BREAKFAST NEWS 09-07-2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CRIES OUT OVER 37 BILLION NAIRA AIRLINE DEBT.
  • ON FOREIGN SCENE, ZUMA TO GET PAROLE FROM SOUTH AFRICAN PRISON.
  • ON SPORTS, UEFA LAUNCHES DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING AGAINST ENGLAND OVER FANS’ MISBEHAVIOR, OTHERS.

NIGERIA/AIRCRAFT

The first batch of A-29 super Tucano assault aircraft ordered by Nigeria from the United States has landed in the country.

Defence Files Nigeria, which covers protection force activities and hardware, made the disclosure through its verified social media platforms but no official statement has been released to that effect.

Manufacturers of the A-29 super Tucano aircraft had in May informed the national assembly that 10 out of the 12 aircraft were ready for delivery to the Nigerian Air Force, adding that the remaining two were undergoing modification and integration to NAF specific operational configuration.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had in March confirmed the July arrival date for six of the 12 A-29 super Tucanos, adding that 14 pilots were on training at moody air force base in Georgia.

FG/AIRLINES

The federal government has expressed concerns over a 37-billion naira debt owed by airlines.

The MINISTER of AVIATION, HADI SIRIKA, expressed this while fielding questions from journalists in ABUJA, decrying that the airline debt has accumulated for over thirteen years and contributes to the poor management of NIGERIA’S CIVIL AVIATION sector.

SIRIKA therefore promised that the federal government will, in line with current reforms, double down on such debtors.

He added that the government is in the process of intensifying plans towards the concessioning of international airports in the country by the early second quarter of 2022.

FG/GERMANY

The federal government has demanded a full and unconditional return of the one thousand, 130 Benin bronzes that were looted in the 19th century and domiciled in German museums.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the demand in Berlin, Germany, during separate meetings with the German Minister of state for Culture, Prof. Monika Grutters, and the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas.

Mohammed stressed that return of the looted artefacts should be whole rather than substantial, reiterating the need for the parties to commit to definite timelines for return of the Benin bronzes.

The minister added that the issue of provenance, which had to do with the place of origin of the artefacts, should not be allowed to unduly delay the repatriation of the art works.

BAYELSA/KILLINGS

Victims of extrajudicial killings against the police and other security operatives in Bayelsa state have been awarded the sum of 21 billion naira.

Chairman of the state judicial panel of inquiry on police brutality, Retired Justice Young Ogola, announced this while presenting recommendation report to Governor Douye Diri in Yenagoa, noting that the 21 billion naira was awarded for damages, including compensation to communities razed down by the Nigerian army.

Commenting, the state’s Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, lauded the panel’s verdict and as well hailed the committee for doing a thorough job.

The deputy governor assured that the Governor Diri-led administration would, within the limits of available resources and procedures, ensure the victims get reprieve.

GHANA/PROHIBITION LISTS

The federal government has been called upon to review the list banning importation of specific commodities into Nigeria.

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Bagbin, made the call while addressing members of the House of Representatives at plenary, presided over by its Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, in Abuja.

In his speech, Bagbin appealed to the Nigerian authorities to fine-tune the policy to align with contemporary international trade practices, pledging his parliament’s support to end the impasse between traders of both countries.

The Ghanaian Legislator however hinted that a seven-member committee has been appointed as his country’s delegation to the joint committee of eminent persons of both nations’ legislatures to ensure enactment of the Ghana-Nigeria friendship act.

UNICEF/COVID-19

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, is set to supply four hundred million covid-19 vaccines to Nigeria and 54 other countries.

UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, made the disclosure in a statement released to newsmen, noting that the supply would be carried out under the African vaccine acquisition trust established in 2020.

Fore revealed that the agency signed an agreement with Janssen pharmaceutical to supply an additional 220 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine to all 55-member states of the African Union by the end of 2022, increasing the total number of doses to 400 million.

UNICEF, AFREXIM Bank, AVAT, African Centre for Disease Control and the World Bank had in March this year signed an agreement which would ensure the procurement and delivery of vaccines to African nations.

S’AFRICA/ZUMA

South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, who began a 15-month sentence for contempt, will be eligible to be released on parole in just under four months.

The country’s Justice Minister, Ronald Ramola, made this known to reporters, noting that under the country’s correctional regulations, Zuma will be eligible for parole once a quarter of his sentence has been served.

Ramola said the former president will be afforded dignity throughout his term of incarceration, adding that he will be placed in isolation for the first 14 days in jail in line with covid-19 protocols and would not receive any special treatment.

The ex-South African president handed himself in overnight to the police to begin serving the 15-month sentence at the jail, which is located in a small farming town.

SPORTS

Europe’s Football Governing Body, UEFA, has opened disciplinary proceedings and charged England over their fans’ behaviour during their euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark, including allegations that a laser was pointed at Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s face.

In a statement sighted by the press, UEFA disclosed that it had charged England for use of laser pointer, disturbance caused during the national anthem and lighting of fireworks by their fans.

Schmeichel had saved Harry Kane’s penalty, but the England captain scored the rebound to give Gareth Southgate’s men a 2-1 victory which sealed England a place in their first major tournament final for 55 years.

In the meantime, the Russian Football Federation has sacked head coach of the national team, Stanislav Cherchesov, following the country’s elimination in the group stage of euro 2020.

SPORTS 2

A former Real Madrid stalwart considered one of the best defenders in the world, Sergio Ramos, has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain, PSG.

A statement posted on website of the French club also hinted that PSG Sporting Director, Leonardo, also brought in Dutch Midfield star, Georginio Wijnaldum, from Liverpool and Moroccan defender, Achraf Hakimi from Italian champions Inter Milan.

Reacting, Ramos who has won 180 caps and scored 23 goals for his country described the signing as a big change in his life and as a new challenge that he will never forget.

It would be recalled that 35-year old won the champions league four times with real and is a world cup winner and a two-time champion of Europe with Spain.

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