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School Feeding: FG to Spend N999m Daily on 10m Pupils

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. Reviews Meal Cost from N70 to N100 Per Child

The Federal Government on Tuesday said N999 million would be spent daily to feed approximately 10 million pupils in the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) across the country.

Hajiya Aishatu Digil, the Team Leader of NHGSFP disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting on disbursement modalities for the review cost of feeding in the programme in Abuja.

She said Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development got the approval of spending N100 per person daily on the feeding in the programme.

She said that 9, 990, 862 pupils from primary one to three in the programme would now be fed with N100 daily for 20 days in a month, which would amount to N999,086,200 million daily.

“Prior to this, we were feeding school children with N70 per child, per meal.

This was since 2016 but the President has approved N100 upward review.

“We have all stakeholders like the World Food Programme, National Bureau of Statistics, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Ministries of Agriculture, Education and others to deliberate on the modalities of disbursements.

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“We are here basically to look at how best we can realise the benefits of the programme based on the new approved cost to improve the standard and quality of the meal and menu for the children.

“The breakdown of the N100 is as follows; N70 is for the cost of all food items except egg, N14 for cost of egg to be implemented through the state structures in partnership with Poultry Association of Nigeria.

“We are planning to have ‘Egg Wednesday’, where each child in the programme will be given one egg each every Wednesday.

“N10 stipends for cooks, N5 and N6 for micronutrient fortification, payable to cooks and one naira for quality assurance, payable to supervisors, which is optional,” she said.

Digil said the programme would ensure the elimination of poor implementation practices, adding that the ministry was looking out for reforms.

“After this meeting, we will collate inputs from stakeholders and present them to the minister so that we will implement the reviewed feeding cost in the next feeding circle, which starts this month,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Umar Bindir, the National Resource Person of the National Social Investment Programme said that the programme was not the responsibility of the Federal Government alone.

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Bindir said to implement the procedure of deploying the N30 that made it N100 ineffective feeding of school children, it was absolutely necessary to consult with stakeholders.

Malam Musa Abubakar, the Programme Manager of NHGSFP in Sokoto State said pupils and their parents were happy with the initial N70 per meal per child.

“However, with the upward review of N100, all of them will smile as this will also boost the rate of school enrolment.”

Mr Chika Ebogha, the Chief Programme Officer at NOA said the N100 per meal per child was a good improvement.

Ebogha called on Digil to step up in the area of compliance in states that have challenges, adding that NOA was willing to assist on monitoring and evaluation of the programme nationwide.

Mr Kingsley Anikwe from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development suggested that formation of school gardens should be encouraged in schools to handle the production of agricultural produce.

Ms Irowa Irabor, the Project Manager, Enhancing Access to Safer Nutritious Diet Project (GAIN) said the organisation would provide technical and capacity development to the programme.

Irabor said GAIN would be interested in the `Egg Wednesday Campaign’, adding that the organisation could support in creating visibility in the implementation in states.

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Mr Onallo Akpa, the Director-General, Poultry Association of Nigeria called for effective collaboration with the association to actualise the `Egg Wednesday’ initiative.

However, some stakeholders suggested that state governments should actively involve others, saying that cooking of meals should be done within the school vicinity and that farmers should also be evaluated.

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NEWS

Uba Promises to Turn Around Benue Fortunes

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From David Torough, Makurdi

Benue State PDP governorship candidate and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Titus Uba has assured of his commitment to turn around the fortunes of the state through agriculture and industrialization if elected governor in 2023.

Uba made the pledge when he played host to Benue State Forum of Supervisory Councillors at his residence in Makurdi.

He posited that he would exploit the comparative advantage of the State in agriculture in line with his blueprint in agriculture tagged: “our soil is our oil” to fast tract development, stressing that as an Engineer, he would not leave out industrialization which has a symbiotic relationship with agriculture.

The State number one Lawmaker enjoined people youths to engage in productive economic ventures to attract support from the Youth Development Commission billed to be established by his administration and commended the Forum for finding him worthy of their support.

Also speaking, the deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Rt.  Hon Christopher Adaji expressed confidence in the capacity of Engr. Uba to take Benue State to the next level of development and called on Benue people to rally support for him.

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Earlier, Leader of the Forum, Hon Jeff Atongo who is Supervisor for agriculture, Katsina – ala Local Government Council said, they had come to congratulate the Governorship flag bearer over his victory at the primaries and to assure him of their support and solidarity.

The group also poured encomium on governor Ortom for his leadership that has enthroned internal democracy in the PDP, a development he noted, ensured rancour free PDP primaries in the state.

In his remarks, former chairman, Makurdi Local Government Council, Hon. Gbashima Joseph described Uba’s emergence as a demonstration of unity of purpose and called on Benue people to team up with the PDP to win the 2023 polls.

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Foreign News

Buhari to British PM: No Third-term for Me

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Great Britain on the sidelines of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, during which he once again reiterated his resolve to respect the maximum term limit in the Nigerian Constitution.

The PM, obviously not quite familiar with the maximum two terms limit, had asked if President Buhari would run for office again; to which the latter responded: “Another term for me? No! The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.

” (General laughter).

Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement yesterday, said that, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, not being allowed to see his lawyers privately, the President dispelled such insinuation, saying the detained separatist was being given every opportunity under the law “to justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain,”

Buhari said: “He felt very safe in Britain, and said awful things against Nigeria.

We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court. Let him defend all that he has said there.

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“His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again, if he’s admitted to bail?”

