Written by Sarah NEGEDU

8.7m children captured in FG’s school feeding programme

The Federal Government has said over 8.7 million school children currently benefit from its Home Grown School Feeding Programme in parts of the country where it is being implemented.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while fielding questions from some stakeholders, on the status of the programme at the Public Presentation of the 2018 Approved Budget of Consolidation, on Thursday in Abuja.

Home Grown School Feeding Programme is one of the components of the Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government.

While acknowledging that the Social Investment programme had a lot of teething problems when the implementation commenced in 2016 she said, “A lot of processes has gone into the implementation of the programme. When we started in 2016, it was designed to reach out to five million school children.

“We have reached 8.7 million children now. We have gone above the target we set and the programme is being implemented in many states.”

The Federal Government has allocated another N500billion for Social Intervention Programme in the 2018 budget after the same amount was allocated in 2016 and 2017. The programme includes Home Grown School Feeding, Government Economic Empowerment, Nigeria-Power Job Creation and Conditional Cash Transfers.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said that the federal government had earmarked N11.3billion for the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2018 budget. He said government had also budgeted N36.4billion for the implementation of other SDGs projects.

In addition, he said that government had earmarked some funds to implement Special Economic Zone Projects.

“The sum of N44.2 billion was set aside for ongoing and planned Special Economic Zone Projects across the geopolitical zones, to drive manufacturing/exports. Under the Export Expansion Grant , 13.28 billion was earmarked in form of tax credit to support export via the Export Expansion Grant.

“For Recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture, we earmarked N15 billion to support these development finance institutions for the support of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” he said.

The N9.12 trillion 2018 Budget was designed to Consolidate on the achievements of the 2016 Budget of Change and the 2017 Budget of Recovery and Growth. Government hopes that the budget will also advance the delivery of the goals of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020.

President Buhari last week, assented the 2018 budget following the six months delay by the National Assembly.

 

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