Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a long term contract, the English Premier League (EPL) champions said on Saturday.
Liverpool’s versatile 18-year-old defender Ki-Jana Hoever moved in the other direction on a five-year contract.
He played four senior games for the Anfield club following his arrival from Ajax Amsterdam in 2018.
British media reported that Liverpool agreed a five-year deal worth about 41 million pounds for Jota.
It is expected that his versatility and work rate should fit in well with manager Juergen Klopp’s hard-pressing style of play.
“It’s just a really exciting moment for me and my family,” Jota told Liverpool’s website.
“All of my path since I was a kid and now, to join a club like Liverpool —— the world champions —— is just unbelievable. I just want to get started.”
The 23-year-old Jota was left out of Wolves’ League Cup defeat by Stoke City on Thursday and was an unused substitute in their 2-0 league win over Sheffield United last weekend.
Initially arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid in 2017, Jota has scored 16 goals and provided six assists for Wolves in the Premier League over the last three seasons.
“I think I’m a team player,” Jota said. “I play upfront and my job is to find a way to score goals and to provide assists and that’s what they can expect from me…I’ll always try to help the team in the best way possible.”
Jota is Liverpool’s third signing of the close season following the arrival of Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)