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Abuja-Kaduna train services resume after the train derailed

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, has announced the resumption of services along the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor after the suspension due to derailment on Friday.

The corporation’s Director of Operations, Niyi Alli, in a statement, said the services would commence on Jan. 31.

“The Board and Management of Nigerian Railway Corporation are pleased to announce the recommencement of the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service.

“The service was suspended on Jan. 27, due to the derailment that occurred at Kubwa Station on the same date.

“Subsequently, the service will resume on Jan. 31, with the following daily schedule – KA2 departs Rigasa at 0700; AK1 departs Idu at 10.00; KA4 departs Rigasa at 13.00; AK3 departs Idu at 16.00.

“However on Wednesdays, only KA2 will depart Rigasa at 0700 and AK 3 will depart Idu at 16.00,” Mr Alli said.

The director expressed regret for any inconvenience the corporation’s esteemed passengers might have experienced as a result of the temporary suspension of the service.

He, however, expressed Federal Government’s commitment to providing safe and better services to the public.

Fuel scarcity bites harder; litre hits N340 as Nigerians groan

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The price of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, has risen to N340 per litre in Dutse, the Jigawa State Capital.

The situation has subjected the residents, especially motorists, to chaos and hardships due to the scarcity of the commodity.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who monitor petrol filling stations on Sunday, observed that long queues of vehicles distorted normalcy at the stations.

The filling stations are selling the product at exorbitant cost of N340 per litre while the Dutse NNPC mega station Retail Stations had been under lock and key since Jan. 8 following a fire outbreak.

Also, most of the filling stations within the city were not open for a long period of time.

At Awajil Global Resources, IMG Petroleum, Maruta Petroleum and Investment, all on Ibrahim Aliyu bye-pass, motorists and commercial motorcyclists were on long queues waiting to refuel their tanks.

Also, Audu Manager filling station and AA Kankani Nig. Ltd, on Olusegun Obasanjo Road had long queues of vehicles and were also selling the product at the same price.

Filling stations like A.S.A Oil Nig. Ltd., B.A Bello Nig. Ltd and Matrix, all on Ibrahim Aliyu bye-pass, were either not having or selling the product.

Most of the motorists who spoke with expressed dissatisfaction over the non-availability of the product.

A motorist, Aminu Muhammad, described the situation as frustrating and urged the Federal Government and other authorities concerned to bring lasting solutions to the chaos.

Also commenting, Muhammad Askira, said the Federal Government should ensure that security agencies monitored the filling stations and ensure that products were sold at the approved price.

Also, a farmer, Ahmad Rufa’i, said the ugly situation was making him to produce at loss.

“I plant wheat maize and every week I need at least 20 litres to water my farms. And I need to water these two farms at least 20 times.

“So how much money do you expect me to spend on fuel alone, not talk of transport and other logistics.

“So most of us are doing this farming without any certainty of whether we gain or we lose,” Mr Rufa’i said.

The management of the filling stations declined comments on the sad situation, because, “we are not authorised to speak to the press”.

State Security Service intercepts syndicates selling redesigned Naira notes

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The State Security Service, SSS, said it has intercepted some syndicates in parts of the country for allegedly selling the new redesigned Naira notes.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the SSS on Monday in Abuja.

He said the syndicates were intercepted by operatives of the service during an operation.

“Investigation has also shown that some Commercial Bank officials were aiding the economic malfeasance.

“Consequently, the Service warns the currency racketeers to desist from this ignoble act.

“Appropriate regulatory authorities are, in this same vein, urged to step up monitoring and supervisory activities to expeditiously address the emerging trends,” he said.

He said the SSS has ordered its commands and formations to further ensure that all persons and groups engaged in the illegal sale of the notes were identified.

The SSS spokesman, therefore, urged anyone with useful information relating to the sales of the new currency to pass the same to relevant authorities.

