Football

Sane Misses Out, Neuer Makes Germany World Cup Squad

Sane Misses Out, Neuer Makes Germany World Cup Squad

Leroy Sane was a surprise omission from Joachim Loew’s final Germany squad for the World Cup finals on Monday as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was named among the 23 players heading to Russia.

Neuer made the squad despite playing in just one official game, a friendly against Austria on Friday, since breaking a bone in his foot in September but talented 22-year-old Sane was the biggest name to miss out.

The Manchester City midfielder, goalkeeper Bernd Leno, forward Nils Petersen and defender Jonathan Tah were the four players that failed to make the cut.

Germany captain Neuer, who won the World Cup four years ago, will also be their first choice keeper for the tournament, ahead of designated number two Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp. Loew announced his squad at the end of a training camp at the Italian Alps.

The Germans play their last warm-up game against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on Friday before the start of the tournament on June 14. Germany are in Group F along with Sweden, Mexico and South Korea.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St Germain). Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich). Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal).

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Environment

World Environment Day: NESREA Holds Rally Against Plastic Pollution

World Environment Day: NESREA Holds Rally Against Plastic Pollution

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Southwest Zone, has appealed to residents of Ibadan to reduce the use of plastics to protect the environment.

The agency made the appeal at a rally to commemorate the 2018 World Environment Day (WED) on Monday.

The Zonal Director, Mr Adeleke Ajani, told the Newsmen that the rally was to create awareness and call people to action to protect the environment.

“Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental concerns facing us today and this has constituted a global problem.

“We are visiting parks, markets, roads and public institutions to raise awareness that everyone has a role to play in taking care of the environment.”

According to him, the use of plastic has become a serious challenge because of it is widespread.

“They are easily available, cheap and light and this has constituted a public menace because plastic pollutes the environment from the time they are manufactured till their final disposal.

“Improper disposal also poses a problem because we see our canals and water channels blocked by these polythene bags,” he said.

He also said the production of plastics involved emission of obnoxious gases, which posed serious health problems to the workers and the neighbourhood.

“Plastics can also be toxic and harmful to the human health. Many of these plastics also end up in rivers and oceans and thus endangering our aquatic life.

“Plastic debris consumed by fishes is also dangerous to humans because we also end up eating those fishes.

“That plastic is likely to find its way into the tissues of our bodies with potentially harmful consequences.

“It is important that we all understand the enormous responsibility of protecting the environment for future generations,” he said.

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Crime

Kanu Nwankwo Robbed Of $11,000 At Moscow Airport

Kanu Nwankwo Robbed Of $11,000 At Moscow Airport

Former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu had $11,000 (9,300 euros) stolen from his suitcase at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on his way to playing in a friendly match organised by FIFA, TASS reported.

Kanu Nwankwo Kanu, 41, who captained the Nigerian national team and played for Arsenal and Inter Milan, was robbed as he transferred to a flight to Kaliningrad at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after arriving from London, the state news agency reported Sunday.

TASS quoted Russian police as saying that they detained two baggage handlers who were unloading luggage from the London flight and stole the money from checked-in luggage.

“The stolen money has been confiscated and will shortly be returned to its owner,” police spokeswoman Irina Volk said.

Police confirmed to TASS that the luggage belonged to Kanu. Moscow and Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, will both host World Cup matches in a tournament that will see thousands of international fans travelling between the 11 host cities.

Starting Monday, fans with tickets can travel to Russia visa-free.

The first teams will also arrive in Russia this week.

Kanu played in Kaliningrad in a special “Relive the Legends” friendly match on Sunday as part of a team of FIFA Legends against a team of Russian veterans.

Kanu’s team won 6-4.

Sheremetyevo saw a similar crime in March when a baggage handler was arrested and admitted stealing 56,000 euros from a package belonging to a Moscow bank.

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Politics

Defection Of Omisore Won’t Affect PDP In Osun- Bello Adejare

Defection Of Omisore Won’t Affect PDP In Osun- Bello Adejare

Ahead September 22, gubernatorial election in Osun, the former Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Adejare Bello has said that the defection of Senator Iyiola Omisore to the Social Democratic Party, SDP, would not affect the fortune of PDP in Osun State.

Adejare Bello who served as minority leader of the State House of  Assembly for four years and in the capacity of Speaker of the House for eight uninterrupted years on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) made the assertion at Osun NUJ, Correspondents’ Chapel interactive programme ‘News Point’ in Osogbo.

The former Speaker who ran as Deputy governor to Senator Iyiola Omisore on the platform of PDP in the 2015 governorship election noted that the party would not want the experience of 2015 to repeat itself.

He alleged that his support for Hon. Soji Adagunodo as the party Chairman in the state was the origin of the crisis that saw to the exit of Omisore, saying the former deputy governor wanted the party’s structure “at all cost”.

According to the ex-legislator who served as Speaker in Aregbesola led Action Congress AC administration, Aregbesola really meant well for Osun State but he didn’t understand the terrain.

