Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), has announced its audited results for the full-year ended December 2019, recording impressive growth across top and bottom lines.
According to the 2019 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday February 28, 2020, the Africa’s global bank’s gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8 billion, compared to N494.0 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.
The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 15.1 per cent to an unprecedented N5.6 trillion for the year under review.
This is the first time the Bank’s gross earnings and assets will respectively cross the N500 billion and N5 trillion marks.
Notwithstanding the challenging business environment in Nigeria, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was impressive at N111.3 billion, compared to N106.8 billion at the end of the 2018 financial year.
Furthermore, the Profit After Tax rose by 13.3 percent to N89.1 billion compared to N78.6 billion recorded in 2018. On the cost side, Operating Expenses grew by 10.1 percent to N217.2 billion, as against N197.3 billion in 2018, well below average inflation rate within the period, a reflection of cost efficiency gains.
These results depict the Bank’s deepening of its Pan-African business strategy, given the growth in the contribution of its 19 African subsidiaries to the Group’s net earnings and total assets.
Ex-Nigeria Operations’ contributed 46% to the Group’s Profit Before Tax(PBT) in the year under review.
In addition, UBA has been deploying innovative lifestyle products to expand its market share across Sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging its presence in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France, to build a true Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
In its tradition of rewarding shareholders, the Bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, 2019. The final dividend which is subject to the affirmation of the shareholders at its Annual General Meeting will bring the total dividend for the year to N1.00, as the Bank had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo earlier in the year.
UBA recorded a remarkable 20.2 per cent growth (to N2.1 trillion) in loans to customers, whilst customer deposits increased by 14.4 percent to N3.8 trillion, compared to N3.3 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.
This reflects increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, early wins from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2019 was important for UBA Group, as it gained further market share in most of its countries of operation.
“The year 2019 was a very remarkable one for UBA given the adverse market developments. Nonetheless, we achieved sizable growth in balance sheet and earnings, even as we reposition the Bank for the future. Gross earnings crossed the N500 billion threshold to N559billion, whilst total assets also crossed the N5 trillion mark for the first time to N5.6trillion. Our strategy remains centred around unparalleled service to our esteemed customers. Accordingly, we are making significant investments in a technology-driven transformation journey. We have recorded early gains as shown in the 39% growth in electronic banking income to N38.8bn in 2019 from N27.9bn in 2018. Our businesses are gaining commendable share in their markets across regions in Africa, as we deepen the scale and scope of our operations.”
Continuing, Uzoka said; “I am indeed excited about the synergy we have built within the UBA Group and the significant progress we have made in our transformation drive. We have positioned the Bank as a truly pan-African banking franchise, leveraging our operations in France, the UK and the USA, to deepen intra-African trade, and facilitate capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world. In 2020, we will pursue aggressive deepening of market share in all our subsidiaries, leveraging technology, rich human resources and our customer-first strategy to win in all the markets we operate, notwithstanding the challenges of our operating environment”.
Also speaking on the performance, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh, emphasised that the Bank well-positioned to sustain impressive performance across key financial indices, adding that already, some of its previous investment in digital and technological transformation is already paying off significantly.
“We navigated the fragile yield environment in our largest market, to deliver an 8% growth in net interest income to N221.9billion. This was bolstered by a 7.8% and 13.9% growth in interest income from corporate loans and investment securities respectively, as well as a 4.0% cost of funds driven by our stable retail deposits. Resulting from cost efficiency gains within the year, cost-to-income ratio moderated to 62.7% (64% in 2018), whilst profit for the year grew 13.3%, to N89.1billion, translating to 16.2% return on average equity (RoAE),” Nwaghodoh said.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering diverse banking and payments services to more than eighteen (18) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.
I am not amazed at Lanre Ogunyemi’s ridiculous profanity and disrespect to constituted authority. The APC chief scribe, simply exposed the inherent fear and intolerance to opposing views and opinions. He should be reminded that we are not in a Gestapo state, where oppositions are merely seen and not heard.
Why the frenzy and fright over a factual statement credited to the Oyo State Governor, Hon Seyi Makinde, one of the most outstanding governors in Nigeria today? Why would Lanre, or his pay master, throw decorum to the winds over a statement of fact, on the impending doom that will sooner befall his underperforming Party in Lagos?
You loath constructive criticism, and abhor fair competition, you will rather; your Party continue in its unalloyed feudal aggrandizement and misrule over the people of Lagos. Your days of menacing prance are over, Lagos needs a breath of fresh air.
