NFF, Coca-Cola sign $4m partnership deal for national teams

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have announced soft drink giants Coca-Cola as official soft drink partners of all the country’s national team, reports.

The NFF made the announcement at the official signing ceremony held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday.

Present at the ceremony were NFF President Amaju Pinnick, NFF Vice President and Chairman, League Management Company (LMC) Mallam Shehu Dikko, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and top officials of Coca-Cola.

Also present at the ceremony were Super Falcons stars Asisat Oshoala, who was recently crowned 2017 Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year, and Onome Ebi.

The deal is worth $4 million and will run for five years.

The latest signing ceremony means Coca-Cola have now joined a growing list of sponsors to have gone into partnership with the NFF, including PayPorte, the online shopping outlet.

Soft drink giants Coca-Cola are making a comeback into Nigerian national team sponsorship after a 10-year break.


Niger gives free education to 175 out-of-school children

The Niger State Government on Wednesday said it had started sponsoring 175 out-of-school children in various public primary and secondary schools in Minna.

Mrs Mairam Kolo, the Director-General (DG) of the state’s Child Rights Protection Agency disclosed this in Niger, Minna.

Kolo said that the agency was collaborating with the state Ministry of Education to give free education and free uniforms to the children.

“The agency picked the children randomly from where they were begging and hawking in the streets.

“The aim of the agency is to protect the rights of children from being violated and ensure that they are in school.

“We send them to government schools for the public to know that public schools can produce great people.

“These children are being given the opportunity to acquire western education in an enabling environment instead of engaging in street begging and hawking.

“The government is also providing free meals in school,’’ she said.

Kolo said that the gesture was part of the government’s efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children as well as abolish street begging and hawking.

The director-general also appealed to parents to participate in the ongoing maternal new and child-born week and get free medical treatment being offered by the state Ministry of Health.

“The free medical treatment is for children and pregnant women. They are being given free drugs, mosquito nets and free immunisation against all forms of diseases.

“This free medical care is on going across the 25 local government areas of the state,’’ she said.

Kolo advised pregnant women and parents to visit Primary Health Care Centres nearest to them to access free medical services.


Kaduna investigates disappearance of day-old-baby at hospital

Kaduna State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, on Wednesday said investigation has commenced on the disappearance of a day-old-baby at Yusuf Dantsoho General Hospital, Kaduna.

The baby, whose parents were deaf and dumb, was allegedly stolen by a woman hours after delivery on Jan. 10.

Baba said her ministry was liaising with that of Health to unravel the circumstances that led to the disappearance of the baby.

“We are working to ensure that the baby is traced and returned to her mother.’’

“We are appealing to the ministry of health to thoroughly investigate all personnel on duty at the time.

“We are also involving the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps Child Protection Desk to conduct their investigations on the matter.

“This not the first this is happening at Yusuf Dantsoho, and this has given us a bad image as a government in the eyes of the public,’’ the commissioner added.

The mother of the baby, Salamatu Kabir, went through Cesarean section at the hospital and was recuperating when the baby girl was stolen.


2019: INEC seeks NURTW’s collaboration in Ebonyi

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi, on Wednesday sought collaboration of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), for easy movement of personnel and electoral materials.

Prof. Godswill Obioma, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi, who spoke at a meeting in Abakaliki with NURTW members, said the collaboration was necessary in order to ensure successful elections.

Obioma, who described NURTW as critical stakeholder, said effective collaboration with the union was needed to ensure successful movement of men and materials.

According to him, the meeting is convened to map out strategies and actions necessary for effective engagement of members of the union.

“The INEC in Abuja has directed states to carry out preparatory inventory of what the commission needs for smooth and successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.

“This meeting with the union aimed at boosting our partnership and collaboration is part of the preparatory inventory.

“The meeting will foster greater cooperation and commitment which will ensure that only those people who are trustworthy and credible will be engaged in the transportation services during the elections.

“There are 1782 poling units in Ebonyi, and the implication is that not fewer than 1782 sound vehicles will be needed to convey our men and materials to these voting areas.

