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COVID-19: FG enrolls 15.5m persons in National Social Register

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The Federal Government says it has enrolled over 15 million persons in the National Social Register (NSR) to fast track implementation of the Social Investment Programme.

Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, stated this during the presentation of food items donated to Nigeria by the ECOWAS Commission, on Saturday in Kano.

Umar-Faroouq said: “It is worthy to state that at the onset of the pandemic, the National Social Register (NSR) contained data of over 2.6 million poor and vulnerable households, representing over 11 million individuals in the 34 States and the FCT.

“With the accelerated registration and rapid expansion, the NSR has as at June 30, grown to 3.7 million, equivalent to 15.5 million individuals in the 36 states and FCT.”

She said that the expanded register would facilitate distribution of the donated food items to the targeted population aimed at mitigating the risk of food insecurity in the country.

The minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the ministry in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, to carry out various interventions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the vulnerable and poor families.

Umar-Farouq disclosed that the ministry had so far distributed 70,000 tonnes of food palliative to the most vulnerable in the society.

She listed the beneficiaries to include refugees; Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), older persons, trafficked victims, orphans, poor and other Persons of Concern.

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development coordinates the humanitarian measures of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Ministry has distributed over 70,000 metric tonnes of grains including; rice, maize millet, sorghum,” she said.

Umar-Farouq listed other palliatives distributed to the vulnerable populations to include payment of four months stipends to beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer; loans to traders and market women.

Other palliative include take-home food rations for households of children enrolled in the National Home -Grown School Feeding Programme consisting of rice, beans, vegetable oil, palm oil, tomato paste, eggs and salt.

In a remark, Sangare Sekou, ECOWAS Commissioner of Agriculture, Water Resources and Environment, said the Commission donated 3,999 tones of food items to Nigeria for distribution to the vulnerable households.

Sekou said the gesture was part of interventions to mitigate the effect of COVID-19, enhance food security and address associated risks to sustainable development in the sub region.

Also speaking, Alhaji Baba Shehuri, the Minister of State Agriculture, said the ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ECOWAS Commission, to boost food strategic reserve towards addressing challenges of food security in the country.

Shehuri added that the ministry had supplied 70,000 tonnes of food items to the Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs and 5,000 tonnes to the ECOWAS Commission from its strategic reserves.

While commending ECOWAS for the gesture, Shehuri reiterated commitment to partner with ECOWAS to enhance food security in the country.

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Metro

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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Photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger involved in car crash

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Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident, his spokesman has confirmed.

The four-vehicle crash, which occurred on Friday afternoon, January 21 in Los Angeles left one person with injuries, Los Angeles Police said.

Photos from the scene published by TMZ show a large SUV on top of at least two vehicles at an intersection in Brentwood while the ‘Terminator’ actor can be seen standing nearby.

Police said that no arrest has been made and ruled out the involvement of drugs and alcohol.

Officers did not identify those involved but the actor and former California governor’s spokesman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he was driving the SUV when the incident occurred.

A report by police, seen by CBS Los Angeles, said that the SUV driver was “near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue, when a collision occurred with a red Prius making a u-turn as he continued through a ‘red arrow’ signal to turn left.”

It added that the SUV rolled on top of the Prius and ended up hitting two other vehicles.

One person was taken to hospital by ambulance, but the injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Schwarzenegger’s spokesman said that the actor was uninjured and had spoken with emergency services and the injured person.

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Minna district head suspended over forceful marriage

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District Head of Allawa in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Mallam Bello Haruna has been suspended by Minna Emirate Council for engaging in forceful marriage.

The district head who was accused of forcefully marrying out a girl (name withheld), humiliating her father and also ordering that she be beaten by vigilantes, was also accused of insubordination by not answering the calls from the Emirate council leaders to explain some of the complaints against him.

In a letter signed by the Emirate’s assistant secretary, Usman Umaru Guni, the district head was accused of not having the leadership qualities necessary for peace and progress of the community he was appointed to lead.

Galadima Allawa, Ahmadu Magaji has now been appointed as the acting district head.

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