Super Falcons Hold Dominant Canada to Goalless Draw in Thrilling Women’s World Cup Clash; Tinubu Greenlights Infrastructure Support Fund to Offset Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Super Falcons Hold Dominant Canada to Goalless Draw in Thrilling Women’s World Cup Clash
  • FG Announces 40-Day Closure of Section of Eko Bridge for Urgent Repairs
  • Tinubu Greenlights Infrastructure Support Fund to Offset Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact
  • Tribunal: WAEC Fails To Tender Ogun Gov Abiodun’s Certificate
  • Shettima Chairs NEC Meeting to Address Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact

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

Super Falcons Hold Dominant Canada to Goalless Draw in Thrilling Women’s World Cup Clash

The Super Falcons demonstrated their tenacity in a hard-fought goalless draw against Canada, setting the stage for an exhilarating clash at the 2023 Women’s World Cup (WWC) held at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Australia on Friday.

The Nigerian team’s defense proved rock-solid, with Chiamaka Nnadozie’s standout performance, including a second-half penalty stop, denying Canada’s relentless attacks. Coach Randy Waldrum’s strategic blend of experience and youth in the defense, with Osinachi Ohale and Blessing Demehin as central backs, played a pivotal role in maintaining their composure.

Despite the absence of Halimotu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade due to suspension, newcomers Deborah Abiodun and Ifeoma Onumonu made their World Cup debut, adding depth to the Nigerian squad behind lone striker Asisat Oshoala.

The encounter bore a resemblance to their previous friendly double-header against the Olympic champions in 2022, where the Falcons experienced mixed results with a loss and a draw.

Right from the kickoff, the Canadians asserted their dominance, keeping the Nigerian defense under constant pressure, especially with the formidable trio of Christain Sinclair, Andrea Leon, and Jordyn Huitema causing significant trouble for the Nigerian backline.

Sinclair nearly gave Canada the lead in the ninth minute but missed the target by inches from the edge of the Nigerian goal area. Despite Canada’s early dominance, Nigeria managed to create the first shot on target through Onumonu’s curling effort, saved brilliantly by Kailan Sheridan.

During a brief spell of control from the Falcons, Abiodun’s powerful shot soared just over the cross-bar from the edge of the box, signaling their intent to break the deadlock.

Nigeria nearly capitalized on a defensive error from Canada, as Sheridan’s missed clearance was almost punished by Oshoala, but a last-gasp touchline clearance denied her the chance.

The turning point of the game arrived early in the second half when Francesca Ordega’s challenge on Sinclair inside the Nigerian goal area led to a penalty, confirmed by the video assistant referee (VAR). Nnadozie’s remarkable diving save to deny Sinclair’s penalty ensured the Falcons maintained their clean sheet.

Although the game ended on a positive note for Nigeria, Deborah Abiodun’s late red card marred her sensational World Cup debut performance.

The hard-earned draw positions Nigeria well to progress from the group. Their upcoming encounter with Australia on Thursday promises another thrilling showdown as the Super Falcons aim to soar higher in the Women’s World Cup.

FG Announces 40-Day Closure of Section of Eko Bridge for Urgent Repairs

The Federal Government has made a crucial decision to close the Alaka-Costain-Iganmu section of the Eko Bridge (inward Island) for another 40 days, commencing on Sunday, July 23, 2023. The closure comes in response to the discovery of damages on some of the bridge members, necessitating urgent repairs to prevent any compromise in the bridge’s structural stability and integrity.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos State, Engr. (Mrs.) O.I. Kesha, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing, it was emphasized that any further delay in the repairs and replacement of the damaged bridge members could have severe consequences for the overall safety and stability of the entire bridge.

The closure is an essential part of the maintenance work that aims to restore the Eko Bridge’s integrity within the stipulated time frame. The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Federal Controller Of Works, Engr. (Mrs.) Olukorede Kesha, had previously announced intermittent closures during the maintenance process, prioritizing public safety.

During the 40-day closure, the service lane leading to Iponri will remain accessible for motorists. However, alternative routes have been provided for those traveling from Western Avenue and surrounding areas to ease traffic congestion.

The responsibility for the necessary repairs falls upon Messrs Buildwell Plants & Equipment Ind. Ltd, the appointed contractor. Their expertise will be instrumental in ensuring the bridge is reinstated to its full functionality.

Motorists are strongly advised to cooperate with the dedicated Traffic-Management Team deployed on the highway to manage traffic effectively during the closure. By adhering to the guidance of traffic authorities, commuters can minimize inconvenience and contribute to a smoother flow of traffic.

