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COVID-19: ‘We’ve spent over N500m on school feeding programme – Sadiya Farouq

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Coronavirus: We’ve started immediate cash transfer to poorest households, says FG

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, has revealed that the federal government spent about N523.3 million on school feeding programme during the lockdown against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The minister disclosed this at the Presidential Taskforce briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

She said that the program was modified and implemented in three states following a March 29 Presidential directive.

According to her, each take-home ration was valued at N4,200 and the EFCC, CCB, ICPC, DSS and some NGOs were reportedly invited to monitor the process.

She said “It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.

“The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.

“The ministry, in obeying the presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations remained a most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.

“So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.

“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States, as pilot cases.

“According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5.6 to six members in its household, with three to four dependents.

“So, each household is assumed to have three children.

“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day.

“The meal costs N70 per child. When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month.

“Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month, and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration’.

“The agreement was that the federal government would provide the funding while the states would implement it.

“To ensure transparency in the process, we partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.

“TrackaNG monitored and gave daily updates validating the programme.

TAKE

“In the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 homes in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 families affected between May 14, and July 6.

“If 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount will be N523,273,800.”-

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Soun, Alao-Akala’s deaths: UNILORIN V-C leads NYSC Board members on condolence visit

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has described the death of the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, as a huge loss not only to the people of Ogbomoso, but also to the entire mankind.

According to the University of Ilorin’s bulletin issued on Monday, Abdulkareem, made the statement when he led a four-man team of the Board on a condolence visit to the Soun’s Palace.

The Vice-Chancellor, who is also a member of the Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), also condoled with the people of Ogbomoso on the death of Chief Christopher Alao-Akala, a former governor of Oyo State.

He described the late Oba Oyewumi as a well-recognised industrialist and a renowned traditional ruler.

He said that Oyewumi’s tentacles were spread beyond political, religious and tribal affiliations before and during his 48 years of reign in Ogbomoso land.

While eulogising the late traditional ruler, Abdulkareem said with the progressive development in the town, reported, seen and testified to, the Ajagungbade III lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation by all.

He condoled with the entire people of Oyo State, especially the indigenes of Ogbomoso, over the demise of the traditional ruler, as well as the recent loss of their illustrious daughter and sons.

He also described as sad the demise of Prof. Taibat Danmole; the eldest daughter of the late Soun, who was also a former staff member of the University of Ilorin, Chief Christopher Alao-Akala and Prof. Alex Gboyega of the Political Science Department, University of Ibadan.

Abdulkareem prayed for the peaceful repose of the departed, and the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss for the families, and the entire Ogbomoso people.

In his response, Prince Oyekunle Oyewumi, the surviving eldest Prince, and a member of the National Board of NYSC, who spoke on behalf of the royal family, commended the team for commiserating with the royal family.

He added that the entire people of Ogbomoso and the royal house had taken solace in the fact that the Crown lived well.

Similarly, the team also paid another condolence visit to the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who is also a prominent son of Ogbomoso, and whose Ministry oversees the NYSC.

While welcoming the team, the Minister, who is also the `Agbaakin’ ( a traditional chief’ of Ogbomoso land, thanked them for their thoughtfulness by identifying with Ogbomoso land during the dark time of mourning, saying it is best known to God.

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UK orders probe into Islamophobia claims by conservative lawmaker

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into conservative lawmaker, Nusrat Ghani claims that she was sacked as a junior minister in 2020 over concerns that she was a Muslim.

A Downing Street spokesperson announced on Monday in a brief statement to reporters that “the Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP.’’

In an interview published by the Sunday Times, Ghani said that she was dismissed as a junior transport minister in February 2020.

She said following her dismissal a senior Conservative lawmaker told her that her Muslim faith made colleagues “uncomfortable” and that her career would be “destroyed” if she tried to complain.

In a subsequent statement on Sunday, she said that she had directly informed Johnson about the matter but that the prime minister wrote to her that he could not get involved and suggested that she use the internal Conservative party’s complaint process.

Reacting to the launch of a probe, Ghani wrote on Twitter that she welcomed the decision and asked that all that was said in Downing Street, and by her senior Conservative colleague be included in the terms of reference of the inquiry.

“As I said to the Prime Minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate,’’ she added.

The Islamophobia claims came as Johnson was facing calls to resign over a string of parties that were allegedly held in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Senator drags estranged wife of Fani-Kayode to court over alleged defamation

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A former senator, Mrs Grace Bent has dragged Precious Chikwendu, estranged wife of former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode to the Federal High Court, Abuja over alleged defamation of character.

When the matter was called on Monday, however, Chikwendu was absent in court and there was no legal representation on her behalf.

Mr Joseph Offor who announced his appearance for the prosecution said that he was holding the brief of Mr Victor Okoye who was away in Lagos.

Offor told the court that he had little information about the case and so could not explain why Chikwendu and her legal team were absent in court.

The trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu subsequently adjourned the matter until March 10 for arraignment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chikwendu, an ex-beauty queen had, through her social media handle, accused Bent of using the police to intimate her with regards to the feud between her and her former husband.

Bent, however, in a statement, described the allegation as “very weighty” adding that she was consulting with her legal team and would not hesitate to seek appropriate legal redress.

Bent, who is a close friend and longtime political associate of Fani-Kayode, has debunked the allegations, describing it as a “very weighty” one that carries “assassination tendencies and intendment.”

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