9mobile says it is investing $220m in the expansion of its 4G LTE to more Nigerian cities as part of efforts to deepen broadband penetration in the country.
The company at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday said it had added 10 new cities and towns across Nigeria to its 4G network and upgraded LTE services in existing six cities.
The Ag. Managing Director, Stephane Beuvelet, explained that the investment had increased the number of cities and towns in Nigeria that now enjoy quality service with the mass deployment of 4G technology to 16.
According to him, the 4G LTE expansion drive will be implemented in Aba, Abuja, Nasarawa, Calabar, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Onitsha, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Uyo, Aba and Ogun.
He stated that the company planned to cover the entire country in the next five years.
Beuvelet identified the unique benefits available to customers with the 9mobile 4G LTE, including a low latency rate for high-speed connectivity and planned redundancy to minimise downtime impact.
He further assured of sustained investments into the network’s general infrastructure base to guarantee best-in-class experience for its customers.
Nigeria’s women long jumper, Ese Brume, set a new indoor personal best at the sixth World Indoor Tour in France on Wednesday.
Brume finished second among 10 contestants after a leap of 6.82m to set her new indoor personal best.
She has now surpassed her personal best at every meet this February as she builds up towards Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
She finished behind gold medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, who leapt 6.90m, while Natassia Mironchyk-Ivanova placed third with a jump of 6.59m.
The 24-year-old African junior record holder won bronze at last year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Pogba’s future is a constant source of speculation at the moment, with nobody sure where he will end up in the summer.
United seem resigned to losing their star man, who has only played a handful of times this season due to injury.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed to confirm that Pogba would ever play for the club again while speaking over the weekend.
Real Madrid and Juventus are both believed to be keen on signing him during the summer window.
But with Juventus needing to sell players before they can finance a move, the door is open to the Spanish giants.
It was later reported that Madrid values him at just £50m, due to his lack of activity and his contract situation.
Pogba’s current contract runs until the summer of 2021, but United have the opportunity to extend it by another year if they choose to.
That would be a risky move, however, with the Frenchman seemingly unwilling to consider signing a new deal.
Having paid £89m for him back in 2016, they could now be preparing to take a huge loss on their former record signing, if they choose to accept Madrid’s valuation.
United seem resigned to losing him at the end of the season, so they can use the transfer funds received to reinvest in a squad rebuild.
Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has been in the news recently for his comments over the star’s future, claiming his client wants to leave.
In a furious Instagram post, Raiola claimed the player has the right to decide his own future.
“Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property, Paul is Paul Pogba’s,” he wrote.
“You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I hope Solskjaer do not want to suggest that Paul is his prisoner.
“But before Solskjaer makes comments about things I say he should inform himself better about the content of what has been said.
“I am a free citizen who can think and express my thoughts. Until now I was maybe to nice to him. Solskjaer should just remember things that he said in the summer to Paul. ⠀
“I think Solskjaer may be frustrated for different reasons and is now mixing up some issues. I think that Solskjaer has other things to worry about. At least if I was him I would.”
The United States government has given the federal government conditions under which the recent visa policy affecting six countries, including Nigeria, could be reviewed. The US government maintained that once Nigeria improves her data intelligence, such that it would be easy to investigate any immigrant wishing to visit the United States and meet information-sharing systems, the ban might likely be reviewed.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Mary Beth Leonard, restated this yesterday when she paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the ministry’s headquarters, Abuja. Recall that the US recently announced that it was extending visa restrictions to six more countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Other countries are Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar. But people from those countries will still be able to visit the US as tourists. Mrs Leonard explained that the immigration policy does not affect people currently resident in the US. She said: “I think I need to clarify something for you here. The immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the US. It does not cancel the status of anyone currently in the US.
“What Secretary Pompey said was something that was meant to be temporary. And it is about problems with information sharing which are investigable, achievable and resolvable and we look forward to Nigeria in a very short while being able to meet those information-sharing goals so that the decision can be reviewed.