UNILORIN begins virtual lectures for classes

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Prof. Wahab Egbewole, SAN, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, has assigned 500 user accounts with 300-capacity zoom licences to various faculties and departments for the immediate commencement of virtual classes.

A statement issued on Monday by Unilorin Spokesman, Kunle Akogun, stated that the virtual classes would run simultaneously with physical classes.

The statement pointed out that “about 500 user accounts of 300 capacity zoom licences have been assigned to faculties and departments for effective virtual delivery of lectures”.

He said: “We have also developed a virtual class schedule for courses with class sizes of about 1000, 3000, and 5000 students, using the large capacity zoom licences.

“Physical delivery of lectures/practical sessions in classrooms/laboratories are very important and should be consciously sustained”.

According to him, in the wake of the transportation challenges facing the students and staff of the university, the management rolled out several measures to mitigate the effect of the unfortunate situation on the students in particular.

“These included the directive to the Time-Table and Room Usages Committee to adjust the lecture time-table to make it more flexible.

“The management also renewed the university’s zoom licences to activate the virtual lecture option,” he said.

The Faculty of Education: For breeding and dumping?

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By Rufai Motunrayo

The faculty of Education is one vital faculty in our tertiary institutions with the aim of training and producing capable educators.

It is expected to put future educators on the right track by giving them rudimental knowledge early.

Has it been living up to its expectation lately? Do students of the faculty genuinely have a passion for teaching or intentions of becoming a teacher? These are pertinent questions crying for answers.

As a student of the faculty of education, I barely see a handful of my mates who deliberately chose the course.

This kept me wondering why intending admission seekers do not choose educational courses. Could it be misconceptions about educational courses or a lack of passion for teaching? Do they think the teaching profession is not lucrative?

Does that mean we don’t have genuine educators who intend to study the course and build a career in it? No.

We have great educationalist that steps into the profession with humble intentions; changing the world, impacting knowledge, and changing students’ life at a time is a very noble goal that, while seemingly impossible, is still achievable. 

People like Distinguished Prof. Okebukola, Prof. Muhammad M.O.B, Prof. Jimoh and many more are good examples of an educationalist who were once a student of the faculty of education and are now reputable people in the country.

But in recent times, the vast majority of students don’t choose this course to build a career in it because they find themselves studying the course just for the sake of studying. The students shouldn’t be blamed entirely for this.

So many students have different dreams like becoming Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and many other notable professions, but after writing jamb, they are offered admission into the faculty of education as compensation for their effort of choosing the school in the first place.

This is also a means for the school to retain the student. On the other hand, some aspirants forfeit the admission while some reluctantly accept the offer for fear of missing out on the next admission opportunity.

So do we say the school dumps them in the education faculty, and the student accepts the dumping?

On paper, the school offers the student an alternative admission, and the student accepts the admission.

But as a graduate of the faculty of education, there are numerous opportunities. There are employment opportunities for individuals with or without a degree, but a graduate of the faculty of education has more job opportunities. The more years of education one has completed, the more opportunities he or she has as a potential hire.

There are many such misconceptions about the faculty of education that a student who graduated from the faculty of education can only work as a teacher; because of this misconception, many students usually forfeit their admission when offered admission into the faculty.

Meanwhile, graduating from the education faculty doesn’t mean you must only work as a teacher. There are many other professions for someone who graduated from the faculty of education, such as working as an accountant or even working in any firm he or she finds himself.

Also, a graduate of English education can work at any communication company as a linguist and a teacher. 

The faculty is more than a mere dumping ground, as presumed by many. It is a cradle for breeding individuals with diverse dexterity that can fit into almost all other noble professions.

Rufai Motunrayo is a 200-level student from the faculty of education at Lagos State University.


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Top 10 Richest Sports Team Owners [2023]

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By Balogun Kamilu Lekan

1. Carlos Slim

Photo: Susana Gonzalez/ Bloomberg

Net Worth: $92.5B

Team: Real Oviedo(Football)

Carlos Slim is Mexico’s richest man, with a net worth of $92.5B. 

