Contrary to rumours circulating within the social media in the past months that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD), spent hundreds of billions of Naira on school feeding during the coronavirus lockdown, the Minister, Sadiya Farouq, has said that only about N523.3 million was actually spent on the programme.

She announced this on Monday during the Presidential Taskforce briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja.

“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 MHADMSD.

“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,’’ the minister said.

According to her, each takes home ration was valued at N4,200 and the figure was arrived at with proper consultation, adding that the figure was generated from statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

“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,’ she said.

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