Nigeria Leads Group with Victory over Italy in U-20 World Cup; I’m Proud We Gave Our Best to Nigerians – Buhari to Ministers | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Nigeria Leads Group with Victory over Italy in U-20 World Cup
  • I’m Proud We Gave Our Best to Nigerians – Buhari to Ministers
  • Keyamo: Appointment of Ministers of State Unconstitutional, Informs Buhari
  • Nigeria Air Plane Delivery Set for Friday, Confirms Sirika
  • Buhari Mandates Banks to Provide NIN Cards to Nigerians

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Nigeria Leads Group with Victory over Italy in U-20 World Cup

In a thrilling match at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina, the Flying Eagles of Nigeria showcased their prowess by defeating Gli Azzurrini of Italy with an impressive 2-0 scoreline. This resounding victory has catapulted Nigeria to the top of Group D at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Salim Fago Lawal and Jude Sunday emerged as the heroes of the day, delivering crucial goals that sealed the win for Nigeria. The match witnessed a fierce battle between the two teams, with both sides displaying exceptional skill and determination.

Nigeria’s coach, Ladan Bosso, made a strategic change to the starting lineup, introducing Victor Eletu, who plies his trade in Italy, in place of Tochukwu Nnadi in the midfield. This alteration proved to be pivotal, as Eletu showcased his worth by launching the first shot on target. However, Sebastiano Desplanches, the Italian goalkeeper, made a comfortable save.

The Azurrini, who had previously stunned Brazil with a convincing 3-0 victory, came close to taking the lead in the 20th minute when Cesare Casadei struck the woodwork. Nevertheless, the Flying Eagles swiftly regained control of the game. Sunday and Samson Lawal had consecutive opportunities to score, but Desplanches remained resolute, denying them both.

Amidst the intensifying contest, Nigeria encountered a moment of anxiety when it appeared that Solomon Agbalaka’s arm may have made contact with the ball within the penalty area. However, after an extensive video assistant referee (VAR) review, the referee decided against awarding a penalty.

After the halftime interval, Bosso made a double substitution, bringing on Nnadi and Emmanuel Umeh in place of Samson Lawal and Ibrahim Muhammed. It was this tactical move that eventually broke the deadlock. Umeh showcased his strength and finesse by shrugging off an Italian defender inside the goal area before lofting a precise cross to Fago Lawal, who executed a skillful header into the top corner of the net.

Displaying resilience and composure, the Nigerian team staunchly defended their lead, preventing any significant chances for Italy to mount a comeback. As the game entered stoppage time, Nigeria sealed their victory with a final flourish. Jude Sunday capitalized on a clearance by Kingsley Aniaboso, the Eagles’ goalkeeper, reacting swiftly to slot the ball between Desplanches’ legs and further cementing Nigeria’s triumph.

This outstanding win propels Nigeria to the summit of Group D, amassing an impressive six points. The Flying Eagles now look ahead to their final group stage encounter against Brazil, which promises to be a captivating clash between two formidable teams.

I’m Proud We Gave Our Best to Nigerians – Buhari to Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his appreciation for the unwavering commitment and hard work exhibited by his cabinet members over the past seven and a half years. During the valedictory Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the President commended his team for their collective efforts in serving the nation.

In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the President’s media aide, President Buhari urged the ministers to ensure a smooth conclusion of their responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of avoiding any last-minute rush that could compromise the remarkable achievements made during their tenure.

“I am proud to say we gave our best. In the course of our years together, ranging from our newest addition to the oldest members of the team for the past seven and a half years, we have differed on many issues,” President Buhari stated. He further urged his team to understand that their positions were held in pursuit of the collective good, urging them to let go of any grievances or lingering differences.

While acknowledging that not all members would remain in government, President Buhari called upon everyone to continue providing support to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that provided the platform for their service.

He expressed gratitude for the strength that has kept the team united and encouraged them to dispel any perception of detachment from Daura, his hometown, now that he is no longer serving as President. Additionally, he expressed his eagerness to engage in activities that he had been unable to pursue since May 29th, 2015, including his favorite pastime of tending to his cattle.

President Buhari also met with the State House staff, recognizing their invaluable support throughout his administration’s eight-year tenure. He applauded their dedication and acknowledged the administration’s efforts to accommodate their views and address their needs within the constraints of available resources.

