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Meet Catriona Gray, the young lady who defeated 93 contestants from other countries to become Miss Universe 2018 (Photos)

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A 24-year-old beautiful lady has become the Miss Universe 2018 after beating 93 other contestants in a tight race.

According to a report by Reuters, Catriona Gray from the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe on Monday, the fourth time the Southeast Asian country has won the international beauty pageant.

Gray, a 24-year-old Filipino-Australian model, won the title in the Thai capital Bangkok where the pageant included for the first time a transgender contestant.

“My heart is filled with so much gratitude. There were moments of doubt where I felt overwhelmed and I felt the pressure,” said Gray, who wore a red and orange dress that was inspired by Mount Mayon, a volcano that erupted this year.

Gray was asked during the contest about her views on legalising marijuana and replied that she supported it for medical uses.

After she was crowned, Gray told reporters the question was “definitely relevant” and “an active topic”, in an apparent reference to the war on drugs in the Philippines that has killed thousands of Filipinos and caused international alarm.

Gray said during the pageant that working in a Manila slum had taught her to find beauty in difficult situations.

“If I could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their face,” she said.

Miss South Africa, Tamaryn Green, 24 was the first runner-up, followed by Miss Venezuela, Sthefany Gutiérrez, 19.

Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, 27, made history as the first transgender contestant in the 66-year-old pageant.

Gray is the fourth Filipina to win Miss Universe and the second in three years. The pageant was shown live on the country’s biggest television network and dominated social media.

Salvador Panelo, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, said her win would put the country on the world map for its “beauty and elegance.”

“In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work,” he said.

The Philippines previously won Miss Universe titles in 2015, 1973 and 1969.

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The potential for iGaming in Nigeria uncovered

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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
platforms.

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.

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Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme

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Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme
Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme

Shehu Sani

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.

Also Read: #EndSARS: Hoodlums vandalize Senator Gershom Bassey’s family house in Calabar

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:

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Nigerians React As Festus Keyamo Shades Youths Over #EndSARS Protests

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Festus Keyamo
Festus Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

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.”

Read AlsoMinister Of Labour, Festus Keyamo Backs #EndSARSProtest

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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