The Federal Government said it had so far released over N375 million toward the implementation of its school feeding programme in five states, this year.
Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice-President, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Akande said that the release of the amount was meant to feed almost 700,000 primary school pupils in the five states.
According to him, all states of the federation, except two, are now being processed for the payment of N30, 000 monthly stipends to 200,000 graduates, the N-Power beneficiaries.
Akande, who was giving update on the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP), noted that the programmes were proceeding at different stages of implementation.
He revealed that the government, last week, released money for the smooth implementation of the Homegrown School Feeding Programme in Anambra, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ebonyi, to cover the feeding for 10 school days.
“The sum of about N375, 434, 870 has just been released and paid to 7,909 cooks in those states for the feeding of a total of 677, 476 primary school pupils.’’According to him, Ogun got a total of N119, 648, 900 paid to 1,381 cooks to feed 170, 927 pupils while Ebonyi got N115, 218, 600 paid to 1,466 cooks to feed 164, 598 pupils.
The presidential aide said that Anambra got N67.5 million paid to 937 cooks to feed 96,489 pupils; Oyo state got N72.2 million paid to 1,437 cooks to feed 103, 269 pupils, and Osun got N867,370 paid to 2,688 to feed 142, 193 pupils.
He said that all monies were paid directly to the cooks and covered 10 days of school.
Akande further disclosed that Zamfara and Enugu States would soon be paid N188.7 million and N67.2 million, respectively, later in the week.
“In Zamfara, the sum would be paid to 2,738 cooks to feed 269, 665 pupils, and in Enugu, the sum would be paid to 1,128 cooks to feed 96, 064 pupils.
“By then, over N631 million would have been released so far in 2017 for school feeding in seven states, paid to 11,775 cooks and meant to feed over one million primary school pupils,’’ he added.
On N-Power, Akande stated that the process of payment of verified graduates, who were beneficiaries, had reached different stages of progress in the affected states.
He said that “more and more of such beneficiaries are posting their glad experiences of receiving alerts on the social media’’.
He maintained that the payment of the December, 2016, stipends which had gone across the country would be completed in all states except two that did not meet the extended deadline for the verification process for payment.
Akande disclosed that the processing of January, 2017 stipends were also at advanced stages.
He assured the beneficiaries with issues to remain patient as their cases were being looked into.
Akande said the payment of the unemployed graduates which had created a huge buzz across the country, especially on the social media, was being done in batches.
On the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), he said payments had continued in the nine pilot states of Bauchi, Borno, Niger, Kogi, Cross Rivers, Osun, Oyo Ekiti, and Kwara.
“While payment challenges are being experienced with the banks in some of the states, beneficiaries continue to receive their stipends, which are being paid for two months.’’
According to him, N10, 000 is being paid for the CCT beneficiaries to cover the months of December, 2016 and January, 2017.
He said the CCT payments would be carried out six times in a year, with a payment of N10, 000 to cover two months.