Plateau Imposes Curfew On Communities Where 25 People Got Killed

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In the wake of the recent attacks and killings of residents in northern Plateau state in the last two weeks, the state government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on Bassa local government area where people were recently killed.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the government said the 6 pm to 6 am curfew follows the attack in the morning in Dong and Rafiki communities which led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.

The release, signed by the secretary to the Plateau state government, Rufu Bature, said the decision was to curtail further attacks.

The governor’s aide called on the affected communities to embrace peace, saying efforts were on to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the problem.

“Consequently, security agencies in area have been mandated to enforce the curfew.

“Law abiding citizens are advised go about their lawful businesses.

Plateau State has witnessed at least four attacks since President Buhari visited the state on Thursday, last week.

It was gathered that some yet-to-be identified armed men in the early hours of Tuesday also attacked and killed 25 people in Bassa.

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Messi Scores 100th Champions League Goal As Barca Eliminate Chelsea

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Lionel Messi scored his 100th Champions League goal as Barcelona defeated Chelsea 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament, 4-1 on aggregate.

Messi, back in the side after attending the birth of his third child in Argentina at the weekend, reached the landmark with his second goal of the night after 62 minutes at Camp Nou.

He had already put Barcelona ahead after just three minutes, beating Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at his near post with Ousmane Dembele adding the second on 20 minutes after being set up by Messi.

That tally capped Barca’s 3-0 win on the night, with the La Liga leaders advancing via a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

Messi and Ronaldo are now the only players with 100 Champions League goals, though the Barca star managed the feat in 123 matches — 14 fewer than the 137 games his Real Madrid counterpart needed to reach the threshold.

A closer look at the numbers shows Messi was decidedly more economical on his road to 100 goals, with the 30-year-old needing 1,758 fewer minutes and 266 fewer shots than Ronaldo.

But Messi still has work to do if he wants to catch Ronaldo as the competition’s all-time leading scorer, with the Portuguese star currently on 117 goals.

Meanwhile, Barcelona join Real Madrid, Sevilla, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus, Roma and Bayern Munich in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

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Daily Roundup: Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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France

Barcelona have had a deal in place for months to sign Antoine Griezmann. The La Liga leaders made their interest known and this is one of the reasons Atletico Madrid were not able to agree terms on a contract extension with the France international. (Le10sport)

Ousmane Dembele has three months to impress France manager Didier Deschamps and earn a place in his World Cup squad. Injuries have stalled his debut season in La Liga but a good finish to the campaign could see him land a place in the highly competitive squad. (L’Equipe)

Paris Saint-Germain want to bring Carlo Ancelotti back to the Parc Des Princes to replace the Unai Emery. The former Sevilla manager has disappointed in the French capital, failing to win the Champions League despite being provided with some of the best players in Europe. (L’Equipe)

Spain

Nike are willing to finance a deal to bring Neymar to Real Madrid as an incentive to get the La Liga side to ditch Adidas. Nike believe they hold all of the cards with the world’s most-expensive player being one of their clients. Real Madrid have the most followers in the world but receive just €40m per year from Adidas. The contract expires in 2020 and Nike are already putting together a package to secure the deal. (Marca)

Barcelona have announced an agreement to sign Arthur from Gremio. The midfielder will arrive for €30m with a potential €9m more in add-ons. However, he will not be arriving in Spain until January 2019. The La Liga champions-elect view the Brazilian as an alternative to signing Marco Verratti. (Marca)

Arthur’s arrival would force Barcelona to loan out one of their non-EU players with Yerry Mina the most likely to be sacrificed. Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho are both key players in Ernesto Valverde’s squad. (AS)

Italy

Chelsea are monitoring AC Milan’s Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as a potential replacement for Thibaut Courtois if the Belgian decides to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to hold an interest in the 19-year-old Italy international. (Corriere dello Sport)

Napoli are closing in on the signing of reported Everton target Lucas Torreira. The Sampdoria midfielder has been a standout performer in Serie A this season and Maurizio Sarri wants to add him to his squad. It is a move which could facilitate Jorginho to join Liverpool. (TuttoSport)

AC Milan are interested in signing Pepe Reina and Swansea midfielder Sung-Yueng Ki as they look to rebuild their squad on a budget this summer. The Rossoneri need to be shrewd and learn from the previous mistakes if they are to get back into the Champions League. (Calciomercato)

Liverpool target Alisson Becker could be set to remain in Italy, but Roma might not be able to keep hold of their prized asset. Napoli are interested in the 25-year-old with president Aurelio De Laurentiis believed to be “totally in love” with the shot-stopper. He is viewed as the perfect replacement for Milan-bound Reina. (Il Mattino)

Germany

Timo Werner has confirmed his intention to stay at RB Leipzig next season, amid interest from the Manchester clubs. “I still have a contract until 2020, I feel comfortable in Leipzig,” the 22-year-old said. (Kicker)

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BREAKING: SSANU, NASU, NAAT Call-Off Nationwide Strike

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The non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities have suspended their nationwide strike, which they embarked upon since December 4, 2017.

