NSE All-Share Index Falls 1.2% As Market Opens On Bearish Note – Thisday, Page 31
The stock market opened the second half (H2)of the year on negative note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 1.2 per cent to close at 29,614.61 yesterday. After appreciating in the last two days of the first half of the year, it was expected that the positive trend would be sustained this week. However, profit-taking in bellwethers such as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated led the market to a negative close. Market capitalisation shed N155.2 billion to close at N130.050 trillion. Also, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 56.7 per cent and 78.9 per cent to 107.4 million units and N1.1 billion respectively. Transcorp Plc (21.9 million shares), FBN Holdings Plc (12.4 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (8.5 million shares) were the top traded stocks by volume while GTBank(N232.6 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N168.6 million) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (N84.8 million) led by value.
FG Begins July Savings Bond Auction – Punch, Page 35
The Federal Government has commenced the auction of its savings bond for July this year. A savings bond is targeted at low-income earners to encourage them to save and earn more income (interest) when compared with their savings account with banks. Savings bonds are tax-free with competitive fixed interest rates to be paid every quarter, and are tradeable on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. They can be used as collateral for loans. The FGN Savings Bond auction, according to the Debt Management Office, commenced on July 1 and will close on July 5. The DMO said the two-year FGN Savings Bond was offered at 11.195 per cent per annum and would be due on July 10, 2021, while the three-year FGN Savings Bond was offered at 12.195 per cent per annum and would be due on July 10, 2022. It said the bonds were offered at N1,000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter, subject to a maximum subscription of N50m. The debt office said, “The bond qualifies as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act. It also qualifies as government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption and pension funds, among other investors.
38 Million Nigerians Now Have BVNs, Says CBN – Punch, Page 36
Banks in the country have successfully linked 38 million accounts with the Bank Verification Numbers, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. As part of its financial inclusion drive, the CBN said it was targeting 100 million BVNs in the next five years. According to the CBN, “In order to ease the constraint poor identification has on the availability of credit to prospective banking customers, the CBN will support an aggressive enrolment of prospective banking customers in the informal sector onto the BVN system. “The current enrolment of 38 million unique banking customers will be expanded to 100 million over the next five years. “Ongoing partnership with the National Identity Management Commission will also enable integration between the two databases. “This effort will improve the comfort level on banks in providing services to an expanded customer base. It will also aid in the development of a credit profile for banking customers which will assist in improving access to credit for creditworthy borrowers by banks.”
BDC Rates – BusinessDay , Page 1
Stock Market Report – July 1
ALL SHARE INDEX 29,614.61
EQUITY CAP N13,050,309,119,334.98
BOND CAP N12,091,098,991,215.80
ETF CAP N5,478,384,943.58
Again, Zenith, Access, GT Bank, UBA, FBN Ranked Among 1,000 Global Banks – Thisday, Page 33
Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and First Bank Nigeria Limited are among the 25 banks in Africa that were ranked among the 2019 Top 1000 global banks by The Banker Magazine. This is coming as Moody’s Investor Services, one of the global rating agencies, yesterday stated that the plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deepen the role of financial technology firms (fintechs) in the banking system will result in increased competition against the commercial banks. CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said he planned to initiate a recapitalisation programme to position Nigerian banks among the top 500 in the world. But the latest ranking by The Banker Magazine unveiled yesterday, Zenith, which ranked number one in Nigeria, ninth in Africa and 424th position in the world has tier 1 capital ranking of $2.672 billion. It was closely followed by Access Bank as second position in Nigeria, 14th in Africa and 581 in the world, with a tier one capital of $1.620 billion. According to the Banker Magazine, First Bank of Nigeria is the fifth largest bank in Nigeria, with a tier 1 capital of $745 million, 24th position in Africa and 852 position in the world. China has the world’s largest banks but America’s are much more efficient, according to The Banker’s latest ranking of the Top 1000 World Banks. But if US President Donald Trump is successful in opening up China’s markets the situation could go into reverse, The Banker’s editor Brian Caplen said.
