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FG’s School Feeding Programme Gulps N6.2bn in 14 States

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  • FG’s School Feeding Programme Gulps N6.2bn in 14 States

The Federal Government has so far spent N6.2bn on its National Homegrown School Feeding Programme during the academic year that ended in August.

The programme is a component of the present administration’s Social Investment Programmes which attracted N500bn allocation in both the 2016 and 2017 budgets.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, in a statement on Sunday said the amount was spent on feeding primary school pupils in 14 states.

Akande said 2,827,501 school children were currently benefiting from the scheme, which has three million children as its target.

He listed the 14 beneficiary states to include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta and Abia.

Others are Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.

He also disclosed that 33,895 cooks had been engaged in the communities where the schools were located across the 14 states.

Akande said Anambra State had received N693,013,300, while a total of 103,742 children had been fed so far, with 1,009 cooks paid.

In Enugu State, he said N571,877,400 had been spent on the scheme while 108,898 children had been fed so far, with 1,276 cooks paid.

The statement read, “In Oyo State, a total of N490,296,800 was released by the Federal Government for the feeding of 107,983 children, with 1.372 cooks engaged.

“Osun State received a total of N1,000,394,888 for the feeding of 151,438 children. A total of 2,863 cooks were engaged in the state.

“Similarly, Ogun State received a total of N1,042,217,400 for the feeding of 231,660 schoolchildren, while a total of 2,205 cooks were paid.

“For Ebonyi State, a total of N344,633,100 has been released for the feeding of 163,137 pupils so far, with a total of 1,453 cooks paid.

“In the same vein, Zamfara State received a total of N402,295,600 for the feeding of 107,347 schoolchildren, while 1,127 cooks were engaged.

“Delta State received a total of N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils. A total of 1,364 cooks were engaged in the state.”

Akande said Abia and Benue states received N128,763,600 and N337,157,800 respectively to feed a total of 61,316 and 240,827 pupils respectively.

According to him, 750 cooks were engaged in Abia State while 3,344 cooks were paid in Benue State. Similarly, he said Plateau and Bauchi states received N133,187,600 and N214,909,101 for the feeding of a total of 95,134 and 307,013 pupils respectively.

He added that 1,418 cooks had so far been engaged in Plateau State, and 3,261 in Bauchi State.

“For Taraba State, a total of N120,284,500 was paid and 171,835 pupils have thus far been fed, with a total of 2,596 cooks paid.

“Kaduna State received a total of N499,985,500 while 835,508 pupils have been fed so far. Also, a total of 9,857 cooks were paid under the programme in the state.

“More states and primary school pupils across the country are expected to benefit from the feeding programme by the time schools reopen next month for a new session,” Akande concluded.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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