By Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria’s Federal Government has spent N6.2 billion under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, one of its four ongoing Social Investment Programmes (SIP), with Ogun and Osun states having the most children covered.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), Mr Laolu Akande, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
He said the expenditure was in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s plan to ramp up the Social Investment Programmes this year.
According to him, the Buhari administration is now close to its target of feeding three million primary school pupils this year under the Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
“Specifically, at the last count, a total of N6, 204,912,889 has been paid out to 14 states during the school year ending August 2017.
“The 14 states that have been covered under the School Feeding Programme are: Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.
“So far, a total of 2,827,501 school children are currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme, which is well on course to achieve the Federal Government’s projection to feed over three million pupils this year,’’ he said.
According to the presidential aide, 33,895 cooks have been engaged in the communities where the schools are located across the 14 states.
Akande said Anambra received N693, 013,300 while 103,742 children had been fed thus far, with 1,009 cooks paid.
“Enugu state got a total of N 571,877,400 and 108,898 children have been fed so far, with 1,276 cooks paid.
“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 received a total of and N1,042,217,400 for the feeding of 231,660 schoolchildren, while a total of 2,205 cooks were paid.’’
Akande further stated that Ebonyi received N344,633, 100 for the feeding of 163,137 pupils so far, with a total of 1,453 cooks paid while Zamfara received N402,295,600 for the feeding of 107,347 school children with 1,127 cooks were engaged.
He also disclosed that Delta received N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils and 1,364 cooks engaged in the state.
Akande also said, “Abia and Benue received a total of N128,763,600 and N337,157,800 respectively to feed a total of 61,316 and 240,827 pupils.
“In Abia, a total of 750 cooks were engaged, while 3,344 cooks were paid in Benue.
“Plateau and Bauchi states received a total of N133,187,600 and N214,909,101 for the feeding of a total of 95,134 and 307,013 pupils respectively in the states.
“Also, 1,418 cooks have so far been engaged in Plateau state, with 3,261 in Bauchi state.’’
The presidential aide also said Taraba received N120,284, 500, adding that 171,835 pupils had been fed while 2,596 cooks were paid.
He said that Kaduna state received N499, 985, 500 while 835,508 pupils had been fed so far and 9,857 cooks were paid under the programme in the state.
According to him, more states and primary school pupils across the country are expected to benefit from the feeding programme by the time schools re-open next month for a new session.