The billionaire and his family control Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm, América Móvil.

He also owns the majority shareholder of the Spanish second-division team Real Oviedo.

2. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $83.7B

Team: Mumbai Indians (Cricket)

Mukesh Ambani, the second richest man in India, is the owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise cricket team Mumbai Indians.

He is the chairman and founder of  Reliance Industries, which deals in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail.

Ambani is also reportedly in the race to acquire the English football team, Liverpool.

3. Steve Ballmer

Net Worth: $80.6B

Los Angeles Clippers (Basketball)

Ballmer was the former CEO of Microsoft. He piloted the affairs of the company till 2014 before he left.

He currently owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A team he acquired for $2 billion the same year he left Microsoft.

4. Rob Walton

Net Worth: $60.8 billion

Team: Denver Broncos (Football)

Rob is the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He is currently the director of the company founded by his father.

He took over the affairs of the company after the death of his father in 1992

Walton took over as chairman upon his father’s death.

Watson acquired the NFL’s Denver Broncos for $4.7 billion in 2022 for a sports franchise record.

5. David Thomson

Net Worth: $53.8B

Winnipeg Jets (Hockey)

Thomson and his family run a media empire founded by his grandfather, Roy Thomson.

Additionally, he and his family also holds an investment in Canadian telecom giant Bell Canada

He has a significant ownership stake in the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, and his family’s holding business owns a small portion of the Montreal Canadiens.

6. Francois Pinault

Stade Rennais FC (Football)

Net Worth: $39.5B

François Pinault is the owner of french football team, Stade Rennais FC.

He is the chairman of top luxury fashion brands Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci under the umbrella of the parent group, Kering.

His family owns the legendary auction house Christie’s and a collection of 3,000 artworks by Picasso, Mondrian, and Koons.

7. Masayoshi Son

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (Baseball)

Net Worth: $24.7B

Masayoshi Son is the founder of SoftBank Group, a mobile telecom and investment giant.

He has handled the affair of the company for 40 years. Son acquired the Nippon Professional Baseball Hawks in 2005. It has been a successful club ever since, winning seven championships in the Japan Series.

8. David Tepper

Teams: Carolina Panthers (Football, United States), Charlotte FC (Soccer, United States)

Net Worth: $18.5 billion

David Tepper is the founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund in Miami Beach, Florida.

He owns the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL) and Charlotte FC in Major League Soccer (MLS). He bought the Carolina Panthers professional football team in a $2.3 billion deal in 2018

The Panthers are now worth an estimated $2.91 billion, $600 million more than the purchase price.

9. Steve Cohen

New York Mets (Baseball, United States)

Net Worth: $17.5B

Steve Cohen is the founder of Point72 Asset Management, a $26 billion hedge fund firm that manages outside capital.

In 2020, Cohen bought the New York Mets for $2.4 billion, the highest sale price ever for an MLB team.

Cohen is the wealthiest owner in baseball as an individual, with his team becoming the second-highest payroll in the league, at $252 million behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

10. Daniel Gilbert

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers (Basketball, United States)

Net Worth: $19.9B

Dan Gilbert is the cofounder of Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in the U.S.

He also cofounded the online sneaker sale platform StockX, which investors valued to be $3.8 billion.

Daniel owns the Cleveland Cavalier, the former team of NBA superstar Lebron James.


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Fuel scarcity bites harder as PMS sells for N340 per litre

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 The price of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) has risen to N340 per litre in Dutse, the Jigawa State Capital.

The situation has  subjected the residents, especially motorists, to chaos and hardships due to the scarcity of the commodity.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitor petrol filling stations on Sunday, observed that long  queues of vehicles distorted normalcy at  the stations.

The filling stations are selling the product at exorbitant  cost of N340 per litre while the Dutse NNPC  mega station Retail Stations had been under lock and key since Jan. 8 following a fire outbreak.