In your illusion, you labelled one of the most popular and credible elections, that was devoid of thuggery, ballot box snatching, or political intimidation of voters (unlike Lagos), a chanced victory.
This certainly exposes who actually is demented and in a state of hallucinating drunkenness!
I feel I should make enquiries on which faction of the APC Lagos is throwing this unwarranted banter, because I prefer to respond to the faction that was properly constituted, and not the faction that was foisted against the will of the teeming populace.
In talking politics, we must not leave our manners at home, if not, how could you a whole State Secretary, demean yourself to the level of labelling the politics of one of the most politically sophisticated states in Africa as “Amala” politics! It is a slap on all Oyo State indigenes, and I believe you need to tender an unreserved apology. You did not even stop at that, but rather labelled Lagos PDP, as an “association of sharing lot”.
Well, the whole world are not oblivious of whose house bullion vans were driven into, at the eve of the last presidential elections.
There are several fundamentally pressing unattended issues in Lagos, like the worsening drainage system, array of bad roads, area boys menace, filthy environments, couple with health facilities that is beyond the reach of the poor, power problem, lack of affordable housing for the teeming populace, near zero employment opportunities for our graduates, disorganised transportation system.
So many anomalies going on in this state that should draw your attention and not a statement of fact made by our wonderful Governor of Oyo State, that a government that had imposed itself on a state, for over twenty years of our democracy and still dragging its feet on how best to run a proper governmennt, would be flushed out soon.
It is no wonder, that if for over twenty years of governance by a particular political party over a state, and the state is still having all the above teething problems, there is no gain saying that the Government would be jittery and afraid when the opposition finally seems settled and poised to find its bearing.
*Prince Muiz Dosunmu
Lagos State PDP State Secretary.
The duo of South African professional off-road and endurance rider, Kirsten Landman, and Kenyan off-road motorcycle tour guide, Grace Mwari, will be guests on African Voices, the magazine programme of Cable News Network (CNN) sponsored by telecommunications giant, Globacom.
Landman started riding at age eight on dirt bikes, largely influenced by her cousin and uncle. By age 22, she launched her professional career, and has since become a history maker who has made a name for herself worldwide in the hard enduro racing scene.
She has successfully competed in major international events, and she became the first female to finish races such as Redbull Romaniacs, Redbull Sea to Sky, Redbull Megawatt 111, Redbull Braveman and the Roof of Africa.
Her counterpart, Mwari, is an off-road motorcycle tour guide at Offroad Adventure East Africa. She takes riders for safaris in little known places to experience wildlife, culture and the most spectacular scenery. She is currently the only female enduro racer in Kenya who has been riding for five unbroken years. Her first ride was the Leh Ladakh region in the Himalayas. She has since ridden in South East Asia, Southern Africa, East Africa, Morocco and parts of Europe.
Mwari was encouraged to start riding by a friend who subsequently trained her. “Around that same time, I had housemates who were riders and they thought I was capable of doing it. I was living and working in India and when they invited me on a trip to the Himalayas, I did not think twice about it. I got hooked after that trip and have been riding ever since,” she said.
African Voices Change Makers airs on DSTV on Friday at 9.30 a.m. and on Saturday at 12.30 p.m., 5.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. Other repeat broadcasts come up on Sunday at 5.00 a.m., 9.30 a.m. and 8.30 p.m., with more repeats on Monday and Tuesday at 5.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. respectively.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the suspension came following the numerous allegations and petitions surrounding Mr Dokubo.
Read the statement below.
Following numerous allegations and petitions surrounding the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the National Security Adviser (NSA) set up a Caretaker Committee to look into the activities of the programme, on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Part of the Committee’s task is to ensure that allocated resources are properly utilized in consonance with government’s objective of alleviating problems in the Niger Delta region and stamping out corruption in the Amnesty Programme.
Consequently, the NSA recommend to Mr President that the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo be suspended, a recommendation that has been approved and which takes immediate effect.
The President has also directed that the Caretaker Committee set up to review the program should oversee the running of the programme henceforth, with a view to ensuring that government objectives are achieved.
Earlier in the year, it was announced that Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited had been honoured with the coveted and renowned Cranfield School of Management Distinguished Alumnus of the year Award 2020.
The recognition which was celebrated across Nigeria – the highpoint being the commendation by the country’s President, Muhammadu Buhari – was recently presented to Dr. Adeduntan by Professor Sir Peter Gregson, FREng, MRIA, DSc, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, Cranfield University at The Royal Society, London.
