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US Lists Conditions To Lift Nigeria Visa Ban

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The United States has listed conditions for it to lift the visa ban slammed on Nigeria and four other countries by President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, said the issue could be resolved if the conditions that necessitated the ban are met by the Federal Government.

She listed information sharing goals as one of the terms that must be fulfilled before the US government can reverse the ban.

Speaking during a visit to Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige in Abuja, the envoy said the ban was based on her country’s concerns over the need for information sharing and not about character definition.

She, however, reiterated that students visa were not included in the ban and that the people who are resident in the US were excluded from the immigrant visa ban.

The ambassador said: “I need to clarify something for you here, the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States. It does not cancel the status of anyone who currently is in the United States.

“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 time being able to meet those information-sharing goals so that the decision can be reviewed.”

Noting the industrious endowment of Nigerians at home and abroad, she said the country has the ingenuity to diversify the economy.

Noting these as ingredients to be employed to tackle unemployment, she said: “I think for Nigeria, you have an interesting story about diversification of your economy and prosperity of your economy and it is people. You know Nigerians are so well known at home and abroad for their industriousness.

“You hear about how much of the activity in the informal sector. So, I wonder how you think about capturing that entrepreneurial spirit and to bring it into the formal sector in service and to enhance employment.”

The minister described as shocking the inclusion of Nigeria in the list of countries under the US travel ban. According to Ngige, the ban was unwarranted because of the contribution of Nigerian professionals to the US economy.

He said: “Some of these Nigerians are medical doctors, engineers and people with a high level of proficiency in oil and gas fields.

“They were all part of the Nigerian residents in the U.S. and it came to us as a rude shock when the US government banned Nigerians and put us in the list of those countries whose residency status been canceled.”

Ngige urged the US ambassador to discuss the visa ban issue with her home government in order to reach an understanding and have it reversed.

The minister told the US ambassador that more than 70 percent of Nigerians living in the US were highly skilled professionals who contributed billions of dollars yearly to the US economy while sending an equally impressive amount to Nigeria.

He used the opportunity of the visit to seek for collaboration and assistance of the US in the area of poverty eradication and child labour, stating Nigeria will rather seek other forms of assistance that demand for money from the US.

Ngige said: “We have called on the US Department of Labour to assist and we have given them a list of what we need. We are not asking for monetary assistance and we are not asking for American cash, but we need technical assistance and logistics like vehicles for those in the inspectorate division to be able to carry out their functions.

“We call on the US to help us build schools in those areas where child labour is endemic. You also help in setting up clinics and executing its own empowerment programmes in those localities.”

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BREAKING: Lagos Discharges Five More Coronavirus Patients

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The Lagos state government has discharged five more coronavirus patients.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, broke the news via Twitter on Sunday.

“Dear Lagosians, yesterday I announced the discharge of one more patient from our Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba. Today, I am happy to inform you that five more patients comprising two males and three females including a 10-year-old girl have tested negative twice to #COVID-19,” he tweeted.

“Although there is a strong indication that the State is winning the battle against COVID-19, it is imperative that we remain steadfast to curtail the spread. I strongly advise that we continue to observe #Social Distancing. Let us #StayHomeStaySafe to #SaveLives

“I want to also use this opportunity to advise Lagosians against stigmatizing the discharged patients. We need to do all we can to support them to get over the experience as soon as possible.

“Once again, I wish to thank our frontline health workers, members of the Lagos State Health Family and the Emergency Operation Centre for all their hard work. You all have been nothing short of amazing.”

A total of 29 COVID-19 patients have been discharged in the state which 115 of the 224 confirmed cases in Nigeria. The state has also recorded two deaths from the disease.

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Ighalo Snubs Chinese Team Shenhua’s £400,000 Offer, Wants Man United Stay

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Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has made clear he wants to stay with Manchester United after the completion of his loan in the summer.

Ighalo’s future has been the subject of much speculation since the Nigerian’s impressive performances after signing from Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day in the January transfer window.

The 30-year-old has scored four goals and provided one assist in eight appearances and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously opened up about his admiration for Ighalo on a number of occasions.

United will need to pay £15million to make Ighalo’s deal a permanent one, but the former Watford forward’s parent club have tabled a monster £400,000 per-week contract to keep him in the Chinese Super League when his temporary stay ends.

And Ighalo has intensified rumours that United will payout to keep him beyond this summer.

When asked by a fan during a Twitter Q&A if he would like to stay with the Red Devils if he was offered a contract extension, Ighalo had a simple reply. “Of course.”

The Nigeria international has become a fan favorite in just over two months with his boyhood club and Solskjaer shares supporters’ hopes that he will stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of his loan deal.

“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance,” Solskjaer said in March. “That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan.

“If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then, of course, there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things.”

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Our Food Program For The Poor, Aged Citizens Was Sabotaged; We’ll Fine-Tune Modalities — Sanwo-Olu Assures Lagosians

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Barely five days after restriction of movement in Lagos State commenced, the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the palliative programme designed to assist indigent and aged has been sabotaged by some residents in the state.

Sanwo-Olu explained that the programme which started on a positive note was later hijacked by some residents at the detriment of 200,000 specified beneficiaries, sabotaging the benefits that should have gone to the indigents and aged.

The Governor, who disclosed this on Saturday while addressing pressmen on the progress made by the state in containing coronavirus since the disease broke out in Lagos, did not disclose the perpetrators’ identity.

He further hinted that his team had gone back to re-strategise with the aim to develop a superior method of distribution during the lockdown.

“My dear Lagosians, you will recall that when we began this battle, I promised you that the vulnerable and indigent segment of our society would not be abandoned or left behind. It was in this vein, that I approved a Welfare Program under which 200,000 households were targeted in the first phase, for the distribution of food items and other essential items.

“While the Program has since begun to make a positive difference in the lives of many of the intended beneficiaries, I must also acknowledge that there have been hitches and snags in some aspects of the implementation.

“It is not as though, we never envisaged teething problems along the way, but I must tell you that our major focus was to roll out without delay and fine-tune the modalities as we continued with program expansion.

“What we, however, did not reckon with, was the extent to which some people would go to deliberately undermine and sabotage a program intended to bring succor to the poorest among us. This kind of malicious behavior is unacceptable, and we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the culprits are identified and appropriately punished.

“I must assure you that we have since returned to the drawing board for a more superior strategy to ensure that this laudable program is not compromised by the sheer irresponsibility of a few and that the full palliative impact is realized across the State”

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