The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq said the Federal Government has paid the suppliers of foodstuff and cooks under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme for January 2020.
In a statement on Sunday signed by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Halima Oyelade quoted Mrs Umar-Farouq as explaining that the early payment was to ensure that the feeding of the 9.9 million pupils in the participating States and the FCT starts immediately schools resume in the next two weeks.
According to the minister, the payment covered the cost of feeding pupils in the 33 participating states.
“We believe that paying these funds early is critical to the success of the programme. We do not want any hitches, and we want to ensure that the school children are fed on time, and without any excuses,” the minister emphasised.
The minister, however, warned that the Federal Government would not accept any drop in the nutritional quality of the meals given to the children.
Mrs Umar-Farouq noted that the Federal Government had gladly received reports of improved attendance in the schools and improved hygiene among the pupils, adding that these outcomes were some of the reasons for setting up the programme.
The statement noted that under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, a total of 9,963,726 pupils are fed in 54, 942 schools across the country served by 107,862 suppliers and cooks.
The programme is one of the components of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) of the Federal Government under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.