Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Out of N900 billion allocated for National Social Investment Programme in the 2016 (N500 billion) and 2017 (N400 billion) Budgets by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, only N110 billion has so far been released with the total expenditure of N109 billion made.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, made the disclosure in a released statement.
Akande, while giving a break down of expenditure said: “A total of N900 billion was appropriated for the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) in 2016 and 2017; with N500 billion appropriated for 2016 and N400bn appropriated for 2017. However, the total amount released was N110 billion for 2016 and 2017, with the total expenditure of N109 billion.”
He gave the breakdown of the total expenditure for the period under review as follows: “GEEP N11, 700,200,466, CCT N5,235,401,087, Home-grown School Feeding Programme N22,370,719,017 and while N-power, which is the Job Creation component of the SIP gulped N69,731,256,122.
According to Laolu, over 246 million meals have been served to date to primary pupils across 20 states in the country since the first meal was served in December 2016 under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme. Akande said additional 67,928,420 children would be fed to bring the figure to 313,928,420 meals by the last week of February 2018.
He disclosed that the programme now feeds 6,044,625 pupils in 33,981 public primary schools across 20 states.
More states, according to him, are expected to be added to the programme this year.
His words: “The NHGSFP plans to implement feeding in a total of 28 States, while it aims to link farmers to school feeding markets.”
He further explained that about 40,000 direct jobs had since been created from the School Feeding Programme across the participating states. No fewer than 20 states have so far been covered by the NHGSFP. These include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, and Kano.