With the saying, behind every successful man there is a strong woman; an elated Mrs. Adenike Adeduntan – wife of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan – was at the presentation to support him through the ceremony.
Also in attendance were Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank and Mr. Samuel Aiyere, CEO, FBN Bank UK, amongst others.
The Award is the School’s highest honour and recognises those individuals who have achieved significant success within their industry and sector while upholding the highest standards in business practise.
The astute banker has carved a niche for himself by positioning the FirstBank brand as a clear leader in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria given the significant strides the bank has made in reaching the underbanked and un-banked population designed to reduce poverty and importantly bolster economic growth and development of Nigeria.
As a global thought leader, Adeduntan is well-sought after and has shared his experience and expertise at notable events across the world espousing and even envisioning financial inclusion in the next 125 years.
Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, says it is time the federal government suspends flights from countries that have been affected by the coronavirus.
Nigeria on Friday confirmed its first case of the virus in Lagos, and became the 52nd country with a positive case of the virus.
Reacting in a statement, Atiku said Nigeria needs firm and decisive actions to prevent an escalation of the scourge in the country.
“We must call upon our experience with the Wild Ebola Virus, of which we were the first nation in the world to defeat that scourge in 2014. How did Nigeria do it? We achieved it by showing unprecedented unity,” he said.
“The federal government of the day, worked closely with the Lagos and Rivers state governments. There was complete unity, solidarity and oneness of purpose, which created the atmosphere that defeated that deadly infestation.
“I strongly counsel that any tendency to blame and point fighters must be temporarily, if not permanently, suspended. If fingers must be pointed, it must be to solutions.
“Nigeria needs firm and decisive actions to prevent an escalation of the scourge. Recently, we closed our borders as an act against economic sabotage. Perhaps now is the time to temporarily halt flights to and from any nation with a prevalence of this scourge. It is more important to secure human lives, than to secure an economy. We also need to invest in early detection facilities at our airports.
“But above all, Nigeria must not panic. Whether at government or individual levels. We have defeated Ebola before and we can defeat this present predicament.”
The former vice-president said the crisis is an opportunity to show that Nigerians are united and have no other country, and therefore should work together in keeping the country healthy.
Some of the countries where cases of the disease have been confirmed include Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam.
Following the outbreak, the federal government had in January intensified screening at the airport.
Mr Segun Agbaje, Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) says the bank will continue focusing on caring about human feelings to win the digital payment space in future.
Agbaje made the statement while discussing the topic,” Going beyond the Digital Experience” at the Social Media Week (SMW) in Lagos.
The weeklong event provided brands, agencies and technology providers with latest insights, trends and best practices, together with access to a global community of marketing decision makers.
”I will be lying if I tell you that the bank that will win the payment space in future is one with the best technology.
“So, the person that is going to win, whether a FINTECH, a TELCO or a bank, is one that is going to build the right technology that can leave customers with that feeling that there are people who care about them and not artificial intelligence, ” Agbaje said.
The CEO said the bank was well placed to win, as it had the required digital platforms. ”We have GT-Connection, GTPay, GABS-Lite, we have all the digital platforms required.
“In addition, we have “Habari”, a digital platform for children. No matter what the people say, it is the most successful interactive platform in Nigeria today.
” On it we have music, on it we have E-Commerce, on it we have the credit, we have the most successful of all endowed things on that platform.
“We are going to put travels, event management and you are going to come into our ecosystems and you will believe that we care about you,” Agbaje said.
The CEO said another reason that the bank was going to win was that it never stopped interacting with people. According to him, the idea of Fashion and Food fair is so that the bank can engage with small businesses that are in those segments. For each of these events, we bring more than 250,000 people in two days and continue to engage them and try to understand what they want.
” So already, we are beginning to put that balance together between a digital platform and a human experience; we care about our people and we have the ability to build a successful business platform,” he said.
Agbaje said what was driving the payment space was the people and SMEs. “We have 180 million SMEs in Africa doing 4.5 billion transactions a day, so when you take the young population, you take the huge proliferation of SMEs that you have, then you see the engine of growth that is really driving the payment space,” he said.
Contemporary history in sports development in Nigeria, particularly football, is incomplete without a mention of Amaju Pinnick. His sterling records in the sports development and successes achieved in sports competitions, during and after his stint as Chairman of Delta State Commission, succinctly explains his climb to the hierarchy of national and international football administration.
