While delivering his budget speech on Wednesday, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, announced that the state government has decided to discontinue the school feeding program which was a key campaign promise of the Al Progressives Congress (APC) government.
The governor told the lawmakers that the program which began in January 2016 and was providing a meal every school day to 1.8 million children in public primary schools had to be stopped this session because the Office of the Vice President has not reimbursed the state with matching grant as promised.
The original plan was that the FG, through the vice president’s office, would reimburse the state for the feeding of pupils in primary 1 to primary 3, but the federal government has not done its part.
“We have decided to delay the commencement of our primary School Feeding Program (SFP) in this session until this re-examination is concluded and we are reimbursed by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for the matching grant to cover part of the expenses incurred on the programme from January to July 2016.
“We were encouraged to be a pilot state for the School Feeding Programme and began implementing the programme when we did based on assurances that we will be reimbursed for the feeding of pupils in primary classes 1 to 3, which account for more than 60% of the monthly cost of the feeding,” he said.
According to the governor, the program was costing the state about N1.1 billion every month.
The governor said he is aware that the Office of the Vice President is “making every effort to hasten the reimbursement to enable the state to continue this laudable implementation of a key APC manifesto commitment.”