By Lawrence Olaoye
The federal government has spent close to N7 billion on its National Homegrown School Feeding Program on about 3 million school pupils drawn from 14 pilot states of the federation.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the government hopes to feed 5.5 million schoolchildren by end of the year.
So far, over 19,000 schools have so far been covered under the program.
Akande wrote “In total, 2,918,842 schoolchildren from 19,881 schools in the 14 pilot states of the federation have so far benefitted from the school feeding programme, which is part of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s N500 billion Social Investment Programmes, SIPs.
“A total of N6,643,432,789 billion have been disbursed by the Federal Government since the school feeding programme kicked off late last year.
“With 3,325 schools, Kaduna State has the highest number of schools so far covered under the programme, as well as the highest number of schoolchildren (835,508) who have been fed.
It is closely followed by Benue State where 2,220 schools have been covered and 240,827 schoolchildren have been fed.
Zamfara State also recorded a high number, with 1,952 schools covered and 198,788 pupils fed under the programme.
Similarly, Bauchi State recorded impressive figures with 1,904 schools already covered, while 307,013 schoolchildren in the state have so far benefitted from the programme.
Also, a total of 1,850 schools have been covered and 151,438 pupils have been fed in Osun State.
In the same vein, 1,479 schools have been covered and 171,835 pupils fed so far in Taraba State; while a total of 1,403 schools have been covered in Oyo State, where 107,983 pupils have been fed.
In Anambra State, 807 schools have been covered and 103,742 schoolchildren have been fed so far, while in Enugu State, 108,898 pupils in 622 schools have been fed.
In Ebonyi State, the school feeding programme has so far covered 1,050 schools and 163,137 schoolchildren have been fed.
In Ogun State, 903 schools have so far been covered with 231,660 pupils fed. Also, a total of 95,134 schoolchildren in 882 schools have been fed in Plateau State.
Delta and Abia states recorded 742 schools each, with 141,663 and 61,316 schoolchildren fed respectively.
With the commencement of a new academic session in September, it is expected that more schools will benefit from the programme, as more states would be added to the list, in line with the Federal Government target that 5.5 million schoolchildren would be fed by the end of 2017.”