The programme manager, Abia School Feeding Programme, Mr Gabriel Ahuronye, has said that the federal government provides the state government with N450m monthly for the running of the programme.
This was just as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, said that 197,140 pupils in 1,030 public primary schools in the state are beneficiaries of the programme.
Ahuruonye and Farouq, who were represented by the state team leader of the programme, Mrs Ngozi Chukwudi, stated this while briefing journalists in Umuahia, the capital on the ongoing biometric capturing and enumeration of the pupils and the schools.
According to Ahuruonye, with the federal government’s intervention, the state government now provides foodstuffs and stipends to the food vendors, through the office of the wife of the governor, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu.
For her par, Farouq said the exercise was designed to enable the ministry to “verify, validate and analyse the data from the state as well as to ensure transparency, accountability and sustainability of the programme.”
She noted with joy that the programme which was introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2017 for pupils in primary 1-3 to cushion the effects of the harsh economic conditions on both parents and guardians, was being realised.
The exercise which was carried out at Ahieke Community Primary School and Ugba Community Primary School, both in Umuahia North local government area of the state witnessed the pupils being served their meals.
In their separate reactions, the headmistress of Ahieke Community Primary School, Mrs Ezioma Nwachukwu, and a teacher, Princess Chukwuma, said the programme had shored up enrollment in public primary schools in the state.