The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Tor Uja, has said 100 Christian pilgrims absconded during the 2017 pilgrimage to Israel.
Mr Uja, who made this known while receiving security report of the 2017 pilgrimage on Monday in Abuja, said that no pilgrim absconded in Rome and Greece.
The NCPC boss said that the 100 pilgrims who absconded were from five states in Nigeria, adding that a serving soldier, a police inspector and a lecturer were among the absconders.
He, however, did not disclose the states and names of the absconders, but tagged the states as “red flag”.
He said pilgrims absconded during pilgrimage as a result of their colonial mindset.
He explained that as part of the efforts of the commission to check pilgrims from absconding, the commission has decided to increase the security surveillance during pilgrimage.
Mr Uja said that Nigeria was a nation of future while explaining that the coming together of Nigeria was beyond what the colonialists conceived.
He said the coming together was an act of God.
He stressed that one of the major responsibilities Nigerian government has for its citizens was to provide adequate security.
As a part of the commission’s strategy to check defection of pilgrims while in the Holy Land, he explained that NCPC would intensify its screening mechanism to bring defection to an end.
Mr Uja revealed that the commission has come up with stringent measures that would discourage pilgrims from absconding, such measures as black listing states with penchant for abscondment, publishing the names of absconders and their guarantors in national newspapers, and prosecuting them eventually.
He urged Nigerians and particularly the youth to have confidence in the country.
He explained that Christian pilgrimage under his leadership is focused on three aspects which are enhancing the spiritual content of pilgrimage, using pilgrimage to showcase the great beauty and capacity that Nigeria has and using Christian pilgrimage to promote national development.
He said the forum would make Christians go on pilgrimage and come back as better persons.
“It is time to build this country and to give it foundation; it is time to give this country a character; it is time to give this country a vision and a hope.
“It is time to make Nigerians to know that our land is a land of great opportunities.
“We have more opportunities in Nigeria than in America and in Israel.
“We have better land than anywhere else, what we are going to get is a revitalisation to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ afresh and to have a revamping of our spiritual lives.
Mr Uja commended the security committee for a job well done, adding that he would invite them to educate the commission on its observations and recommendation.
He called on the church in Nigeria to be steadfast in prayers for the nation and to provide leadership.
Earlier, Emmanuel Nega, a major general and chairman of the committee, said security is the most important aspect of the commission.
Mr Nega said that the committee was inaugurated to ensure the security of pilgrims to the holy land.
He said the committee has documented its recommendations that would assist the commission in terms of security and to prevent pilgrims from absconding.
According to him, the committee consist of 18 members made up of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service, Department of State and Security and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.
The potential for iGaming in Nigeria uncovered
There is a growing positivity surrounding the Nigerian iGaming industry. As the nation breathes a collective sigh of relief following the announcement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), it’s hoped that many burgeoning industries such as the world of iGaming can be allowed to flourish and bring much-needed tax revenues to the country.
Many analysts within the iGaming industry believe Nigeria has the potential to become Africa’s iGaming hub. Its domestic market is already forecast to be worth $2 billion, due largely to sports betting and the fascination with Nigerian soccer stars overseas like Odion Ighalo at Manchester United. Meanwhile, the domestic penetration of smartphones is also recognised, with some 83% of the population now owning a mobile device.
Nigeria was also a major focal point during this year’s SBC Digital Summit Africa, which was understandably conducted virtually earlier this month. Ahead of the summit, experts enrolled in the event were asked to vote on which African country offered the best foundations for iGaming operators to thrive. Nigeria outperformed every other nation, with 31% of all votes labelling Nigeria as the country with the highest potential to make a real
success of its domestic iGaming sector.
Even South Africa, which has a well-established domestic iGaming market, ranked second with just 28% of the vote. Prospective Nigerian iGaming operators should certainly take a leaf out of the book of South African iGaming brands, many of which have cultivated a strong customer base through the use of incentives and sign-up bonuses. The vast majority of offers available at platforms like Casinos.co.za, direct gamers to the safest and most reputable
One of the main reasons that industry experts believe in Nigeria’s iGaming potential is that it already boasts an engaged target demographic. Many of its young adults are already betting on sports like soccer and boxing, and there is a feeling that introducing them to casino gaming verticals would not be too difficult a stretch. Marry that with a growing number of smartphone users, which is predicted to reach over 140 million people by 2025, and you can
see the potential for iGaming apps and web applications to provide immersive, secure gaming
on the go.
Presently, the country has three separate bodies responsible for licensing online betting activities – the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). At the time of writing, online betting at a domestic Nigerian site is strictly prohibited by law. Loopholes regarding offshore operators make it possible for
Nigerians to play elsewhere, but it seems somewhat short-sighted for the Nigerian government to steer clear of creating its own regulated, revenue-making iGaming industry.
In a nation of substantial population, supporters of developing a domestic iGaming industry in Nigeria believe that the most would be a positive step, creating new career opportunities for everyday people. This could be in customer support, game development or any other facet of an iGaming operator. All the while, generating tax revenues for the Nigerian government and helping to breathe new life into the domestic economy.
There is a general feeling that Nigeria’s gaming industries tend to follow the same path as South Africa’s. The SBC Digital Summit Africa revealed that there has been a “seismic shift” from sports betting markets to casino games in the last eight months, including live dealer tables, that’s according to Sean Coleman, CEO of the South Africa Bookmakers Association.
Live dealer games seemingly “appeal to millennials” across South Africa. Dean Finder, CEO of Evolution Services SA believes the fact that live dealer games are “not gender biased” is an opportunity to reach out to female players, which are an often “unserved market” across Africa.
For these trends to follow suit in Nigeria, operators will need to build further trust in their
games and regulatory measures to curry favour with the country’s legislature.
Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme
Civil Rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani has mocked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration plan to lift Nigerians out of poverty.
Recall that President Buhari administration has constantly reiterated plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
However, the last few days have seen Nigerians discover warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives are stored by state governments which have led to the raiding of the warehouses by Nigerians.
Reacting to the development, the former lawmaker described the move to be the consequence of Nigerians being tired of having to wait for 10 years to be lifted out of poverty.
See his tweet below:
The poor refused to wait for the Government to lift them out of poverty ‘in ten years’ and they went lifting bags of palliatives.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) October 25, 2020
Nigerians React As Festus Keyamo Shades Youths Over #EndSARS Protests
Nigerians have expressed their distaste for the tweet posted by Festus Keyamo over the #EndSARS protests that has led to lives and property being destroyed by hoodlums.
The Minister of State, Labour & Employment took to his Twitter page on Friday morning to post a tweet that reads thus:
“This morning, I woke up and remembered the African proverb: WHAT AN OLD MAN CAN SEE SITTING DOWN, A YOUNG MAN CAN’T SEE EVEN IF HE CLIMBS THE HIGHEST IROKO TREE. Good morning, Lagos. Good morning, Nigeria.”
A Twitter user identified as Adesina Oluwafemi berates the SAN for being a part of bad governance. “Mr. Keyamo. I am astonished at your statement. I am equally as old as you are if not older and I feel the pain of this our youth. I even have classmates that I can’t boast of. All these is because of bad governance which u are a part of“, he wrote.
See tweets below:
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