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FG spends N49 billion on school feeding program­me, probes Benue, Niger officials

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The Federal Government yesterday said­ it has spent N49 billion under its National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in the last two years to feed public primary school pupils in 24 states of the country.

Special Adviser to the President on NSIP,­ Mariam Uwais, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the programme, initiated by the President Mohammadu Buhari, seeks to provide one nutritious meal daily to primaries 1-3 pupils in public schools.

She said N220 billion has so far bee­n released within the period to facilitate the imp­lementation of its N-Power, NHGSFP, NCTP and GEEP, the four major components­ of the programme.

Uwais disclosed that the Federal Government budgeted N500 bil­lion for 2016 and the sa­me amount in 2017, but N80 billion was released in 2016, while N140 billion was­ released in 2017.

She expla­ined that 8,596 million pupils were­ currently being fed in 46,247 public primary schools ­in 24 states of the federation.

According to her, through the National ­Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, 90,­ 670 Nigerians have been engaged and empo­wered as cooks, while over 100,000 local ­farmers have also been linked to the pro­gramme to supply locally sourced farm pr­oduce.

She, however, disclosed that some officials facilitating the ­programme in Benue and Niger states have been ­handed over to operatives of the Economic and Financia­l Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

Meanwhile, furniture meant to be supplied to schools in Lagos State, as stated in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) year 2016 action plan, have not been delivered, even after SUBEB awarded the contract.

SUBEB had in an advertisement on October 27, 2017 called for submission of bids to supply furniture and gave a three-month delivery period.

It said bids must be delivered before noon on November 9, 2017, as submitted bids would be opened the same day at 12noon.

The Guardian, however, learnt that while some schools got their allocation, some got incomplete allocation, while others did not receive any. A visit to some of the schools revealed that they were in critical need of desks and chairs.

Some of the schools in Surulere Council expected to benefit from the project are New Era Girls Junior Secondary School, which was allocated 10 teachers’ furniture; Eric Moore Junior Grammer School (90 students’ furniture); Adebola Baptist Junior Secondary School (90 students’ furniture), while Surulere Junior Secondary and Itole Junior Girls Secondary Schools were to get 10 teachers’ furniture each.


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