The federal government of Nigeria on Saturday announced that N110 billion of the total N900 billion approved in 2016 and 2017 budgets to fund its social investment programme has been released.
The government also said that over 246 million meals had been offered to primary school pupils across 20 of the 36 states of the federation since December 2016, under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
These disclosures were made in a statement issued by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande.
According to him, the total number of the meals is expected to rise to 313.9 million in the last week of February, 2018.
He also said the School Feeding Programme now feeds 6,044,625 pupils in 33,981 public primary schools across 20 states.
Akande said more states are also expected to be added to the feeding scheme this year, adding that the scheme plans to implement feeding in a total of 28 states, while it aims at linking farmers to school feeding markets.
He said: “In the same vein, several milestones were recorded by the Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in 2017, in line with its inclusive growth plan, which includes tackling poverty and hunger, and creating jobs for Nigerians.
“About 40,000 direct jobs have since been created from the School Feeding Programme across the participating states.
“The 20 states that have so far been covered by the NHGSFP include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, and Kano.
“Also, in 2017, the school feeding programme collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health to deliver an integrated deworming programme for pupils in all public primary schools classes 1 to 6 across 17 states nationwide.
“Meanwhile, the school feeding programme now has a social media-based quality assurance tracking system, #TrackWithUs, ensuring that required standards for menu for pupils and meal distribution are adhered to across the states in a transparent manner,” the statement said.
A total of N900 billion was appropriated for the SIPs in 2016 and 2017; with N500 billion appropriated for 2016 and N400 billion appropriated for 2017.
Mr. Akande however, said total amount released was N110 billion for 2016 and 2017, with the total expenditure of N109 billion.
The statement also did a further break down of the figure to back its claims.
”Below is a breakdown of the N109 billion released between October 2016 and November 2017 for the SIPs, namely: GEEP, CCT, NHGSFP, N-power, and general expenditure as provided by the office of the Vice President:
”The GEEP expenditure was N11,700,200,466, while the CCT gulped N5,235,401,087.
”In the same vein, between October 2016 and November 2017, N22,370,719,017 was expended for the Home-grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP); while N69,731,256,122 was expended on N-power, which is the Job Creation component of the SIP, during the same period.”