The presidency yesterday disclosed that Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Niger states have been added to the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, with an additional one million children as beneficiaries.
This brings the participating states to 17 in a programme the Federal Government described as a crucial part of its Social Investment Programme (SIP) aimed at tackling poverty, hunger and creating jobs.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said the other 14 states already benefitting from the programme are Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.
So far, in Cross River, 117,750 children in 973 schools are being fed under the programme, while Akwa Ibom has 171,732 children in 1,101 schools being fed. Niger has 710,880 being fed in 2,411 schools.
A total of 4,773,064 school children in 25,771 schools in 17 states are currently benefitting from the feeding programme.This represents an increase to 2,918,842 school children from 19,881 schools in 14 states that had benefitted from the programme.
About 34,869 direct jobs have also been created from the programme in the participating states. In Cross River, for instance, 1,384 cooks have been engaged, 1,309 cooks are engaged in Akwa Ibom, while 5,924 cooks are engaged in Niger.
Meanwhile, few days after the United Nations designated October 17, as the International Day for Eradication of Poverty, thousands of Nigerians identified as poorest and most vulnerable have received the monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in Plateau and Cross River states.
No fewer than 115,000 beneficiaries are now being funded with the monthly N5000 payment in Borno, Cross River, Niger, Kwara, Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo, Osun, Plateau, Bauchi, Anambra, Jigawa, Taraba and Adamawa.
There are, however, reported disbursement hitches in Benue and Anambra states and they are being addressed.The statement added that this had to do with non-opening of bank accounts and enrolling of beneficiaries, adding the hitches would be resolved by the end of the month to ensure that the beneficiaries are placed in a better position to receive the cash transfers.