The Federal Government yesterday presented 397,000 packs of feeding utensils to Abia public schools that are benefitting from the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
In a speech at the event in Umuahia, Mrs Sadiya Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said the intervention was to strengthen the implementation of the programme in the state.
Farouq, represented by a Deputy Director, Mr Charles Anaelo, said the ministry had commenced the deployment of interventions to address identified gaps within the programmeq.
She described the intervention as one of the ministry’s strategies to ensure that the pupils would enjoy their free meals in hygienic and safe conditions.
Farouq said that the programme was one of the key interventions of the Federal Government under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
He said that NSIP was to boost school enrollment, prevent malnutrition, improve economic activities across communities.
She added that the ministry was working in collaboration with state governments to ensure the smooth running of the programme across the country.
The minister said that the benefits of the programme on lives, livelihoods, groups and communities remained undeniable.
According to him, nine million pupils had been fed by 100,000 cooks under the programme.
She , “The ministry would commence a nationwide exercise to verify, upgrade and update the programmes existing data for the addition of five million beneficiaries as directed by President Muhammdu Buhari.”
She said that plans were underway to ensure that the programme realised its objectives for women empowerment, girl-child education, job creation and improved inter-governmental collaboration.
“I wish to assure you that the ministry will continue to improve quality service delivery on all its social intervention and leadership role in the programme,” Farouq said.
In a remark, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, described the programme as a veritable instrument to facilitate educational development.
He expressed delight that there had been an increase in public school enrollment in the state since the inception of the programme.
Ikpeazu, represented by the State Focal Person of the programme, Mr Chinenye Nwogu, said that Abia State Government would continue to deepen and expand the programme to ensure that its purpose was achieved.
Earlier, Mr Emeka Ahuruonye, the Programme Manager of NHGSFP, described the programme as a laudable initiative.
Cleric Tasks Pliticians On People-Oriented Programme
Politicians in Nigeria have been advised to always embark on programmes and policies that would be beneficial to the common people, especially those at the grassroots.
The Arch Bishop of Enugu Ecclesiastes Province, and Anglican Bishop of Enugu, His Grace, Emmanuel Olisa Chukwuma, made the call in Enugu while delivering a sermon on the occasion of a thanksgiving church service to mark the 60th birthday anniversary of former Deputy Senate President, and Senator representing Enugu west at the National Assembly, Ike Ekweremadu.
Bishop Chukwuma regretted that most politicians in Nigeria are well known for their selfishness as they only think of themselves and members of their immediate families, describing their attitudes as very unfortunate.
The clergy man wondered why politicians should treat those who voted them into office in such a wicked manner, urging them to turn a new leaf for peace to reign in the country.
He however, commended senator Ekweremadu who celebrated mainly with the elderly and less privileged, describing him as the best senator in the South East zone.
Bishop Chukwuma however noted with deep regret that for Senator Ekweremadu to rise to his present position, he suffered assassination attempt and various forms of impediments, expressing happiness that he (Ekweremadu) is alive today in spite of all odds.
By: Canice Amadi Enugu
Kidnappers Demand N10m Ransom From Family Of Abducted Widow
Suspected kidnappers, who took a middle age widow and mother of four children in Kogi, on Saturday demandef for N10 million ransom from her family.
The widow, Mrs Sefi Jimoh, was allegedly kidnapped on the road while waiting for a commercial motorcycle, popularly called “Okada” to go home after a morning prayer session at Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church at Phase II in Lokoja metropolis.
Jimoh, who is an Environmental Officer with the Kogi State Governnent, is the bread winner of the family, having lost her husband some years back.
A family source, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Lokoja, said “only this morning our sisters’ abductors got to us on phone demanding for N10 million ransom for her freedom.”
“The kidnappers first called her (widow) children and informed them that their mother is with them and that she will only be released after a payment of a N10m ransom.
“We were so shocked but relieved after knowing that she is still alive after her disappearance yesterday that sent jitters into the entire family members, friends and neighbours around.
“The question now is, where and how do we, in our financial position now, raise such money to secure our sister and mother?”
The source pleaded with the kidnappers to show the widow and the poor family mercy and release her “because getting even one million is like trying to squeeze water from a rock”.
Contacted, the Kogi Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP William Ovye-Aya, said he could not confirm nor deny it because he was yet to be briefed by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of “B” Division, where the incident happened.
3,400 Civil Servants Sit For Promotion Examination In Yobe
No fewer than 3,400 civil servants in Yobe State sat for promotion examination in the state, last Saturday.
The Head of Service, Alhaji Garba Bilal, disclosed this while inspecting one of the examination centres in Damaturu, the state capital.
Bilal said the examination took place simultaneously in three designated centres across the state.
“There are 1,962 candidates in Damaturu, the state capital, 1007 in Potiskum and 431 in Gashua Local Government Areas”, he said.
Bilal said the results of the promotion would be effected immediately it was out while other processes would follow.
He also said that the civil service in the state would be revived under his watch.
“As I said when I assumed office, we are trying everything humanly possible to revive the civil service in the state.
“First is to ensure that there are trainings and retraining of civil servants. Once you train them, they will be able to give their best”, he said, adding that the training would cut across all cadres of the civil service.
“The training would be carried out in phases. The senior officers would be trained and same will scale down to junior officers.
“So before you know it, all the civil servants will be abreast of the latest development in the civil service.
“We are going to create a good succession plan in the system.
“If someone exited from the service, there would be another person to replace him effectively.
“We do not want to create a vacuum where someone will leave and there will be no other person to take his responsibilities”, he said.
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