A total of 282,529 pupils are currently being fed under the Federal Government Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Zamfara State.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk, made this disclosure on Monday at a town hall meeting in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.
This is coming after media reports that the ministry spent the sum of N679 million daily or N13.5 billion monthly on the project in 31 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the lockdown period.
In her defence, however, Faruk stressed that the ministry had only spent N523.3 million on the school feeding program during the lockdown.
In the latest update on the programme, the minister said no fewer than 2,000 cooks have been employed in Zamfara State.
She added that the scheme was being carried out in 1,759 schools spread across the 14 local government areas of the state.
AgroNigeria gathered that the meeting was held to discuss and proffer solutions to the ongoing challenges in the state’s agriculture sector as a result of COVID-19 lockdown, flooding and banditry.
Faruk explained, “It must be noted that the COVID-19 lockdown, ongoing activities of armed bandits and the flooding experienced across the North-West has led to the displacement of over 247,000 persons across Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Niger and Kebbi.
“This has impacted on the economic and agricultural activities in Zamfara State, thereby creating social and economic vulnerabilities.
“This town hall meeting is significant as it will allow us to collectively communicate, identify, articulate and derive solutions to the humanitarian and developmental challenges that have arisen in Zamfara State from banditry, extreme weather conditions and the COVID – 19 pandemics.”
At the side, the minister also noted that the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) programme has provided loans to 48,503 individuals in Zamfara.
“Beneficiaries enrolled into the program increased from 630,964 Poor and Vulnerable Households with direct household beneficiaries of 3,201,402 as at August 2019 to 1,289,405 Poor and Vulnerable Households with 6,443,878 direct households beneficiaries as at August 2020.
“Numbers of beneficiaries receiving payment increased from 469,362 households in 22 states to over one million in 34 states,” she said.
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