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Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, 4 others spend N28.3bn on Ramadan feeding

As Ramadan fast progresses, seven states of the federation have budgeted over N28. 3 billion to feed residents during the period, figures released by the…

As Ramadan fast progresses, seven states of the federation have budgeted over N28. 3 billion to feed residents during the period, figures released by the states and put together by Daily Trust revealed. 

The states include Katsina, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi, Niger and Yobe. 

It was gathered that many other states, especially in the North, have earmarked various sums for the project but have refused to make the actual amount public. 

This has elicited anxiety in many quarters, with some clerics calling for accountability, considering the humongous amount set aside. 

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They said even though it was not entirely wrong to support the less privileged to feed during Ramadan because of the reward therein, they nonetheless called for caution concerning the possibility of abusing the process. 

Katsina State topped the chart for the feeding programme by budgeting N10 billion. 

Sokoto earmarked N6.7 billion, Kano set aside N6 billion, Jigawa N2.83 billion, Kebbi N1.5 billion, Niger N976 million,  and Yobe N178 million respectively. 

Governor Dikko Umar Radda, who disclosed the amount for the Ramadan feeding while inaugurating the committee that will oversee the distribution of the grains to the beneficiaries, said the gesture was to support citizens of the state. 

In Sokoto, Governor Ahmed Aliyu said that the state expended N6.7 billion for the provision of Ramadan and other packages to the people of the state. 

Also, the Kano State government said it is targeting four million people in the 2024 Ramadan feeding programme across the 44 local government areas of the state. 

The Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Baba Dantiye, said the aim was to feed the less privileged. 

Speaking to a national daily, Dantiye said the densely populated Kano metropolis, which is made up of eight LGAs has 90 special centres that include mosques, remand centres, almajiri schools, and hospitals.

He said: “In each centre, we have three women who cook and three men that provide security so that people don’t tamper with the food or cause stampedes. 

“In each centre, there are two bags of rice to feed at least 200 people, that is 100 people per bag; there are also varieties such as beans cake and pap and other assorted food being cooked daily and is served between 6.30pm and 7.00p.m targeted at the most-needy.” 

The Commissioner for Information in Jigawa, Sagir Musa, said in a statement that the Ramadan feeding programme will be implemented through 609 feeding centres, with a focus on providing three different food items to 182,700 poor and vulnerable people daily. 

He said there will be dedicated feeding centres to be established at each of the state’s ten tertiary institutions. 

He said that approximately 3.8 million vulnerable persons would benefit from the feeding programme throughout the Ramadan period. 

Apart from approving a budget of N2.83 billion for the special feeding, the commissioner said the state executive council also allocated N1.125 billion for emergency procurement of additional rice and spaghetti to ensure adequate food supply across the state. 

Kebbi’s N1. 5bn for the Ramadan feeding programme will be dispensed in 69 feeding centres, it was learnt. 

The distribution will target three mosques in each of the 21 local government areas, according to the Special Adviser to the governor on Religious Affairs, Engr. Imran Usman-Abdulrahman. 

 In Niger State, the state Commissioner for Information, Binta Mamman, said that the N976 million for Ramadan feeding in the eight emirate councils of the state was timely. 

 She said assorted grains have been procured to be distributed to all the 25 local government areas, emirate councils, religious leaders, security agencies, and political parties in the state. 

Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, had also approved the sum of N187 million for the feeding of the less privileged and the vulnerable throughout this year’s Ramadan fast in the state.


Accountability key to success of the programme – Cleric 

Malam Ahmad Abdullahi, a cleric in Bauchi, said while there is nothing wrong in catering for the people, the issue of accountability must be emphasised. 

“Feeding the needy is an acceptable norm all over the world, especially during Ramadan. 

“In fact, in some countries, including non -Muslim countries, they give meal tickets to unemployed persons as a temporary measure. 

“But in Nigeria, we always have issues with these kinds of initiatives. Some people take advantage of it to steal; others produce poor quality meals. 

“So, I want to advise that the governors should fear Allah. The contractors should also fear Allah,” he said. 

Speaking to Daily Trust in Abuja, the Chief Imam of Nasirul-Lahi-Li-Fatih, Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) Mosque, Utako, Abuja and founder, Ashraaf Islamic Foundation, Sheik Sharafudeen Abdulsalam Aliagan, said the gesture is good and encouraging.

He said that somebody who wakes up in the morning and goes out to look for what to eat is different from someone observing fasting as a student or a vulnerable person. 

 “So, instead of these people to start going about begging or doing some very stressful work during the days of Ramadan, the well-to-do, those whom Allah has blessed, Islamic organisations, good individuals, philanthropists, according to the principle of Islam can assist those needy by giving them food, money and other lawful gifts to make the fasting easy for them,” Aliagan said. 

He also said that thousands of people are being fed by NASFAT and other Muslim organisations across the country, especially students and other vulnerable persons that must be supported to enhance easier observance of Ramadan fasting. 

When asked about the fears that the billions of naira earmarked for the exercise may be mismanaged due to corruption, the renowned cleric said this may not be possible due to the glory of the month of Ramadan. 

He said that, while it is expected that those that may be asked to manage the resources would be competent and god-fearing people, it is also expected that those that the monies may be entrusted with would want to earn Allah’s reward and not be engaged in mismanagement of the Ramadan feeding programme monies or other resources.


By Philip S. Clement, Vincent Yusuf,  Abbas Jimoh (Abuja), Ismail Adebayo (Birnin Kebbi), Abubakar Akote (Minna),  Ali Rabiu (Dutse) Haruna Ibrahim (Abuja) & Habibu I. Gimba (Damaturu)

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