In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry of humanitarian affairs said it modified the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme to provide take-home food rations to 127,588 households with children in benefitting schools.
Each ration, according to a report the ministry submitted to the Senate in October, contained 5kg of rice, 5kg of beans, 500ml of vegetable oil, 750ml of palm oil, 500g of salt, 140g of tomato paste and 15 pieces of egg.
The distribution of the rations commenced in May 2020, and it was held in the FCT, Ogun and Lagos states.
Of this, the FCT had 29,609 benefiting households, while Lagos had 37,589 and Ogun, 60,390, all totalling 127,588 households, the report, obtained exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES read.
“The distribution of the food rations was done by state government/FCTA with active participation of World Food Programme, non-governmental organizations as well as oversight of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Independent Corrupt Practice and Related Offences Commission (ICPC).”
Although the report did not give specific on the financial implications of the feeding, it said as part of its COVID-19 intervention scheme, a sum of N551.4 million was released in June to the ministry.
About N321.4million of this release has since been spent, leaving a balance of about N230 million in the ministry’s coffers, the report showed.
“It is important to note that the capital release was project specific, that is humanitarian interventions during COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said of the spending.
Meanwhile, as part of the provisions in the reviewed budget of 2020, a COVID-19 intervention fund of N32.5 billion was allocated for the provision of cash transfer to an additional 1 million poor Nigerians.
This appropriated amount was to cover the “development of a Rapid Response Register (RRR) and the provision of N5,000 to target beneficiaries over a period of 12 months.”
But the ministry said it is yet to receive any release for the implementation of the COVID-19 cash transfer scheme.
“The implementation of the COVID-19 cash transfer commenced with preliminary activities that will lead to the generation of the Rapid Response Register (RRR),” the report quoted the ministry as saying.
“A work plan has been submitted to the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) secretariat and the procurement process for implementation of key activities is yet to commence due to non-release of appropriated funds,” it added.
The ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development was created in 2019 as a repository agency to manage the nation’s humanitarian challenges.
Under it are five agencies and two programme offices which include the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), North East Development Commission and the National Commission for Persons with Disability.
The ministry’s programme offices include the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) and Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs).
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