The non-teaching staff comprise of three main unions including: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT).

The three non-teaching staff unions under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) were on strike over the failure by government to implement the agreement signed by both parties in September 2017 as well as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the unions and government in February 2017.

However, the leadership of the three unions announced the suspension of the three month and 10 days old strike on Wednesday.

Trouble For Nigerian Universities As NAAT, NASU, SSANU Begin Indefinite Strike

The decision was announced by the Chairman of the JAC of the unions, Samson Ugwuoke, at a briefing in Abuja on earlier today.

Ugwuoke also noted that “based on extensive consultations with our various organs, we hereby announce the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by JAC with effect from today, March 14.”

He said members of the three unions have been directed to resume on March 15, 2018.

“We shall not hesitate to resume the strike if government reneges on the agreements reached or delays in any aspects,” he said.

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NUC Approves Zamfara University – Informs JAMB, TETFund And NYSC

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Monday, March 12, approved the Zamfara State University, Talata-Mafara, as the 47th state university and among 162 universities in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who announced the approval of the university in Abuja when Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, visited the NUC to present the strategic document for the establishment of the university, said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), TETFund and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) had been appropriately informed about the activities of the university, adding that the approval is for immediate effect.

The NUC chairman noted that before now, Zamfara was the last state in the country to establish a university.

“There are 161 universities in the country, 41 are owned by the federal government, 46 are owned by state government, 74 are privately owned but there is only one private university in the North West geo-political zone. There are 270 application for establishing more universities, hopefully two or three are from Kano and Kaduna,” he said.

“Every Nigerian will see the merit of long planning when the university becomes fully operational,” he said.

He commended the governor for setting aside N3billion for specific use in staff development, establishment fund and laboratory equipment.

According to him, this commitment is a good model that should be emulated by whoever wants to establish a university.

“I write on behalf of NUC that with effect from Monday, March 12, the Zamfara State University is approved as the 47th state university and also 162 universities in Nigeria.

“Zamfara is the last state to establish a university. But the establishment is apt when you will have to key into the reform programme the NUC is having now and will be of benefit to you.

“The NUC is looking at how we can be more effective in our regulation of all universities in Nigeria.”

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Ex-BBNaija Housemate, Ifu Ennada Blasts CDQ Over “One Night Stand” Comment (Watch Video)

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Ex-BBNaija housemate, Ifu Ennada has reacted to claims by Rapper CDQ that she is just a one night stand after being evicted from the reality TV show with strategic partner, LEO.

CDQ earlier reacted to Ifu’s claim on the show about giving him money when she was a teenager without getting anything in return. The rapper responded by referring to her as a one night stand.

According to Ifu, CDQ never saw her vagina, she called “ogun” the god of iron on him and addressed him as an asshole for making such comments about her.

Watch Video Below;

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Di Francesco: Montella And I Hoping To Meet In Final

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Eusebio Di Francesco says  he and Vincenzo Montella are hoping to meet in the final of the UCL, and hope to avoid each other in the quarterfinals.

Roma went through to the last-8 after a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk at home, saw them progress on away goal.

Sevilla on the other hand, stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford, to win 2-1, with Ben Yedder coming off the bench to score a quick brace.

Di Francesco and Montella were teammates at Roma, and the Roma coach has joked he would like to meet his friend in the final.

“I spoke to Vincenzo Montella a few days ago and we aim to meet in the final, this is why as friends we do not want to face each other at this stage of the competition,” he said.

“Joking aside, we have to dream and be ambitious. I am not interested about the team we will face. Now we have to think of taking in what we have done.”

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Land Use Charge Act: Lagos State And The Politics Of Taxation

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Land Use Charge Act: Lagos State And The Politics Of Taxation, By Reuben Abati

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The government of Lagos State seems to be currently in the eye of the storm over its introduction of a law, a property tax as it were, known as the Land Use Charge Act of 2018, which repeals a similar law of 2001, and consolidates ground rent, tenement rate, and neigbourhood development levy. The Land Use Charge is payable in respect of all real estate in the State. But it is probably the most controversial move that has been made by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration in Lagos, an administration that has so far enjoyed tremendous goodwill on account of its huge investment in infrastructure and human capital development in the last three years.

This piece was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Stakeholders have complained about the rate of increase (up to about 400 percent), the lack of adequate consultation and communication, and the impropriety of increasing taxation at a time of unmitigated economic hardship, even in the presence of multiple taxes, including the taxation of boreholes and alcoholic drinks. Real estate valuers and surveyors, as well as other stakeholders, including landlords and tenants, are asking the government to take another look at the law. Sooner or later, every government faces a baptism of fire. But where taxation is involved, the key issues are quality of governance, trust, transparency and accountability, communication and more importantly, strategy. These are the key areas for consideration with respect to the current controversy over the review of Land Use Charge in Lagos.

