Global Diplomatic News: Week 18, 2019

Pakistanis Win Maiden Iris Smart Technologies Abuja Cricket League

Abuja National Stadium ‘s cricket oval hosted the epic final of the Iris Smart Technologies Abuja Cricket league between Abuja Pakistanis Cricket Club (APCC) and Cricket Club Abuja Panthers (CCAP).

APCC completed their winning streak in the competition with an emphatic 81 runs over CCAP.

The CCAP won the toss and elected to field first, thus putting the APCC in to bat. The APCC got to a slow start with the early fall of the wicket of the APCC Captain and Best Player of the League, Hashim Mohammad, as well as the slow run rates in the early overs. This gave the CCA Panthers a momentary shine that would soon fade away when Kalpa Alwis threw in the fireworks.

At the fall of Hashim and Saad Butt’s wickets, it was the turn of Kalpa Alwis to come in to bat at a time the APCC was in a very tight dilemma.

Kalpa changed the fortunes of his team, aided by Joseph Ishua, Saad But, Adnan and Taimu Bashir, as they took their team to 189 runs with Kalpa playing not out. It must also be emphasized that the poor fielding of the CCAP aided the APCC in their resounding victory over the CCAP.

At the end of 20 overs and still not out, Kalpa Alwis had scored 90 runs off 48 balls while Joseph Eshua scored 33 runs off 47 balls, Mohammad Hashim 0 run off two balls, Saad Butt 13 runs off 12 balls, Adnan Akbar two runs off two balls and Taimu Bashir 14 runs off 11 balls and not out.

In the second innings, the CCA Panthers came in to chase 189 runs and needed 190 runs to win. That became a mission impossible as their best efforts could only produce 108 runs at the end of 20 overs for the loss of nine wickets.

However, top scorers on the CCA Panthers side were Aadil Bathia, 19 runs off 20 balls, Nafees Khan 12 runs off 15 balls, Ayo Ejegi 14 runs off 14 balls, Pankaj Thiara 21 runs off 21 balls and highest scorer Manmeet Bisnoi with 26 runs of 28 balls

At the end of the match Kalpa Alwis emerged the Player of the Match and the Best Batsman, while Saad Butt was the Best Bowler with three wickets.

In the presentation ceremony, Mr. Deji Fisher, representing the main sponsors of the League, Iris Smart Technologies, thanked the organizers of the league for a job well done and pledged more support for the Abuja Cricket League in the years ahead.

Various cash prizes and 50 kg bags of Rice were given to the outstanding teams and players courtesy of Iris Smart Technologies and Olam Rice.

As champions, APCC went home with cash prize of 200,000; the first runner up, the CCAP went home with 100,000. Man of the Final Match, Kalpa Alwis went home with 10,000, as west as 10,000 for being the Best Batsman of the Final Match, just as Saad But got 10,000 for emerging the Bowler of the Final Match.

The Best Player of League prize went to Mohammad Hashim, who got 50,000 cash and a 50 kg bag of Mama Gold Rice, Best Batsman of the Abuja Cricket League went to Aadil Bhatia, who was presented with 25,000 cash and a 50 kg bag of Rice from Olam Rice.

The Best Bowler position and the 25,000 prize and a 50 kg bag of rice went to Saad Butt, while the Best Fielder, Joel Kelechi went home with 25,000 and a 50 kg bag of Rice from Olam Rice.

The Best Emerging Player was Seye Oluwaseye, who got 5,000, just as the Dr. Katherine Chatham Fair Play Award went to APCC.


Nigeria, Namibia Boosts Bilateral Trade With New Lagos Visa Office

With over 60 percent of travelers to Namibia residing in Lagos and surrounding states, High Commission of Namibia in partnership with Air Namibia has opened a visa processing desk in Lagos.

The visa processing office located at the GHI House in Ikeja GRA, Lagos was yesterday opened to the public for submissions and pickup of Namibia visas.

Speaking at the unveiling of the office, High Commissioner of Namibia to Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Humphrey Desmond Geiseb said, since the launch of Air Namibia direct passenger and cargo flight services between Windhoek and Lagos on June 29, 2018, Namibia has been providing a quantum leap for the bilateral trade relationship with Nigeria.

Geiseb said with a population of 2.4 million and one of the most stable, peaceful political environment in Africa, coupled with the ongoing expansion of the Port of Walvis Bay, Namibia is currently positioning itself as a gateway to the more than 240 million people in the broader Southern Africa market.

He said tourism is one of the country’s fastest growing industries and provides significant employment opportunities, adding that Namibia is a nature-based tourism destination with spectacular scenery, including wide variety of wildlife, the world’s oldest desert, the world’s tallest sand dunes, and community-based nature conservancies.

The commissioner who confirmed that 700 visas were issued in 2018, therefore, advised discerning Nigerians who love to relax and those willing to invest to take advantage of the many tourist attractions and investment opportunities that abound across the country.

According to Geiseb:

“Namibia is a tourist destination in Africa with tourism accounting for over $500 million contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Our decision therefore, to open a visa processing centre in Lagos in partnership with Air Namibia is a strategic move aimed at easing the burden of having to travel to Abuja before getting a visa thereby further boosting diplomatic ties and trade between Nigeria and Namibia and offering choices and easy access to our highly esteemed visitors and would-be investors.”

Also speaking, senior public relations officer, Home Affairs and Immigration, Ms Salome Kambala, said that in as much as Namibia is ready for business and investors, visitors and would-be investors were required to meet certain obligations before they visit the country.


Nigeria And France Sign Movie Distribution Agreement

The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and the Alliance Francaise have signed an agreement to showcase and distribute the two countries movies through the “French-Nigerian Film Distribution Conference.”

The agreement was signed during a courtesy visit by Jerome Pasquier, Ambassador of France to Nigeria, to the Headquarters of the NFVCB on Tuesday in Abuja.

Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of the board and Arnand Durnon, Director of the Institue Francaise signed the agreement on behalf of the two organisations.

Mr Thomas, in his remarks, said the collaboration was to present a platform where investors, producers, distributors and other stakeholders in the motion picture industries of both countries could meet for mutually beneficial deals.

He noted that the collaborative venture will, among other incentives, encourage and promote the distribution of Nollywood movies in France.

He explained that both parties have conceived ‘French-Nigerian Cinema Days’, to screen and showcase the two countries movies, as part of the distribution conference scheduled to hold later in the year.

In his words:

“Our Nigerian distributors would be more than happy to collaborate with big time French distributors such as Pathe, Studiocan and Bacfilms as planned in the coming collaboration conference.

The French distributors take delight in releasing movies from many different nationalities, whether big or small, as it is their belief that the French moviegoers love movies from around the world.

France prides itself as a country of moviegoers with over 5,000 screens, while in Nigeria, we are proud to say that we have achieved 200 screens, from 39 in the last two years.

Its film industry is acclaimed to be living ‘La vie en rose’ (life in roses), that its Nigerian counterpart would love to attain.”

The Executive Director, however, decried the high rate of piracy as a major bane facing the evolving Nigerian moving industry, especially with the emergence of digital distribution platforms.

He, therefore, solicited for technical support from France to make the sector strive with piracy effectively nipped.

In his remarks, Mr Pasquier, the French Envoy, said he was delighted at the partnership, adding that it was a common ground for both countries to grow their film industries and also strengthen bilateral relations.

NFVCB is a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria. The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos, whether imported or produced locally.

It is also the duty of the Board to register all films and videos outlet across the country, as well as keep a register of such registered outlets, among other functions.

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