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2017 Budget:FG Proposes Another N500bn for Social Intervention

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Hajiya Zainab Ahmed

The Federal Government said it would again set aside the sum of N500bn in the 2017 budget for its social intervention programme.

The amount when added to the N500bn earlier approved for the same purpose this year would bring the total budgetary allocation for programme to N1tn in two years.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, gave the figure on Monday while speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on the national nutrition week.

The main objective of the week is to intensify awareness on the importance of food and nutrition to child survival and its impact on human development, productivity and economic development.

She lamented that despite the commitment of the Federal Government to nutrition, malnutrition was still a major challenge to national development.

She added that while it would be difficult for the government alone to address the issue owing to funding constraints, it would use the instrumentality of the budget in channelling funds to the intervention programme.

She said, “The 2017 budget that is currently being drawn also has a clear commitment to continue with all of the social intervention programmes that have started in 2016 and the school feeding programme is a significant component of it.

“In the 2017 budget, the Federal Government is also putting aside N500bn for social intervention programmes just as we did in 2016.”

She said in a bid to draw more attention to the issue of malnutrition, the Federal Government would today (Tuesday) launch the revised National Policy on Food and Nutrition.

The policy, according to her, will help in reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition by 50 per cent by 2025, increase exclusive breastfeeding rate from 17 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent by 2025; and reduce stunting rate among under-five children from 37 per cent in 2013 to 10 per cent in 2025.

Others are increasing the proportion of children who receive deworming tablets from 13.4 per cent to 50 per cent; reduction in anaemia among pregnant women from 67 per cent to 33 per cent; and increasing access to potable water from 49 per cent to 85 per cent.

Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, described the malnutrition problem facing the country as huge, adding that the government was determined to address it with the policy on food and nutrition.

He said, currently, about 265,000 people were malnourished in  Borno; 45,000 in Lagos while Kano had about 460,000.

He said, “Malnutrition is a problem of lifestyle and we need to change our lifestyle. We need to address the issue of breastfeeding because a child that you don’t breastfeed for six months will be malnourished.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatimah Mede, said about 2.5 million people were suffering from malnutrition with the North-East having the risk of losing the highest number of people.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Vice-President Harris Gathers Momentum as Democratic Nominee

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Kamala Harris

Vice-President Kamala Harris has secured the support needed to become the Democratic nominee for president.

This was after President Joe Biden announced he would not seek re-election, endorsing Harris as his successor.

According to CBS News, Harris has received endorsements from over 1,976 delegates, surpassing the threshold needed to clinch the nomination in the first round of voting at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) scheduled for August.

Delegations from at least 27 states have expressed full support, showcasing a strong backing across the nation.

In her address to campaign staff in Wilmington, Delaware, Harris expressed gratitude for the widespread support, adding that she committed to uniting the party and the country.

“We have 106 days until Election Day, and in that time, we have some hard work to do,” she stated.

Harris laid out her vision for America, contrasting it with that of her likely opponent, Donald Trump.

Speaking on the direction of the campaign thus far, she said “Our campaign has always been about two different versions of what we see as the future of our country. One focuses on the future, the other focuses on the past.”

She acknowledged the accomplishments of the Biden administration, highlighting her pride in serving as vice-president.

“My time serving as vice-president was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Harris said, underscoring her dedication to continuing the work they started.

In a phone call to his campaign team, Biden praised Harris, urging his supporters to rally behind her. “I’m hoping you’ll give every bit of your heart and soul that you gave to me to Kamala,” he said.

Despite stepping back from the race, Biden vowed to remain actively involved in supporting Harris and emphasized the importance of defeating Trump, calling him “a danger to this nation.”

Harris’s nomination marks a significant milestone, but challenges remain. The campaign will focus on addressing key issues such as healthcare, climate change, and economic inequality.

With millions of dollars pouring into her campaign since Biden’s announcement, Harris aims to capitalize on the momentum and build a coalition that appeals to a broad spectrum of voters.

As the DNC approaches, Harris is expected to formally accept the nomination, solidifying her position as the Democratic leader.

The coming months will be crucial as she works to unite the party and reach out to undecided voters. With her historic nomination, Harris stands poised to make a lasting impact on the future of American politics.

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President Declines Nomination, Endorses Harris for 2024

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In a significant political announcement on his X.com account, President Joe Biden has decided to forgo the opportunity to seek re-election in 2024, instead throwing his full support behind Vice President Kamala Harris.

The surprise move, shared with the public this morning, represents a pivotal moment in the Democratic Party’s journey toward the upcoming presidential election.

In his statement, Biden said that his choice to step aside is driven by a desire to concentrate on his remaining duties as President.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve alongside Harris, calling her selection as his Vice President in 2020 “the best decision” he has made. “My fellow Democrats,” Biden began, “I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term.”

The President’s announcement signifies a strategic shift in the 2024 election landscape. By endorsing Kamala Harris, Biden not only aims to consolidate support within the party but also to set the stage for a unified front against former President Donald Trump.

“Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year,” Biden declared. “Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this.”

This endorsement comes as a surprise to many, given Biden’s earlier commitment to seeking re-election.

However, it reflects a broader strategic maneuver to ensure party unity and strengthen the Democratic position in the face of a formidable opponent. By focusing on Harris, Biden aims to leverage her growing popularity and political acumen to fortify the party’s chances in the upcoming election.

Kamala Harris, who has served as Vice President since January 2021, will now be thrust into the spotlight as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Her campaign is expected to build on the legacy of the current administration while addressing key issues facing the nation.

The move also raises the stakes for the Republicans, who will need to prepare for a robust campaign from a seasoned political leader in Harris.

As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, Biden’s endorsement is likely to reshape the dynamics of the race, influencing both Democratic strategies and Republican responses.

The coming months will be critical as Harris and her team work to solidify their platform and rally support from voters across the nation.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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