Ordinarily, however, nobody likes to pay taxes, and there is a historical and cultural context to this. The taxman is not often a popular member of the community. Wars and revolutions have been fought on account of the resistance to taxation. Many of the wars in the Southern part of Nigeria, particularly Yorubaland in the 18th and 19th centuries, were fought as a result of objections to what was known as “isakole” (ground rent to the sovereign), or owo asingba (service to chiefs and kings as a form of tribute), which were symbols of dominance over political authority and/or economic activities, creating a slave/master relationship among dominant/dominated groups.

The famous Aba women’s riot of 1929, was a protest against the draconian warrant chiefs introduced by the colonial administration, but it was even more significantly a rebellion against the direct taxation of market women. In the late 1940s, the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU), led by Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, also objected to the taxation of women in the Egba Division. For six months, over 10,000 Egba women challenged both the colonial authorities and the Alake of Egbaland, and insisted that they would not pay tax. In the end, the tax policy was suspended, the Alake had to abdicate the throne, and the women got up to four positions in the decision-making Native Authority.

Nor is Lagos new to anti-tax agitations. When the colonial authorities introduced electricity in Lagos in 1897, there was an attempt to ensure that this was paid for through indirect taxation, which was stoutly opposed by the people. Later, in 1907, the colonialists also proposed to provide a pipe borne water system for Lagos; the plan was to place a tax on houses to cover the cost. The African members of the Legislative council of the Lagos colony and Southern Protectorate, the traditional rulers and chiefs of Lagos and the people in general kicked against this proposed tax. They insisted they would rather drink water from rainfall or wells, rather than pay any tax.

When in 1908, the colonial authorities introduced a House Assessment Ordinance, the people of Lagos shut down all markets and marched on Government House. Women in Central Lagos also organised protests against the water rate. The battle was soon taken over by the educated elite who formed a group called the Lagos People’s Union (1908), led by John K. Randle, an Edinburgh-trained medical doctor.

Taxation tends to bring out the best and the worst in both people and governments. J.K. Randle, as he was known, the deputy governor of the colony at the time, wrote that he was an “agitator pure and simple…political disturbance was his main hobby in life.” The struggle over water rate in Lagos went on for more than 17 years and was responsible for the eventual collapse of the Lagos People’s Union and the deposition of Eleko Eshugbayi in 1925. Herbert Macaulay came on to the scene, and he championed the reinstatement of the king in 1931. The white cap chiefs of Lagos still insisted, all the same, that paying for water was against “the tradition of the people of Lagos.” The colonial authorities were unyielding. They cracked down on the people and soon introduced direct taxation, resulting in riots across the country.

In post-colonial Nigeria, the pattern of revulsion to taxation has not been different. Between 1968 and 1969, there was in the defunct Western region, a peasant farmers’ revolt, popularly known as the Agbekoya. This particular revolt, like all revolts may have been politically motivated, and it may have been a class revolt, but the trigger was the peasant farmers’ rejection of higher taxation. However, since independence in 1960, there have been attempts to review the taxation system in Nigeria, beginning with the Raisman Commission, and the enactment of the Tax Management Act, 1961, and the Companies Income Tax Act No 22 of 1961.

During the Second Republic (1979-1983), the Shagari administration established a Task Force on tax administration. In 1991, there was the Emmanuel Edozien study group on tax, in 1992 Sylvester Ugoh led another study group on indirect taxation, in 2002, yet another group was led by Professor Dotun Phillips, and in 2004 still another one was led by Seyi Bickersteth of KPMG, and in 2012 the Federal Government had another study group led by Mckinsey, an international consulting firm. In 2017, the Buhari administration introduced VAIDS, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration taxation programme, and a new National Tax Policy (NTP). Many Nigerians consider the VAIDS a joke.

Indeed, the objection to the new Land Use Charge in Lagos thus fits into a natural response pattern. But it is important to go beyond sentiments and understand the issues. To enjoy development, the people must be prepared to pay tax, the leaders must also be transparent and accountable, provide value and inspire trust. To ensure voluntary compliance, the people must not be made to see taxation as a form of punishment. At face value, the justifications provided by the Lagos State Government on paper and at a recent Town Hall Meeting with the governor seem convincing enough. To keep up with the current pace of economic development, population growth and volatile oil revenue, state governments in Nigeria are under pressure to look for additional sources of revenue beyond the Federal Government’s monthly allocation. This in itself is a good development.

