The Buhari -led Government has disclosed its plan to spend N999 million daily to feed approximately 10 million pupils in the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) across the country.
This was disclosed by Aishatu Digil, the team lead of NHGSFP at a stakeholders’ meeting which held yesterday in Abuja, on disbursement modalities for the review cost of feeding in the programme.
According to Digil, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has authorised spending N100 per person daily on feeding in the programme and that 9,990,862 pupils from primary one to three in the programme will now be fed with N100 daily for 20 days in a month, which would amount to N999,086,200 daily.
She added that the programme would eliminate poor implementation practices, as the ministry was looking out for reforms.
“Prior to this, we were feeding school children with N70 per child, per meal. This was since 2016, but the president has approved N100 upward review.
“The breakdown of the N100 is as follows; N70 is for the cost of all food items except egg, N14 for the cost of egg to be implemented through the state structures in partnership with Poultry Association of Nigeria.
“We are planning on having ‘Egg Wednesday’, where each child in the programme will be given one egg every Wednesday.
N10 stipends for cooks, N5 and N6 for micronutrient fortification, payable to cooks and one naira for quality assurance, payable to supervisors, which is optional,” she revealed.
Meanwhile, Kingsley Anikwe from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development suggested that in order to achieve quality production of agricultural produce, formation of school gardens should be encouraged in school environments.
The National Resource Person of the National Social Investment Programme, Umar Bindir, however said that the programme should be a collective responsibility and not meant for the Federal Government alone.
The programme manager of NHGSFP in Sokoto State, Musa Abubakar, maintained that pupils and their parents were happy with the initial N70 per meal per child.
In the past, there have been speculations of massive corruption in the programme, as some parents described the government’s decision to feed school children during the COVID-19 lockdown as creating avenues to enrich a number of people through corruption.
The organisers have however denied such allegations vehemently.
Recall that the programme is part of the N500 billion Social Investment Programme initiated by the Buhari’s government to tackle poverty and improve the health and education of children and other vulnerable groups.