On the keenness expressed by the PM to help Nigeria in the area of security, the President said helping to stabilize Libya could be an initial good step, as the fall of Muammar Gadaffi after 42 years in power unleashed his armed guards on countries in the Sahel, “and they are causing havoc everywhere, as the only thing they know how to do is to shoot guns.”

On Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari said there was serious effort to educate the people on the fact that only an unserious person could kill innocent people, “and say Allah Akbar (God is Great). God is justice. You can’t take innocent souls, and ascribe it to God. And the education process is working, the people now understand Boko Haram as anti-God, and not about religion.”

 Johnson said he was delighted about the good news on trade between the two countries, adding that the UK was further reducing tariffs on some goods going to Nigeria.

He described the relationship between the countries as “very strong attachment,” adding: “I just want to be sure that we are doing enough. It’s a massive partnership for us, and we need to capitalize on it.”

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The Prime Minister offered condolences on some recent attacks in Nigeria, particularly on churches.

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DAILY ASSET Roundtable: Guests Condemn Bad Politics,  Knock Economy

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By Ubong Ukpong, Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad, Eze Okechukwu  Idris Umar, Abuja

Panelists at the DAILY  ASSET 5th Anniversary Roundtable, organised yesterday at the Nicon luxury hotel, Abuja, did justice to issues in the  national economy, and politics as well as the role of the media in the 2023 General Elections.


The discussants were united on the fact that Nigeria needed a competent and intelligent leader to take over its affairs from President Muhammad Buhari by May 29, next year.

The roundtable, attended by the academia, politicians, media personalities and top government functionaries was chaired by Dr. Patrick Ukase, Head of Department, History and International Studies, Kogi State University, Anyingba. The panelists included the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who was represented by the Director General, Benue Liason Office, Abuja, Gideon Hemba, Dr.

Amaechi Anaekwe, Director of Programmes, Africa Independent Television, (AIT), Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, lawmaker representing Ado, Ogbadigbo and Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State, Dr. Abbas Idris, Director General, Federal Capital Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, the Publisher and Editor-in-chief, DAILY ASSET Newspaper,  and staff and management team  of the newspaper among others.

Prof. Ukase noted that the economy, security, infrastructure and all other aspects of national lives suffer neglect when any country fails to recruit the right kind of political leaders, stating that “the system won’t be open to talents and merits would not matter anymore.”

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He expressed dissatisfaction with the way Nigerian economy, bureaucracy and governance at all levels have been abandoned because of next year’s general elections, noting that the economy and governance should never be sacrificed on the alter of power acquisition. 

Prof. Ukase identified media challenges to include ownership,
control, molestation of journalists by security agents, often resulting in arrests and illegal detention , poor rumenerations or even no renumeration at all and lack of modern professional tools including computers and camera, however praised the management of DAILY ASSET Newspaper for its resilience and consistency in production.
Hon. Francis  Agbo noted that good governance was an irreducible minimum and challenged Nigerians to go all out for their voter’s card and vote in only the most competent political leaders in the next general elections, adding that the country was bleeding.

“Structures don’t win elections. Casting of votes win elections. We should all cast our votes wisely, for the most competent persons and in doing so,we should forget ethnicity, religion, sex and tribe. The country is bleeding from insecurity, lack of power, unemployment and youths restiveness. Now, it’s time we all join hands and fix Nigeria”, he said.

Agbo who is Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, said that it was rather becoming funny to hear people talk about religion and political party structures ahead of the general elections, when the country was passing through trying times.
He said there were candidates capable enough to redeem the country from the present woes and Nigerians must get it right by giving their votes only to such candidates, irrespective of party, religion or tribe.
“I hear them say this man does not have structures. Do structures go to polling units to vote? It is Nigerians that vote,” the lawmaker said.
He asked citizens to take advantage of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), to be registered and move to polling units closer to them, to be able to vote in the upcoming elections.
“Nigeria is bleeding. You must vote to save the country. They said they were coming to change everything from top to bottom and ended up destroying everything from top to bottom,” the legislator said.
Apparently criticising the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),
Agbo, who is of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), commended DAÌLY ASSET and expressed confidence that it would continue to educate the public on the issues concerning the forthcoming general elections.

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On his part, Dr. Idris, Director General of the Federal Capital Emergency Management Agency urged media practitioners to delve more into investigative journalism, noting that journalists should interrogate government policies and action all the more. 

“Firstly, investment in the media industry by intellectuals will bring out the best in the country. Journalists should spend more time on investigative reporting, especially as it concerns government projects both at the states and federal levels. Any project that doesn’t address the needs of the people should be reviewed. The media really has to work strongly along that line. With this, the government at all levels will sit up and in the end, it benefits our country and the benefits are all ours,” he said. 

Barring his mind on the subject matter, Dr. Anaekwe, Director of Programmes at the African Independent Television, (AIT) also observed that Nigeria will get better with the right leadership, and not just with people with thirst for power. He applauded the management and staff of DAILY ASSET Newspaper for the roundtable, and urged them not to buckle in the face of challenges. 

The publisher of the newspaper, Dr. Akwaya thanked the guests for dissecting the theme: “The Media, National Economy, Politics and 2023 Elections,” with expertise and wisdom. He gave  glory to God for standing by the company through thick and thin.

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DAILY ASSET Newspaper hit the newsstand on June 12,2017 as a weekly Abuja-based tabloid and went daily on November 18,2018. The tabloid has remained consistent in newsstands  ever since, expanding its platforms to include a daily e-paper, circulated globally and a vibrant website.

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