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Plateau, Enyimba crumble, Remo, Dakkada win

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Plateau United’s slim chance of winning the Nigeria Professional Football League title went up in flames on Sunday as the Peace Boys for the very first time this season failed to win a home match in the NPFL, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men despite having a 90th-minute penalty could only muster a 1-1 draw against Gombe United.

After a barren first half dominated by the hosts, Andrew Ikefe finally broke the deadlock in the 60th minute for Plateau United but the lead lasted only for 10 minutes as Ibrahim Yahaya pulled Gombe United with a 70th-minute equaliser.

Desperate for the maximum points, Plateau United piled pressure on the visitors and in the dying stages of the game, they were handed a lifeline with a 90th-minute penalty kick.

Unfortunately, Nenrot Silas, who chose to take the crucial kick, fired wide to the dismay of the fans that thronged the Jos Stadium despite the rain.

With the one point, Plateau United are still second on the log with 61 points from 34 matches while Rivers United have 71 points from the same number of games.

In Bauchi, another identical 1-1 scoreline was also recorded between Wikki Tourists and Shooting Stars.

However, in this case, it was the Oluyole Warriors that appeared to be coasting to victory after Opeoluwa Olufemi scored the opener in the 53rd minute but Idris Guda’s 90th-minute goal from the penalty spot earned Wiki Tourists a share of the spoils.

In Ikenne, Remo Stars defeated Lobi Stars 3-1.

Sikiru Alimi gave the Sky Blue boys a first-half lead with his 18th-minute goal against his former Markudi-based club who are dangerously hovering around the relegation zone.

Francis Odinaka pulled Lobi Stars level just before the hour-mark but goals from Tolulope Ojo in the 64th minute and Samuel Anakwe 13 minutes after ensured Remo Stars secured all the three points.

The maximum points from Sunday’s game have taken Remo Stars back to the third spot on the NPFL log with 53 points, one more than fourth-placed Rangers who were held to a barren draw on Saturday.

Dakkada also beat Akwa United 3-1 in the ‘Uyo Derby’ at the Nest of Champions to keep up their survival hopes alive.

In the other games decided on Sunday, Kwara United piped Sunshine Stars 1-0 in Ilorin with Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro in attendance.

Junior Lokosa scored the only goal of the game for the Afonja Warriors who remain in the hunt for a continental ticket.

Elsewhere, MFM put up a remarkable show; coming from behind to beat Enyimba 2-1 on Sunday.

Visitor Mbaoma had given the People’s Elephant the lead in the 52nd minute before Oladayo Alabi equalised from the penalty spot in the 64th minute and then Nduka David scored the winning goal in the 75th minute.

Despite the massive win, the Olukoya Boys remain rooted to the bottom of the NPFL log with 36 points from 34 games and would require to get more victories to stand the chance of beating the drop.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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