“You can see why the union is very important and indeed a critical stakeholder in the electoral process.

“The commission must count on you to enhance timely and effective distribution of the electoral materials to the various poling units,” Obioma said.

He said that the commission would engage the officials of the 29 branches of the union operating in Ebonyi in similar interactive meeting.

The NURTW’s State Chairman, Mr Ewa Oko, who led other officials of the union to the meeting, commended the REC for the timely initiative.

He said that the meeting would assist both organisations to work out areas of common collaboration and cooperation as well as strengthen grey areas.

Oko said that the union has been supportive of the commission in previous elections and had always mobilised its members during elections.

“We are going to cooperate and collaborate with the commission to ensure that 2019 general elections become a huge success in Ebonyi in terms of transportation of materials and men to various polling units.

“If NURTW says yes; then you know that our yes is our yes. We have assured our support and cooperation to the commission for the success of the elections in Ebonyi and we hold on to it,” Ewa said.

He said that the union had launched operation ‘show your voter card’ explaining that members who were yet to register and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were not allowed to attend the union’s meetings.

“We in NURTW are taking the 2019 elections very seriously. We launched operation show your PVC which makes it compulsory for members to show their voter cards before they are allowed to sit in our meetings.

“If you don’ t have your voter card we send you out of our meeting ,because you are not a good citizen,” he added.

Newsmen report that the meeting inaugurated a seven – man INEC / NURTW transport joint sub-committee to work out modalities for effective engagement of the transporters.


Reps summon Education Minister over National HW budget

• Say we can reject the entire Education budget if…

Member of the House of Representatives Committee in Basic Education on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Education to appear before it tomorrow, Thursday to explain the unrealistic budget presentation on the proposed national headquarters of the ministry.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep Zakari Mohammed,APC, Kwara made this declaration during budget defence by officials of the ministry.

He told the officials to come back “tomorrow with your Minister to explain how the contract to complete your headquarters was jerked up from N38bn to N78bn.

“The last time we went on oversight function the whole place looked like a farm house.

The motion to summon the Minister was moved by Rep Israel Famurewa,APC, Osun and seconded by Rep Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, APC, Edo.

Details soon…

UNILAG to begin 50th convocation ceremonies Feb. 19

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) says it will begin its 50th convocation ceremonies for the 2016/2017 academic session on Feb. 19.

The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, disclosed this on the sidelines of the yearly interaction with newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

He however said the four-day convocation activities which would end on Feb. 22. would be slightly adjusted, and would be different from those of the past.

“This time, we will make a few changes and introduce a few items to make the ceremonies lively and memorable.

“For instance, the convocation venue will move from the usual multi-purpose hall known as Jelili Omotola Hall to the main auditorium known as Ade Ajayi Hall.

“But we will soon come up with a line-up of events to kick-start the convocation.

“The events normally begin with a convocation media briefing, followed by the convocation lecture, among others,’’ the vice-chancellor said.

Ogundipe explained that the university management would also ensure a rebranding of the institution, especially in the area of research, innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship.


Ondo ministry of information to partner USIA

Ondo State State Government says it is ready to partner with the United States Information Agency (USIA) for efficient service delivery and enhancement of strategic information gathering and management.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi made the revelation while playing host to a team from the agency on Wednesday in Akure.

Olowolabi said the State government led by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had introduced policies and programmes that would affect the lives of the people of the state positively.

The commissioner echoed the friendly and peaceful atmosphere enjoyed in the state as a result of the commitment of the government to make the state attractive to developing partners.

Olowolabi said the state was endowed with many tourist attractions which could be tapped into.

The leader of the delegation, Ms Darcy Zotter, who is the Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, said the team was in the state to learn more about Ondo State.

Zotter said the U. S. was willing to work with the state government and to exchange programmes and ideas for efficient service delivery.

The diplomat said that U. S. was ready to partner with the state government in culture and education, stressing that Ondo State people were known to be well educated and blessed with rich culture.

She commended the APC led government for ensuring peaceful atmosphere in the state.