As the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Pinnick places huge premium on excellence and never shirks from challenges. Rather, he throws himself into his tasks however challenging such may be until a solution is found.
Undaunted by the deep-seated and age-long issues debilitating football administration, Amaju Pinnik, in 2014, offered himself for service. He took up his job like a skilled mechanic, fixing knotty problems and tightening the loose bolts and nuts to get things working again. He would go ahead to win a re-election as the federations president, based on nothing but his sterling performance.
Before the advent of Amaju Pinnik, Nigeria football has always struggled to get private sector sponsorships. It would amaze watchers to see the NFF nicking sponsorship deals one after the other. The list includes AITEO Energy Resources Limited, Nigerias leading Energy Solutions Company becoming the Official Optimum Partner of the NFF.
The company decided to sponsor the FA Cup, Challenge Cup and Federation Cup. Similarly, ZENITH International Bank has handled capacity building for administrators, youth development programme and payment of Super Eagles Head Coach. And on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, two partnership agreements were signed in one day with Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group as Official Food Sponsor of the Super Eagles, and PayPorte Global Systems Limited, as Official Online Store of the NFF. Coca-Cola also teamed up with Nigerian Football on a five-year agreement, which made Coca-Cola the Official Soft Drink of the National Teams. Months later, the NFF signed more endearing agreements; first with Nigerian Breweries PLC a five-year deal worth N2.2 Billion and which made Star Lager the Official Alcoholic Beverage of the Super Eagles; and Amstel Malta the Official Malt Drink of the NFF and the National Teams.
There is also a partnership deal with Cadbury Nigeria PLC which makes Tom Tom the Official Candy of the Super Eagles. WAPIC Insurance PLC is the Official Insurance Company of the NFF and the National Team while Emzor Pharmaceuticals has been retained with another longterm contract.
In December 2017, a two-day workshop to fully connect the NFF to the FIFA Connect system of registration of football players and officials was held in Abuja. FIFA Connect is the centralized portal for the registration of football players and other stakeholders. Following its full integration, Nigeria became the first African country to be on FIFA Connect.
On the international stage, Amaju Pinnick has served as member of the strategic FIFA Organising Committee and as an executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2017. This enviable feats would be followed with his appointment as President, African Cup of Nations and, later, First Vice President of CAF, in September 2018. Hate or love him, one quality that cannot be taken away from Amaju Pinnick is integrity. Despite the avalanche of attacks from his rivals, Pinnick proudly wears a badge of honour as he does his well-trimmed beard. This underlies his passing various integrity test by continental and world football bodies.
Although, ambitious and determined, Pinnick would do nothing to undermine Africa and African football administrators. He would demonstrate this value to the admiration of the world when he stepped back to give opportunity to another African as the continents representative on the FIFA Council. Aside, amaju Pinnik has been pivotal in steadying the drifting ship of African football. To unclog Africa football from its entanglement, Pinnick vigorously saw to the retirement of former football grandee, Issa Hayatou, as CAF president after three decades of being in the saddle.
This, he didnt do for personal gain or glory as rejected calls for him to succeed Hayatou. Instead, he prodded and supported the emergence of Malagasy football administrator, Ahmad Ahmad as CAF President.
The Pinnick administration has also concentrated on enhancing the capacity of administrators, referees and coaches. About two dozen referees went for refresher programs in the United Kingdom in December 2014, and about the same number took their turn in February 2015.
Another capacity-enhancing program took nearly 30 administrators to London in December 2015. Some coaches were specially trained in the world-renowned Pro-Zone software to enhance the performance of Nigerian teams in international competitions.
Thanks to Pinnick, too, there have been a range of FIFA-supported courses and workshops for coaches, referees and administrators in the country in the past four years. The CAF A coaching course for home-grown coaches was a first of its kind and benefitted over 80 coaches with highly-experienced resource persons in attendance.
Under Pinnick, former Nigeria football stars have been highly considered for coaching positions with the various National Teams. Pinnick had so much confidence in former Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh by appointing him Head Coach of the Super Eagles in July 2015 but the latter fell short of expectations by resigning abruptly.
Former goalkeepers, Imama Amapakabo and Alloy Agu have been with the Super Eagles; Samson Siasia coached the U-23 boys; while Emmanuel Amuneke coached the U-17 and U-20 boys at different times. Manu Garba is the current coach of the U-17.
The women are not left out. Florence Omagbemi, Perpetua Nkwocha and Ann Chiejine worked with the Super Falcons at different times.