Lagos, the fifth largest economy in Africa, with a population that would be far in excess of 35 million by 2030, faces special challenges. Infrastructure deficit in the State is currently estimated to be about $50 billion (N14.47 trillion). The State’s current revenue profile is therefore unsustainable. Oil revenue in general has proved unsustainable in Nigeria in real terms. The country’s tax ratio to GDP is also relatively one of the lowest in Africa. Tax compliance is similarly low, and the extant tax codes are at best outdated. The alternative in Lagos would be for the State to borrow, but with current interest rates, that would amount to mortgaging the financial future of the State. What the Ambode administration is proposing, in essence, is a far more efficient taxation system which brings more people into the tax net and which requires the people to make sacrifice in the overall interest of the public good. I don’t have a problem with that.

But where the problem lies is in the twin areas of strategy and communication. Whereas many Lagos residents have not actually seen a copy of the proposed law, their objection is based largely on the report that the law expressly imposes a 400 percent increase on land use charge, and the worst hit may probably be the organised private sector and owners of commercial buildings. In 1999, the Bola Tinubu administration in Lagos State had sought to reform the tax process in the State through the introduction of electronic payments. Internally Generated Revenue in Lagos State subsequently increased from N600 million in 1999, to N22 billion in 2015, and N34.1 billion in 2017.

Communication is important in tax administration. While it is natural for people to oppose any form of taxation, a tax system must be seen to be fair, just and equitable. The current resistance to taxation in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria – FCT, Anambra, Benue, Edo, Cross River – in part raises governance issues. Widespread reports about corruption, the lavish lifestyle of public officials, the high-handedness of tax officials and the reality of multiple taxation, make Nigerians, even in the face of rational arguments about the need to generate non-oil revenue, suspicious of any form of tax. In Lagos, the State House of Assembly held public hearings, but the story out there is that government has sneaked in the law, with increased charges on the public, without adequate notice or communication. But how much interest did Lagosians themselves show? Do they even know who their representatives are? Do the representatives brief the people on developments of this nature? Landlords are saying that when the effect of this indirect taxation is considered in absolute terms, they would be turned into tenants living in their own homes.

Tenants are protesting that the new charge will be passed on to them by landlords, and with inflation already at 15 percent, and the country’s macroeconomics in a fix, greater pressure and hardship will be invariably imposed on people and businesses. As presented, however, the Lagos State government seems to have anticipated these concerns and created opportunities for negotiation and voluntary compliance, but how many people are aware of this? In addition, the Land Use Charge is a progressive tax, not a flat tax, with in-built disaggregation to provide reliefs for aged owner-occupiers, pensioners, old buildings of 25 years and above, owners with proof of long occupation, non-profit organisations, places of religious worship/education, the physically challenged and registered educational institutions. Besides, more than 70 percent of the properties are valued under N10 million, equivalent to a land use charge of N5,000 annually.

Nonetheless, there are persons and landlords associations in Lagos already threatening to either go to court or organise street protests. The more incensed stakeholders are threatening to use their voters’ cards to remind Governor Ambode that he would need the people in the coming 2019 elections. In other words, the Land Use Charge could become the main decider of whether he gets a second term or not. When it comes to taxation, the electorate can indeed be vicious. Margaret Thatcher lost her position as prime minister, within her own party in the UK, 1989-1990, partly due to the crisis over a community charge, better known as poll tax, which made the conservatives unpopular.

Governor Ambode is on that score, quite a courageous man. He must be looking at the future of Lagos, and not the next election. But he needs not sacrifice his own political future. Whatever may have been done in Lagos since 1999, there is a lot more that can be done to improve the standard of living in the State. Nigerians like to protest but it is also important to realise that the days of dependence on oil revenue may soon be completely over. When the people pay tax, and they understand the justification for it, they are probably in a much better position to hold their leaders accountable.

I believe there are steps to be taken to improve the communication process on this issue and that may mean putting the implementation of the charge on hold for a while until various stakeholders have been conscientised to take ownership of the core messages about standardisation, efficiency and the need to prevent the culture of whimsical assessments by state tax officials. Landlords have to be assured that the proposed percentages are not absolute.

Government should also consider the possibility of a downward review of the percentages, allow instalmental or graduated payment, and reconsider the threatened penalty of up to 200 percent for defaulters. Tenants of commercial buildings also need to be protected from Shylock landlords who may hide under the law, to increase rent. The objection to multiple taxation should also be addressed; if the Land Use Charge is a consolidation of three other taxes, perhaps there are other taxes in the State that should be similarly reviewed to reduce the burden on the citizenry. The relevant revenue institutions in Lagos must also be strengthened and opportunities provided for seeking redress against rogue tax administration officials. There must also be guarantees for transparency in the preparation of a necessary data-base for the ownership of properties in the State.

With all the best intentions, any form of politicisation of the tax administration process is bound to be counter-productive. This must be avoided by all means.

