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AFCON 2019: No shame losing to Madagascar, says Super Eagles coach, Rohr

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Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr says “there’s no shame” losing to Madagascar after his highly-rated side crashed 2-0 to Madagascar in their final group B game on Sunday at the Africa Cup of Nations ongoing in Egypt.

A goal from LalainaNomenjanahary and a deflected free-kick from Carolus Andriamahitsinoro saw debutants Madagascar finish as Group B winners and Rohr admits his side were poor and complacent.

The defeat was the Eagles’ first at the tournament in Egypt and their 20th in 89 AFCON games.

We lost to a good team because Madagascar was the first to qualify for the tournament and there is no shame in losing to such a team,” Rohr said in his pre-match conference.

“Madagascar was the better team today (Sunday). We started with giving them (Madagascar) a gift and after, we could not find a solution.

“We made five changes because we wanted to give rest to some players and also preserve those with cards. Sometimes it happens when you are already qualified; the players are relaxed and playing easy.

“I wanted to see other players which was why I made five changes and that was perhaps why we were dominated by Madagascar. We have to work hard for the next match because that is more important.

“It’s normal to change the team when one has already qualified. I wanted to rest the team and give others the opportunity to play.

“We misplaced simple passes and were poor perhaps because subconsciously we already were thinking about the next round. We have to do better in our next game.

He believes the Barea stands a good chance of winning the AFCON but adds that he will rather focus more on his team who may face Ghana in the round of 16.

“They (Madagascar) can do it but I have to focus on my team so that we can do better.

“I’m still confident that we can win the tournament because we have our injured players back. Ighalo and Musa completed 90 minutes which should help our rhythm in attack. Also our left-back Collins is back so we have a fit-again squad.”

The German also explained why the duo Victor Osimhen and Henry Onyekuru are yet to feature at the tournament.

We had to see other players. We wanted to see the Ikechukwu Ezenwa, John Ogu and also Kalu after his health scare. We cannot change 11 players and the team is also decided by the attitude of players in training which shows who is ready or not.

On his team’s chances in the round of 16, Rohr said,”We can play a good team regardless of where we finish. We will analyse our future opponents when we know them.

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Don’t bottle-feed your children, practice exclusive breastfeeding, Abia Govt official tells mothers

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Dr. Chinagozi Adindu, the Executive Secretary, Abia Primary Healthcare Development Agency, has advised nursing mothers against bottle-feeding their babies, saying it discourages healthy child development.
Adindu gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen in Umuahia, in commemoration of the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding.
According to WABA, an Online publication, WBW is celebrated every Aug. 1 to 7 in commemoration of the  1990 Innocenti Declaration.
It started in 1992, with annual themes: including healthcare systems, women and work, theInternational Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes,  community support, ecology, economy, science, education, and human rights.
Since 2016, WBW is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2018, a  World Health Assembly resolution endorsed WBW as an important breastfeeding promotion strategy,” WABA said.
Adindu urged mothers to ensure proper breastfeeding of their children, saying it has many advantages.
“In all our 722 facilities in the state, when mothers come for their ante-natal or post-natal, we usually use that opportunity to educate them on the need for proper breastfeeding.
“We dissuade them from bottle-feeding their babies. In fact, we confiscate such things, if they come to us with the bottles,” Adindu said.
He highlighted the importance of breastfeeding, saying, “it is nutritionally sound and helps the baby to develop very well”.
According to him, breastfeeding helps to strengthen the baby’s immunity against diseases as well as its cognitive development.
The medical doctor said that proper breastfeeding would also help the mother to lose weight, child spacing, maternal bonding, and cheaper.
Adindu said that, in commemorating the week, the agency had held Town Hall meetings, sensitization meetings, road walks, and as well engage the media to create awareness on the need for mothers to breastfeed their children.
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Expert urges shipowners to negotiate with AMCON to forestall foreclosure

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Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, a Financial Expert, has urged maritime stakeholders to come together and aggressively negotiate with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to forestall their foreclosure.

