Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has raised concern over the sudden suspension of the Federal Government’s homegrown school feeding programme in Kano State.
Ganduje wondered why feeding of millions of pupils in over 4,900 public primary schools in Kano was halted since December 2019 while funding of the same project continued in other states till February 2020.
The governor spoke while receiving the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, who was in Kano to formally deliver 139 trucks of assorted grains from the Federal Government to Kano government for onward delivery to poor and vulnerable people in the state as COVID-19 palliatives.
Although Ganduje applauded the re-introduction of the initiative, he called for a review of the school feeding programme to reflect the increasing number of schools enrolment, necessitated by the state’s new policy of free and compulsory education as well as the Almajirai Integration School systems.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s palliative gesture to cushion the impact of stay at home orders occasioned by COVID-19, the governor said that would further complement the state’s palliative programme which already provided succour for 50,000 households in the state.
“We expect the Federal Government to look at the left-over of our December 2019 unfed children. The feeding had stopped since December while some states continued to enjoy the feeding up till February 2020.
“We also want the ministry of humanitarian affairs to look into the need to review the feeding programme to capture our free and compulsory education system and the almajiri integration.
“We thank the Federal Government on the palliatives and we assure you that it will further complete our own programme where about 50,000 benefited in the first batch while the second batch is already in progress,” Ganduje said.
Explaining how the school feeding scheme would be actualised while schools were closed, the minister said dry food ration would be distributed to every household of the pupils.
She stressed that the disbursement would be actualised using available register obtained from the ministry of education where names and addresses of pupils were detailed.
Faruok believed the processes might seem complicated but achievable, with the support and cooperation of the state’s ministry of education and Universal Basic Education Board.
She explained that 1,173,516 pupils across 39,172 households were being targeted for the school feeding programme in Kano.
On the Federal Government’s palliatives, the minister noted that 4,718 metric tonnes of rice, millet, sorghum and maize meant for 300,000 households were delivered to Kano state government.
She urged the state government to ensure that the palliative provided reached the poorest of the poor so that Nigerians would be relieved of their pains.