Image: NigerianEye

Presidency has disclosed that no fewer than four million pupils in 25,771 schools in 17 states are benefiting from the Federal Government’s school feeding programme.

Fresh reports have it that it also said the N5,000 monthly Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, was now funded in 16 states for 115,000 vulnerable Nigerians.

This is contained in a release by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity.

According to Akande, three more states have been added to the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, with an additional one million children now benefiting.

He gave the new states as Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Niger.

He described the School Feeding Programme as a crucial part of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s Social Investment Programmes, SIP, aimed at tackling poverty, hunger and creating jobs for Nigerians.

He said the 14 states already on the programme are: Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.

“So far, in Cross River, 117,750 children in 973 schools are being fed under the programme, while in Akwa Ibom, there are 171,732 children in 1,101 schools being fed.

“Niger State has a total of 710,880 being fed in 2,411 schools..

“In total, 4,773,064 schoolchildren in 25,771 schools in 17 states are currently benefitting from the school feeding programme,’’ Akande hinted.

He stated that the figure was a remarkable increase from the previous total of 2,918,842 schoolchildren from 19,881 schools in 14 states that had benefitted from the programme.

Accordingly, he stated that the programme had created about 34,869 direct jobs across the participating states.

“In Cross River, for example, 1,384 cooks have been engaged, while 1,309 cooks are currently engaged in Akwa Ibom State, and 5,924 cooks are engaged under the programme in Niger,’’ Akande stated.

On the CCT, he said that no fewer than 115,000 beneficiaries were being funded with the monthly N5,000 stipend in 16 states.

The beneficiaries reside in Borno, Cross River, Niger, Kwara, Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo, Osun, Plateau, Bauchi, Anambra, Jigawa, Taraba and Adamawa.

“There are reported disbursement hitches in Benue and Anambra, and they are being addressed. This mainly has to do with non-opening of bank accounts and enrolling beneficiaries.

“It is expected that by the end of next month the hitches would have been completely resolved and the beneficiaries in position to receive the cash transfers in those states,’’ Akande explained.

He disclosed that the School Feeding Programme and Conditional Cash Transfer schemes are two of the Buhari administration’s N500 billion Social Investment Programmes aimed at improving the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

According to him, the CCT scheme directly supports those within the lowest poverty bracket by improving nutrition, increasing household consumption and supporting the development of human capital.

Author: Yemi Olarinre