According to Pinnick, The NFF recognizes and appreciates the great efforts of our footballers who have done well locally and internationally for the glory of our country. They are the most important aspect in the game because, without them, there will be no NFF, FIFA, sponsors, fans and others. The NFF will be putting in place the NFF Foundation principally to look into the welfare of players.
Not just that; he also set up the machinery to take care of retired footballers who are distressed. An example is Wilson Oruma who lost his fortune but has been assisted back to good health by Pinnicks Brownhill Foundation. The foundation is his way of giving back to society. Those who know say that five per cent of earnings from his businesses is channelled to the foundation. Several students have been awarded scholarships and ex-sports personalities with health challenges have also benefited from this foundation.
The legendary Segun Odegbami had to applaud Pinnick because some of the beneficiaries of the Foundation went through the Segun Odegbamis Sports College in Ewekoro.
At the moment, Brownhill Foundation is rebuilding the football pitch, seating pavilions, classroom blocks, volleyball court and renovating the main administrative building in Hussey College, Warri, his alma mater.
Instructively, the Pinnick administration has already started the construction of mini-secretariats for the Football Associations in each of the 36 States and the FCT. The first round of the project has already been concluded in six states (selected from each of the countrys geo-political zones), and construction has commenced in the second tranche of six states. This was part of the significant add-ons agreed with AITEO.
When German giants, Adidas, refused to renew its agreement with the NFF following perceived failures of the previous administration to protect it from the ambush of rivals, and with Nigeria left with no choice than to be buying kits for its various National Teams, Pinnick reached out to his contacts and succeeded in bringing NIKE, another global player, into the fold. Following participation at the FIFA World Cup and the generally rising stock of Nigerian Football on and off the pitch, conversations moved to NIKE significantly improving the terms of the contract, and in November 2018, a robust, new contract was signed between the NFF and NIKE.
Typical of the Nigerian Pull-Him-Down syndrome, Pinnick would soon become a victim of his successes. At the early stage of his second tenure, his opponents, supported by the former sports minister, Solomon Dalung, attempted to forcibly gain control of the NFF but after the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria was spared a worldwide ban by FIFA. Not satisfied, the opponents again wanted to use the retirement of the World Cup fund to cause more confusion but again the presidency stepped into the matter and a fresh crisis was averted.
In May 2019, Nigerias Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property brought charges against Pinnick and other members of the NFF top brass over the alleged misappropriation of the $8.4 million (around R120 million) which FIFA paid Nigeria as a participation fee in the 2014 World Cup.
Pinnick maintained his innocence, claiming victimisation. According to him, The motive for this media trial is purely destructive; its a deep-seated emotional, obsessional and delusional hatred. This is not the first time. We believe all the false allegations are aimed at destroying our credibility and what weve built. The charges were, however, withdrawn by the Federal Government who had taken over the case from the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
It is interesting to note that despite all the allegations thrown against him and which have landed in court, Pinnick has always triumphed. Still, his detractors would not back off, preferring to distract him from his mission to put African football aright and in the right light. But Pinnick is seen by many as a child of destiny.
And they have good grounds to believe so because he has survived both physical and spiritual attacks especially after his close shave with death after a firecracker accident that took out half of his face and had to be flown to London in an air ambulance in 2011 from Warri via Lagos. The legal attacks have also been unrelenting but he keeps surviving all.
A former Super Eagles player, Chikelue Iloenyeosi, recently advanced reasons why he believes Nigeria should celebrate Pinnick rather than pander to the orchestrated moves to bring his name into disrepute. Since his emergence as chairman, Iloenyeosi said Pinnick has been buffeted with allegations of all kinds in the media and public space, with some of the issues ending up in court. He has been the victim of high-grade envy, intense political schemes and vendetta. Before I came close to the NFF, I was like the other armchair critics who saw nothing good in the federation and thought all they were doing there was sharing money, the former defender said.
He added, Since I started working with Mr. Pinnick, the NFF has never received up to N1 billion as allocation from the government. The money that comes from FIFA is about $1.2million, of which $700,000 is for infrastructure, with the rest broken into subheads like women football, youth development and leagues.
When you place this side-by-side with the responsibilities of catering for 11 national teams, most of which are always competitively engaged, you begin to wonder where all the outlandish figures that some persons are bandying around town as having been embezzled came from.