CIBN Accredits Ecobank Academy, Lauds State Of The Art Equipment
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has accredited Ecobank Nigeria Academy in recognition of its compliance with regulatory standards and best practices. This comes after rigorous accreditation processes which included a high powered visit by the Registrar and members of the Institute’s accreditation committee that showed that Ecobank Nigeria has complied with and satisfied the provisions and requirements of the Competency framework for the Nigerian Banking Industry as mandated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through CIBN. The accreditation comes at the wake of Ecobank Nigeria’s launch of the Entry Level Development Programme which is an intensive 8-week medley of learning interventions for fresh graduates. It is intended to improve the financial literacy of participants who may be coming from other disciplines, or who may have non-financial and banking related academic backgrounds. The programme is an addition to the existing Ecobank Graduate and Management Trainee program which runs for 12 months and 21 months respectively. With this development, participants and graduates of the Academy would now be granted exemptions at the various levels of banking professional examinations. Commenting, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, described it as a welcome development, stressing that the Bank took deliberate steps to equip the academy to meet with international best standards. He pointed out that the accreditation further underscores the importance the Bank attaches to staff’s training, skills development and capacity building, adding that the management will continue to upgrade the standard of the Academy to meet with fresh and modern day industry challenges.
Ruga Settlements: South-East Govs, Ortom Tackle Presidency, Fayemi Says No Outsider Can Take Ekiti Land – Punch, Page 2
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; his counterparts in the South-East and the Ekiti State Government have faulted a claim by the Presidency that the Federal Government has gazetted land in all the 36 states of the federation. President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said that the Federal Government would not impose the Ruga herdsmen settlement on any state. He, however, said, “It is true that government at the centre has gazetted land in all the states of the federation.” But Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Monday, challenged the Federal Government to show any proof of gazetted land in the state. He said, “We wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements, contrary to the Presidency’s claim. “We expect the Federal Government to publicly tender documents of the claimed gazetted land in Benue State to put the matter to rest. “The Federal Government should show titles to the land it claims to have in Benue State, the evidence of compensation it paid to owners of such land, as well as the purpose for which the land was acquired. “The Benue State Government has already made known its stand on the Ruga settlements matter that the state will not be part of the project.
INEC Goes Tough, Directs Parties To Submit 2019 Election Expenses – Thisday, Page 1
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has knocked political parties for not submitting details of their financial transactions during the 2019 general election, including material contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with leaders of political parties to review the conduct of the general election that it was regrettable that none of the political parties had submitted its financial records, three months after the announcement of the results of the general election as provided for in Electoral Act 2010 as amended. He, therefore, directed the parties that participated in the general election to submit immediately their financial records for the election as well as audited accounts of their parties after the election. But the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, faulted INEC’s position, saying as far as the opposition party is concerned, the election is not over yet as the party is still at the tribunal. INEC said the submission of the financial records must contain details of financial contributions by individuals and corporate bodies. The electoral commission also charged the political parties to make early preparations for the Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections slated for November 16 to avoid late-minute rush.
PDP Probe Over Lawan, Gbajabiamila Undemocratic, Says Oshiomhole – Thisday, Page 8
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is going down in history as the party that seeks to investigate how its members in the National Assembly voted to elect leaders of the ninth assembly using secret ballot system. The leadership of the PDP had resolved to support Senator Ali Ndume and Hon. Umar Mohammed Bago for Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives respectively, while also directing its members in the National Assembly to vote according to the decision reached by the party. However, following the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan as Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP set up a fact-finding committee on the role played by some of its members during the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly. But Oshiomhole while playing host to the National Assembly members from Kano State led by the Deputy Governor, Nasir Gawuna, in his office in Abuja yesterday, commended the National Assembly caucus of the party for electing the party’s choices as the principal officers of the ninth assembly.
Why New Minimum Wage Has Not Been Implemented’ – Thisday, Page 30
Despite approving an increase in the country’s minimum wage last April, the federal government has not been able to commence its implementation as labour unions disagree on how to calculate percentage increase across all levels of public service. The federal government had proposed, in addition to the adjustments of the minimum wage of those who are already on level one to level six to reflect the new minimum wage, a consequential salary adjustment of N10,000 per month across the board for all the harmonised salary structure to ensure equity. This gave rise to the additional cost implication of N158,771,830,326.00 per annum, which has already been captured in the 2019 budget. According to a source if government accepts labour proposals, the resultant additional cost would be about N500,813, 183,739.00 per annum which is far above the budgeted sum. However, labour leaders are adamant that officers on level seven to 14 should also get an additional 30 per cent of their salaries, while those on level 15 to level 17 should have 25 percent of their current monthly earnings added to their salaries.