Reuben Abati, a former presidential spokesperson, writes from Lagos.

This piece was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Gallas: My Chelsea Never Feared Barcelona

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Former Chelsea defender, William Gallas says his Chelsea did not fear Barcelona, as they believed they could match the Catalans.

The Blues played a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, and travel to Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Back in 2005, Chelsea lost the first leg 2-1, but won 5-4 on aggregate after winning at Camp Nou, Gallas was a member of that Chelsea team.

“At this time we were strong. When you play for a strong team, you don’t have to speak about your opponent,” Gallas told Goal. “We know, we knew there were really good. In the dressing room we didn’t talk about them and say ‘oh did you see Messi? He is really good.’

“Or ‘oh, I am a little bit worried for you because you are going to mark him, so be careful.’ No, no, because everybody knew what he had to do. At this time I was marking him and my team-mates knew I could do the job.

“I had all the information I needed from my manager [Jose Mourinho] and then I was focused to go on the pitch and do what I had to do. To be honest, I think I played maybe just two times against Lionel Messi, yes, he didn’t score but the first time he got injured after just 15 minutes in the Camp Nou.

“For me, it was very important for me to compete against Messi, to know if I was a good defender. At this time Messi was still young but everyone was talking about Lionel Messi. I had seen some video of him and I thought, ‘oh my god, I am going to mark him.’

“So I tried to find the best solution to mark him. That’s why for the first 15 minutes I was very close to him because I knew I had the space to compete with him. What I knew as well was if I left him to get the ball and to run at me, I would have been in trouble.

“That’s why the whole time I was very close to him. Unfortunately, he was injured after 15 minutes and I wanted to know that I could do it for 90 minutes. I played against him again with Arsenal but he was not playing in my area, so that’s why I didn’t have the opportunity to mark him.

“When I played for Chelsea, he was a right winger and I was a left back. When I played for Arsenal, I was a centre back and he was right winger. That’s why I didn’t have an opportunity to mark him. As a defender, when you play against players like him, you want to compete.

 

“You want to know if you are good enough to stop that kind of player. They can be Messi, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar.”

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Gallas: My Chelsea Never Feared Barcelona

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Former Chelsea defender, William Gallas says his Chelsea did not fear Barcelona, as they believed they could match the Catalans.

The Blues played a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, and travel to Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Back in 2005, Chelsea lost the first leg 2-1, but won 5-4 on aggregate after winning at Camp Nou, Gallas was a member of that Chelsea team.

“At this time we were strong. When you play for a strong team, you don’t have to speak about your opponent,” Gallas told Goal. “We know, we knew there were really good. In the dressing room we didn’t talk about them and say ‘oh did you see Messi? He is really good.’

“Or ‘oh, I am a little bit worried for you because you are going to mark him, so be careful.’ No, no, because everybody knew what he had to do. At this time I was marking him and my team-mates knew I could do the job.

“I had all the information I needed from my manager [Jose Mourinho] and then I was focused to go on the pitch and do what I had to do. To be honest, I think I played maybe just two times against Lionel Messi, yes, he didn’t score but the first time he got injured after just 15 minutes in the Camp Nou.

“For me, it was very important for me to compete against Messi, to know if I was a good defender. At this time Messi was still young but everyone was talking about Lionel Messi. I had seen some video of him and I thought, ‘oh my god, I am going to mark him.’

“So I tried to find the best solution to mark him. That’s why for the first 15 minutes I was very close to him because I knew I had the space to compete with him. What I knew as well was if I left him to get the ball and to run at me, I would have been in trouble.

“That’s why the whole time I was very close to him. Unfortunately, he was injured after 15 minutes and I wanted to know that I could do it for 90 minutes. I played against him again with Arsenal but he was not playing in my area, so that’s why I didn’t have the opportunity to mark him.

“When I played for Chelsea, he was a right winger and I was a left back. When I played for Arsenal, I was a centre back and he was right winger. That’s why I didn’t have an opportunity to mark him. As a defender, when you play against players like him, you want to compete.

 

“You want to know if you are good enough to stop that kind of player. They can be Messi, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar.”

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Fabregas: I Will Try To Frustrate Messi

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Cesc Fabregas has revealed he is out to frustrate the efforts of former teammate, Lionel Messi, when they face Barcelona on Wednesday.

Chelsea face Barcelona in the second leg of the last-16 UCL encounter, and are looking to progress after a 1-1 draw at home.

Should Fabregas play, he will find himself in the same space as Messi, and he hopes to be a stumbling block to him.

“If I am lucky enough to play, it’s true that we are positioned in nearby areas of the pitch, stopping him will be difficult but I will try to do everything possible so that he feels uncomfortable and can’t put together a perfect performance,” he told Marca.

“I see him as a rival who wants to win, and I want the same thing. We are in different teams and each player wants what is best for their own club. Obviously, you always have respect for each other.”

