Programme manager, Abia School Feeding Programme, Mr Gabriel Ahuronye, has said the federal government provides the state N450 million monthly to run the programme.
Similarly, the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, said 197,140 pupils in 1,030 public primary schools in the state benefit from the scheme.
Ahuruonye and Farouq, who were represented by the state team leader of the programme, Mrs Ngozi Chukwudi, briefed newsmen in Umuahia, the state capital, on the ongoing biometric capturing and enumeration of the pupils and the schools.
Chukwudi said with the federal government’s intervention, the state government now provides meals and stipends to the food vendors, through the office of the wife of the governor, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu.
She 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 economy 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 the meal.
In their separate reactions, the headmistress of Ahieke Community Primary School, Mrs Ezioma Nwachukwu, and a teacher, Princess Chukwuma, said the programme had shore up enrolment in public primary schools.