The Nigerian government says it has spent N250 billion on its Social Investment Programme (N-SIPS) since the beginning of the scheme in 2016.
This claim was made on Thursday at a media roundtable by the presidential aide on N-SIPS, Mariam Uwais, in Abuja.
N-SIPS was set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to improve the living conditions of millions of Nigerians across the country.
According to Mrs Uwais, N500 billion was requested by the Social Investment Programmes Office for its four component programmes in 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets.
However, only N250 billion has so far been released, she said.
The programmes include N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), National Cash Transfer Project (NCTP), and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
Mrs Uwais said over 9,300,892 children in 49,837 government schools in 26 states are being fed under the School Feeding Programme. She said this requires 6.8 million eggs, 594 cattle and 83 metric tons of fish to be supplied to cooks every week.
”We have also engaged 96,972 cooks with over a 100,000 small-scale farmers being part of the value chain, supplying locally sourced ingredients. It is noteworthy that currently, public schools require 6.8 milion eggs, 594 cattle and 83 metric tons of fish to be supplied to the cooks, every week.
”The Home Grown School Feeding Programme is a programme that is aimed at feeding young children in our public primary schools, with the aim of improving their nutrition, increasing school enrollment and reducing the incidence of malnutrition.
”So far, we are feeding over 9,300,892 children in 49,837 government schools in 26 States. Being a programme that also aims at empowering communities, we have also engaged 96,972 cooks with over a 100,000 small-scale farmers being part of the value chain, supplying locally sourced ingredients.
‘”These statistics do not take into account the boost that is evident in the production and supply of rice, wheat, soya bean, orange-flesh potatoes, fruit and vegetable by farmers, to mention a few,” Mrs Uwais said.
She furthered said the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme is giving out N5,000 monthly to 297,973 households in Nigeria and is being implemented in 20 states, adding that they have trained 3,000 community cash transfer facilitators in every ward where the programme is ongoing.
”This programme is giving out 5,000 Naira monthly to 297,973 households in Nigeria. It is currently being implemented in 20 States.
”We have trained almost 3,000 community cash transfer facilitators in every ward where the programme is ongoing, to build the capacities of our beneficiaries and support them to become productive and take ownership of their lives.
”The methodology of selecting our beneficiaries is deliberate, tried and tested to assure of credibility, as well as aimed at enabling the capturing of biometric data for financial and social inclusion.
”Beneficiary households are selected by the communities directly, with their household and community data being uploaded onto Social Registers by trained enumerators at State and LGA levels, as a means of ensuring that we continue to keep a keen eye on their progress, towards weaning them out of poverty.”
She said that the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which comprises the MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and the TraderMoni have spent N27.4 Billion in interest-free loans reaching over 1.1 million beneficiaries across the 36 states of the Federation, with N27.4 billion in interest-free loans
”The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) comprises the MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and the TraderMoni. We are making available to micro-businesses credit facilities to improve their businesses through this scheme. It is managed by the Bank of Industry, who have the wherewithal to recover loans.
”We have so far reached over 1.1 Million Beneficiaries across the 36 States of the Federation, with N27.4 Billion in interest-free loans, ranging from N10,000 Naira to N350,000 Naira disbursed so far. In particular, the aim of the Trader Moni programme is to take financial inclusion to the grassroots, considering the daily contributions of millions of petty traders to our economic prosperity and development.
”Indeed, especially because this category of citizens has hitherto had no access to credit to support their businesses, this is a deliberate effort at assuring of financial credit and a sense of belonging as an entitlement of these citizens, who are also Nigerians deserving of support. She said.
According to Mrs Uwais, the N-power scheme has employed 500,000 youth graduates which are paid a monthly stipend of N30,000
“N-Power is currently employing 500,000 youth graduates. It is the largest post-tertiary employment programme in Africa, where beneficiaries are paid a monthly stipend of N30,000 and deployed as volunteers into various sectors of need in the public space, such as health, agriculture, education and public finance.