“It’s difficult as the Camp Nou is very big and you have to run a lot, but we’ll work together,” he said. “The key is to take advantage of our opportunities, we have to play our game but do damage when possible.

“I’ve never trained tactically as much as I have at Chelsea and it shows on the pitch. It’s demanding but we end up benefitting from it.”

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Fabregas: I Will Try To Frustrate Messi

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Cesc Fabregas has revealed he is out to frustrate the efforts of former teammate, Lionel Messi, when they face Barcelona on Wednesday.

Chelsea face Barcelona in the second leg of the last-16 UCL encounter, and are looking to progress after a 1-1 draw at home.

Should Fabregas play, he will find himself in the same space as Messi, and he hopes to be a stumbling block to him.

“If I am lucky enough to play, it’s true that we are positioned in nearby areas of the pitch, stopping him will be difficult but I will try to do everything possible so that he feels uncomfortable and can’t put together a perfect performance,” he told Marca.

“I see him as a rival who wants to win, and I want the same thing. We are in different teams and each player wants what is best for their own club. Obviously, you always have respect for each other.”

“It’s difficult as the Camp Nou is very big and you have to run a lot, but we’ll work together,” he said. “The key is to take advantage of our opportunities, we have to play our game but do damage when possible.

“I’ve never trained tactically as much as I have at Chelsea and it shows on the pitch. It’s demanding but we end up benefitting from it.”

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#BBNaija 2018 Day 44: The Diary sessions

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Big brother took out time to catch up with the #bbnaija Housemates and did some reflection on their Wager loss as well as cooking duties in the House.

We all know Biggie likes to add a bit of spice, while also provoking thought among the #bbnaija Housemates. As such, one of his questions on the night was “who is the worst cook in the House?”

While most of the #bbnaija Housemates said Teddy A and Nina, the flip side of this discussion resulted in Rico Swavey being crowned the King of the Big Brother kitchen with literally every single Housemate applauding his skills.

Some of the #bbnaija housemates however thought Tobi also had poor cooking skills, but the general consensus was that Teddy A and Nina were bad cooks with some making mention of the fact that Nina usually added more salt than was necessary to her meals.

As we have almost gotten to the halfway mark in the #bbnaija house and the remaining Housemates happened to have lost their Wager, Biggie posed an interesting question, asking “What would you ask for if you could ask for anything for the rest of your stay in the House?”

From Nina’s request for a phone so she could call her family and her boyfriend (Which raised a few eyebrows) to Teddy A wishing for an instrument and some studio time, the requests really got the #bbnaija Housemates thinking about life outside the House.

It is evident that Alex is still not feeling good at all after Leo’s Eviction from the #bbnaija House, she told Biggie she is still unhappy and she thinks about him all the time. She is truly caught p but she appeared to have improved as she tried her best to focus on the Nokia Task in an apparently less cheerful manner.

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Nigeria Gives 330,000 Rice Farmers N43.92 Billion

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The federal government has released about N43.92 billion (122 million dollars) to 300,000 rice farmers to increase Nigeria’s rice production by additional two million tonnes in 2018.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Al-Hassan, stated this in New York at Nigeria’s side event during the ongoing 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

The theme of the event was: “Achieving Economic Empowerment: Addressing women peace and security issues as a pathway for socioeconomic Independence for rural women in Nigeria”.

Mrs. Al-Hassan said: “The Agricultural Transformation Agenda is aimed at strengthening the agricultural value chain, achieving a hunger-free nation, accelerating food and nutritional security, generating employment and growing wealth for millions of farmers.

“The current Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government has released over 122 million dollars to farmers through 13 participating institutions.

“This is to spur the production of additional two million tonnes of rice in 2018 by 300,000 Rice Farmers, majority of whom are women in rural areas”.

She said the Muhammadu Buhari-led government was determined to meet the objectives of poverty eradication and the empowerment of rural women and girls for sustainable development, inherent in Agenda 2030.

According to her, the Nigerian government has taken rigorous steps to initiate and strengthen policies, institutional frameworks, systems and mechanisms aimed at achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

She said some of the implementable strategies were designed to harness the socio-economic potentials of Nigeria’s 83.3 million female population.

Mrs. Al-Hassan said the development and launch of Economic Growth and Recovery Plan gave prominence to the inclusion and empowerment of women in the rural areas and linked national development strategies to Agenda 2030 in an integrated, multi-sectoral and multifaceted manner.

On Girl-Child education, she said government was implementing with more vigour a universal basic education programme strategically directed at enhancing girl child education at the grass root level.

She said the implementation of the N-Power job Creation and Youth Employment Programme, which targetted gainful and sustainable employment for 500,000 graduates and 100,000 non-graduates, had taken off successfully in the country.

