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Tokyo Olympics: False Start For Nigerian Contingents As Kits Controversy Rages

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Team Nigeria

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games set to officially kick-off on Friday, however, it was a show of shame as some members of the Nigerian contingents to the games, disorderly arrived Japan in Arsenal jerseys and other different attires.

This development, according to stakeholders is a big slap on the Sports Ministry under the leadership of Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, who has become a motivational speaker without addressing the needful that will help the team excel at the Games.

This is against the usual customized and uniform Team Nigeria kits, which is normally supplied by AFA Sports, the country’s official kits supplier.

The athletes and officials, who left the shores of the country on Tuesday, were not uniformly knitted as one of the officials was spotted wearing an Arsenal jersey, a day after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo unveiled AFA Sports as the official apparel of Team Nigeria to the games.

The scene has been greeted with discontent, as contingents from other countries – including South Africa – who arrived in Japan at the same time with Nigeria, wore their official kit.

The Shehu Gusau-led board of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Sports Ministry were said to have haggled over which company would kit the athletes, even after the federation had struck a deal with renowned sports brand, PUMA.

First Vice President of the AFN, Sunday Adeleye, however, warned that if Sports Minister Sunday Dare insisted on the PUMA kits not being used, it could scare foreign firms from entering into agreements with the country’s sports federations.

“If the minister insists that they shouldn’t wear the PUMA kits at the Olympics, he risks litigation from PUMA. Other companies who would love to enter into any agreement with federations in Nigeria will also be wary of falling into this kind of situation,” Adeleye said

According to reports, the Gusau-led board had confirmed delivery of the PUMA kits and plans to send them to the athletes and officials in Tokyo were in top gear. But, the ministry, through the Tonobok Okowa-led board of the AFN, has insisted on locally made kits.

“This kits issue is a big embarrassment to Nigeria, till now, we have not been able to finalise on our kits. Plans are in top gear to send kits down to Tokyo, but I can assure you that the athletes won’t use PUMA,” an official in the Okowa-led AFN told Punch on the condition of anonymity.

It would be recalled that the AFN and the Nigeria Basketball Federation had been enmeshed in kits controversy.

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BREAKING: APC Convention To Hold February 26, Says Buni

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni has announced February 26 as the date for the APC convention.

Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe State, said this on Tuesday at the national progressive women conference 2022 holding at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.

He said the party is counting on the support of women to hold a successful convention.


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Lagos Transporters To Pay ₦800 Daily Levy, Excluding RTEAN, NURTW Dues

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…Effective From February 1

Lagos State government, on Tuesday, introduced a daily ₦800 consolidated informal transport levy for transporters in the state.

The levy is outside the union dues collected by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

Lagos State finance commissioner, Dr Rabiu Olowo, who revealed this at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils and transport unions, said that the consolidated levy collection will start February 1.

He stated that the harmonized levy became expedient to ensure that the transport sector in the state is organised and fits into a 21st-century economy.

Olowo added that the consolidated levy takes into consideration all the elements in a sane society.

According to him, the levy takes care of dues previously accrued to local councils across the state, as well as revenue for Lagos Waste Management Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) among other MDAs.

He said that the state government expects that once a transporter pays the ₦800 at a point, he or she is expected not to pay at any other park or bus stop throughout the day.

He also said that the government expects that union members will not collect levies from transporters as they are not expected to pay at every bus stop or park.

Olowo said the consolidated levy would reduce the multiplicity of levies collection as many residents and transporters have complained about the huge levies unions often collected.

The commissioner also made an allusion to a report about the ₦150bn that transport unions collect in Lagos under the disguise of collecting dues, saying the new development will eliminate multiple taxes.

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House Of Reps To Reintroduce Electoral Act Amendment Bill Wednesday

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has disclosed that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, will be reintroduced Wednesday for a rework by the lawmakers.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in December rejected the Bill, citing issues with direct primary provisions.

Gbajabiamila, in his welcome address at the resumption of plenary Tuesday while chiding the appalling argument that lack of proper membership registration of the political parties was among the reasons why the Bill should be rejected, however stated that a credible electoral law is what the people want and that is what they will get.

He also assured Nigerians that the lawmakers will prioritize action to pass the constitutional amendment bill.

Thereafter, the lawmakers went into a close door session.


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