NASS Got It Wrong – Maryam Uwais | NEWS
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Shechin Dashe

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The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Mrs. Maryam Uwais

The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, has faulted the leadership of the National Assembly over its claims about the conditional cash transfer scheme of the Federal Government.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had on Tuesday faulted the implementation of the Social Investement Programme (SIP) as the lockdown over coronavirus continues in the country.

Lawan and Gbajabiamila in a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq in Abuja, called for an overhaul of the programme.

READ ALSOFire guts Accountant-General’s office in Abuja

In a statement on Wednesday, however, Mrs. Uwais described some of the assertions made by the leaders of the National Assembly as untrue.

According to her, the claim that the National Social Investment Programme has taken more than N2 trillion since its inception was false.

“Although the total appropriation by the National Assembly (NASS) from inception, for the 4 NSIPs, is N1.7 trillion, the actual funds released for the NSIPs between January 2016 and October 2019 (when the NSIPs were handed over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development), amounted to N619.1 billion, constituting 36.4% of the total appropriation from the NASS,” she explained.

Also, she said that beneficiaries of the scheme do not need to apply online with their Bank Verification Number (BVN) for payment as both lawmakers insinuated.

She said: “That as part of the conditions for poor and vulnerable beneficiaries to be engaged, they are made to apply online, through the internet and they require a BVN for payment. UNTRUE.”

Mrs. Uwais added: “The utilization of the BVN for N-Power beneficiary payment is also as a means of identity (since the NIN number can be generated from the BVN) and to facilitate the tracking of payments and further ensure accountability.”

On the identity of the beneficiaries not made public, she explained that the law (the FOI Act) does not permit her office to release the names of the beneficiaries.

However, she said they can “be found and verified through the LGA community facilitators (CTFs) who have been trained to support them by weekly visits to the wards.

“The names, wards, LGAs, States and phone numbers of the CTFs can be found here, as the data collation continues to grow around the country.”

Similarly, she noted that the “monthly reports of 3,000 N-Power monitors, spread across the 774 LGAs, are available to both Poverty Alleviation Committees of the NASS.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

Prime Suspect star John Benfield dies

Shechin Dashe

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The ‘Prime Suspect’ star – whose real name was John Turner – passed away at a hospice on June 16th after battling a rare cancer.

John’s agents Markham, Froggatt & Irwin told the Oxford Mail newspaper: “[John brought a] truth and integrity to his roles and was an imposing, strong and rugged figure, with a soul and belief in his craft.”

Actor is best known for playing Detective Superintendent Michael Kernan in the ITV police procedural series opposite Dame Helen Mirren, who portrayed lead character Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison.

The show – which also featured Mark Strong, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Capaldi, Lesley Sharp, Robert Glenister, and Zoë Wanamaker – was devised by Lynda La Plante and ran from 1996 to 2006.

It saw Helen’s character regularly battle sexism in the police force. But she rose up the ranks to become a Detective Superintendent in Greater London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

Some of John’s earlier roles saw him appear in BBC adaptations of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ and ‘The Day of the Triffids’, and as well as TV shows, John also appeared in a number of films.

He played a prison officer in 1993 movie ‘In the Name of the Father’ – which featured Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson – and he starred alongside Phil Collins and Julie Walters in 1988 crime comedy ‘Buster’.

One of John’s most recent roles saw him play a barman in 2013 motion picture ‘The Best Offer’, which featured Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks, and Donald Sutherland.

John also appeared in numerous TV comedies, such as ‘The Worst Week of My Life’, and alongside Simon Pegg in ‘Hippies. He starred as a general – opposite Sean Bean – in drama ‘Sharpe’s Revenge’.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Ed Sheeran ‘wants to buy out’ owners of three houses that sit on the edge of his £3.7m estate

Shechin Dashe

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Ed Sheeran is said to be ‘desperate’ to complete his £3.7million estate by buying three more homes to add to the already palatial home

The Shape of You singer, 29, wants to purchase the homes to “neaten up” his estate because their gardens encroach on his land, according to The Sun.

He has slowly been accumulating the land around his palatial home in his hometown of Framlingham, Suffolk, turning it into what has become known locally as ‘Sheeranville’.

Ed owns five of the properties on the land, which with all the buildings is thought to be worth around £3.7million.

But two bungalows and a larger two-storey home with huge gardens are in the middle of his estate.

The hitmaker, whose worth is thought to be around £200million, is said to be “desperate” to complete his estate.

It’s claimed he has let his three neighbours know that he would like first refusal if they do decide to sell.

A source told the site: “The homeowners know that Ed will give them the best price if and when they decide to move on.

“The homes are right in the middle of Ed’s land on the main road, so it will just neaten everything up if he can get his hands on all three over the coming years.”

The source added: “The gardens of the homes jut into the middle of fields owned by Ed and mean that he must take the long way round if he wants to visit a lake on at the far edge of his property.”

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NEWS

Chelsea cling on to win at Palace, Welbeck lifts Watford

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Chelsea moved up to third in the Premier League

Frank Lampard’s men edged closer to sealing a place in next season’s Champions League as a seventh win in eight games takes them two points ahead of Leicester, who travel to Arsenal later on Tuesday, and opened up a five-point lead on fifth-placed Manchester United.

The Blues were fortunate when opening the scoring at Selhurst Park as former Chelsea captain Gary Cahill fell to the ground clutching his hamstring to allow Willian to tee up Olivier Giroud for his fourth goal in six games.

Chelsea have already stated their intent to move up a level next season and challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the title with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

Their arrival could have put Christian Pulisic’s place in the team under threat, but after an injury-disrupted start to his first season in England, the American is beginning to flourish.

Pulisic’s form has led to comparisons with Eden Hazard, the man he replaced at Stamford Bridge, and the Belgian would have been proud of Chelsea’s second as the 21-year-old skipped past Joel Ward and hammered in off the inside of the near post.

Read Also; Vardy’s late strike earns Leicester point at Arsenal

Chelsea looked to have sealed the three points again when substitutes Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham combined for the latter to restore a two-goal cushion 19 minutes from time.

Palace were back in the game when a brilliant move culminated in Patrick van Aanholt squaring for Christian Benteke to tap in just his second goal of the season.

Questions remain over whether the Chelsea defence will be strong enough to maintain a title challenge next season.

At the other end of the table, Welbeck’s first Premier League goal for Watford was as valuable as it was spectacular as the Hornets came from behind to secure their first win since ending Liverpool’s long unbeaten run in February.

The 2-1 defeat pushes Norwich ever closer to the drop as the Canaries are now 10 points adrift of safety with four games remaining.

Emiliano Buendia gave Daniel Farke’s men a dream start by curling past Ben Foster.

Like so much of his career, Welbeck’s first season at Watford has been blighted by injury. The former Manchester United and Arsenal forward showed his class by adjusting his body to hook home Ismaila Sarr’s deflected cross.

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