I’m Innocent, EFCC On A Wild Goose Chase, Says Saraki – Thisday, Page 9
Former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has described as a wild goose chase, the reported probe of his four-year tenure as Senate president by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), insisting that he is innocent. Saraki, in a statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the former Senate president said nothing good would come out of the investigation as his tenure had nothing to do with award of contracts and finances of the eighth National Assembly. According to the statement, “while the EFCC claims that it is investigating the Office of the Senate President between 2015 and 2019, we make bold to say that it is just on a wild goose chase. “That office has nothing to do with contract awards and handling of the finances of the National Assembly. These are functions of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly, otherwise known as the National Assembly Management”. On EFCC’s persistent probe of Saraki’s tenure as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, the statement maintained that all the issues the anti-graft agency is raising now were the same issues that were contained in four of the charges filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and taken before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
CFA Institute To Partner Ecobank On Training, Research – Nation, Page 12
The Chief Executive and President Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, Paul Smith has called for a closer collaboration with Ecobank Nigeria along areas of mutual interest in the nation’s financial industry. Smith who was speaking during a courtesy visit to Management of Ecobank Nigeria in Lagos on Friday, said its call is predicated on the pedigree and antecedents of the Bank in the financial industry. According to him, the partnership would further explore research, training and professional development. Responding, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, lauded the visit and assured that the Bank is ready to collaborate more with the Institute to further develop the financial sector in Nigeria and across Sub-Saharan Africa. He commended the organization’s sterling activities in growing the ethical and professional practice of financial services in Nigeria, Africa and across the world. In his remarks, the Head of Strategy, Ecobank Nigeria, Unwana Esang noted that the desire to deepen and expand collaboration between the Institute and the Bank is a welcome development especially at a time the financial services industry is experiencing a profound paradigm shift in its business and operating models. He further stated that such partnerships between global and Pan African financial industry stakeholders will go a long way in enhancing financial services practice and also help in sustaining the relevance and quality of service of the banking system far into the future. He restated Ecobank’s strong positive disposition towards actualising the several collaborative options and models available to both organisations
Court Orders Permanent Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m – Thisday, Page 12
Finally, a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of N9.2 billion and $8.4 million recovered from a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan. The presiding judge of the court, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, ordered that the funds should be forfeited to the federal government. The judgment followed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which said the funds were proceeds of crime. Though Mrs. Jonathan, through her lawyers, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), opposed the application and insisted that the funds were legitimately her own, the judge held that she had “no doubts, at all, that these monies are proceeds of unlawful activities.” She said the respondents “failed to dispel the suspicion created by the movement of the monies within the meaning and contemplation of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, coupled with the various extrajudicial statements of the Bureau De Change agents which were not controverted by the respondents.” “In all of this, taking into consideration the overwhelming evidence provided by the applicant, the mode, the circumstances and the manner involved, using fictitious names, etcetera, to lodge monies in her name by named and unnamed individuals and BDCs, I cannot come to a conclusion by any sense of responsibility that these monies are proceeds of lawful activities within the meaning and contemplation of the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006; the Money Laundering Act 2004 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004 and other laws enforceable under the EFCC Act 2004.”
Mele Kyari: Crude Oil Pricing, Production, Key For Revenue Generation In Nigeria – Thisday, Page 1
The newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, on Monday said crude oil pricing and volume of production are key factors in ensuring sustainable revenue generation for the country. Kyari, said this in Vienna, while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the 176th Meeting of the OPEC Conference. The new NNPC boss, who is Nigeria’s OPEC National Representative was represented at the meeting by Mr. Bala Wunti. Furthermore, Kyari assured the global audience that Nigeria would continue to support the declaration of cooperation that has helped in restoring stability in the global oil market. “Through the Declaration of Cooperation, greater stability is restored globally, Nigeria believes that having the right price and volume can support our aspiration and ensure a sustainable revenue generation,” he said. According to Kyari, a continuation of the declaration was the way to go. He said a six-month extension was too short a time and would not have the required impact in curbing uncertainty and volatility which existed before the cooperation. “So a nine-month extension is the way to go considering the objective of the declaration, that is why Nigeria supports the initiative and is also grateful that big nations are committed to it,” Kyari said
Mismanagement Of Our Diversity Stagnating Nigeria –Obasanjo – Punch, Page 8
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that as long as Nigeria continues to mismanage its plurality, the country may not make progress. He also said he knew many Nigerians that wanted to move out of the country because they could not get what they wanted. Obasanjo said this on Monday at the 9th Toyin Falola Annual International Conference held at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State. The ex-military ruler, who was flanked by the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, who representated Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, said there was no Nigerian that did not wish the country well . He said most Nigerians were not happy because they could not get their heart desires, hence they wanted to leave the country. The theme of the conference was ‘Religion, the State and Global Politics.’ Obasanjo, in a paper titled, ‘Towards a re-unification of the sacred and secular: Religious interventions in politics’, submitted that religion and politics could not be separated.
