The Presidency yesterday released a statement to clarify reports that states were asked for money to fund the Federal Government’s National School Feeding programme.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, in a statement stated that government had already set aside N93.1bn in the 2016 budget for the effective implementation of the programme
He further said that state governments would not be compelled to do that, added that states’ support was vital whether they were able to provide funds in addition to what the Federal Government would do or not.
Part of the statement reads;, “We want the states to embrace this programme, it is good for the people, it’s a win-win for everyone. School feeding programme is not a counterpart funding arrangement model, no.
“What we have is a plan where the Federal Government provides 100 per cent feeding costs for pupils in primary one to three in all public primary schools in the country.
“The Presidency has made adequate arrangements for the HGSF to happen and by the grace of God, we are going forward to do exactly that.
“But what is interesting is the fact that some states have actually gone ahead to start the school feeding programme on their own, while some others are also making such a plan.
“In that case, more primary school pupils would be fed in the final analysis.”
Akande assured stakeholders that if a state was not able to fund the school feeding in Primary 4 to 6, the Federal Government would not abandon such a state but instead go ahead and feed pupils from Primary 1 to 3.
He further disclosed that 5.5 million school children would be fed free of charge for 200 school days in the first phase of the home-grown school feeding programme starting this year.
He said the feeding programme, though a part of the APC manifesto, was also an African Union inspired scheme to grow the continent while ensuring that pupils go to schools.
He added that the programme was also embedded within the National School Health Policy and the Universal Basic Act of the FGN 2004.