Over N500m Was Spent On School Feeding Progrmme During Lockdown - Minister

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In defense of rumours and speculations being peddled online by many surrounding the federal government's Home Grown Feeding Programme, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya-Umar Farouk, has revealed that the federal government spent about N523.3 million on the school feeding programme during the lockdown against the Coronavirus pandemic. Hajiya Farouk, who disclosed this on Monday, August 3, during the Presidential Taskforce briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, said that the programme was modified and implemented in three states following a presidential directive.

According to Farouq, after the modification, a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out "Take Home Rations' remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.

She went ahead on to note that the provision of 'Take Home Rations', under the modified programme, was not the sole initiative of her ministry.

She said each take home ration was valued at 4,200 and that the figure was arrived at after proper consultation.

“It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.

“The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.

“The ministry, in obeying the Presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations’, remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.

“So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.

“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States, as pilot cases.

“According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5.6 to six members in its household, with three to four dependents.

“So, each household is assumed to have three children.

“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day.

“The meal costs N70 per child. When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month.

“Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month, and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration’.

“The agreement was that the federal government would provide the funding while the states would implement it.

“To ensure transparency in the process, we partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.

“In the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 homes in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 families affected between May 14, and July 6.

“If 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount will be N523,273,800,” the minister explained.

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