“Students’ visas are not affected by the current visa ban”. On diversification policy, the US Ambassador to Nigeria said there was a need for Nigerians with skills to export them so that they will not be seen as illegal immigrants when they go abroad to work.
“I think for Nigeria, you have an interesting story about the diversification of your economy and the prosperity of your economy and its people. You know Nigerians are so well known at home and abroad for their industriousness.
“You know you hear about much of the activity in the informal sector. So I wonder how you think about capturing that entrepreneurial spirit and bring it into the formal sector in service and to enhance employment. “I am happy you raised it, we talk to you on what we are doing about it. We are trying to make Nigerians have their skills so that we can even export those skills, so they will be formalized when they go out, they will not be illegal immigrants.
“We want to go out as formalized persons, whether they are carpenters, electricians, welders. So we have our schools here. We have skills acquisition centres and we are upgrading all of them so that the certificates that come out of our skills departments will be generally accepted. So we want to Internationalize it.
“We are upgrading so that they can even become entrepreneurs”. Ngige, while interacting with the Ambassador, said a total of 14,000 labour inspections had been done, out of which about 3,900 child labour defaulters were detected and empowered economically. He said some were encouraged to go to school or learn skills. The Minister said,
“We call on the US to help us build schools in those areas where child labour is endemic. You can also help in setting up clinics and empowerment programmes in those localities”. Ngige also spoke on the economic downturn, saying the country made a mistake depending on a single revenue source for decades.
The National Film and Video Censors Board says Nigerian movies generated nearly between N6.4bn and N6.7bn at cinemas nationwide in 2019.
The NVFCB, which is the Federal Government agency responsible for classifying and approving the release of movies, further stated that this was evidence that the entertainment sector was growing.
Thomas, however, told our correspondent that the money generated from DVDs could be much higher but the statistics are not available.
He said the number of Nigerians that watch movies at cinemas is still not up to 20 per cent of the nation’s population.
The NVFCB boss said most Nigerians watch movies on DVD.
Thomas added, “The box office generated almost N7bn in 2019. Between N6.4bn and N6.7bn was generated. But from information at our disposal, money generated from DVD sales may have been higher.
“This is because less than 20 per cent of the population is watching cinema.”
Some of the movies that generated over N100m at the box office last year included Living in Bondage which generated N160m; Merry Men 2: Another Mission, which has generated N141m so far; and Bling Lagosians which garnered N120m.
Sugar Crush, which was released on December 25, 2019, but has since been suspended by the NFVCB, had generated about N150m as of January 9, 2020.
Reacting to the suspension of the movie from the cinemas, Thomas said that it had nothing to do with the movie’s plot which some say mocked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He explained that Sugar Rush did not have full approval before hitting the cinemas.
The NFVCB boss said the movie was given a temporary approval pending the classification and final approval of the movie, adding that the period within which the temporary approval could be used had lapsed.
Thomas said he had met with the producers of the movie and he was hopeful that things would be resolved soon.
Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight crown from Andy Ruiz on Saturday, outclassing the Mexican-American to score a unanimous points victory.
Joshua, who suffered a stunning knockout defeat to Ruiz in New York in June, produced a masterclass to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles in emphatic fashion.
Dominating from the outset, Joshua won by margins of 118-110 on two scorecards with the third judge making it 119-109.
Billed as the “Clash on the Dunes”, the eagerly anticipated rematch marked the first time a world heavyweight title fight has been staged in Saudi Arabia.
And after entering the purpose-built open-air arena at Diriyah, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital, just after midnight, it was Joshua who rose to the occasion with a stylish victory.
The final scores in no way flattered Joshua, who frustrated his heavier opponent with superb movement while picking off Ruiz relentlessly with his jab.
Joshua, badly stung by his defeat to Ruiz at Madison Square Garden, was ecstatic after clinching a one-sided win.
“The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” Joshua said as he celebrated becoming a two-time world heavyweight champion.
The 2012 Olympic champion revealed he had adapted his style after June’s loss to Ruiz, when he got drawn into a slugfest before being floored four times on his way to the first loss of his career.
