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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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NURTW moves against highway crime, adopts vehicle e-tracking

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The National Union of Road Transport Workers says it will track members’ vehicles electronically as a way to address the spate of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways.

The union, during the National Executive Council meeting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, said it was imperative for them to use electronic tracking device in curbing the menace of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways in the country.

President of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, said the NURTW had lost many members to banditry while many were kidnapped.

He said, “We have resolved to use tracking to monitor our members’ vehicles. This will help us to alert our members of impending dangers.

“We admonish our members to be security conscious; the issue of insecurity in the country is worrisome. Many times our members are been kidnapped across the country, we have lost many members as a result of insecurity and there is no compensation from the government. So we really need to be careful and vigilant when we are on the steering. E-tracking will help passengers and our members after we put it to use”.

Baruwa thanked members for their support and confidence in his administration.

He said the administration was faced with serious financial challenges and the emergence of the COVID19 affected their revenue, adding that it was a miracle to have survived the devastating effects of the lockdown.

 

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EFCC arrests, grills ex-Imo governor, Okorocha

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

He was arrested in Abuja and was later questioned by the EFCC over issues bothering on alleged corruption.

Okorocha, currently representing Imo West at the Senate, was grilled at the EFCC Abuja office on Tuesday.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development but did not give further details.

 “It is true, he was arrested today in Abuja but we are not giving details,” he said.

Okorocha had been accused by the Imo government of looting the state’s treasury through various malpractices.

He was in February arrested by police from the Imo State Command for allegedly unsealing Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

Okorocha was later released but about 14 of his loyalists are being tried.

The Imo State Government had sealed the Spring Palm Estate and other properties claimed to have been “diverted” by Okorocha and his family members.

But the Senator said the properties were legitimately by him and his family members.

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NBS: Used vehicles, motorbikes, PMS top Nigeria’s imports

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Used vehicles, motorcycles, premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and antibiotics were the major products imported by Nigerians from India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China in the fourth quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.

The bureau stated this in its just released Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020, according to a Punch report.

It also stated that the major commodities exported from Nigeria to the five nations were crude oil and natural gas.

The NBS said, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major exports to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were petroleum motor spirit, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

According to worldstopexports.com, Nigeria imported about half (49.6 per cent) of its imported goods by value from Asia in 2019; another 30 per cent from suppliers in Europe with 11.2 per cent arriving from North America.

Smaller percentages were said to come from fellow African nations (6.5 per cent), Latin America (2.3 per cent) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.3 per cent) led by New Zealand and Australia.

Given Nigeria’s population of 201 million people, its total $47.4 billion in 2019 imports translated to about $240 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.

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