Tinubu Greenlights Infrastructure Support Fund to Offset Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact

President Bola Tinubu has taken a decisive step to alleviate the impact of petrol subsidy removal on Nigerian citizens by authorizing the establishment of the Infrastructure Support Fund (ISF) for all 36 states in the Federation. The move comes as part of a comprehensive strategy to cushion the effects of subsidy removal and ensure tangible improvements in various sectors.

The announcement was made in a statement by the presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, following the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja on Thursday.

The newly introduced Infrastructure Fund will enable each state to invest strategically in critical areas, including transportation, focusing on farm-to-market road improvements, as well as agriculture, encompassing livestock and ranching solutions.

Moreover, the ISF will address health concerns, prioritizing basic healthcare, and enhance education, especially basic education. Additionally, the fund aims to boost power and water resources, fostering economic competitiveness, generating employment opportunities, and delivering economic prosperity for all Nigerians.

Out of the June 2023 distributable revenue totaling N1.9 trillion, N907 billion will be allocated among the three tiers of government. A significant portion of N790 billion will be carefully saved, while the remainder will be utilized for essential statutory deductions. These savings are set to complement the efforts of the Infrastructure Support Fund (ISF) and other existing and planned fiscal measures. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the subsidy removal translates into tangible and beneficial improvements in the lives and living standards of Nigerian citizens.

The committee, in commendation of President Tinubu’s bold decision to remove the petrol subsidy, also emphasized his commitment to supporting the states in mitigating the effects of the subsidy removal on the people.

Moreover, the committee resolved to set aside a portion of the monthly distributable proceeds to mitigate the impact of increased revenues arising from the subsidy removal and exchange rate unification on money supply, inflation, and the exchange rate.

Tribunal: WAEC Fails To Tender Ogun Gov Abiodun’s Certificate

An official from the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Olufemi Olaleye, was present before the Ogun State election petition tribunal on Thursday. However, he appeared without Governor Dapo Abiodun’s certificate, despite a subpoena issued by the tribunal requesting the certificate’s production.

Governor Abiodun, who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Ogun State during the March 18 polls, had his 1978 WAEC certificate at the center of controversy. The tribunal sought the certificate as it was attached to the form he filled with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The dispute arose after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ladi Adebutu, alleged that Governor Abiodun had forged his WAEC certificate. In his petition, Adebutu claimed that Abiodun presented a forged West African Examinations Council School Certificate of June 1978 to INEC on July 25, 2022.

In response to the allegation, the petitioner sought to verify the authenticity of the said examination certificate presented by Governor Abiodun to the electoral umpire through a letter to WAEC.

Olufemi Olaleye, the WAEC official, appeared before the tribunal, but he was neither placed on oath nor allowed to enter the witness box. He clarified that he did not bring the requested certificate with him as WAEC does not retain duplicates of collected certificates.

The official explained the process of confirming a candidate’s participation in WAEC examinations, stating that the original certificate given to the candidate is forwarded to WAEC for verification.

While Olaleye was allowed to tender in evidence a copy of the subpoena issued to WAEC, he was subsequently discharged from testifying before the tribunal as PW73.

The situation remains under scrutiny, and further proceedings will shed more light on the authenticity of Governor Abiodun’s WAEC certificate and the allegations made against him by the PDP candidate.

Shettima Chairs NEC Meeting to Address Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact

Vice-President Kashim Shettima chaired the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting yesterday at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja. The meeting represents the second gathering of the council since its inauguration by President Bola Tinubu.

At the core of the discussion was finding effective ways to cushion the effects of the recent petrol subsidy removal on the Nigerian economy. As mandated by Nigeria’s constitution, the vice-president assumes the role of chairman of NEC, overseeing its critical role in economic matters.

The NEC convenes on a monthly basis to deliberate and harmonize the economic planning efforts and programs across different levels of government. It comprises the 36 state governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Minister of Finance, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and other government officials and agencies responsible for economic matters.

This meeting is of utmost importance, as it brings together key stakeholders who are instrumental in shaping economic policies and strategies. The focus is on developing effective measures to alleviate the impact of the petrol subsidy removal, ensuring sustainable economic growth and stability for the nation.

The council engaged in in-depth discussions, exploring various approaches to address the challenges arising from the fuel subsidy removal.

The National Economic Council plays a crucial role in guiding the country’s economic direction, and its efforts are even more critical during this period of change and adjustment following the subsidy removal. By fostering collaboration and cooperation among government entities, the council endeavors to achieve a resilient and robust economic framework that benefits all Nigerians.

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