The Federal Government has increased the cost of feeding a primary school pupil from N70 to N100 and will be spending about N1bn daily to feed an estimated 10 million children benefiting from the scheme across the country.
It disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday during a two-day national consultative meeting on public food procurement in the context of Nigeria’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
Through the NHGSFP, under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the government provides a meal daily for pupils in year one to three in government-owned primary schools.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the National Coordinator, National Social Investments Programme, Umar Bindir, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had approved the increase.
He said, “When we started in 2016, that was before COVID-19, we had experienced difficulty with the implementation of the N70/child. We had made presentations as the (humanitarian) minister passionately made submissions to Mr. President.
“And Mr. President has graciously approved that we should raise the feeding (cost) from N70 to N100 per child. And the implementation of this programme has now commenced.”
Bandir said the Minister of Finance was giving the humanitarian ministry the right cooperation to ensure that the new feeding cost would be implemented on time.
Commenting on concerns observed in the school feeding programme, the NSIP coordinator stated that some stakeholders involved in the implementation of the NHGSFP were not abiding by some of the stipulated terms.
He said, “There are issues where the formulae for the menu in many cases are not consistently adhered to, and so on and so forth. However, these are things that are natural when you have a big programme of this nature covering 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We are feeding over 10 million children nationwide and you are bound to experience one or two hiccups here and there. But we are strengthening our monitoring and evaluation system and digitising the processes of delivery.”
Bindir added, “We are also ensuring that payments to cooks continue to go directly to the cooks and we are now engaging even non-governmental organisations to participate in the verification and monitoring of the process.”