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Tinubu, Atiku, Ekpo, Omokaro Applaud Falcons’ Victory Over Australia




By Orkula Shaagee, with Agency report

First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, commended the Super Falcons for their victory over co-hosts Australia, in the on-going FIFA women World Cup.

The Falcons yesterday overcame a stubborn Australian side 3-2 at Brisbane Stadium in their first win at fiesta.

Emily van Egmond opened scores for Australia by hitting the back of the net in the first minute of added time in the first half, while Uchenna Kanu equalised for Nigeria six minutes later.

Later Osinachi Ohale (65 minutes) and Asisat Oshoala (72 minutes) gave Nigeria the lead while Alanna Kennedy gave Australia their second goal in added time.

The First Lady who watched the game at her Abuja home expressed said the team made Nigeria proud and charged them to go all the way and win the cup for Africa.

She said doing so would be a source of pride for Nigeria.

“I am so delighted and I pray, by the grace of God, for them to bring the cup home.

“I am proud of them and like I promised the, I will be waiting to receive them“, Tinubu said.

The First Lady had on July 1 through Dr Betta Edu, the APC National Women Leader, hosted the girls before their departure for Australia.

Also yesterday, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar hailed the Super Falcons of Nigeria for beating Australia in a 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tie.

Atiku, in a tweet on his Twitter handle, said the Super Falcons’ victory encapsulates what Nigerians can do as a people and country when they work together as one.

“Bravo, Super Falcons, @NGSuper_Falcons! Your remarkable victory brilliantly encapsulates what we can do as a people and a country when we work together as one,” he tweeted.

The Super Eagles will now face the Republic of Ireland in their last group game next Monday.

Similarly, ex-international, Friday Ekpo, yesterday applauded the performance of the victorious Super Falcons in their clash with tournament co-host, Australia, in the ongoing 2023 Women’s World Cup

The Super Falcons came from behind to defeat Australia 3-2 in the match, silencing their home crowd.

Ekpo, however, appealed to the Nigerian team not to underestimate the Republic of Ireland, their next opponents.

With the 3-2 win, the Falcons now have four points from two games, having earlier played a goalless draw with Canada.

The Matildas, on the other hand, now have three points, having earlier defeated the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in front of a record 75,784 supporters.

Matildas are ranked No.10 in the world by FIFA, while the Falcons are ranked No. 40.

Ekpo, a member of the 1992 Africa Nations Cup squad, said playing as a team would help the Super Falcons to sail through the group stage and the round of 16.

“Playing against a host country is tough, winning them is no small feat; these women have done well, they went all out and were able to keep it together, I say kudos to them.

“I want our girls to give the next match against the Republic of Ireland the same level of seriousness and concentration they gave the previous two matches; any team that made it to the World Cup is no pushover.

“Nothing beats having a team that plays with precise cohesion, plays as a team and wins as a team.

“It is crucial that they play according to the coaches’ game plan,” he said.

Ekpo said that the team’s defence line should be tightened.

“The defence was fair enough but it can be better, the midfield too; we need to control and hold the ball in order to create more opportunities.

“The coach needs to identify what works for his team, so far he has done well in terms of selection of players, and as a big fan of the girls I applaud the coach Randy Waldrum,” he said.

Sharing same view, Bright Omokaro, an ex-international, commended the team for not getting overwhelmed with the home support their opponents enjoyed.

“Not being overwhelmed by the fans cheering the co-host is applaudable, then going ahead to win is great; they’re the team to watch out for in this tournament.

“This win will further boost their morale, it’s a big deal to defeat the host country.

”They should allow their win to spur the team to the next level, they should refrain from assuming that Ireland will be an easy fry.

“They need to beef up their defence and keep it together, Australia’s second goal shouldn’t have happened, the less goal the team concedes the better,” he said.

The ongoing World Cup is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand.  (NAN)

Team Top Group B, Target Round of 16 Spot

The Super Falcons, yesterday moved to the top of Group B at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup, having secured victory in their second match at the mundial.

In a sterling performance that earned a 3-2 win over co-host nation Australia in Brisbane, the African side enhanced her chances of reaching the FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 at the biggest-ever tournament in history.

The Super Falcons’ feat at the Lang Park, which was made colourful by 49,156 spectators, meant that Africa had at last won a match at the ongoing competition, and that the nine-time African champions have put a firm foot on the way to the knock-out stage. This will be achieved simply by doing the minimum against the Republic of Ireland at the same venue on Monday.