Iloenyeosi declared further that Pinnick and his team deserve kudos for their resourcefulness in getting some state governments to take the burden of sponsorship of some matches of the national teams as the Federal Government does not give monies for every match but intervenes only for critical tournaments like the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup.
He continued, For the 65 months that he has been NFF President, Mr. Pinnick has not received money for accommodation in Abuja, despite travelling to the city several times every month for official functions. His predecessor collected a tidy sum for this.
A successful businessman before his love and passion for football took over, he is the chairman of the Brownhill Group UK with subsidiaries like Brownhill Investments Company Ltd, A Marine and Offshore Support Services Co, the Brownhill Investment Company Ltd, Brownhill Construction and Engineering Ltd, Brownhill Properties LTD, Brownhill Coliseum, Brownhill Events Incorporated and BrownHill Marine and Offshore support services
His journey to the NFF began after a four year-stint as Chairman, Delta State Football Association. Against all odds, he won the NFF election in 2014 despite being pitted against heavyweights like sports business mogul, Shehu Dikko, and former NFF Secretary-General, Taiwo Ogunjobi. Pinnick went on to name Dikko as second vice-president. The plan is to make genuine reconciliatory moves.
I will personally go to Jos to see and speak to Chris Giwa because we all need to come together for the sake of our country and football, said Pinnick. It was the first sign that he was not at the NFF to wage petty wars against real or phantom enemies.
He won re-election in September 2018 and has promised to focus on youth development programmes and reconciliation, build a sustainable football culture for Nigeria, and continue the great march towards ensuring financial independence for the NFF during his second tenure.
Following the incident of Coronavirus recorded in Ogun State, the state government says 28 people who had contact with the Italian victim of the disease have been identified and quarantined.
The government also said the firm where the victim visited in Ewekoro has been shut down.
The state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, disclosed this, on Friday, while addressing newsmen on the update of the Coronavirus incident in the state.
The governor said efforts were on to identify more contacts to curb the spread of the disease.
Abiodun said, “The particular company in question has been practically shut down and they have set up two isolation centres within the premises.
“They have identified all those that have been in contact with this index, totalling about 28. All those 28 people have been quarantined.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Tomi Coker, said the victim, whose name was not given, fell ill in a cement company in Ewekoro, where he visited for a business engagement from Italy.
Coker while explaining how the 44-year-old Italian victim entered the state said, “In the last 12 hours, the first case of the chronic virus has been identified in Nigeria and the individual was visiting Ogun State.
“The individual is of Italian origin and he is a consultant to the Lafarge, Ewekoro factory.”
SuperSport viewers on DStv are set to be enthralled by the biggest club football match in the world as the latest edition of ‘El Clasico’ – the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid – looms large this weekend.
The teams switched positions in this past weekend’s round of La Liga matches, with Barcelona racking up an emphatic 5-0 win over Eibar on Saturday, while Real Madrid slumped to a surprise 1-0 loss at Levante later the same day. The results saw Barcelona move up to pole position with 55 points, while Real are second with 53. A further 10 points separate Los Blancos from third-placed Atletico Madrid, underlining how important El Clasico will be in deciding the title.
Barca’s big win at the weekend featured four goals from the incomparable Lionel Messi, who will be hoping to add to his record tally of 26 El Clasico goals come Sunday night.
“We have been waiting for a result like this, where everything goes in our favour,” Barcelona boss Quique Setien said as he gears up for his first El Clasico since succeeding Ernesto Valverde.
“In other games, we have not finished the chances we have created, but [against Eibar] we have. The three goals before the break have given us peace of mind ahead the second half, and we have an important week ahead.”
Real have dropped five points in their last two matches to bring into doubt their ability to reclaim the La Liga title. Their performance against Levante was an abject one and came with two massive blows for El Clasico, with news that Rodrygo is suspended and Belgian attacker Eden Hazard is ruled out with an ankle injury.
“We failed at the most important thing in football and that’s to score. It’s screwed up because in a week we’ve dropped five points, but this is football,” lamented manager Zinedine Zidane. “We didn’t deserve that today. We went from more to less. They made their shots count. We can’t look back now.
“My players gave everything and I’m annoyed. Losing five points in two games is a bad moment for us. We’re playing for everything this week. We’ve got to keep our heads up. We’ve had good moments before and now we’re in a bad one but we’ll come out of this.”
‘El Clasico’, broadcast details, 1 March 2020
Sunday 1 March
09:00 PM: Real Madrid v Barcelona – LIVE on SuperSport 7