The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) yesterday expressed optimism that Super Eagles would excel at the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup competition in Brazil.
A board member of the NFA, Ahmed Kawu, told newsmen in Abuja that the Super Eagles did not play well in the first match against Tahiti in spite of the 6-1 victory.
Kawu, however, said the team would up its game on Thursday against Uruguay.
“If we play Uruguay or Spain the way we played Tahiti, we will regret it. The Super Eagles did not play well against Tahiti but this is our time to shine.
“I am very confident that we will overcome Uruguay and Spain because of the commitment of the players.
“The players want to get new clubs abroad and their coaches want to make name for themselves,’’ Kawu said.
Kawu, who doubles as Chairman of the Nigeria Nationwide League, pointed out that not even the disagreement over players’ match bonus could distract the team from getting good results.
He said the Federal Government had waded into the matter to ensure that the team was focused to win the Confederations Cup trophy.
Emeka Inyama, another board member of the NFA said Nigeria was only passing a message to the World that it had talents, other than the victorious African Cup of Nations squad, that could shake the world.
He said Nigeria was destined for football glory this season, noting that the team must be focused if success was to be achieved.
Similarly, James Peters, the Assistant Technical Director of the NFA, told our correspondent that the Super Eagles performance against Tahiti was not convincing.
“Super Eagles display against Tahiti was not convincing; we expect better outing against Uruguay and Spain.
“I think the below average performance was because they were up against a smaller and less exposed team. Nonetheless, I tip the Eagles for final,’’ Peters said.
He maintained that Nigeria would shock both Uruguay and Spain, as the Super Eagles had defeated Spain in the past in a World Cup match.
Meanwhile, Soccer enthusiasts in Abuja have urged the Super Eagles of Nigeria to up their game at the ongoing 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Nigeria thrashed Tahiti 6-1 in their first Group B game of the cup competition, and Super Eagles will next face Uruguay on June 20 in their second group game.
Sanusi Mohammed, NFA’s director of competitions, congratulated the Super Eagles on the victory, but urged the players to keep the win aside and concentrate on the matches ahead.
“They should not think that they have arrived because the team they met today isn’t as strong as the teams they will meet later,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the Eagles must see the victory as a morale booster because they played the least difficult match of all the matches they have at the championship
“They should not be complacent about the win because the opposition today did not make the match a good test for them because, despite the result, they wasted a lot of chances,” Mohammed warned
Mansur Abdullahi, the FCT FA organizing committee secretary, said the team was improving gradually, adding: “That is a good step in a right direction
Meanwhile, a cross section of the fans in Abuja, who spoke to NAN expressed mixed feelings over the performance of the team.
Mr Suleiman Abubakar, a fan, commended the Eagles for a job well done, but insisted that the team must improve on its performances to enable them win their next match
He said expressed the need for the coach to change his style and approach in their match against Uruguay
Abubakar said this was necessary to ensure effective coordination among players and to encourage them to display their professional prowess.
Femi Babatunde, a football viewing centre operator, noted, with concern, the lack of team work among the players, a situation he said might affect their chances
“The players are playing individual game, no team work. They must understand themselves and work as one to enable them win against Uruguay,” he said.
Jerry Tsee, a civil servant, observed that the Eagles squandered many of scoring opportunities.
“I was particularly disappointed at Ahmed Musa,’’ he said.
“We would have been 10 goals up if Musa and Brown Ideye had taken their chances at goal.
“They were rather too selfish and always wanted to go for glory all by themselves.’’
Mr Emmanuel Okoye, a businessman, noted that the Nigeria-Uruguay game would be a different ball game.
“Nigeria’s game against Uruguay and Spain will be crucial for us bearing in mind that they will both be looking to get maximum points off Tahiti.
“Our next game is a must win if we hope to make it out of the group stage,” he said.
Mr Femi Ajayi, an engineer, said the team was extremely good, adding that without the likes of Victor Moses and Emenike they still performed brilliantly.
According to him, the standard of the team was not low because Tahiti is also a good team to have participated in the tournament, stating that Super Eagles should expect a tough match ahead.
He said even though Nigeria had built confidence for the next match, the team must work hard to maintain the speed of play otherwise they would be an underdog.
“We will be the underdogs in our match against Spain if we do not prepare hard against the other strong teams. Even Uruguay is a big team for us, so we have yet to start.’’
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
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