The Federal Government’ s Home Grown School Feeding Programme has commenced in Kaduna State on July 25, a director in the State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, John Gora, says.
Mr. Gora, who oversees the programme, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Kaduna that about 800,000 pupils would be fed at N70 per meal.
According to him, the government will spend about N56 million daily, N280 million a week and N1.1 billion every month in feeding pupils.
The director said that out of the 20,146 vendors shortlisted for the programme, only 9,000 would participate.
“Based on the arrangement, the federal government will feed primary one to three pupils, while the state government will feed primary four to six pupils.
“However, if you remember, in 2016, when the programme was implemented in the state, the state government fed all the pupils from primary one to primary six at the cost of over N10 billion.
“It shouldered the responsibility of the federal government on the agreement that the federal government would refund to the state the amount it spent on feeding primary one to three pupils.
“The amount was about seven billion and so far, the federal government has refunded N3.5 billion to the state.’’
Mr. Gora said that as soon as the federal government refunds the remaining balance, the state would commence the feeding of primary 4-6 pupils.
He said that the 20, 146 vendors were supposed to provide services to both the state and the federal government components.
“So far, only 9000 vendor accounts have been verified, while the remaining vendors are being processed.
“I am sure we will complete the verification process before the state government’s component comes on stream,” the director said.
He acknowledged that the programme was however experiencing some challenges.
“From the report on my table, some vendors were posted to different communities, far away from home and this is a problem for us.
“For example, some vendors were posted to a primary school in Maraban Jos instead of schools in their community as planned.
“Out of suspicion, the parents of the pupils stopped their children from eating the food on the grounds that the vendors were not from that community and so should not be trusted.
“We are however doing all we can to address this and other challenges,” Mr. Gora added.
Meanwhile, Adebayo Dotun, the programme’s Operation Manager, said that more than 200 people were being trained to monitor and ensure the success of the programme.
“After the one-day training, these trainees would go out to the field to ensure that the women are cooking, the quality of the food is adequate, the quantity and hygiene is maintained,” Mr. Dotun said.