The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said the Federal Government spent about N523.3 million on school feeding programme during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Farouq, who disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, said one of the federal government’s key interventions – the Home Grown School Feeding Programme – was modified and implemented in three states following a presidential directive of March 29.
She said: “It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.
“The provision of ‘Take Home Rations,’ under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“The ministry, in obeying the presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state governor’s forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations,’ remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.
“So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.
“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States, as pilot cases.”
According to the minister, each take home ration was valued at N4,200 and the figure was arrived at with proper consultation.
She said the figure was generated from statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Farouq added: “According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5.6 to six members in its household, with three to four dependents.
“So, each household is assumed to have three children.
“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day.
“The meal costs N70 per child.
“When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month.
“Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration.”