From: Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Governor Nasir el-rufai of Kaduna State has said that his administrstion spent over N10 billion on the school feeding programme for pupils in public primary schools within the eight months period that the programme lasted.
Speaking while presenting his mid-term report on education in the state at the Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ, on Thursday, Governor el-Rufai said the programme, which was stopped because the Federal Government was not forthcoming with its counterpart funding put at N6.8 billion, would continue in July 2017.
He, however, disclosed that the state has received N3.4 billion, being half of the money owed it by the Federal Government.
“Kaduna state started partial school feeding in January but stopped it in August. We have spent at least N10 billion on the school feeding for the eight months. The initial arrangement was that classes 1 to 3 pupils will be fed by the Federal Government and primary 4 -6 classes to be under the state government.
“Since Federal Government was not ready we felt it would be unwise to go and feed classes 4-6 pupils and leave those of classes 1-3, so we fed all pupils of government primary schools for eight months.”
Governor el-Rufai, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Nok said, “now, Federal Government has paid us half of the money they owed us, N3.4 billion remaining N3.4 billion.
“We hope to re-continue the school feeding programme by next month. We have officials from Abuja to finish up the arrangement. We have reworked all the logistics, we have held several meetings, we are training our vendors and the consultants and we have more stakeholders involved,” the Governor added.
El-Rufai said the state government planned to reopen the state owned institutions in Southern Kaduna especially Kafachan campus of Kaduna State University and College of Education Gidan Waya once the security situation in the area has improved and there is positive report from security agencies.
The governor also stated plans to convert all government owned secondary schools to boarding school, noting that the plan has started with 15 previously selected schools to be joined by 15 others to be selected soon.