The Federal Government spends ₦679 million to feed school children daily despite the closure of schools as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Vanguard reports that the government spends ₦70 on each of the 9.7 million pupils in 53, 715 schools across 31 states of the federation before schools were shut down because of COVID-19.
That translates to N679 million daily or N13.5 billion monthly. The Federal Government contributes 60 per cent of the money, with the states augmenting the balance.
Recall that the Federal Government has stated that the school feeding programme will commence on May 14 despite schools being shut.
In a statement on Monday, the ministry said the programme will commence in Abuja followed by Lagos and Ogun before it is implemented in the other states of the federation.
It said the target beneficiaries as children in primary 1 to 3 in public schools participating in the programme.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will commence the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme on Thursday May 14, 2020 in Abuja and subsequently in Lagos and Ogun states before the other states of the federation,” the statement read.
“The Ministry in consultation and collaboration with state governments identified the distribution of Take-Home Rations (THR) to the households of the children on the programme as a feasible method of achieving this directive after exploring several options. This is a globally accepted means of supporting children to continue to have access to nutrient rich foods despite disruptions to the traditional channels of school feeding.
“The Ministry has requested states to carry out mapping exercises in order to trace the households of the children using all available data sources including the School Based Management Boards, community focal persons, cooks on the programme and most importantly existing school registers in the LGAs where the schools are domiciled, which is the primary source of data of beneficiaries used by the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.”
The ministry said each household will receive uncooked food items that have been assessed and approved by nutrition experts as adequate for the children.
It further disclosed that 6,000 schools will serve as distribution centers for clusters of communities “except in some states with unique security and safety issues where other structures will be used.”
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