“Consequently 200,000 N-Power graduates have been successfully deployed to serve in local communities in the country with another batch of 300,000 graduate volunteers already pre-selected,” she said.

Mrs. Al-Hassan said additional 10,000 artisans were being trained in the construction and automobile sub-sectors in close collaboration with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria and the National Automotive Design and Development Council.

She said government was implementing the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, aimed at providing one million poor and vulnerable households with N5,000 monthly cash transfers to the “care givers of households”.

“As at December 2017, over 622,649 identified poor and vulnerable households have been enlisted in the programme with over 439,859 captured in the National Social Register from 233 local government areas across 23 states.

“Of these figures, 293,973 caregivers from 9,567 communities have been paid, with over 25,000 beneficiaries already accessing requisite skills through trained community facilitators.

“The Home Grown School Feeding programme, also part of the social investment programme is designed to provide one nutritious meal a day to 5.5 million school children, including girls in classes one to three of public primary schools is progressing.

“By December 2017, over six million pupils are being fed daily nationwide. The programme has trickled down financial incentives to local farmers and cooks, who are mostly women,” the minister said.

She said the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and the National Women Empowerment Fund, also under the government’s Social Investment Programme, were designed to provide 1.66 million dollars micro credit, lending to businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid.

NAN

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#BBNaija 2018 Day 44: Every Housemate To Himself

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Big brother gave the #bbnaija Housemates a lot to swallow on day 44 and a numnet of them like some of us were shocked at how much biggie was willing to push them.

The highlight of the day was Nina absorbing all the luck and taking the most important victory, the coveted Head of the #bbnaija House. This obviously came as a surprise and the Housemates’ facial expressions gave them away.

There is no easy way to tell whether their high fives and chest bumps were genuine; if their unspoken ‘congratulations you made it’ to Nina was real or they just followed tradition.

This was because even after she had survived the first eviction, all the #bbnaija housemates seemed to be all out of respect and therefore couldn’t give her any and they thought that she drew her strength from Miracle,but all that seems to have changed.

Biggie introduced more twists and turns that left the #bbnaija Housemates feeling disoriented. The long awaited and obviously overdue dissolving of pairs finally happened and while this called for celebrations for some of the #bbnaija Housemates, the dynamics won’t necessarily be all rosy and comfortable for the others because they seemed to have invested too much of themselves in the pairs.

The diary session were almost like a contemplation of the Nominations and revealed whether the #bbnaija Housemates up for Eviction are confident in their new found freedom.

While the Nominations varied as per protocol, they were more strategic than anything else. Even though Anto threw us off and said that she’d Nominated Alex because she found her too immature for the 25 Million Naira win. It appears that the real games have begun and only the strong has a chamce of surviving. looks like age plays a huge role the House.

Later, Miracle and Tobi started a table tennis game in the Dressing Room, using the table as a board. Miracle won the game and they all went to bed. Surprisingly, Cee-C woke up and joined Teddy A in the Dressing Room, Alex also joined them where they all exchanged tips on how to grow a bigger bum.

Teddy A left the girls in the Dressing Room while they continued their conversation about their personalities. For the first time, they actually listened to each other speak.

Miracle and Nina had a late night conversation about their disagreement. Miracle said Nina, like most ladies, gets angry about irrelevant things.

He kept hushing her whenever she tried to interrupt him but they eventually reached an agreement when she thanked him for his correction and said she’ll work on her aggression and give him feedback before taking everything with a smile like she normally does.

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Lassa Fever Outbreak Kills 3 Persons In Ekiti

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The Government of Ekiti State has uncovered fresh cases of Lassa fever, which has claimed the lives of three persons.

The victims were a patient who tested positive to the disease, and two others who had contact with the deceased.

Death Toll In Lassa Fever Outbreak In Nigeria Rises To 110

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rotimi Ojo, who addressed reporters on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, said five of the eight suspected cases tested negative while one was uncertain and the last one pending at press time last night.

The Commissioner, however, stressed that there was no cause for alarm, noting that the state government was taking proactive steps in surveillance activities that would involve all residents due to some recorded cases and deaths in neighbouring states.

Ojo assured that the State Disease Control team had been activated, while the process of sensitising the people with jingles, adverts and other communication media were ongoing.

Lassa Fever And Why You Need To Take It Seriously (Must Read)

He said similar actions taken during the 2016 outbreak were successful, adding that the epidemic was controlled and the identified patient, who was properly managed, survived.

According to him, the three isolation centres at Ido Federal Teaching Hospital in Ido-Ekiti; Oba Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado-Ekiti and the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital in Ado-Ekiti were still operational.

The commissioner urged stakeholders, including health practitioners, teachers, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as community and opinion leaders, to join hands with the state government to prevent the spread of the disease.

He advised the people to avoid self-medication and keeping sick people at home.

