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Former Tottenham manager Pochettino appointed PSG coach

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Former Tottenham and Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new coach of the Paris Saint-Germain on a contract until 2022, with the option of a further year.

The club made this known on its website on Saturday, adding specifically that Pochettino had signed the contract until June 30, 2022.

The Argentine takes over at the Ligue 1 champions after more than a year away from the game since being dismissed by Tottenham, according to goals.com.

He takes over at the PSG following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel was dismissed on Christmas Eve despite a 4-0 win over Strasbourg the night before, with his departure formally confirmed on Tuesday.

Pochettino spent two-and-a-half seasons at the PSG as a player, making 95 appearances between 2000 and 2003, and winning the 2001 Intertoto Cup.

He had been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham in November 2019.

The hugely popular Pochettino had turned Spurs into title contenders and reached the 2019 Champions League final, but was dismissed with his side 14th in the Premier League table.

Now, he will be tasked with winning PSG their first Champions League title – though there is also work to do in Ligue 1.

The Parisians start 2021 third in the table, a point behind Lyon and Lille. PSG have already lost more league games this season than in the whole of the last campaign with star man Neymar suffering from a number of fitness problems and Kylian Mbappe generally below his best despite scoring 12 goals in 13 games.

Pochettino will take training on Sunday when the players return from their winter break and is looking forward to the challenge.

He also said,“I am really happy and honoured to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain,” Pochettino told the club’s official website.

“I would like to thank the club’s management for the trust they have placed in me. As you know, this club has always held a special place in my heart. I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.

“I return to the club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and am eager to work with some of the world’s most talented players. This team has fantastic potential and my staff and I will do everything we can to get the best for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions.

“We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”

Pochettino’s first game in charge will be a trip to 14th-placed Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, and there will be silverware up for grabs almost straight away.

PSG host Brest in Ligue 1 next Saturday before the Trophee des Champions against Marseille on January 13.

Usually the curtain-raiser of the French domestic season, the match sees PSG take on last season’s runners-up. Often held abroad, this year’s match takes place at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, with PSG looking for an eighth consecutive title.

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Onochie to know fate on INEC job Tuesday

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The public is expected to know on Tuesday (tomorrow) the outcome of the screening of a Senate panel of the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, and five others nominated for appointment as national commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission.

The panel, it was learnt, would submit its report to the plenary on Tuesday.

Onochie, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah, Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Saidu Babura Ahmad, Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam and Dr. Baba Bila were screened last Thursday by the Senate Committee on INEC nine months after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded a request to the Red Chamber to confirm them.

Onochie’s nomination had sparked outrage from the opposition lawmakers and some from the All Progressives Congress and civil society groups, who argued that she was “too partisan” to be a commissioner in an important institution like INEC.

Others accused her of being a card-carrying member of ruling APC.

But the presidential aide said she had stopped being a member of any political party since 2019.

The screening session became rowdy when a member of the panel, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) suggested that Onochie be placed on oath to swear that she did not belong to any political party.

But the suggestion was opposed by other committee members, who noted that putting Onochie on oath was against the Senate rule.

The Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), said his committee would look at all the documents before the panel, decide the nominees and forward its recommendations to the Senate.

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PHOTOS: Fire razes building at Ladipo market in Lagos

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PenCom launches app to capture retirees for benefits

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has launched an online application to capture the information of retirees and process the benefits due to them.

In 2020, PenCom had explained that it would introduce an electronic process for easy authentication of retirees due to COVID-19.

The commission said the process would include self-assisted and the pension fund administrator (PFA) assisted options.

With this application, the commission said it aims to capture about 11,000 civil servants who are billed to retire in 2021.

Anyim Nyerere, PenCom commissioner, Technical, told reporters in Abuja on Monday on the sidelines of a training for Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) at the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Nyerere said the application was developed owing to the fact that physical contact has been limited because of COVID-19, adding that it will help the federal government draw up the budget for retirees.

“In terms of value, we are in a dynamic situation, this exercise was supposed to be physical capturing of the would-be retirees of 2020 and 2021 years,” Nyerere said.

“Now it is not impossible to do it because of COVID-19 pandemic, so that is why the online application was developed. The benefit [of this app] is to enable us to capture the would-be retirees which would enable the budget proposal for the retirees by the federal government.”

The commissioner also said measures have been taken to ensure that information about the retirees are not hacked.

“About the safety mechanisms, like I told you, we are aware of what is happening in the cyber world and that is why we put in some control mechanisms, that is why you heard me mention about authorisation, there are people who will authorise from the various PDOs in the ministries, agencies and departments,” he said.

“Once we have the authorisation from that place, the same thing will have to be verified at the other end.

“This training session and the people you see here are pension desk officers (PDOs) from the various MDAs.

“These would-be retirees are from these MDAs, so automatically the information is at their doorsteps, and those that are not computer literate is why this training is germane, these desk officers will put them through to ensure that the right information is provided.”

Also speaking, Abdulhaman Saleem, head contribution, bound and redemption of the commission, said receiving information electronically will enable PenCom to process the benefits of the retirees faster.

“The number of retirees we are expecting, we are looking at 11,000 retirees for 2021, and the major benefit is accuracy and timeliness in terms of processing speed,” Saleem said.

“Initially we were doing manually, physically, collecting documents but now the documents will be sent electronically which makes it faster and easier to process.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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