Coach Randy Waldrum left Barcelona Feminine ace Asisat Oshoala on the bench and started returnee Rasheedat Ajibade and Halimatu Ayinde, with Ifeoma Onumonu and Uchenna Kanu also starting.

The pomp and pageantry at the arena were enhanced as the Matildas began to impress in the early stages, caging the Falcons in their own half.

Nigerian keeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, hero of the first match against Canada in Melbourne, made a string of saves as the co-hosts showed no signs of missing four of their regulars, including Captain Sam Kerr and defender Mary Fowler.

The din in the stands was overwhelming with one minute into added time in the first half, when Emily Van Egmond sneaked into the Nigeria box to toe-poke the ball past Nnadozie from a flowing move.

Dauntless, the only African team to have played in all editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup restored parity four minutes later, as Uchenna Kanu stayed very alert to sweep the ball into the net from Rasheedat Ajibade’s deflected cross.

Both teams saw shots whistle over the other’s bar in the early exchanges in the second half, but Nigeria shot into the front for the first time in the game when, in the 65th minute, defender Osinachi Ohale bundled the ball over the line after Rasheedat Ajibade’s header proved too hot for the goalkeeper to handle.

Substitute Asisat Oshoala made it three for Nigeria minutes later, profiting from a mishap in the opponents’ box after Alanna Kennedy headed past her onrushing goalkeeper and left an empty net for Oshoala to make hay with a volley.

The goal, coming only a few minutes after she replaced Onumonu, made Oshoala the first African to score in three FIFA World Cup finals, having also netted at the finals in Canada in 2015 and in France in 2019.

Kennedy would later salve her conscience, when she rose highest in the box to score Australia’s second goal from a corner kick by Cooney-Cross10 minutes into added time of the second period.

Nnadozie was again rock-solid, saving a close-range header and another point-blank shot in the closing stages to give Nigeria victory.

Nigeria captain Onome Ebi also made history, extending her record as the African player to have featured in most FIFA World Cup tournaments, when she came in with minutes to the end, to play in her sixth World Cup finals.

Victory catapulted Nigeria to the top of Group B, and has enhanced the Falcons’ chances of a spot in the knock-out stages. Canada, who defeated Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, lie second also with four points, while Australia stays third with three points.

The Super Falcons are up against eliminated Republic of Ireland on Monday, while the co-hosts take on Canada. A draw will be enough for the Falcons to make progress, no matter the outcome of the other match. 


Death Toll in Military Drone Attack on Kaduna Civilains  Rises to 80




From Nicholas Dekera, Kaduna

Death toll in the bombing of civilians by the Army at Tudun Biri Village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna has risen to 80.

Kaduna State Government has said the Nigerian Army has claimed responsibility for dropping a bomb, which left no fewer than 30 villagers dead on Sunday.

Initial reports had it that about 30 villagers were killed in the incident, which happened during a Maulud celebration around 9PM.

There were also conflicting reports on the cause of the mass deaths.

However, the Overseeing Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army and Force Commander Operation Whirl Punch, Maj Gen VU Okoro, admitted that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists when the incident happened.

This was contained in a statement released by the commissioner to journalists shortly after the deputy governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe met with Islamic clerics, traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, where “the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.”

The meeting was held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna on Monday. The statement read, “The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.”

He added that search-and-rescue efforts were still ongoing as dozens of injured victims had been evacuated to the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the state government. He also quoted the deputy governor as having commiserated with the victims’ families while praying for the repose of the victims’ souls.

 The statement added, “The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured.

“In a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, which had in attendance heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

“The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.

“The deputy governor, at the end of the closed-door meeting, conveyed the condolences of the government and people of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.

“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.”

 The heads of security agencies who attended the meeting included the state Commissioner of Police, MY Garba; Director of the Department of State Services, Abdul Enenche; the Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam, Prof. Shafi’u Abdullahi, who led other religious leaders as well as the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris, in whose domain the incident occurred.

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Finally, FG Takes Delivery of  2nd Niger Bridge From Contractors




Federal Government has taken delivery of the Second Niger Bridge from the contractor, Julius Berger.

This is seven months after it was inaugurated by the Muhammadau Buhari-led administration on May 23.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, while addressing journalists shortly after he was conducted around the bridge on Sunday, said he was satisfied with the level of work done.

Umahi was conducted around the bridge by the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Richter.

