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Children’s Day: Society Must Ensure Children Attain Full Potential, Says Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday joined other well-meaning citizens to congratulate Nigerian children on the occasion of Children’s Day.

In a message released by his media office in Abuja, Atiku said it was incumbent the society to ensure that they (children) attain their full potential in life.

The former Vice President expressed regrets and disappointments that efforts to make life easy and better for the children were yielding abysmal results.

This, he noted, has not been helped by the ongoing global pandemic ravaging the world, and which has caused many schools to be partially or completely shut down as the world struggles to curtail the spread and find a cure to the deadly coronavirus disease otherwise, known as Covid-19.

The former Vice President recalled a report released in March 2021, by Save the Children Network, which stated that: “children across the world have lost an average of one-third (74 days) of education each due to school closure and lack of access to remote learning” and also corroborated by UNESCO findings, which concluded: “close to half the world’s students are out of school worldwide due to partial or full school closures linked to the coronavirus pandemic”.

According to Atiku, these are not good or encouraging statistics, but reckoned, it is a reminder that a lot of work is needed in this direction to mitigate both the immediate and long-term adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic on education in all facets but most importantly, those of children.

The Waziri of Adamawa went further to say that education is the bedrock of any society, and the pandemic is a wake-up call on administrators and leaders at all levels to do more, by putting in place infrastructure, and making available learning materials in institutions of learning.

The former Vice President noted that the onus is on leaders to create a safe environment for the little ones and it is the duty of parents to inculcate in children good behavior and instill in them, high moral values.

The Waziri of Adamawa concluded by congratulating the children on this memorable day set aside to celebrate them, urging them to be good ambassadors of their parents and country wherever they may be, and wishing them success in their chosen careers and future endeavors.

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U.S. Facilitates $28M Scholarship For Nigerian Students in 1 year – U.S. Ambassador

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Mary Beth Leonard US Ambassador to Nigeria- Investors King

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, says her country has facilitated 28 million dollars scholarships for Nigerian students to study in U.S institutions in the last one year.

Leonard said this on Thursday at the commemoration of the Student Visa Day organised by the U.S Mission in Abuja.

She said that the scholarship process was facilitated by the Education U.S.A programme of the embassy which was keen on enabling Nigerian students to pursue their academics and a future in the U.S.

“We are proud to prioritize Nigeria’s scholars in our consular process, as we recognise the value their success holds for the country’s future. With over 13,700 students fulfilling their American education dreams, the United States welcomes more Nigerian students enrolled than ever before. Americans view university study as an investment in a professional future.

“And I’m pleased that our Education USA team has helped Nigerian students apply for and receive more than 28 million dollars in scholarships and other educational funding to pursue their future. We know from us over 8,000 education and exchange programme alumni in Nigeria, the tremendous community impact that results when these ambitious students return to apply their knowledge and skills.

“Here at the U.S. Embassy, we are proud of the diversity in American educational institutions. There are more than 8,000 Students and Exchange Visitor Programme-certified educational institutions in the United States,” Leonard said.

The envoy also noted that beyond studying in the U.S, the programme provides the opportunity for Nigerian students to meet with U.S citizens and other nationals which will help in strengthening bilateral ties.

She said that with more than one million students from 220 countries and territories, the United States hosts more international students than any other country in the world.

She revealed that Nigeria sent more students to the United States than any other country in Africa.

“Students at our universities exchange ideas not only with American students but with students from across the globe. The educational enrichment that these types of discussions provide is priceless.

“As students, you will hear ideas and personal stories from your classmates and professors that will challenge your views. And also expand your understanding of the world; your ideas and stories will do the same for those around you.,” she said.

According to her, by studying together in the same schools, Nigerians, Americans, and students from all other nationalities will not only understand each other better but also see how many common challenges we all face.

“Students can work together to creatively solve problems and build long-term professional collaborations, increasing our countries’ economic ties”, Leonard added.

She, therefore, congratulated the beneficiaries, who were present as she urged them to stay focused on their studies in other to make a meaningful impact in the country when they return.

Ms Malate Atajiri, an Education USA Adviser said the opportunities fund programme seeks to identify and support high achieving low-income students who otherwise will not have been able to navigate or finance the process.

Atajiri said that the programme helps to support aspiring students towards securing full scholarships from top colleges in the U.S.

“The programme finances the process right from the testing stage, their application fees and even paying for their flight tickets after they have secured the funding. This year, the opportunity funds programme in Abuja supported 50 students to secure 4 million dollars in scholarships at some of the most competitive colleges and institutions in North America.

“Since the programme started, we have placed over 320 students with full funding in the U.S the programme also has a strong ethos of giving back. Although we have many students who have done and continue to do great things, Education USA is committed to helping young Nigerians who are interested in studying in the U.S.

“We help students to navigate that process and help them realize their dreams of a U.S education,” Atajiri said.