Peterside made the appeal on an Instagram live program on Saturday organized by Mrs. Ezinne Azunna of the MaritimeTv.

The program had the topic, “State Guarantees, Sovereignty Clauses and all Borrowers in the Maritime Industry Need to Know’’.

According to him, the protracted action by AMCON to come after indigenous shipowners to try to repossess or foreclose them will cripple the already weak indigenous shipping industry.

He proposed a set-aside, urging stakeholders and government to see the industry as a special case as presently the coronavirus pandemic had caused more havoc and the need to protect indigenous shipowners.

“Yes there are some defaults but they should not take a strictly commercial view in this. We are not saying they should walk away but AMCON should cool down and work things out.

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“AMCON has to understand the trend of the industry and if the need is in the negotiation, the executive council should be involved.

“The indigenous shipping industry should be taken as a special case because if it is crippled, the multiplier effect will be very huge,” he said.

Peterside noted that presently discussions in the industry were about Cabotage, developing indigenous capacity, helping the industry grow, saying that already people who had taken the risk and had emerged would suffer.

The finance expert said that as regards borrowing now, it was not advisable to advocate for any measure for capital campaign till the end of the year.

He advocated that shipowners should let the dust settle due to the pandemic so that people would know where the market was heading and also the global economy as prices were rebounding.

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“At the level, things are right now, there is still a lack of comfort. The International Oil Companies (IOC) do not feel too comfortable to make key decisions and so the need to watch the IOC’s body language.

“Shipowners should be thinking of diversification. Those in the business of hauling cargoes for IOCs should consider other assets that they can invest in,” he said.

Peterside pointed out that the industry was a very capital intensive one and unfortunately, raising funds was burdened with few lapses such as operational, environmental, regulatory framework, and also risk profile.

He noted that the only sector that had the least risk in Nigeria was the natural resources sector.

He said that as regards guaranteeing Shipowners, a portion of their services should be guaranteed, like a set-aside, an intervention fund which was done all over the world.

Peterside called for the deployment of the cabotage funds which could be used as an intervention fund to create an avenue where indigenous players could tap from.

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“The government is already over-burdened and so cannot guarantee and the Cabotage fund should run very efficiently and on a commercial basis so that it is not frittered away,’’ he said.

He said that another way of generating funds for the industry was to concentrate on cargo and services instead of vessels because one could leverage cash flow.

Peterside noted that as regards banks funding the sector, they needed to have the expertise to be able to operate the trends as the sector was exposed to the global market.

He added that lack of expertise would lead to default in loan servicing, non-performing loans, saying that unfortunately, a lot of indigenous players did not have financial buffers to withstand loan cancellation, suspension of service, or any disruption.

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ExxonMobil Nigeria gets new chief executive

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ExxonMobil on Saturday announced the appointment of Richard Laing as Chairman and Managing Director of its three affiliates in Nigeria.
Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha, Manager, Media, and Communications, ExxonMobil confirmed in a statement in Eket.
The three affiliates are Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Offshore East).
Udeagha said that the appointment takes effect from Aug. 1.
He said that Laing replaced Paul McGrath, who has been appointed Vice President, Global Projects for ExxonMobil in Houston after more than three years in Nigeria.
“Prior to his appointment, Laing was executive director of oil and gas production and related support groups for all of the ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria.
”Laing joined ExxonMobil in 1989 and has held a variety of engineering, planning, safety, and managerial positions in upstream and downstream operations while working in the U.K, Qatar, U.S., and Nigeria,” he said.
Udeagha said that Laing holds a bachelor’s degree in Mining and Petroleum Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Responding, Liang said; “It is a privilege to lead the ExxonMobil team in Nigeria and build on the work that Paul McGrath had done over the last three years.
“I look forward to the work that lies ahead and continuing the company’s outstanding relationships,” Liang said
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