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

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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. 

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Nigeria Attracts $2bn Investment in Renewable Energy Sector – Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu yesterday disclosed that Nigeria has attracted over $2 billion in investment in the renewable energy sector, making it a fast-growing sector in the economy.

Tinubu stated this on Wednesday during the opening session of the African Natural Resources & Energy Investment Summit, 2024, held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

Represented by the Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to attract more private sector involvement in the renewable energy space.

He said, “In leveraging opportunities in the renewable energy space, Nigeria has attracted over $2 billion in investment in the renewable energy sector, making it a fast-growing sector in the economy.

“Our commitment is to continue this trajectory and attract more private sector involvement in the renewable energy space, including manufacturing locally produced solar panels and batteries.”

He, however, emphasised that discussions on the energy transition must also include the significance of the petroleum industry as a cornerstone of the nation’s economy.

“While we strive to embrace renewable and cleaner energy sources, we acknowledge that oil and gas continue to play a vital role in our energy and economic landscape,” he stated.

He highlighted strategic priorities in the sector to include the goal to attract more investment in the oil and gas industry; grow oil production to 2.1 million barrels a day by December 2024.

“This is with a view to improving investment in midstream and downstream infrastructure; tackle theft; and hold developers accountable for the highest environmental standards,” the president said.

Tinubu further restated the administration’s commitment to manage resources responsibly, minimising their ecological footprint and maximising their benefits for the nation.

Earlier, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, said the government was implementing some reforms to create a more attractive environment for investors, with a focus on enhancing transparency, regulatory clarity, and investor confidence.

The plan, he explained, encompasses several key areas, including policy reforms, sustainable practices, infrastructure development, and human capital enhancement.

“These initiatives are designed to address longstanding challenges in the sector and unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s vast mineral resources.

“This summit represents a significant milestone in our collective journey toward addressing Africa’s vast natural resources and sustainable economic development,” Alake said.

Dignitaries at the summit included Sen. Mohammed Sani (APC-Niger East), the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Ishaq Salako; Minister of State for Steel Development, Mr Uba Ahmadu, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Mary Ogbe. NAN

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Tinubu Appoints New Head of Civil Service of the Federation

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By Lubem Myaornyi, Abuja

President Bola Tinubu yesterday approved the appointment of Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack as Head of the Service of the Federation (HoSF) with effect from August 14.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several ministries.

The new appointee will take over from the incumbent HoSF, Dr.

Folasade Yemi-Esan who is due to retire on August 13.
While thanking the outgoing HoSF for her stewardship Tinubu, tasked the incoming HoSF to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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PDP Governors Lambast APC over Ailing Economy

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From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum rose from its meeting in Government House, Enugu, Enugu State yesterday with a call on Nigerians to refrain from anarchy as the country will march towards the return of the PDP to power in 2027.

has noted with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

A communique read by the chairman of the forum, the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed said the meeting deliberated on the state of the party, the forthcoming congresses and the unprecedented hardship faced by majority of Nigerians.

The governors agreed that the congresses leading to the election of party leaders at all levels must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in strict compliance with the constitution of the party.

To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) especially the off season elections in Edo and Ondo States, the forum admonished all the parties to ensure that campaigns are issues-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provisions of the electoral act.

They urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and unimpeachable elections as any act of bias will be totally resisted.

The communique read, “Mr President to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggestive of political interference in the entire process.

“The minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted in the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of the majority of our people.

“Labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified and therefore commands the total support of the forum.”

The forum supported Labour’s demand noting that agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the local government, sub-national and federal government.

It appealed for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to the complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately, the collapse of the economy.

The governors maintained, “The forum will continue to support the autonomy of the local governments as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Forum holds the Supreme Court in the highest esteem, and is committed to obedience to court orders.

“However, the forum urges that implementation of the court decision must be done in a manner that does not create a trust deficit between the Federal Government and sub-national governments while also ensuring that the system does not suffer.”

The forum resolved to stand by the Governor of Rivers State, Sim Fubara while at the same time employing wider consultations with stakeholders for a peaceful and a lasting solution to the crisis he has with his predecessor.

The governors regretted the eroding of 16 years of tremendous development under the PDP-led Federal Government during which the country witnessed single-digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions and higher standard of living for every Nigerian by the lackluster APC-led Federal Government.

The meeting thanked Governor Peter Mbah for hosting the first meeting of the PDP Governors in recent times outside Abuja and for holding the party together not only in Enugu State but in the entire South-eastern geo-political zone.

The governors in attendance were: Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State, Chairman; Siminalayi Fubara, Rivers State, Vice Chairman; Peter Mba (host); Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa State; Umo Eno, Akwa Ibom State; Douye Diri, Bayelsa State; Sheriff Oborevwori, Delta State; Godwin Obaseki, Edo State; Seyi Makinde, Oyo State; Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau State; Agbu Kefas, Taraba State; and Dauda Lawal, Zamfara State.

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