“I’m used to knocking guys out and last time, I realised that I hurt the man but I got caught coming in,” said Joshua, who improved to 23-1, 21 by knockout.
“No excuses, but I said to myself I’m going to correct it and come again.”
“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass tonight and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport,” Joshua added. “t’s about hitting and not getting hit.”
Ruiz had shocked onlookers at Friday’s weigh-in by tipping the scales at 283 pounds (128.4 kilograms), fully 15 pounds heavier than his weight in the first fight.
Joshua by contrast came in at 237 pounds, his leaner, less bulky physique allowing him to dance around the ring for 12 rounds to leave Ruiz pawing at shadows.
Ruiz admitted he had prepared poorly for the rematch.
“It was his night man,” Ruiz said. “I didn’t prepare as I should have. I gained too much weight. But I don’t want to make excuses, he won, he bossed me around.
“But if we do a third fight you best believe I’m going to get in the best shape of my life.”
Pressed on his excess weight, Ruiz said it had “affected me a lot.”
“I thought I was going to feel stronger and feel better, but on my next fight I’m going to get better prepared.”
Chika Ofili, a 12-year-old Nigerian boy based in the United Kingdom, has received the ‘TruLittle Hero Awards’ for discovering a new mathematical formula.
The ‘TruLittle Hero Awards’ is an annual ceremony that recognizes, celebrates, and rewards outstanding achievements of remarkable children and young people under the age of 17 years all over the UK.
At the 2019 edition of the award, which held over the weekend, Ofili secured an award for discovering a new formula with which to test for divisibility by seven.
Mary Ellis, Chika’s math teacher, who is also the head of the mathematics department at the Westminster Under School, said he discovered the new formula while solving a holiday assignment.
She had reportedly given the young boy a book, which contained several divisibility tests used to quickly work out if a figure is exactly divisible by the numbers 2 to 9, but the book had no memorable test for checking divisibility by 7.
Chika was said to have solved this by devising a new formula, which involves taking the last digit of any whole number, multiplying it by 5 and then adding it to the remaining part of the number to get a new number.
The young scholar also worked out an algebraic proof to back this up. If this new number is divisible by 7, then the original number is divisible by 7, he found.
Chika isn’t the only Nigerian in the diaspora to have earned the accolades for a phenomenal achievement in recent times.
Sadio Mane and Divock Origi helped Liverpool brush aside fierce rivals Everton with a 5-2 win at Anfield.
Origi scored twice either side of strikes from Xherdan Shaqiri and Michael Keane, before Mane struck towards the end of the first half.
Richarlison’s first half injury-time strike gave Marco Silva’s men hope, but they failed to build upon any lifeline offered by a superior Liverpool, who wasted multiple chances towards the game’s end before Georginio Wijnaldum struck at the death.
And the win meant the Reds maintained their gap of eight points at the top of the league, as well as extending their stunning unbeaten league home run to 49 matches.
A blistering start by the hosts set the scene for a stunning night of Premier League action, on a night where they were missing Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino among others.
Less than two minutes were on the clock when Mane headed an early chance from Andrew Robertson as Liverpool fired a warning shot.
It wasn’t heeded.
In the sixth minute, Jurgen Klopp’s men led. Mane’s pass dissected a five-man defence and picked out Origi, who rounded the onrushing Jordan Pickford and slotted home.
Less than ten minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead and again Mane was at the heart of the move.
With a brilliant, disguised reverse, the Senegal forward picked out the run of Shaqiri who nonchalantly rolled the ball beyond Pickford once more.
The heat of this derby had the additional spice of the hosts gunning for Premier League glory while the visitors were struggling to maintain their status in the top flight.
As a result, the first six shots of the match resulted in as many goals – the most ever scored in the opening half of a Premier League Merseyside derby.
Keane pulled a goal back midway through the half with a clever finish after a scuffed clearance from Alex Iwobi’s cross handed him a close range chance.