Also, most of the filling stations within the city were not opened for a long period of time.

At Awajil Global Resources, IMG Petroleum,  Maruta Petroleum and Investment, all on Ibrahim Aliyu bye-pass, motorists and commercial motorcyclists were on long queues waiting to refuel their tanks.

Also, Audu Manager filling station and AA Kankani Nig. Ltd, on Olusegun Obasanjo Road had long queues of vehicles, and were also selling the product at the same price.

Filling stations like A.S.A Oil Nig. Ltd., B.A Bello Nig. Ltd  and Matrix, all on Ibrahim Aliyu bye-pass, were either not having or selling the product.

Most of the motorists who spoke with (NAN) expressed dissatisfaction over the non availability of the product.

A motorist, Malam Aminu Muhammad, described the situation as frustrating and urged the Federal Government and other authorities concerned to bring lasting solutions to the chaos.

Also commenting, Muhammad Askira, said the Federal Government should ensure that security agencies monitored the filling stations and ensure that products were sold at the approved price.

Also, a farmer, Ahmad Rufa’i, said the ugly situation was making him to produce at loss.

“I plant wheat maize and every week I need at least 20 litres to water my farms. And I need to water these two farms at least 20 times.

“So how much money do you expect me to spend on fuel alone, not talk of transport and other logistics.

“So most of us are doing this farming without any certainty of wether we gain or we loose,” Rufa’i said.

The managements of the filling stations declined comments on the sad situation, because “we are not authorised to speak to the press”.

NAFDAC vows to confront the menace of substandard and falsified medicines

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National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has vowed to confront the menace of substandard and falsified medicines in the country with the implementation of a pharmaceutical traceability strategy.

Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, dropped the hint at the Traceability Workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The event, organised by NAFDAC, was aimed at finalising the draft Traceability of Pharmaceutical Products Regulations in the country.

Adeyeye, in a statement by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant in Lagos, Sayo Akintola, yesterday, said the onerous task of safeguarding the health of the nation is daunting in the face of chaotic drug distribution system currently existing in Nigeria. She stressed that falsification and diversion of health commodities carry very serious health and economic consequences.

The NAFDAC boss said consideration of these consequences vis-à-vis the mandate of the agency to regulate and control distribution of drugs and other regulated products is sufficient motivation to implement pharmaceutical traceability, to complement fight against the menace of substandard and falsified medicines and improve regulatory control of medicines supply chain in Nigeria.

She explained that NAFDAC is committed to implementation of pharmaceutical traceability in the country as part of the regulatory strengthening and underscoring of its mandate.

She said NAFDAC has developed a Five-Year Traceability Implementation plan, in line with objectives of the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy, to achieve supply chain visibility and strengthen interventions against the scourge of substandard and falsified medicines.

Adeyeye, however, noted that development, gazetting and dissemination of the Traceability of Pharmaceutical Products Regulations are essential for adoption and enforcement of provisions of the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy. 

She said the regulation, accompanied by guidelines and compliance requirements, would provide a legal framework to support advocacy for all stakeholders to implement traceability in distribution of pharmaceuticals or supply chain.

She noted that the participation of relevant stakeholders during drafting of the Traceability Regulations is important to ensure there is understanding of the provisions and to welcome feedback, with the goal of improving compliance.

Two Nigerians arrested over $500,000 fraud in Canada from the sales of valid flight tickets to unsuspecting customers

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The Canadian police have arrested two Nigerians, Gbemisola Akinrinade and Adebowale Adiatu, for allegedly enriching themselves with the proceeds from the sales of valid flight tickets to unsuspecting customers.

According to Canada Today, the suspects fraudulently sold more than 250 airline tickets at a value of more than $500,000 in the racket scheme.

The majority of the customers who purchased the tickets were from the Calgary area and the flights were primarily to Africa, a press release by the Peel Regional Police on January 26, 2023, stated.

