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Nigeria U-23 Team Threatens to Boycott Q’final Match Over Allowances

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Nigeria’s quest to win tomorrow’s quarter final match against Denmark has suffered a major set back as players threatened to boycott the match unless their outstanding allowances are paid in Brazil.

Reports on Thursday indicate that the team skipped training in Salvador to further butteress their stand against the authority.

The country was in similar situation at the last World Cup finals in Brazil two years ago when the Super Eagles players boycotted trainning session before the crucial second round match against France insisting on collecting their share of FIFA wind fall after qualification to play at the mundial.

The U-23 team arrived Salvador in good time yesterday but chose to skip training and now left with only today to perfect their match plan for tomorrow’s tie against Denmark at *pm Nigerian time.

The team are now ready to make history for the wrong reasons by staying away from the match against Denmark unless their remaining monies are paid.

According to AfricanFootball.com competent sources disclosed that “the players said that their level of patriotism has already dwindled because of the way they have been treated by the government officials prior to the Olympic Games.

“Now they said they won’t step out to train until the remaining balance of their training and camp allowances are paid.

“Not only that, they have threatened not to play the quarter-final against Denmark on Saturday until all the monies owed them are paid.

“As we speak now, the only money that the players have received was the $150 dollars per day for 11 days, while there are more than that 11 days still to be paid and no extra money was received for the matches played so far”, the source also disclosed.

The coach Samson Siasia-led team have already been overtaken by drama and controversies in the last few weeks, from the players stopping their coach from quitting his post to the team being stranded for several days at their training base in Atlanta, Georgia.

In yet another fresh scandal, Chelsea star Mikel Obi has had to shell out $4,000 to ensure the Nigeria Olympic team caught their flight to Salvador after the hotel in Sao Paulo held the entire team to ransom over the bills incurred by additional officials.

Organisers have insisted on a team of 25 players, made up of 18 players and seven officials, and even sports minister Solomon Dalung has ordered this rule be strictly adhered to.

An impeccable source close to the team revealed that it took the intervention of the Chelsea star, who is also the team captain, who paid over $4, 0000 before the players and officials of the team were allowed to leave the hotel.

According to the source this time around it was the responsibility of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to settle the hotel bills of the extra five officials.
“We just arrived Salvador now (5.20pm Nigerian time) from Sao Paolo. We nearly missed our flight because of unpaid bills in the hotel. The hotel held us to ransom,” a team official told AfricanFootball.com

“The problem is that all the additional officials here in Brazil are the responsibility of the Nigeria Football Federation, who said they will pay for them, but they did not pay for them again.

“The affected officials included the team’s media officer, the team coordinator, the kits manager in charge of players and officials’ kits and the accompanying assistant director technical.

“A call was put across to the honourable minister of youths and sports, he said we should put the bill in the (credit) card but the card didn’t work. They tried and tried but the minister said that only 18 players and seven officials should be captured as regards payment according to the rules of the Olympic Games.

“So, the hotel bills of these other officials, about five of them cost the sum of over $4,000. They held us hostage for more than one hour and we nearly missed our flight. It was Mikel (Obi) who rescued us by paying the money.

“I can tell you honestly speaking that this incident is not the fault of the minister because the minister listed the people to be accommodated which were 18 players and seven officials”, the source disclosed last night.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Kenya Partners Private Sector and Development Partners to Outline Roadmap towards Achieving Energy Efficiency Goals

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Barclays Plaza, Kenya

The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) today launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS or The Strategy) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.

The Strategy was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, SMEs and public institutions on behalf of MoE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13 billion (USD 152.8 Million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.

The Strategy now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country achieve a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.

Through the adoption of The Strategy, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, The Strategy will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behavior that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.

The Strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025: Households, Power Utilities, Transport, Buildings and Industry & Agriculture. Under the Households Sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realized by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves. In the Utilities Sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23 to 15 % .The Strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5 Billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures. Further, in the Transport Sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116,000 to 150,000 per day are proposes. Similarly, the Building Sector has six targets while the Industry & Agriculture Sector has two.

Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilize resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualization of the Strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This Strategy, therefore, calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.

Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

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Nigerians Say No to Fuel, Electricity Hike, Stage Protest

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Nigerians Protest Increase in Fuel and Electricity Prices

Following the decision of the Federal Government to increase fuel price and raise electricity tariff after increasing Value Added Tax (VAT) by 50 percent, Nigerians have taken to the street of Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, to protest the persistent increase in prices despite low earnings and global pandemic that have rendered most Nigerians jobless.

This is coming a day after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the nation’s inflation rate increased by 13.22 percent in the month of August.

The protesters called the government’s recent hikes despite the negative impacts of COVID19 and surged in the unemployment rate to over 27 percent an anti-people policy and therefore demanded a revised policy.

The protesters, who gathered at the Ojuelegba area of Lagos, said while nations are injecting funds into their economies to ease the effect of COVID-19 on their citizens, Buhari led government is compounding Nigerians suffering amid insecurities.

Experts have blamed the decision to raise prices on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. According to economic experts, the two multilateral financial institutions do not loan nations fund without forcing them to adopt their policy.

They identified some of the policies directed Buhari to implement as the unification of the foreign exchange market, Electricity tariff increase and subsidy removal even though Nigeria’s macro fundamentals are presently weak with foreign revenue falling with weak oil price and plunge in demand for the commodity.

 

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NLC Cautions National Assembly Against Resurrecting Water Bill

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Nigeria Labour Congress

NLC Warns National Assembly Against Bringing Back Water Bill

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the National Assembly leadership against passing the Water Resources Bill into law.

This was disclosed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement released in Abuja on Monday, titled, ‘Do not ambush Nigerians.’

It would be recalled that in 2018, there was outrage over the bill when the eighth National Assembly was divided over it.

But on July 23, 2020, the bill resurfaced at the National Assembly as the House of Representatives referred it to a “committee of the whole,” for third reading and passage.

Last week Thursday, Prof Wole Soyinka, a playwright and social critic; and organisations such as the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Middle Belt Forum, also warned the Federal Government and the National Assembly against resurrecting the bill.

Wabba in the statement said that the nation is already facing a lot of challenges, saying it would be costly to cause fresh and unnecessary controversy.

He said, “Information in the public domain has it that the National Assembly leadership is working surreptitiously with vested interests outside the assembly to pass the bill without due legislative process.

“Although the National Assembly is constitutionally vested with law-making, we warn against the National Assembly ambushing Nigerians.

“We equally warn against legislative abuse or betrayal of Nigerians as this is what it will amount to if the bill is passed or caused to be passed without public engagement and scrutiny. Already, the sentiments expressed against this bill are too grave to be brushed off.”

Wabba, therefore advised that the bill should not be pass into law “because of the danger it portends to national unity.”

He said, “In the light of this, we state unambiguously that the National Assembly should listen to the voice of reason by resting this bill.

“As a pan-Nigerian organisation, we would continue to work assiduously for unity, development, justice and accountable leadership.”

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