‘Nigeria’s, Others’ 2.3b Euros Digital Potential Untapped’ – The Nation, Page 35
There is a 2.3 billion euros untapped market for digital services in Nigeria and other African countries, a new report has shown. It said the cash would have transformed the continent’s agriculture sector. This information is contained in the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report 2018-2019. The centre is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union (EU). It is funded by the EU. It works to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture. The study was compiled with strategic advisory firm, Dalberg. The research found that nearly 400 different digital agriculture solutions are active, with 33 million registered farmers across sub-Saharan Africa. The survey report was released last week. It states that 400 players were surveyed, with 175 responses received. A database of 390 active solutions was developed. More than 120 interviews were conducted with agribusiness leaders, tech experts, solution providers, academics and policymakers.
Empowering Nasarawa Youths Through ITF – Thisday, Page 20
Within the last two years, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), through the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) and other skills acquisition programmes, equipped about 450,000 Nigerian youths nationwide, and about 2,000 youths from Nasarawa State with skills for employability and entrepreneurship. In this regard, shortly before the 2019 general election, the ITF trained about 11,000 Nigerians in various trade areas namely: welding and fabrication, plumbing and pipe-fitting, tailoring, aluminum, tiling, Plaster of Paris (PoP), as well as photography. consequently, about 300 indigenes of Nasarawa State also benefited and were trained in various trades that were carefully selected based on their potentials to directly impact on the economy of the state and the country in general. Perhaps, the ITF’s monitoring and evaluation of its earlier graduate trainees indicated that where training occurs without the accompanying empowerment tools, the results become less impactful. Hence bearing this in mind, the ITFdecided to empower beneficiaries of its skills acquisition programmes with start-up-kits; which the 300 indigenous graduate trainees of the NISDP from Nasrawa State were similarly empowered recently in Lafia, the state capital.
COZA Pastor Steps Down Over Rape Allegation –Thisday, Page 1
The Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, has finally bowed to pressure to step aside from the pulpit to pave the way for the investigation of allegation of rape made against him by Mrs. Bisola Dakolo. He announced his decision in a statement yesterday just as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said it awaited the outcome of investigation launched by the Pentecostal Bloc of the association before reaching a decision on the matter. The rape allegation, which triggered a nationwide outrage and led to protests on Sunday in Abuja and Lagos, has, however, prompted the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command to raise security alert level in a bid to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Mr. Bala Ciroma, yesterday reiterated his earlier statement that there was no formal complaint against the COZA pastor. Fatoyinbo’s decision to stand down followed Sunday’s massive protests, held at the Lagos branch and Abuja headquarters of the church, organised by concerned Nigerians and human rights groups. The groups demanded the immediate resignation of the pastor as well as police investigation of the allegation.
Fatoyinbo, in the statement yesterday, said his decision to step aside was based on the advice of his elders. He was accused by Bisola, a former member of his church and wife of a Nigerian musician, Mr. Timi Dakolo, of raping her when she was 16 years old.
Gunmen Kill DPO, Pregnant Cop, Five Others In Bayelsa, Rivers – Punch, 4-5
Monday was a sad day for the Nigeria Police Force as it lost six of its personnel to unknown gunmen in Bayelsa and Rivers states, while a station was set ablaze in Imo State. In the most deadly of the attacks, some gunmen invaded a police station in Agudama, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, and killed the Divisional Police Officer, SP Ola Rosanla; a pregnant policewoman, identified as Joy Wellington; and two other yet-to-be-identified cops on duty. The gunmen reportedly made away with rifles, ammunition and the police uniforms they found at the station in the operation that lasted close to one hour. One of our correspondents gathered that the gunmen invaded the station, which has a perimeter fence, through the bank of the river in the community and caught the policemen on duty unawares. They were said to have led the DPO to the armoury at gunpoint and took all the guns and ammunition there, after which the bandits reportedly forced him to kneel down and shot him dead.