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Lagos Denies Increasing Fees For Vehicle Particulars, Number Plate

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The Lagos State government has debunked reports making the rounds that it had increased the cost of processing motor vehicle particulars and application for number plates.

The state government insisted that the rates remained the same across the state.

This disclosure was made in a statement issued on Tuesday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan.

He said the rumoured increase is being peddled by mischief makers who want to take advantage of the situation with the reviewed land use charge.

According to him, the clarification became necessary in response to inquiries by members of the public who were worried about the rumours of increase in charges relating to vehicle administration.

Bamigbetan, therefore, asked anyone with evidence of increase in motor registration rates from any of the official Centres managed by the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Authority (MVAA) to report to the agency or the Ministry of Transportation.

He said: “Although, the cost of maintaining the roads and expanding infrastructures which ease the operations of vehicles is enormous, the Lagos State Government shall continue to bear the burden of keeping the roads motorable and safe for all users.”

Bamigbetan further said “some mischief makers were desperately exploiting the challenges posed to the government by the new Land Use Charge Law which seeks to raise more money for the provision of public infrastructures for the benefit of all, to misinform the public.”

The state government recently reviewed land use charge in a bid to increase internally generated revenue.

The action was not accepted by some residents of the state with the Nigerian Bar Association leading a protest on Tuesday.

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VIDEO: Lami Phillips – So Amazing ft. Tiwa Savage

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Alterplate First Lady, Lami Phillips drops visuals for her new single, SO AMAZING featuring Marvin Records’ Tiwa Savage.

The song is a soul lifting composition that borders on self-love, while ignoring the noise from the world, and looking within to find inner peace and strength in the knowledge that you are SO AMAZING!

The video which was shot by celebrated video director extraordinaire, Clarence Peters is nothing short of class.

Watch, like, comment, and share

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VIDEO: Lami Phillips – So Amazing ft. Tiwa Savage

Featured Image

Alterplate First Lady, Lami Phillips drops visuals for her new single, SO AMAZING featuring Marvin Records’ Tiwa Savage.

The song is a soul lifting composition that borders on self-love, while ignoring the noise from the world, and looking within to find inner peace and strength in the knowledge that you are SO AMAZING!

The video which was shot by celebrated video director extraordinaire, Clarence Peters is nothing short of class.

Watch, like, comment, and share

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NAFDAC Intercepts 33 Containers Of Tramadol, Talks Tough On Drug Abuse

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The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has disclosed that its operatives intercepted and seized 33 containers of Tramadol which were being conveyed to a yet-to-be-ascertained location in Nigeria.

The disclosure was made by the NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Christiana Adeyeye, in Abuja while speaking at the National Chemical Security Training Conference.

She also noted that operatives also seized three trucks filled with Tramadol at the Apapa Ports in Lagos State.

The chemical conference was jointly organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Chemical Security Programme.

The NAFDAC DG said that an emergency should be declared over the abuse of drugs by youths and children in the country.

Adeyeye said, “We have to declare an emergency because of our youths and children who are abusing hard drugs. As I speak, we have about 33 containers of Tramadol that we intercepted. Those are the ones we could see. Some have exited the ports.

“We have a big problem in the country and we have to declare an emergency because of our youths and children who are abusing drugs and families being disintegrated.

“About five weeks ago, NAFDAC intercepted a 40-feet container of Tramadol and two trucks exiting the Apapa ports. We were told that these vehicles were heading for Yola and the eventual destination may be the Sambisa Forest.

“How can a young girl agree to have bombs tie around her, if not that her mind has been stolen through drugs? So, we have a problem to tackle. With the 33 containers, it means that some other containers are yet to be identified. We also have a problem with our porous borders.”

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

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  • Everton are weighing up a summer move for Arsenal star Jack Wilshere.
  • Tottenham’s Harry Winks is sweating over his World Cup place as an ankle injury persists. The FA’s medical department spoke to Tottenham on Tuesday as England and Spurs sweat on the results of a scan.
  • England’s possible World Cup boycott could derail Greg Clarke’s plan to host the 2030 tournament.
  • Harry Kane is facing weeks out and could be missing until May after suffering an ankle injury.
  • West Brom are set to keep Alan Pardew in charge until July in order to save money on sacking him.
  • Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has laid down the gauntlet to Eden Hazard ahead of their clash with Barcelona.
  • Liverpool’s Mo Salah trolled Manchester United with a tweet that said ‘the UCL draw can’t come soon enough’.
  • Harry Kane could be out of action for at least a month and miss Tottenham’s crucial clash with Chelsea.
  • Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son is locked in a battle with South Korea over mandatory military service.
  • PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis has issued a grovelling apology for carrying a gun onto a pitch in Greece.
  • Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is considering playing Olivier Giroud in an all-out attacking line-up at Barcelona.

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