As President Buhari bids farewell to his cabinet and transitions into a new phase, he expressed his well wishes for each member and hopes to hear of their continued success in their future endeavors. The President concluded by expressing his gratitude and invoking God’s blessings upon the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Keyamo: Appointment of Ministers of State Unconstitutional, Informs Buhari

Festus Keyamo, the outgoing Minister of State for Labour and Employment, voiced his opinion on the appointment of Ministers of State, considering it to be an aberration. He made these remarks during a valedictory session presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Keyamo referred to certain provisions in the constitution to support his stance, clarifying that his observation was not driven by ingratitude, but rather as a contribution to the nation’s constitutional development as a relatively young democracy. He aimed to assist future governments in optimizing the performance of their appointed ministers.

In a comprehensive speech shared with the press, Keyamo highlighted the challenges in assessing the individual performances of Ministers of State. He explained that their discretion is constrained by that of the primary ministers, as any original ideas developed by a Minister of State must receive clearance from another colleague in the cabinet before they can be considered by the Council.

During the valedictory session, President Buhari expressed his gratitude to his ministers and the State House staff who had worked with him over the past eight years. He expressed pride in the fact that he and his cabinet had given their best to serve the Nigerian people, while also urging their support for the incoming President.

“I am proud to say we gave our best,” the President stated, as quoted in a statement released by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina. He directed the ministers to ensure the completion of their work without any last-minute rush that could compromise the positive contributions they had made over the years.

Nigeria Air Plane Delivery Set for Friday, Confirms Sirika

Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, announced that an aircraft belonging to Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, will arrive in the country on Friday in preparation for the commencement of operations.

In an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday, Sirika emphasized that the aircraft will be unveiled in Nigeria’s national colors of green and white, fulfilling the promises made by the administration in the aviation sector.

Sirika credited the realization of this vision to the unwavering determination of the current administration. He stated, “On Friday, in two days, the Nigeria Air airplane will land in Nigeria, as part of the processes to commence operations. We would, on that day, unveil the aircraft with delivery and everything in Nigeria’s colors, belonging to Nigeria Air, and we will proceed to do the retrofit and bring back those airplanes.”

The minister expressed satisfaction with the progress made in implementing the roadmap for the aviation sector. He mentioned that the only item remaining on his agenda is the development of an aerotropolis, but noted that groundwork has already been laid. Sirika highlighted that all four airports in Nigeria are designated as free zones, allowing for various benefits and boosting the potential of the airport cities.

The announcement of the aircraft’s arrival comes amid ongoing disagreements among stakeholders regarding the ownership structure of the proposed national carrier. Last year, a federal high court ruling in Lagos prevented the federal government from selling shares of Nigeria Air to Ethiopian Airlines, which resulted in a temporary halt to the commencement of operations. However, the minister has consistently maintained that Nigeria Air will take flight before the end of the current administration, reaffirming this commitment in March, April, and earlier this month.

Buhari Mandates Banks to Provide NIN Cards to Nigerians

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that citizens can now request their commercial banks to issue them with a debit card that also functions as their national identity card. Professor Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made this disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday, stating that there will be no cost associated with obtaining the card.

Pantami revealed that the approval for this initiative was obtained during a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. The approval followed a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards that double as national identity cards.

Explaining the concept, the Minister stated, “It is going to be a form of multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa, or any other kind of card.”

Although the NIMC Act 2007 mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number (NIN) but not necessarily a physical card, there has been a growing demand for cards among citizens. To address this, Pantami shared that the NIMC introduced a smart ID card that can be downloaded from the NIMC app. However, people in rural communities have faced difficulties accessing this digital option.

To alleviate the challenges faced by citizens, Pantami stated that the NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable interested individuals to easily obtain a physical card from relevant banks. Banks will be authorized to print the card along with either a Mastercard or Visa card.

He emphasized, “It is going to be a form of multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs on our citizens.”

The Minister assured the public of the privacy and confidentiality of card users, disclosing that NIMC and the Central Bank have signed a nondisclosure agreement to protect applicants’ information. When applying for the card, the bank will connect to the NIMC database to verify the applicant’s details. Once verified, the card will be printed immediately for the user.

In addition to this development, the Federal Executive Council also approved a proposal for the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual SIM cards. The system aims to facilitate the NIN-SIM linkage process and streamline the verification of NINs with SIM cards, enhancing data accuracy and simplifying SIM replacement procedures for Nigerians and legal residents.

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