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FG investigates N2.67bn school feeding funds

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Federal Government has commenced a “full-scale investigation” into the report by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission about the theft of N2.67 billion meal subsidies released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown, Themoneymetrics reports.

The government said the investigation aims to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there was no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of the same.

The Director (Press and Public Relations) in the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, announced the investigation in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, entitled: ‘ICPC, Education Ministry to collaborate on Unity Schools investigation’.

He said, “Following the report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, that the sum of N2.67 billion released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID – 19 lockdown for meal subsidies found its way into individual accounts, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter.

“In response to queries issued by the Federal Ministry of Education, the Principals explained that payments on meal subsidies to Unity Colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, platform is designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who are officially recognized to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.

“This followed difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors, and market women who do not have Tax Identification Numbers, PENCOM, and other requirements to access the payment platform.

“The principals also explained that payments made during the lockdown period had to do with debts owed food vendors even before COVID – 19, some of which are still pending, adding that these debts arose from irregular and inadequate budgetary allocations and releases over the years.

“The investigation is to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same.

To this end, the Ministry in line with the Minister’s directive is to collaborate effectively with officials of the ICPC to unearth the facts as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that will ensure accountability and transparency.”

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Billiri crisis: Buhari calls for parties to exercise maximum restraint

President Buhari has called for parties involved in the Billiri crisis to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great shock over the violence that erupted in the Billiri chieftaincy tussle in Gombe state and has urged that all parties involved should exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.

The President disclosed this in a statement posted by Garba Shehu on Sunday evening.

“I’m seriously disturbed by the outbreak of violence in Gombe State and call on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.

“The easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order,” Buhari said.

The President revealed that in a circle of violence, there would be “no winners except losers,” and advised both Muslims and Christians to avoid the temptation of resorting to violence in order to express their grievances.

“Nigerians have shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved. I appeal to the two parties to sheathe their swords for the sake of peaceful coexistence,” the President added.

What you should know 

  • The Government of Gombe State imposed a 24-hour curfew on the Billiri Local Government Area of the state, following the eruption of violence in the area.
  • “What we want to establish is peace so that we can reach out to the people and conclude issues with regard to the appointment of the new Mai Tangale”the State said.
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Herder crisis: Not impossible that non-Nigerian elements are involved – Fayemi

Governor Fayemi has stated that non-Nigerian elements could be involved in the Herder-Farmer clashes in Nigeria.

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Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State Governor has said that it is not impossible that elements that are not Nigerian are involved in the herder clashes with farmers in Nigeria.

Fayemi who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governor Forum urged the importance of ensuring that ECOWAS protocols are comprehensively implemented with regards to the crisis.

Governor Fayemi disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

“I believe some people are looking at other perspectives to explain what is going on in many parts of Nigeria.

“There can be no doubt that we have elements from the ISWAP terrorist group that are proliferating all over Nigeria and there is no question that we have the porosity of our borders to deal with,” Fayemi said.

Fayemi said that it is not impossible that non-Nigerian state actors are involved in the crisis and revealed that the FG is working to ensure ECOWAS protocols on freedom of movement are properly implemented.

“It is not impossible that elements that are not Nigerian are involved in this, which was why the NGF and NEC also emphasized the importance of ensuring that ECOWAS protocols are comprehensively implemented with regards to its trans-human protocols and with regards to its protocol on free movements of goods and people across the various countries in the ECOWAS sub-region,” he said.

He revealed that some bandits have been apprehended and that while some are clearly Nigerians, there are also some who are not Nigerians and spoke languages that are not Nigerian.

“What is important is that Nigerians across the country want those apprehended for crimes to be swiftly prosecuted. It is the seeming delay in ensuring access to Justice that contributes to the feeling that some people consider themselves above the law,” Fayemi added.

What you should know 

  • Recall It was reported that the National Economic Council (NEC) said that State Governments have statutory jurisdiction over forest reserves and will seek federal support for efforts to eradicate forest-based crime.
  • The Council added that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, as a comprehensive strategy, will address the farmer-herder conflict.
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BREAKING: Six Feared Dead As Nigerian Air Force Plane Crashes In Abuja

It was gathered that the aircraft departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 10:33 am with six persons on board, including 2 crew members.

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A Nigerian Air Force NAF201, a B350 aircraft on Sunday crashlanded in Abuja.

It was gathered that the aircraft departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 10:33 am with six persons on board, including 2 crew members.


The plane reported engine failure at 10:39 am and crashlanded on the final approach path of Abuja runway 22 at 10:48 am.

Fire services are already at the scene of the accident.

All six persons on board were reported to have died.

Confirming the incident, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation said, “A military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure en route Minna. It appears to be fatal. We should remain calm and wait for the outcome of investigation by the military, while we pray for the departed soul/souls if any.”

 

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