Niger Primary School Pupils To ‘Eat’ N1.2b In 20 Days
Every year, UNESCO has continued to sing the need for more money to be budgeted for education.
At least 26% of the budget is what it recommends. Countries that have followed this advice are reaping its reward.
There seem to be an increase in funding allocated to the sector in different states in Nigeria but one area much of the money is going into is the feeding of school pupils.
In Niger State, the government has budgeted to spend 1.2 billion Naira on the primary school feeding programme expected to kick off on September 25.
The Special Adviser to Governor on Empowerment and Social Protection, Afiniki Dauda, gave the figure on Tuesday in Minna, the capital of Niger State, during the training of 150 food vendors and desk officers on food safety and hygiene.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training, tagged: “train the trainees”, was organised for selected vendors across the 25 local government areas, to prepare them for the feeding programme.
Dauda said the Federal Government would spend 70 Naira per day, for every child expected to benefit.
“We have submitted a list of well over 800,000 pupils from 3,000 schools for the programme; its principal aim is to raise nutritional value among pupils and increase school enrollment,” she said.
At least 70,170 vendors have been captured for the programme and their data have been submitted to the National Identity Management office for verification.
Going by the 2016/2017 academic calendar released by Lagos State government late last year, there are 220 days a pupils will not be in school in a year and that includes weekend days.
if subtracted from the number of days in a year, 145 days are left for students to be in school.
Further simple subtraction, division and multiplication will result in the government spending at least 8.7 billion Naira in a year on feeding primary school pupil.
Critics have expressed concerns over why the government is spending such funds on feeding when the standard of education in the basic levels has remained poor due to poor funding and poor monitoring system.
Mos of these schools with children getting fed under the feeding programme lack basic amenities and other facilities that will make learning more meaningful and impactful.