The federal government has expended N12.26 billion under its school feeding programme in Niger State within two years, says Amina Gu’ar, the focal person of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in the state.
”No fewer than 560,000 children are currently being fed in 2,663 schools across the state.
”We also have 5971 cooks, 2,368 cheese makers, 846 agriators and 1,146 local suppliers.
“Niger State is the only state that adopted agriators structure in school feeding, this is because we wanted to checkmate inflation, quality of food items delivered to various local governments and to create jobs,” she said.
Mrs Gu’ar noted that the amount is part of a total of N28 billion spent on the four components of the NSIP in Niger State since inception of the programmes in 2016 till date.
The official made this known while addressing reporters in Minna on the activities and achievements of NSIP since the inception of the programme in 2016.
She, however, disclosed that N3.8 billion has been paid to 19,000 beneficiaries of conditional cash transfer, while beneficiaries of N- Power from 2016 to 2017 batch ‘A’ and ‘B’ were paid N11 billion.
About N951 million has also been spent on the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the focal person said.
Mrs Gu’ar expressed optimism that the school feeding programme has also increased school enrolment, attendance as well as boosted nutrition among children tremendously.
Started in 2016 by the Buhari regime, the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) provides mid-day meals to pupils in Nigeria public primary schools.
It aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils using farm produce locally grown by smallholder farmers.
A pilot implementation programme of the scheme had earlier been run in 12 states in 2004.
The Buhari regime claims over 300 million meals have so far been served to more than 7.5 million pupils in 46,000 public primary schools in 22 states.
This is despite incessant attacks and mass abduction of schoolchildren by bandits and insurgents have forced school closures in many northern states including Niger.