The federal government saturday said N110 billion of the total N900 billion approved in 2016 and 2017 budgets to fund its social investment programme has been released.
It also said 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.
A statement by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the total number of the meals is expected to rise to 313.9 million in the last week of February, 2018.
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. “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.
According to him, conditional cash transfer (CCT) under the investment programme has so far recorded over 280,000 beneficiaries in 21 states, while about 300,000 government enterprise empowerment programme (GEEP) micro-credit, interest-free loans had also been disbursed nationwide.
He also added that in 2017, the N-power scheme, which he said was targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates, started its physical verification process for the 2017 applicants.
Furthermore, he said in 2018, more beneficiaries are expected to be added to about 200,000 young graduates currently employed under the scheme.
Akande recalled that a total of N900 billion was appropriated for the social investment programme in 2016 and 2017; with N500 billion appropriated for 2016 and N400 billion appropriated for 2017.
Giving a breakdown of the N109 billion released from N900 billion budget in 2016 and 2017, he said: “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,” he stated.