- Flying Eagles of Nigeria Secure 2-1 Victory Against Dominican Republic in FIFA U-20 World Cup Opener
- African Presidents and Global Dignitaries to Attend Dangote Refinery Inauguration
- President Buhari Leaving Office Fulfilled, Presidency Affirms
- Don’t Judge Me Solely on Ministerial Performance – Akpabio
- UK Set to Impose Immigration Ban on Family of Foreign Students
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss
Flying Eagles of Nigeria Secure 2-1 Victory Against Dominican Republic in FIFA U-20 World Cup Opener
Nigeria’s U-20 male football team, the Flying Eagles, kicked off their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign in Argentina on a triumphant note, as they clinched a thrilling 2-1 comeback victory over the Dominican Republic in their opening match on Sunday.
Placed in the same group as Italy and five-time champions Brazil, both Nigeria and the Dominican Republic understood the significance of a positive result in Sunday’s game.
Consequently, the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza witnessed an intense contest during the initial stages of the match, with both teams vying to seize control of the tempo.
However, it was the Dominican Republic who broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, as 19-year-old Edison Azcona calmly converted a penalty awarded after a VAR review confirmed Benjamin Frederick’s foul inside the box.
Undeterred by the early setback, the Flying Eagles, who entered the game as favorites in Group D, showcased commendable resilience.
They relentlessly attempted to breach the Dominican defense, with Jude Sunday, positioned on the left flank of the attack, proving to be a constant threat.
Finally, in the 32nd minute, Nigeria equalized through an own goal by Guillermo De Pena, following an error by Dominican Republic’s goalkeeper, Xavier Valdez.
Amidst several efforts from both sides, it was Samson Lawal of Nigeria who emerged as the game-changer, netting the decisive goal in the 70th minute.
This followed an earlier disallowed goal by Jude Sunday due to an offside call, intensifying the match’s drama.
Displaying commendable determination, the Dominican Republic made numerous attempts to level the score. However, Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Kingsley Aniogboso, proved instrumental in denying the opposition at crucial moments.
In the final minutes of the match, Nigeria continued to apply pressure, seeking to extend their lead.
Haliru Sarki and Jude Sunday had further opportunities, but the Dominican Republic’s resolute defense, led by standout goalkeeper Valdez, thwarted their efforts.
At the final whistle, it was Nigeria’s Flying Eagles who emerged victorious, securing a hard-fought 2-1 win in their opening match.
The next challenge for Ladan Bosso and his team awaits them in a clash against Italy on Wednesday, followed by a showdown with Brazil three days later in their final group stage game.
African Presidents and Global Dignitaries to Attend Dangote Refinery Inauguration
On Monday, May 22, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari will be joined by five African Presidents for the momentous inauguration of the Dangote Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. The esteemed guests include President Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, and President Mahamat Déby of Chad. Additionally, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda will deliver a goodwill message virtually, along with several ambassadors.
The highly anticipated event, hosted by Sanford Group, will witness the presence of all 36 state governors, governors-elect, ministers, senators, and prominent industrial leaders from within and outside Nigeria. Furthermore, global oil traders, top international bankers, and multilateral agencies have expressed their eagerness to attend the ceremony.
This remarkable occasion marks the commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals, which holds the distinction of being the world’s largest single-train refinery. Developed by Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, this refinery has a staggering processing capacity of 650,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and occupies 2,635 hectares of land within the Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki. The project is set to generate employment opportunities for over 100,000 individuals.
The inauguration of the Dangote refinery bears immense significance as it signifies Nigeria’s departure from the league of oil-rich nations reliant on petroleum product imports. Notably, former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who initiated the establishment of the Free Trade Zone where the refinery stands, is expected to attend the event.
According to the facility’s fact sheet, the Dangote refinery will not only meet the demands of Nigerian consumers but also cater to neighboring African countries, facilitating exports beyond the continent. This development aligns with the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), benefitting more than 50 countries within the trade bloc that currently rely on imported refined petroleum products.
The refinery’s capabilities are extensive, capable of meeting 100 percent of Nigeria’s refined product requirements, including gasoline (53 million liters per day), diesel (34 million liters per day), kerosene (10 million liters per day), and aviation jet fuel (2 million liters per day). Additionally, the refinery is designed to process a wide range of crude oils, conforming to international standards and emissions norms.
