No fewer than 197,140 primary school pupils from Abia are benefiting from the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme of the federal government.
Mrs Florence Chukwude of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abia, said nine million pupils nationwide were currently benefiting from the scheme.
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Mrs Chukwude who is the Abia Team Lead on the federal government verification task force said the federal government had given the ministry the mandate to reach an additional five million pupils by 2023.
Chukwude, who represented the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the exercise was designed to enable the ministry to “verify, validate and analyse the data from Abia”.
She said that 1,030 public schools in Abia were currently on the programme but added that the number could increase by September.
The Programme Manager, Abia School Feeding, Elder Gabriel Ahuruonye, said that the “Federal government injects N450 million every month” into the programme.
The money according to him is paid directly to the account of food vendors engaged in the programme.
According to him, while the federal government feeds pupils from primary one to primary three, the state government complements the efforts by feeding pupils from nursery one to three, as well as primary four to six.