He posited that Aregbesola intend to develop the state in her hurry adding that He wanted to change everything within two years but “I told him that Osun is not like Lagos”.

“When he insisted, I thought there was an arrangement with Lagos State government to transfer a huge amount to develop Osun State, the outcome of his hasty action today is huge debt on the state”.

He said the state needs an experienced person like him to face the challenges in the state, saying he has worked closely with three governors including Aregbesola.

Commending Aregbesola for the sealing of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, he maintained that all agencies of the Federal government in the state must pay tax.

He however asserted that the successor of Governor Rauf Aregbesola may not be able to sleep with their two eyes closed with the huge debts owed by the state if care is not taken adding that the N143billion declared by the Governor was surprising.

Bella explained that the former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola approached the assembly when he was the Speaker to borrow N18.3billion which the project for the money was “clearly specified.

He noted that Oyinlola spent only N7billion before Aregbesola approached the assembly with an “unspecified project” and his proposal was treated to avoid been seeing as enemy of his government.

He insisted that he is the best candidate for the governor of Osun State for the long term experience he gathered adding that he had resided in Osun for the past Forty years uninterrupted.

The former Speaker however urged other aspirants not to allow aftermath of the primary in his party to disintegrate the party, assuring that he would face the billionaire aspirants in the party with his experience and win the primary election.

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Business

Manufacturers Kick As Alcohol, Tobacco Excise Duty Begins Monday

Manufacturers Kick As Alcohol, Tobacco Excise Duty Begins Monday

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have kicked against the implementation of the recently approved excise duty for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, which takes effect from today.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the amendment to the excise duty rates in March. According to MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, efforts to get government to rescind its decision was unsuccessful as the operators were asked to wait till government chooses to review the tariff.

“We are not happy with that answer as this is going to affect most of the companies that produce such items. Many of them are going to close shop. We cannot produce competitively as many will close shop except for those producing using under-hand tactics.

“We will continue to engage government to let them to see reason with us on this issue,” he added. For Nigerian Breweries Plc, the firm noted that measures are underway to assuage the impact of such increase, which will be transferred to consumers, by intensifying its cost-saving measures.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had said that the duty would reduce the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse. Organised labour also warned that over 20,000 jobs may be lost due to the increase in the excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

National President of National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Lateef Oyelekan, said employers in the industry have notified the union that they may have to downsize as the new tariff would impact on the cost of production.

A statement from the ministry of finance had said: “The Tariff Technical Committee (TCC) recommended the slight adjustment in the excise duty charges after cautious considerations of the government’s fiscal policy measures for 2018 and the reports of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Technical Assistance Mission on Nigeria’s fiscal policy. “The effect of the excise duty rates adjustment on trade and investment was also assessed by the federal ministry of trade and investment and it adopted the recommendations of the TTC.

“Furthermore, peer country comparisons were also carried out showing Nigeria as being behind the curve in the review of excise duty rates on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.”The minister had said under the new rates for tobacco, in addition to the 20 per cent ad-valorem rate, each stick of cigarette will attract one naira specific rate.She said by 2019, tobacco will attract two naira specific rate per stick while it will attract N2.90 kobo specific rate per stick by 2020.

Under the review, beer and stout will attract 0.30k per centilitre (Cl) in 2018 and 0.35k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020.Wines will attract N1.25k per Cl in 2018 and N1.50k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020; while N1.50k per Cl was approved for spirits in 2018, N1.75k per Cl in 2019 and N2 per Cl in 2020.

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Business

Fidelity Bank Will Capitalise On Opportunities To Increase Returns — Okonkwo

Fidelity Bank Will Capitalise On Opportunities To Increase Returns — Okonkwo

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, has assured shareholders that the bank will capitalize on growth opportunities in the Nigerian economy, to deliver better returns in 2018.

Speaking at the bank’s 30th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, Okonkwo said the bank would continue to focus on redesigning its systems and processes to enhance service delivery, just as it will deepen cost optimization initiatives to reduce operating expenses and cost-to-service.

While shedding light on the evolving dynamics in the financial services industry, Okonkwo noted that the bank will continue to increase the adoption and migration of customers to its digital platforms and increase its retail banking market share through the delivery of innovative products and services.

“We will enhance our robust electronic banking processes and products thereby deepening our hold on the retail and commercial markets, small and medium scale enterprises and niche corporate clientele” he stated.

Whilst business operations were challenged by limited foreign currency liquidity in the banking industry, low financing opportunities especially in the public sector space and high cost of business operations, Fidelity Bank delivered very strong results in 2017, a performance he attributed to balance sheet optimization and a focused execution of its medium-term strategies

“Clearly, our success in 2017 financial year has set a strong pedestal for sustained growth in revenue. We are optimistic about a favourable operating environment and we look forward to delivering decent set of numbers at the end of 2018 financial year” Okonkwo said.

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