BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN and RAHILA ABDULLAHI, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday said the school feeding programme in the state had to be suspended because the Federal Government was not forthcoming with its counterpart funding which was put at N6.8 billion with only half of the money owed it by the Federal Government received.
The Governor however disclosed that plans are presently at advanced stages to resume the school feeding in July this year.
Meanwhile, he said Kaduna state government has spent over N10 billion on the school feeding programme for pupils in public primary schools within the eight-month period that the programme took place.
Governor el-Rufai made the disclosure through his Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Nok during the ongoing ministerilal press briefing holding at the correspondent chapel of the NUJ,Kaduna Council also stressed that”now, Federal Government has paid us half of the money they owed us, N3.4 billion remaining N3.4 billion.
According to the governor, “Kaduna state started partial school feeding in January but stopped it in August. We have spent at least N10 billion on the school feeding for the eight months. The initial arrangement was that classes 1 to 3 pupils will be fed by the Federal Government and primary 4 -6 to be under the state government. Since
Federal Government was not ready we felt it would be unwise to go and feed classes 4-6 pupils and leave those of classes 1-3 so we fed all pupils of government primary schools for eight months.
“We hope to re-continue the school feeding programme by next month. We have officials from Abuja to finish up the arrangement. We have reworked all the logistics, we have held several meetings, we are training our vendors and the consultants and we have more stakeholders involved,” the Governor added.
The Governor also disclosed that the state government hope to reopen the state owned institutions in Southern Kaduna especially Kafachan campus of Kaduna State University and College of Education Gidan Waya once the security situation in the area has improved and there is positive report from security agencies.
Malam el-Rufai also disclose plans to convert all government owned secondary schools to boarding school, noting that the plan has started with 15 previously selected schools to be joined by 15 others to be selected soon.