The suspects are facing charges which include fraud, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession of property obtained by crime, obtaining by false pretences, and unlawful use of a computer.

According to the police authorities, in many fraud-related cases, people in vulnerable situations are coerced, manipulated and taken advantage of for the profit of the fraudster.

However, they urged individuals to properly source the website they are dealing with and verify its legitimacy.

“Anyone who recognises or has information about this type of case is asked to contact the 21 Division C.I.B or Fraud Bureau at (905) 453–2121, ext. 2133 or 3335 or to your local police service.  Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting peelcrimestoppers.”

11 passengers burnt to death on Ore-Benin expressway accident

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No fewer than 11 people were burnt to death on Sunday on Soka bridge, Ore, on the Ore-Benin expressway in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Sikiru Alonge, the Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Ore Unit told the News Agency of Nigeria that a trailer had a head-on collision with a passenger Marcopollo bus.

Mr Alonge said the victims were burnt beyond recognition as the two vehicles caught fire.

“We had to call for fire ambulance to put out the fire,” he said.

“The passengers were burnt beyond recognition as we are unable to recognise their gender,” he said.

He said that it took the efforts of Omotosho Step Down Power Station fire ambulance and other sympathisers to put out the fire.

Mr Alonge said that the accident caused gridlocked on the expressway, while the FRSC officials and other security agencies were busy controlling the traffic.

Similarly, 10 passengers escaped death in another early Sunday morning accident which occurred at Ore Toll gate on the Ore-Benin expressway in Odigbo LGA.

Mr Alonge said seven of the passengers sustained various degree of injuries in the accident which involved a Toyota Hiace with registration number FUG 17 XY, adding that the accident was caused by excessive speed.

Mr Alonge said those that were injured victims were taking to Opeyemi Hospital in Ore for treatment, while the vehicles were taken to the FRSC Unit office.

He cautioned motorists against speeding and advised them to always obey traffic rules and regulations.

Reps reject CBN 10-day deadline extension for old naira notes, again threaten Emefiele with arrest

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The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on new naira re-design and naira swap policy has rejected the 10-day extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for the exchange of old notes.

The CBN had fixed January 31 as the deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes – N200, N500 and N1,000.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Sunday, said President Muhammadu Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.

In its swift reaction, the Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by the leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act.

Recall the House, during its sitting on Tuesday, following the outcry by Nigerians, constituted the ad hoc committee to look into the issue.

Doguwa said that, ” The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution.

“We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the House, would only accept clear compliance with section 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act and nothing more.

“Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law.

“And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the ad hoc committee.”

He said under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land.

Describing the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, Doguwa said the CBN governor must appear before or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs signed by the Speaker on Monday.

He also said the policy is capable of frustrating the forthcoming general elections.

“Security agencies and their operations, especially at the state level, are generally funded through cash advances and direct table payments of allowances to operatives during elections,” he said.

Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos vows not to allow ‘agbero’ in the state

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The Lagos State Labour Party governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, on Sunday, disclosed that he will enthrone a working transportation system in Lagos if elected governor during the March 11 governorship election. 

He also disclosed that he would not allow the ‘agbero’ system, which he claimed, had created a lot of safety hazards in the state. 

Rhodes-Vivour stated this during The Platform debate organised for governorship candidates in Lagos on Sunday. 

“On road safety in Lagos state, we will not accept the ‘Agbero’ system, which has created a lot of safety hazards in the state.

“We need to train our road enforcement agents and we will also need to ensure that the state set its clear policy on not accepting the Agbero system. All of these, you can only enforce where a system is moving smoothly. 

“Our own focus is making sure that we are back on a system that is working smoothly. We are also going to have digital surveillance all across the state so that we can enforce it with evidence, not just hearsay anymore. 

“So, the enforcement officers that do not step up to their responsibilities can actually be held accountable and we can hold them to account with evidence,” he said.