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Nigeria honours chess champion national in U.S.



The Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York has honoured Nigerian-born chess champion, Tanitoluwa ‘Tani’ Adewumi, who won chess championship in the U.S. at the age of eight.

FELLOW PRESS reports that Tani was honoured at a hybrid Town Hall meeting held at Nigeria House in New York for Nigerian nationals.

Reading his citation, Ms Joyce Adewumi, Culture Ambassador of the Consulate-General, said Tani was a young boy blessed with extraordinary talents.

She noted that his name, Tanitoluwa, translated as ‘who is as great as the Lord’, spoke for him.

Now 11 years old, Tani was born into the family of Kayode Adewumi (father) and Oluwatoyin Adewumi (mother) and has an elder brother, Adesina Adewumi.

“As a master chess player, he did not play chess in Nigeria. He only picked it up here and in a matter of months, he was winning and winning and winning.

“He lives in New York, United States of America. A year after learning chess game in the U.S., Tani won the 2019 New York State Scholastics Chess Championship at the age of eight while living in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, New York.

“Then, two years after, at age of 10, he rose to the peak of United States Chess Federation (USCF) National level and became a certified National Master and FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), an international title for outstanding performance.”

Presenting a plaque to Tani, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr Uzoma Emenike, paid tribute to the young champion in recognition of his outstanding efforts and achievements in the game of chess and as an exemplary citizen of Nigeria.

“It is one thing to have talents but another thing to not allow a difficult situation to overwhelm you. You did not allow your situation to overwhelm you,” Emenike said.

“Your parents did not allow their situation (living in a shelter when they arrived in the United States) to overwhelm them. They encouraged you and you encouraged yourself; you are like David in the Bible who encouraged himself.

“That is why the talent God deposited in you is shining. The future is bright and bright for you. We are all very proud of you.

“As a Nigerian, I am proud of you, I am proud that I am in the United States as your ambassador.

“I want to say congratulations. You made us proud and I am sure, you will continue to make us proud,’’ the Nigerian envoy said.

Tani’s father, Mr Kayode Adewumi, thanked the Nigerian Government for recognising his son by giving him an excellent award.

Adewumi also thanked God for the favour received from the host country, urging Nigerians to believe in God and persevere in their challenges.

“We need to believe that God can do anything as he did it for me and my family,’’ he said.

[25 bag first class degrees as Crawford University graduates 324]

According to him, Tani is the youngest in the family but is the one God used to lift the family.

“Don’t believe that your situation is the worst because God took us from homeless shelter and raised us up. They’ve been calling us from the nooks and crannies of the world.’’

Tani, who is in 6th grade, said he felt great and happy for being recognised and honoured by the Nigerian Government.

He advised his fellow preteens to have hope and believe in themselves, advising that they should also look to their goal, be focused and work hard.

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Ayade orders recruitment into Cross River civil service



Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has ordered immediate recruitment into the state civil service to fill the vacuum that may occur due to workers’ retirements.

The new Head of Service (HoS), Mr Timothy Akwaji, disclosed this on Wednesday during his maiden meeting with permanent secretaries on Wednesday in Calabar.

Akwaji said the creation of Akwa Ibom from Cross River in 1987 caused a mass exodus of civil servants to the new state, leading to mass recruitment by the state government to fill the attendant vacant positions.

“Most of these workers will be exiting the service, having completed their mandatory 35 years in service and this may create a bureaucratic vacuum if there is no mentoring of those who may be left behind to keep the service running.

“The governor has, therefore, given approval for the recruitment of workers to cushion the effect of the impending mass retirement from the state civil service.” NAN quoted him as saying.

The Head of Service stressed the need for the permanent secretaries to mentor their subordinates, as directors and for other civil servants to look up to them as role models.

He said mentorship in the service has become necessary to enable civil servants discharge their responsibilities effectively.

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Buhari assures Nigerians price of rice, other food Items to crash soons



President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that prices of food items, especially rice will soon come down.

The president, who gave the assurance on Tuesday, during the official unveiling of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Rice Paddy Pyramids in Abuja, urged Nigerians to exercise some patience, saying the growing food production in the country, especially expansion in rice farming would eventually bring down prices of food, making it more affordable for all.

This was just as the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, revealed that following the successes recorded in the implementation of the CBN-led Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the country had been able to significantly reduce rice importation from Thailand by over 99.83 per cent within the past seven years.

But reacting to yesterday’s unveiling, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday mocked the APC and its governments, describing it as another shameless media stunt to again beguile Nigerians ahead of 2023 elections.

According to the leading opposition political party, the unveiling of bogus rice pyramids in Abuja, was nothing but, “pyramids of lies.”

However, Buhari’s assurance to Nigerians on cheaper food items came on a day he personally presented awards to Emefiele and five other state governors for their contributions to the development of agriculture in the country.

The state chief executives included Governors of Ekiti, Mr. Kayode Fayemi; Kebbi, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu; Cross River, Prof. Ben Ayade; Ebonyi, Mr. David Umahi, and Jigawa, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru.

The president said: “Today rice production in Nigeria has increased to over 7.5 million metric tons annually. Prior to the introduction of APB, the average production in Nigeria between 1999 to 2015 was less than four metric tons annually.

“I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, which lead to the release of processed rice to the markets by the rice millers. The measure will aid our efforts at reducing the price of rice in Nigeria.

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Mompha released on N200m bail



Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court has granted Instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, bail of N200 million.

Mompha was rearrested last week Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and was first re-arraigned in court last Wednesday, January 14.

While granting his bail application today January 18, the court requested he provides two sureties, one of which must own a property valued at N100 million within its jurisdiction.

Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, are standing trial on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9bn brought against him by the EFCC.

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