The minister commended the previous and present administrations for doing quite a lot for bringing the work to fruition, described the job as “impeccable, very beautiful and well completed”.

According to him, we have light issue and we’ve put things together on how to permanently have light especially at night.

“What we have agreed is to deploy solar solution in the coming weeks so that every night we don’t have to run diesel.

“The roads are going to be completed when we have completed the two inter changes, one is taking us off from Asaba town to cut off the traffic and the other one is going to be done by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) Ltd to avoid Onitsha town and take you straight to Obosi.

“President Ahmed Tinubu is very committed to the project and we are going to acquire more, so that we can build service stations, filling stations, restaurants and supper markets and other facilities as we see in western world.

“We are determined to do that; the need to do this with the inter changes is going to be a very smart one, so that over the years we can have a beautiful and maintained road,”  he said.

The minister further assured of security with the bridge by providing Closed-Circuit (CCTV) cameras and some security personnel so that one could get security assistance within five minutes.

Earlier, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Richter, said that the event was a technical handover after the project was inaugurated by the former administration.

Richter said that work was successfully completed in time and Julius Berger had delivered highest quality of work.

Also speaking, the Director Bridges Design and Construction, South, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr Bede Obioha, tasked the residents around the second Niger bridge to help secure the already installed facilities and those that are yet to be installed safe.

Bede commended the staff of his ministry and the contractors for a job well done, urged the road users and the residents to abide by the rules of the road.

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Private Sector As  Key to Successful Energy Transition Project -Analysis




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

In Nigeria, desertification in the north, floods in the centre, pollution and erosion on the coast and the associated socio-economic consequences allude to the reality and grave impacts of climate change.

Consequently, the Nigerian government has undertaken the action to limit the effects of climate change and set the nation on a net-zero carbon development and resilience-building trajectory.

As such, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the African Climate Foundation (ACF) held a private sector engagement towards a successful Nigerian energy transition project on 27th of Nov.

While delivering a presentation on the project overview on Private Sector Engagement Towards a Successful Nigerian Energy Transition Project, Facilitator Sustainability Policy Commission of the NESG, Dr Eugene Itua stated that the project has two components, which are energy transition and carbon finance, and that the project aims to assist in driving and encouraging energy transition, unlocking opportunities in the sector and stimulating resilience and economic development.

He noted that the private sector is at the threshold of assisting in the implementation of the energy transition and carbon finance goals as they have the capacity to catalyse required finance.

Hhe reiterated the need for collaboration to strengthen the participation of private and public sector players to create an enabling environment.

 Dr Itua noted that the carbon finance and carbon trading landscape have a compliance/regulatory part mandated by law and a voluntary part open to all interested individuals.

He pointed out that the Nigerian energy transition project will develop policy briefs based on the research outcomes, using evidence-based support for ATP and carbon emission reduction in Nigeria.

Speaking in the same vein, the Facilitator of the Energy Policy Commission of the NESG, Dr Segun Adaju, while speaking on Nigeria’s Energy Transition plan stated that the commitment of Nigeria to achieve net zero by 2060, and Nigeria has launched plans to kickstart the transition.

He noted that five sectors shoulder the Energy Transition Project: power, transport, industry, cooking and oil and gas.

Dr Adaju said that for Nigeria to reach the Net Zero Plan by 2060, the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan estimates that the country needs about $ 1.9 trillion, including $410 Billion above projected usual spending and an additional cost of about $10 billion annually.

Dr Adaju reiterated that carbon finance through the carbon market is crucial and part of a more considerable global effort to raise needed funding to combat climate change and that in developing countries such as Nigeria, carbon finance is seen to contribute significantly to actions in the transition to low-emission and climate-resilient approaches.

 He noted that there are a number of enabling policies, laws, strategies, and plans for net-zero transition to 2060, including the Nigeria Climate Change Act 2021, Energy Transition Plan (ETP), and the Long-Term Vision 2050 (submitted to UNFCCC in 2021) and the Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) which is currently being elaborated.

Thematic Lead, Climate Change, Sustainability Policy Commission of the NESG, Mrs Dolapo Kukoyi, said that the project aims to strengthen public-private engagement around implementing the Nigerian energy transition plan and support the development of the carbon market whilst supporting interventions that will drive socio-economic improvement.She also noted that policy briefs that will support the participation of solar projects, aggregation of projects for the voluntary carbon market and quality of data to ensure that adequate data is obtained, including in-country capacity for verification and aggregation, will be compiled.

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