The project’s construction involved numerous impressive feats, such as extensive sand dredging, procurement of various equipment to enhance local capacity, and the development of a state-of-the-art port facility. These advancements have positioned the Dangote refinery as a global benchmark for technological excellence and environmental compliance.
As the countdown to the inauguration continues, the eyes of the world turn to this monumental event, signifying a transformative milestone in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector while showcasing the visionary endeavors of Aliko Dangote and the nation’s commitment to self-sufficiency and economic progress.
President Buhari Leaving Office Fulfilled, Presidency Affirms
President Muhammadu Buhari, having served as Nigeria’s leader for eight years, departs with a sense of fulfillment, according to Garba Shehu, a presidential aide who recently appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics. Shehu emphasized that President Buhari has done his utmost for the nation in the circumstances he faced and is content to hand over the reins to the next president, who will build upon the foundations laid during his tenure.
While President Buhari recently apologized to Nigerians for his government’s actions and inactions, seeking forgiveness, Shehu clarified that the apology does not imply any wrongdoing. Shehu explained that it is impossible to navigate delicate situations without encountering challenges, and President Buhari’s apology should not be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. He reiterated that any unintentional offenses caused by the President’s actions were not driven by malice but rather reflect his willingness to take responsibility.
Regarding the President’s efforts in combating insecurity, Shehu argued that Buhari has made significant strides in pushing back Boko Haram insurgents. Furthermore, he highlighted the military’s enhanced capacity to address security challenges, thanks to improved equipment and technologies, emphasizing that President Buhari’s achievements will be duly recognized in due course.
Addressing the state of the economy and Nigeria’s inflation rate, Shehu acknowledged that while the country’s situation is not ideal, it is essential to consider the global economic context. He pointed out the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies worldwide, emphasizing that Nigeria was not exempt from these challenges.
As President Buhari concludes his tenure, he leaves behind a mixed legacy, with supporters acknowledging his efforts in addressing security concerns and making strides in various sectors, while critics raise concerns about the pace of economic progress and other governance issues.
Don’t Judge Me Solely on Ministerial Performance – Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State and senator-elect for Akwa Ibom North West, has urged Nigerians and members of the incoming 10th National Assembly not to judge him solely based on his brief tenure as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. In an interview with journalists in Abuja, Akpabio stated that he would prefer to be evaluated based on his extensive experience as a lawyer for 36 years, a commissioner for six years, and a governor for eight years.
Akpabio is currently a contender for the position of Senate President in the 10th National Assembly, which is set to be inaugurated on June 6. He was first elected to the Nigerian Senate in 2015 as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, where he served as the Minority Leader. However, he later defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
While holding the position of Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio faced scrutiny during a forensic audit hearing of the ministry’s expenditures. Despite the challenges associated with the Niger Delta region, he emphasized that his performance as a minister should not be the sole basis for assessing his capabilities.
Regarding his Senate Presidency ambition, Akpabio pledged to continue the January-December budget cycle initiated by the outgoing 9th National Assembly, considering it as one of their major accomplishments. He also expressed his commitment to engage with his colleagues, even those who oppose his ambition, with the aim of dispelling any misconceptions and working together for the next four years.
As the race for the Senate Presidency unfolds, Akpabio aims to showcase his extensive experience and achievements in previous positions of authority, emphasizing the value he can bring to the National Assembly.
UK Set to Impose Immigration Ban on Family of Foreign Students
In the upcoming week, the United Kingdom is set to announce new restrictions that will prevent foreign students from bringing their family members into the country. This decision comes in response to reports indicating that net migration to the UK has reached 1 million, prompting calls from Conservative Members of Parliament for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to address the escalating numbers.
Currently, the UK allows dependents to accompany their spouses or parents who hold valid student visas. However, it is expected that UK ministers will unveil stricter immigration measures on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The restrictions will primarily impact master’s students and certain other post-graduates, excluding PhD students who are considered highly skilled and pursue longer duration courses lasting between 3 to 5 years.
If implemented, this crackdown will have a significant impact on Nigerian students planning to pursue postgraduate studies in the UK, as they accounted for the highest increase in the number of dependents accompanying individuals with study visas in 2022.
Earlier this year, The Times reported that the UK government was considering such a ban, expressing growing concerns over the nearly eightfold rise in the number of family members joining foreign students. The home secretary, Suella Braverman, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have been exploring options for reforming the graduate visa route, with proposals including the requirement for foreign students to obtain a work visa by securing a skilled job or leaving the UK within six months after completing their studies.
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