”They are given devices to facilitate their service delivery, and as a continuous learning avenue. We have also supported 20,000 N-Power non-graduate volunteers, who have been trained in skill centres in every State, and given tool boxes to enable them to apply their newly-acquired expertise in the building and automotive industries.
”Both schemes have assured of volunteers in all the Local Government Areas of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
Mrs Uwais noted that government was having challenges of some beneficiaries not getting the stipends because they did not enter their correct details.
She also said government learnt some people who posed as Social Investment Programme staff threatened to remove beneficiaries out of the system just to extort money from them.
She, however, asserted nobody can remove anyone from the system who has been registered in it.
Alleged Gang rape: Court denies Babcock University student bail
A Babcock University student, James Aguedo has been denied bail by Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
The student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, accused of involvement in gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos (Unilag) was reportedly denied bail when bail applications were made.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Soladoye in a ruling on Thursday said Mr Aguedo, 20, did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.
“The essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced.
“Grant of bail of a defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.
“I am, therefore, of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.
“The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the judge said.
NAN reports that Mr Aguedo’s counsel, Lawal Pedro, had on March 25 prayed the court to grant him bail to enable him to write an examination at the Babcock University in April.
He also submitted that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.
“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital.
“The prison facility is not conducive for him,” the SAN said.
Mr Pedro had attached Mr Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter to the bail application dated March 13.
Also attached were a National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, appointment card, history of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.
NAN reports that the student is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.
The defendants were charged with serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).
According to prosecution counsel, Fehinti Ogbemudia, the defendants committed the gang rape sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.
The alleged victim had on February 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag.
She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, and that the sexual assault was video-taped.
According to the alleged victim, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.
The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons since February 26, when they were arraigned.
The case has been adjourned until May 2 for continuation of trial.
Sterling Bank Staff, Olanrewaju Yusuf remanded in prison for N36m fraud
Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court has remanded a Sterling Bank Plc worker, Olanrewaju Yusuf, in prison custody for cheating to the tune of N36 million and issuing of dud cheques.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Viclibo Ventures, on five counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, criminal breach of trust and cheating.
A complainant, Tunde Akinola, had alleged that sometime in January 2018, Yusuf, who worked with the Sokoto branch of the bank requested a N30 million loan for the establishment of a biscuit and juice production factory with a pledge to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.
Akinola stated that he rallied round friends and colleagues to raise the money, which he gave to the accused via his United Bank for Africa account on condition that the loan should be paid back by March 2018.
Pursuant to the agreement, Yusuf allegedly issued three post-dated Diamond Bank cheques of N10m each and another for N6m, all of which were dishonoured by the bank on presentation.
Yusuf pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.
Counsel for EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ferdinard Okotete, prayed the court to grant his client bail.
Justice Bello, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and fixed April 25, 2019 for hearing of bail application.
The trial judge further granted an interim forfeiture order in respect of the defendant’s property, pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.
Kenyan family sues Boeing over Ethiopia crash over Ethiopian Airline Plane crash
A family of a Kenyan man, who died in last month’s Ethiopia Airlines crash said it is taking the plane manufacturer Boeing to court in the US.
In all, 157 people died when the Boeing 737-Max 8 went down six minutes after take off on a flight from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The 29-year-old engineer George Kabau was one of more than 30 Kenyans on board.
At a press conference in Nairobi his siblings said they wanted the company to release emails relating to the plane, which has now been grounded, Reuters news agency reports.
“We cannot replace him, and he cannot and shall not be replaced. But we pray that by what is happening, my parents especially and us as his siblings and all other loved ones, can use his demise to ensure safe travel for all,” said Mr Kabau’s sister.
Boeing is facing three other law suits relating to the Ethiopia crash, including from members of the family of a Rwandan victim.
The Ethiopian Airlines plane nose dived several times before it hit the ground, a preliminary report released a fortnight ago said.
Pilots “repeatedly” followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash, according to the first official report into the disaster.
Boeing’s boss has admitted for the first time a failure in the jet’s anti-stall system was a factor in the crash.
But the company has not commented on the legal cases.
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