Nigeria’s Eligible Forward, Folarin Balogun Opens Up On Life At Arsenal
It was evident that Arsenal highly valued Balogun and convinced him to commit his future to the team. During his loan spell at Middlesbrough, Balogun gained valuable experience facing unfamiliar opponents.
In the opening match of last season, Arsenal and their promising young Nigerian-born attacker had a reality check.
Folarin “Flo” Balogun, a standout player for Arsenal U-21s, possessed immense talent and ambition. He engaged in lengthy contract discussions with the club and showcased exceptional finishing skills within the Arsenal youth ranks.
It was evident that Arsenal highly valued Balogun and convinced him to commit his future to the team. During his loan spell at Middlesbrough, Balogun gained valuable experience facing unfamiliar opponents. Now, in Reims, playing in Ligue 1, he faces the additional challenge of a language barrier.
“Almost every training session, there’s something that confuses me! There have been a few instances where I’ve asked for simple things like ‘Can you pass me that water?’ and the person is looking at me like, ‘What are you saying?'” Balogun shared.
Currently, he attends language lessons once a week for an hour. Initially, he attempted longer sessions but found it overwhelming. The experience has forced him to mature rapidly, as he navigates a foreign environment and finds alternative ways to communicate when language fails.
Balogun emphasized the importance of immersing oneself in challenging situations. He aims to throw himself into the deep end and overcome obstacles without drowning, as he expressed to the Sun.
Despite the difficulties, Balogun has performed admirably, scoring five league goals in six starts. Additionally, he is eligible to represent Nigeria through his parents—a significant achievement.
He revealed that discussions with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta were initially unclear but have become more comprehensible since his move to Ligue 1.
“Before I left, Mikel wanted me to develop as a person. It was an open-ended answer, and it was up to me to interpret what he meant. He is direct when he wants to convey a message in the moment, but I also believe he thinks long term. I feel like that is his plan,” Balogun explained.
By venturing abroad, Balogun is beginning to understand Arteta’s intentions. The manager’s focus extends beyond the pitch, encompassing personal growth and development. Balogun believes that upon his return, he will be in a better position to compete than before he left.
Breaking: FG To Meet NLC Today Over Fuel Subsidy Removal
The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to hold a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) today at 2 pm to discuss the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
This development was revealed by NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program.
Ajaero stated that while President Bola Tinubu may have good intentions, the Labour Congress insists that alternatives must be provided. He emphasized the need for the President to understand the implications of fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian populace and consider the welfare of the people.
Among the alternatives proposed by the NLC are the repair of the country’s four refineries and the provision of transportation alternatives for Nigerian workers, among other measures.
In a separate statement, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) expressed support for the deregulation of the oil sector and the removal of fuel subsidy, believing that it is necessary for Nigeria’s progress.
President Tinubu had announced the end of fuel subsidy in his inaugural speech on Monday, stating that the 2023 budget does not allocate funds for subsidy payments. Instead, the government plans to redirect funds towards infrastructure and other sectors to strengthen the economy.
However, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) argues that the President cannot unilaterally decide on subsidy removal. They pointed out that the previous administration under Muhammadu Buhari intentionally left the “sensitive issue” for the new government to address.
Since the President’s announcement, fuel queues have reappeared across the country as Nigerians search for fuel, with prices ranging from N300 per liter and above.
Further updates on this matter will be provided.
El-Rufai’s legacy as successor inherits N80bn, $577m debt
Former Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State stated on Monday that he left the state in a better condition than when he assumed office in 2015.
He highlighted the initiation of legacy projects that empowered the citizens during his tenure. El-Rufai also disclosed that he left N5 billion and $2.05 million in the state treasury. However, he acknowledged leaving behind a domestic debt of N80.60 billion and a foreign debt of $577.32 million for the new administration.
El-Rufai expressed optimism that the incoming government would settle all inherited liabilities, complete ongoing projects, and initiate new ones. He mentioned receivables for reimbursements of infrastructure and security spending from the Federal Government, as well as accumulated stamp duties receipts, which would contribute to the state’s finances.
Meanwhile, Senator Uba Sani was sworn in as the new Governor of Kaduna State. In his inaugural speech, he emphasized that his administration would prioritize the well-being of all citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation. The governor announced the renaming of the famous “Rabah Road” to “Nasir El-Rufai Road” in honor of the late Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Governor Sani pledged to govern with inclusiveness, fairness, justice, and equity. He emphasized that there would be no settler/indigene dichotomy in Kaduna State, as all residents were considered equal with the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities. He assured the people that his government would serve all citizens and assemble a competent team to effectively manage the affairs of the state.
Panic as petrol price jumps to N350/ltr
The removal of petrol subsidy in Nigeria has caused a significant uproar in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
As consumers flocked to petrol stations, operators wasted no time in implementing a sharp increase in pump prices. This sudden price hike has also led to commercial transporters raising their fares nationwide.
During his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu made it clear that the era of petroleum subsidy was over. Investigations in Lagos revealed that some marketers responded by doubling the price from N185 to N370 per litre. However, a few major marketers maintained prices between N195 and N220 per litre in Lagos and Abuja.
The situation worsened as some petrol stations decided to close their operations, resulting in long queues at the remaining stations. Depot owners also halted their activities, arguing that they needed further clarification on the implementation of the new policy.
In Abuja, motorists faced long queues at petrol stations as they grappled with the subsidy removal. Meanwhile, commuters found themselves stranded at bus stops, waiting for buses that were either caught up in the frenzy or had raised fares by 50 to 100 percent due to the fear of impending scarcity.
One disgruntled motorist, expressing their frustration, criticized President Tinubu’s decision, stating that it was a punishment for the already economically burdened Nigerians who had endured the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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