Vigilante Group Rescues Five Kidnap Victims In Edo – Punch, Page 4
Five kidnapped victims were, on Saturday, rescued by a local vigilante group in the Egoro Na Oka community, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. The victims, who had attended an overnight burial ceremony in Egoro Na Oka, were abducted on their way back to Ekpoma. It was gathered that their Toyota Camary car was blocked by five gun-wielding men suspected to be herdsmen. One of the victims, who identified himself simply as Osemudiamen, said, “There was repeated shooting by the armed men, who ordered us out of the car and marched us into the bush. “After the shooting, the kidnappers collected our phones and ordered that we move ahead into the forest, while our vehicle was abandoned on the highway.” It was gathered that when information reached the village’s vigilante members, they quickly mobilised and cordoned off the forest between Egoro Na Oka, Urohi, Opoji, Ebudin and Ekpoma. The leader of the vigilante team, Henry Anuge, said it took his men the entire night to comb the forest. “The operation took the whole night as we combed the forest. After much effort, the five victims were rescued by our men though two of them sustained bullet wounds during the exchange of gunfire between us and the kidnappers. They are now receiving treatment in one of the government hospitals,” he stated.
More Bodies Recovered In Lagos Boat Mishap – Guardian, Page 12
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) yesterday said one more body had been recovered, now making seven persons confirmed dead in a Saturday night boat mishap on Lagos waterway. General Manager of the agency, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, told newsmen that this was against the initial six people confirmed dead. Emmanuel, who noted that rescue operations were still ongoing, said 10 persons were still missing, while three others survived. He had said earlier that the boat mishap occurred mid-sea at about 11:00p.m. on Saturday, along Badore-Ijede route with only three survivors. “The agency at 11:20p.m. received a distress call that a 20-capacity unmarked passengers boat with 60″Hp engine capsized after being hit by several waves en route Egbin jetty in Ijede, Ikorodu from a landing jetty in Badore, Ajah axis of Lagos. “An on the spot investigation carried out by LASWA revealed that the incident was caused by poor visibility on the part of the captain and non-wearing of life jackets by passengers,” Emmanuel said.
Eagles Return To Training As Mikel Doubtful For Clash With Ghana – Thisday, Page 38
After Nigeria suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to debutants Madagascar in their last Group B match of the ongoing AFCON 2019, Rohr led Eagles back to training yesterday to begin plotting how to make amends. However, Captain of the team John Obi Mikel who suffered a knock during the clash with Madagascar on Sunday is not likely to be fit for Nigeria’s next game of the tournament on Saturday in Cairo. There is no confirmation yet even as speculations are rife here that Nigeria is likely to take on Ghana’s Black Stars in the Round of 16. The former Chelsea star was substituted after 59 minutes of the better to be forgotten 2-0 loss to the Islanders. Eagles medical team will determine whether Mikel will be able to play in the Round of 16 tie. Bursapor defender Abdullahi Shehu is yet to recover from a hamstring complaint. The Franco-German gaffer who admitted at Sunday’s post-match press conference that there were injury concern in the Nigerian team was quick to say that SC Paderborn 07 full back Jamilu Collins has recovered and will likely get a starting shirt. Ola Aina was deployed as a left-back in all the group matches only because Collins had been on the sidelines after suffering a training ground injury on June 21. ”I am still confident because we have everybody now fit only Shehu perhaps. We have recovered Collins, our left-back with a left foot,” said Rohr.
Mikel Joins Trabzonspor On Two-Year Deal – Thisday, Page 39
Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel has joined Turkish Super Lig club Trabzonspor on a two-year deal with the option of an additional one year. The Turkish club announced the news of Mikel’s switch on their website Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old former Chelsea midfielder who won the UEFA Champions League with the Blues in 2012, was a free agent after leaving Championship side Middlesbrough in May. Mikel, who has made two appearances for his country at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, has previously played in Norway and China, but achieved success in England with Chelsea. “A two-year and an additional year agreement was signed with the free captain of the Nigerian national team,” the Turkish club announced on their website. The midfielder made 249 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in an 11-year spell, which ended when he left Stamford Bridge two years ago. He also won two league titles, three FA Cups and the Europa League in 2013.
Guardiola: Anfield Swallow You Up – Punch, Page 22
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has spoken of the Anfield effect that helped Liverpool win the Champions League title last season. City were dumped out of the Champions League by the Reds in 2018 and Guardiola’s former club Barcelona also suffered humiliation on Merseyside last term. “Anfield believed that a goal would be scored,” Guardiola told Ara when assessing Barcelona’s semifinal defeat. “And I am convinced that the players knew that Anfield is Anfield. “What it says, ‘This is Anfield’, it’s not marketing. It has something that no other stadium in the world has. “They score a goal and in the next five minutes they seem to have four. “You look small, you see opposing players everywhere. “We have all suffered what happened to Barca. They laughed at me when we lost 3-0 in the first 15, 20 minutes in the quarter-finals.”
