Politics

Sch. Feeding Programme: Primaries 4-6 may be exempted if…

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The presidency has noted, that states that do not contribute to the school feeding programme would have their students in primaries four to six exempted from the programme.

It said that if a state is 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.

The Presidency denied that it needs counterpart funding to carry out the programme, adding that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had already provided N93.1bn in the 2016 budget for the effective implementation of the programme.

This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, while making clarifications on the Home Grown School Feeding programme in a statement on Tuesday.

It would be recalled that the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had criticised the federal government recently, saying the school feeding programme must be implemented without the proposed 40 per cent counterpart funding from states.

According to the Governor, the school feeding programme was purely a contract between the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government and Nigerians.

However, Akande, in the statement, said while states were active participants in the school feeding plan, their “counterpart funding is not required to start the programme’s implementation”, adding that willing states were however being encouraged to complement the programme so it could reach more pupils.

Akande, who said state governments could and would not be compelled to do that, noted that states’ support was vital whether they were able to provide funds in addition to what the Federal Government would do or not.

He said: “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 further said 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.

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