Out of the N6.2bn so far spent by the Federal Government on its National Homegrown School Feeding Programme during the academic year that ended in August, Delta State received a total of N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils while a total of 1,364 cooks were engaged in the state.
Delta state is listed among the 14 beneficiary states to include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi,Taraba, Kaduna and Abia.
While officials of the Delta state government have insisted that the state has implemented the programme and commenced feeding since June 2017, the Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT), Delta state chapter expressed surprise, saying Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is yet to implement the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme in Delta public primary schools.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chike Ebie told Blank NEWS Online on phone that the state government implemented the programme but promised to release more details shortly.
Efforts made by Blank NEWS Online to secure further information on the feeding programme at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education on Thursday, August 17, 2017 proved abortive at the time of filing this report, as the Director of Public-Private Partnership Department of the Ministry, Dr. Giwa-Amu was said to have gone out on official engagement with the Commissioner, Mr. Chike Ebie.
Meanwhile, the NUT Secretary, Comrade Joe Iyalekhue said the union is unaware if feeding has commenced in Delta public primary schools.
“No, I’m not aware of such school up till now. They are not doing afternoon feeding at all. It has not started here. It only suggests that the governor has not implemented it. That is the implication if nothing on ground now.
However, a senior teacher in Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba who preferred anonymity disclosed to Blank NEWS Online that pupils in the school were fed but not regularly, just as another source also mentioned that pupils in some primary school in Aniocha North local government area have benefitted from the feeding by government.
The unpopular National Homegrown School Feeding Programme is a component of the All Progressive Congress (APC) administration’s Social Investment Programmes which attracted N500bn allocation in both the 2016 and 2017 budgets.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, had recently in a statement, revealed that the sum of N6.2bn was spent on feeding primary school pupils in 14 states.
Akande said 2,827,501 school children were currently benefiting from the scheme, which has three million children as its target.
He also disclosed that 33,895 cooks had been engaged in the communities where the schools were located across the 14 states.
Akande revealed that “Delta State received a total of N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils. A total of 1,364 cooks were engaged in the state.”
Recall that in March 2017, the state government commenced the training of 1,700 caterers drawn from the various local government areas and targeted at feeding over 433,000 pupils in the state’s public primary school at Nana College, Warri.
Earlier in December 2016, delegates from the office of the Vice-President led by Mr. Dotun Adebayo, the Operations Manager of national Home-Grown School Feeding Programme attended a two-day stakeholders meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, aimed chiefly at fine-tuning the process and working instruments for the implementation of the Delta State version of the national Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP).
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E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka