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School feeding scandal: Humanitarian Minister distances self from media reports

Humanitarian Affairs Minister has disassociated herself from the scandal linked to the school feeding programme.

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FG reveals amount spent on school feeding program during lockdown, denies spending N13.5bn monthly, Over 20% of N-Power beneficiaries are now business owners - FG

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, says the statement by the ICPC that N2.6 billion worth of school feeding funds were misappropriated was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement released on Tuesday in a bid to dissociate itself from a trending report.

Nairametrics had reported yesterday that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, revealed that it found N2.67 billion which was meant for the provision of school feeding to federal colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown, in some private accounts.

“We observed that transfers to sub-TSA were to prevent disbursement from being monitored. Nevertheless, we discovered payments to some federal colleges for school feeding in the sum of N2.67 billion during lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these finding,”  Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the ICPC said.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said that the “statement by ICPC was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.” The Ministry added that the Federal Government Colleges’ school feeding is different from the Home Grown School Feeding which is one of its Social Investment Programmes.

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“That the over N2.5 billion which was reportedly misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) took place in a different ministry and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,” it stated.

The Ministry said that the N16 billion in total recovered by the ICPC was paid into a private account for “non-official purposes,” and wasn’t paid into an account belonging to the Ministry.

It also said that the ICPC  recovered N16 billion worth of assets from the said ministry which was paid into an individual account for non-official purposes and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development describes those casting aspersions on the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq as malicious and unfair and calls on The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC to publish the names of persons, federal colleges and school heads whose names have been found to be associated with the missing funds and also freeze the accounts where the said funds were diverted,” the statement added.

Nairametrics reported in August that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said the FG had only spent about N523.3 million on the school feeding program during the lockdown.

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Economy & Politics

Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu

Professor Kingsley Moghalu has thrown support behind Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to win the World Trade Organization top job.

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Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role- Prof. Moghalu

A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has publicly canvassed support for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to win the World Trade Organization (WTO) top job.

The former professor of public policy at Fletcher School, Tufts University, made the disclosure via his official Twitter handle, as seen by Nairametrics

Prof. Moghalu made a strong case for why Africa’s candidate should be considered for the top shot, noting that the need for Africa to get a better deal in the world trading system should be a major criterion in selecting the next WTO DG. He also believed that correcting this negatively skewed trade deal will help tackle poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.

What you should know

Nairametrics had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee have emerged as the last two candidates for the top WTO job.

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Prof. Moghalu also disclosed that the final selection decision is expected this week or very early next week.

(READ MORE:WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala gets the backing of 79 countries so far)

Prof. Moghalu said, “The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn, I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-General of @wto.

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“The final selection decision is expected this week or very early next. Alongside the case for why the African candidate Okonjo-Iweala is best placed to lead WTO, I make the case for the continent more broadly as to how and why it must get a better deal in the world trading system.”

What this means

If finally selected for the top job, the opportunity will present Dr. Okonjo the platform to solve some global trade-related issues, one of which is Africa’s trade position with the rest of the world.

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Appointments

MTN Nigeria announces the appointment of Karl Toriola as CEO designate

MTN Nigeria has announced the appointment of Karl Toriola as new CEO designate, to replace Ferdi Moolman. 

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MTN Nigeria announces the appointment of CEO designate to replace Ferdi Moolman  

The Management of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has announced the appointment of Mr Karl Toriola as the CEO designate. 

This information is contained in a note sent to the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on 26th October 2020 and signed by MTN Nigeria Plc Secretary, Uto Ukpanah. 

The note partly reads: 

MTN Nigeria is pleased to inform The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The Exchange), the investing public and other stakeholders, of the appointment of Mr. Karl Toriola as the CEO designate. His appointment is effective 19 March 2021, providing enough time for an orderly handover.

(READ MORE: MTN launches e-sim, a virtual sim card for more security and quality service)

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Since joining the Group in 2006, Mr. Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO Of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive.

Mr. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group, had oversight responsibility of 16 of the Group’s subsidiaries and served on various MTN boards, including MTN Nigeria.

(READ MORE: MTN Nigeria begins N100 billion commercial paper issuance today)

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What they are saying

Speaking on the appointment, Dr Ernest Ndukwe OFR, Chairman of MTN Nigeria said, “After a thorough and rigorous selection process, we are delighted to welcome Karl back to MTN Nigeria. Karl Toriola is recognized throughout the industry as a highly experienced and well-regarded business leader.

“With his rich credentials, I am personally pleased that Mr. Karl Toriola is well-suited to lead MTN Nigeria’s Executive Management team through the next stages of growth in the years ahead.” 

(READ MORE:MTN Nigeria, Zenith Bank post gains, as investors gain N54.42 billion)

What to expect

Mr. Karl Toriola’s appointment as CEO of MTN Communications Nigeria Plc is effective from 19 March 2021, providing enough time for an orderly handover by Mr. Ferdinand Moolman.

The current CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman, will exit this role with effect from 19 March 2021 and assume a new role as MTN Group Chief Risk Officer. He will remain on the Board of MTN Nigeria in his new role as the MTN Group Chief Risk Officer.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Kwara State sets up N500 million recovery fund for businesses destroyed by hoodlums 

Kwara State government has established a N500 million recovery fund for businesses whose properties were looted by hoodlums. 

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Traders, Kwara, Artisans

Kwara State Government has set-up N500 million recovery fund for businesses whose properties were looted and vandalized in the state by hoodlums who seized the #EndSARS protests to wreak havoc on private and public properties. 

This was disclosed by Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the Governor of Kwara State while commiserating with owners of all the businesses affected, in a visit to the Kwara Mall and Agro Mall. After the visit, he shared a tweet on his official Twitter handle to back the claim. 

Abdulrazaq condemned the actions of the hoodlums as mindless, as the hoodlums looted valuable items of businesses in the state capital on Friday. He reiterated that the mindless looting by people may bring businesses to their knees, and cause massive loss of jobs and a surge in the poverty rate. 

The Governor, however, commiserated with owners of all the businesses affected and announced the N500 million SME recovery fund to assist them as part of the administration’s efforts to bring them back on their feet following the incident. 

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What they are saying 

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq said: 

“It is a time for all hands to be on deck. It is not just Kwara they wanted to burn down. They wanted to burn the whole country down. I urge all of us to stand up and resist that,” he said. 

“While the hoodlums were looting (on Friday), I was holding a meeting with executives and members of the National Association of Kwara State Students and National Association of Nigeria Students, Kwara axis. It shows students and youths were not part of the looting. Those involved were just hoodlums and thieves.” 

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 “We are therefore not going to leave the business owners like that. We are setting up a N500m fund for those that were affected to access. The application form is live and active on the State Government’s website and can now be filled by interested parties. We are going to get them back as soon as possible.” 

What to expect 

The N500 million SME recovery fund set-up by the Kwara State Government can be accessed only by businesses that were victims of the recent looting that happened in major commercial areas in the state. This fund is expected to help the businesses ward-off the impact of the destruction, and get them back on their feet towards the path of growth and expansion. 

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