Ten minutes later, it was 3-1 with another piece of brilliant from Origi – who, it seems, only scores important goals for the Reds.
The Belgian striker, who proved the hero of the last home league derby, received a quarterback-esque ball over the top from Dejan Lovren, brought it down with his first touch and clinically dispatched it over Pickford with his next.
Everton, in a sign of pure desperation, took off Djibril Sidibe and replaced him with Brazilian playmaker Bernard in a bid to change things.
And they did. Just not immediately.
Richarlison almost picked out Dominic Calvert-Lewin with a brilliant cross-shot which required Lovren to toe the ball behind, and not long after, Liverpool had a fourth.
A whirlwind counter attack saw Mane fouled outside his own penalty area, but picked out Trent Alexander-Arnold who burst into space as the hosts broke with men over.
The Liverpool star striker made a lung-bursting run to collect a return pass from the England right-back and clinically dispatched a left-footed first-time strike past Pickford.
The visitors’ hopes were seemingly dead, but they pulled another goal back in stoppage time when Richarlison headed past Adrian from a delightful Bernard cross.
It left Silva’s men with some hope to cling on to, but Origi looked determined to bag a third and almost did just that when Robertson picked him out and his wonderful swivel-and-strike was blocked at the last moment.
Just after the hour mark, though, Richarlison might have truly hauled his side back into the game when he headed straight at Adrian under minimal pressure.
Mane, the man of the night, should have put the result beyond doubt on 80 minutes after bringing down a delightful diagonal pass, but slid wide of the post with the goal gaping.
He had another gilt-edged opportunity in the 85th minute when he rounded Pickford only to be denied by a combination of the England goalkeeper and Mason Holgate.
The hosts were almost made to pay immediately as Moise Kean threatened to reduce to deficit to one goal but contrived to slide the ball just past the post at the other end.
Inevitably, though, the game was put to bed when Wijnaldum picked up the ball some 12 yards out and hammered into the far corner.
Defeat for Everton leaves the Toffees in the relegation zone and means manager Silva faces further scrutiny after already being under intense pressure ahead of the match.
Jose Mourinho suffered his first defeat as Tottenham boss at the hands of his former club.
Two Marcus Rashford goals, one at the beginning of each half, gave Manchester United a 2-1 win at Old Trafford and eased the pressure on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The home side were more than worth the three points and put in an assured performance, while Spurs were lacklustre from start to finish with only a moment of brilliance from Dele Alli offering a glimmer of brightness on a damp night in Manchester.
Mourinho made two changes to the side that beat Bournemouth, with Harry Winks and Lucas Moura replacing Tanguy Ndombele and Eric Dier.
Solskjaer, meanwhile, made four changes to the team that drew with Aston Villa at the weekend. Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay were all brought in, at the expense of Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira.
Mourinho’s return to the Old Trafford dugout did not start as he would have liked. His Spurs side began sluggishly and failed to keep hold of the ball. As a result, United’s first real attack brought with it the game’s first goal.
Marcus Rashford was fed on the left of the Spurs box and shot from a tight angle. Paulo Gazzaniga in the Tottenham goals should have saved comfortably at his near post but it bounced up and went in off the post.
Ten minutes later the England striker nearly doubled his own and his team’s tally. The 22-year-old, who looked particularly lively in the opening exchanges, had a central free-kick 20 yards out but his effort went just wide of the left post.
And Solskjaer’s side continued to impress. A tidy move started from the back eventually found Daniel James wide. His cutback found Lingard who laid the ball off to Mason Greenwood, but Gazzaniga was equal to his low drive.
Two minutes later, Rashford crashed an effort back off the bar, with Gazzaniga getting the faintest of touches. The Argentine had to save again from Rashford moments later. Nearly half an hour gone and the home side had utterly dominated.
With half-time approaching, the first moment of quality from a Spurs player brought about their first goal. Serge Aurier’s shot was parried up in the air and Alli took the ball between Ashley Young and Fred with a wonderful first touch before dispatching a strike past David de Gea’s right-hand side.