Ikoyi Club Honours Swimfest Winners – Thisday, Page 39
The Swimming Section of Ikoyi Club 1938 witnessed a glamorous Sunday as the club staged a reception party in honour of the victorious swimming team that emerged winners of this year’s Neptun-Nehein Swimfest in Arnsberg, Germany. It was an amazing day for the swimmers who maintained the country’s number one position at the Swimfet meet. Nigerian team emerged champions back-to-back-to-back between 2017 and 2019. The young swimmers from the club amassed 42 gold, 48 silver and 27 bronze medals to beat other swimmers from 11 countries from various parts of the world to the number one position. The chairman of the swimming section of the club, Oloyede Obatoyinbo, said he was elated about the development which is a big boost to the talent development drive of the club. Prizes were given to some of the swimmers who excelled at the Germany event as a way of appreciating their efforts. A young male swimmer, 11-year-old AbdulJabar Adama who won 11 individual gold medals and one relay silver was the best performer at the event. 12-year-old Kayo Adeniji, also a male, received the overall second prize for winning four gold, four silver and two bronze medals at the event. Adeniji also won one relay gold and a relay silver at the tournament. Two swimmers – a female, Maria Perner,(14), and nine-year-old Kolashope Obatoyinbo – were joint third. Perner won four gold, three and two silver medals while Obatoyinbo won same number of medals at the international swimming fiesta. Club’s swimming section chairman, Obatoyimbo said the club was proud of producing future champions for Nigeria.
La Liga President Rejects Neymar Return – Punch, Page 22
La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he would prefer Neymar does not return to La Liga if he cannot improve his behaviour. Neymar left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of 222 million euros in August 2017, but could make a surprise move back to Camp Nou this summer. “In my opinion if Neymar behaves better, he can be a great player,” Tebas told Spanish radio station Onda Cero late Sunday. “But I think behaviour and the values that we set as a competition are also very important. I prefer another type of player. Neymar is a great player, but if the example off the pitch is not correct, then to be honest I’d prefer him not to come to the Spanish league.” Neymar has denied allegations he raped a woman in Paris and last month attempted to prove his innocence by making public what he claims is an exchange of messages between them. Spain’s tax authorities are also investigating Neymar over a bonus he earned at Barcelona and the transfer fee paid to him by PSG, while he remains in dispute with Barca regarding a loyalty payment of 26 million euros. On the pitch, Neymar will miss the first three games of next season’s Champions League for insulting match officials following PSG’s defeat to Manchester United. And PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi insisted last month he will not tolerate any more “superstar behaviour”, comments some took to be directed at the 27-year-old.
Kovacic Seals £40m Permanent Chelsea Switch From Real Madrid – Thisday, Page 39
Chelsea have signed Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid for £40m, despite being under a two-window transfer ban. Kovacic spent last season on loan with the Blues, helping them win the Europa League, and joins on a five-year deal. Chelsea had already registered the 25-year-old when he was on loan and did not require another registration. The transfer ban issued by world governing body Fifa runs until the end of January 2020. Chelsea transfer ban: Blues take appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport. Chelsea take their appeal against a two-window transfer ban imposed by Fifa to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The suspension, which followed an investigation into the Stamford Bridge club’s signing of foreign under-18 players, is being appealed against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Chelsea have not asked for the ban to be lifted until the appeal is heard. Kovacic made 32 Premier League appearances for the Blues last season, although former manager Maurizio Sarri regularly switched him with England midfielder Ross Barkley. Chelsea are expected to confirm Derby County boss Frank Lampard as Sarri’s successor in the coming days.
Aminu Agrees $29m Orlando Magic Deal – Punch, Page 23
D’Tigers forward Al-Farouq Aminu has agreed to a three-year $29m deal with the Orlando Magic that includes an option of a third year. The 28-year-old, who is expected to complete his move officially July 6, when NBA free-agent contracts are signed, opted for a move away from Portland Trail Blazers after they were pressed against the tax according to a report on ESPN. Aminu spent four seasons with the Blazers and averaged 9.5 points and 7.1 rebounds while making 1.4 3-pointers per game. He was the eighth overall pick in 2011, going to the Los Angeles Clippers. Aminu spent a year with the LA Clippers before being traded to New Orleans as part of the Chris Paul deal, then spent three seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans and another with the Mavericks before he joined the Blazers. He is one of the 44 players called up by D’Tigers’ coach Alex Nwora for the forthcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup billed for China, where they will face Russia, Argentina and South Korea.