The federal government is spending N13 billion monthly on its school-feeding programme. This was disclosed by the special adviser to the president on Social Investment Programme, Mariam Uwais in a press briefing yesterday at the Presidential Villa.
She said, “We spend 13billion every month on school feeding.” She also stated that in 2016 out of the N500 billion appropriated for the social investment programme, only N80billion was released and in 2017 only N140billion was released.
Uwais, who noted that they have a monitoring structure in schools, asserted that majority of children are being fed nutritious meals. While admitting that there have been some challenges in some states, she added that they have suspended officials engaging in sharp practices. She expressed satisfaction that the goal of the programme which is to increase enrollment, attendance and improve the growth and nutrition of pupils in schools are being met.
According to her, they are currently feeding a total of 8,596,340 pupils daily in 46,247 public primary schools in 24 states. She added, “The impact of this programme is beyond the increase in school enrollment, we are already witnessing attendance and improvement in health and nutrition. The impact is beyond data. The impact is on the lives we are touching. “ Today, through this National home – grown school feeding programme, a total of 90,670 Nigerians have been engaged and empowered to be cooks. Over 100,00 local farmers have been linked to the school feeding programme to supply locally sourced farm produce to the cooks. “In other words we have created a value chain with significant economic benefits to the micro economic development of the states. The value chain offers additional benefits of job creation and increased livelihood outcomes for both cooks and small holders farmers hence improving livelihood and the local economies “To also ensure strict compliance with set standard by the federal government, the National Social Investment Office is ably powered to suspend the programme in any state where the prescribed standard is reported to have fallen below expectations, until a redesign and realignment is achieved,” she stated.
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