Atajiri added that the Education USA had six centers in Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Calabar and Ibadan where aspiring students could visit to learn more and get more information on the programmes and processes. (NAN)

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Npower Batch C: 550,000 Applicants Shortlisted For Final Selection

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A total of 550,000 applicants have been shortlisted by the National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS), for stream 1 of the Batch C N-Power programme.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq announced this at a media briefing in Abuja.

The Minister stated that the 550,000 short-listed applicants are being individually contacted through the e-mail addresses provided by them.

”By the 3rd week of May 2021, over 1.8 million Nigerians successfully updated their records and took the compulsory online test.

“Further screening was undertaken and a short-list of 550,000 applicants qualified for the final selection. 500,000 will be finally selected nationwide to serve as the first stream of the N-Power Batch C programme. This is the Batch C1. The second batch of another 500,000 will subsequently be made in line with Mr President’s directive to engage 1,000,000 beneficiaries under the Batch C,” the Minister said.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development launched the National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS) on March 11, 2021, for the Batch C applicants who were requested to urgently update their personal information and subsequently take an online test through the NASIMS Portal.

Home-Grown school feeding programme

In a related development, the Minister also announced the resumption of the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme where a total of 9,196,823 pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools will receive one nutritious meal daily in all 54,619 schools nationwide.

The programme, according to the Minister is being expanded to accommodate an additional five million children in line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The outcome of this programme includes an increase in school enrolment, improved nutrition for benefiting pupils, boosting of local economies and facilitating job creation through the activities of 103,028 cooks, 100,000 smallholder farmers and numerous aggregators and commodity transporters engaged nationwide”.

Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq also revealed plans to onboard the second Batch of beneficiaries under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which is nearing completion and will be made public soon.

She also reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to the continued implementation of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), in line with Mr President’s policy to unfailingly lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, through innovative Youth Empowerment and Gainful Employment.

“As part of the NSIP, the Rapid Response Register (RRR) has been put in place by the Ministry as a shock responsive intervention register specifically targeted at the Urban Informal workers impacted by the Covid 19 Pandemic. One million beneficiaries will receive monthly cash transfers of N5,000 for 6 months. A pilot commenced earlier this year with 3,115 beneficiaries in Lagos and Abuja. It will be upscaled nationwide and beneficiaries will start receiving their stipends soon,” Umar Farouq said.

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Connor McGregor Racked up $180M in 2021, More than Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or LeBron James

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Conor Mcgregor - Investors King

The world’s best athletes have plenty of opportunities to bank on their popularity. Besides lucrative sports contracts, most of them earn even more significant profits from heavy endorsement deals.

According to data presented by SafeBetting, Connor McGregor, as the highest-paid athlete in the world, racked up on and off-field earnings of around $180 million this year, more than Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or LeBron James.

McGregor Earned $158M in Endorsements, Three Times More than Cristiano Ronaldo

McGregor’s performance earnings came from his appearance at UFC 257 in January 2021, in which he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier in the second round. Despite the disappointing showing, the MMA fighter could still boost his income through various endorsements and sponsorship deals, including those with Reebok and Beats by Dre. His primary source of off-field income came through the sale of his whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits.

The Forbes data revealed that Conor McGregor earned $158 million in endorsements this year, three times more than Cristiano Ronaldo and double of LeBron James, as the athlete with the second-largest endorsement earnings globally.

As well as winning an incredible number of trophies, Lionel Messi tops the list of the highest-paid footballers. With $130 million in this year’s earnings, Argentinian footballer ranked as the second highest-paid athlete globally. Statistics show Messi has one of the two highest salary earnings, bringing him $97 million in 2021. Endorsement deals, including a lifetime sponsorship deal with Adidas, and deals with Pepsi, Lay’s, and Budweiser, brought him another $33 million this year.

The Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the third highest-paid athlete globally. His on-field earnings hit $70 million this year, $27 million less than Messi.

However, the famous footballer, who boasts five Champions League titles to his name, had off-field earnings of $50 million thanks to a lifetime deal with Nike and endorsements with DAZN, Electronic Arts, and Tag Heuer.

Three out of Ten Highest-Paid Athletes are Soccer Players

An American football player, Dak Prescot ranked fourth on the Forbs list of the highest-paid athletes globally. The Dallas Cowboys` quarterback earned $107.5 million in 2021, $73 million less than the first-ranked Collin McGregor. However, statistics show Prescot has the highest on-field earnings, bringing him $97 million this year.

Basketball superstar, LeBron James, rounds the top five list with $96.5 million in this year’s earnings. His endorsement deals make two-thirds of that value.

The Forbes data also revealed that three out of ten highest-paid athletes globally are soccer players. Football players took two spots on this list, the same as basketball players. MMA, auto racing, and tennis all have one athlete in the top ten list.

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