…….As school feeding reaches 30 states, 9.5m children
Over 12 million Nigerians are to benefit from the ‘Next Level’ of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP).
This is even as the Home-grown School Feeding Programme has now extended to 30 states with 9.5 million children now being fed and 2.5 million farmers, cooks and others benefitting from the value chains.
A statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice President), said that the Federal Government was also targeting millions of Nigerians to benefit from its schemes.
President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP), is aimed at empowering Nigerians and improving their livelihood through several initiatives.
According to the statement, over 12 million will be lifted out of poverty in the next phase of the schemes, with over one million poorest households benefitting from the cash transfer.
It said that the ‘Next Level’ GEEP schemes also targets 10 million Nigerians while one million more Nigerians would be added to the N-Power programme.
“In continuation of its efforts to invest in the country’s human capital development, the Buhari administration has continued to make significant strides through its National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).
“Millions of Nigerians nationwide are currently benefitting from the different schemes under the N-SIP, which is the largest social welfare scheme in the history of the country.
“Through its Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) scheme, the administration is supporting the most vulnerable in society, while developing a skilled workforce for economic productivity by providing jobs for millions of Nigerian youths through the N-Power programme.
“The administration is also improving the learning and cognitive skills of Nigeria’s children through the Home-Grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP).
“Also, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) provide financial support through micro-credit schemes to small traders and businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid, the statement said.
According to Akande, beneficiaries of the GEEP schemes include petty traders, women cooperatives, youths, famers and agricultural workers.
He explained that in the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration tagged ‘Next Level’, more Nigerians will benefit from the schemes.
“While the Cash Transfer scheme aims to reach one million poorest households, one million new beneficiaries are expected to be added to the N-Power scheme, arguably the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa.
“The administration’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), which has a target of reaching 12 million pupils, is currently feeding over 9.5 million public primary school (classes 1-3) pupils with one free, balanced and nutritious meal a day in 30 states nationwide; while it has empowered 101,913 cooks in these states.
“The HGSFP has not only helped to increase enrollment rates of pupils in these communities, it is also effectively tackling early year malnutrition, while improving the cognitive skills of children.
“The School feeding programme has also provided sustainable income for local farmers, cooks, which has increased growth and productivity in the local economy.
“As of March, 297,973 Nigerians in 20 states (including the Borno IDP camps) are current beneficiaries under the National Cash Transfer Policy Programme (Conditional Cash Transfer), which started in December 2017; with over 5,000 savings groups and cooperatives formed as a result,” he said.
He listed the states currently receiving payment under CCT to include: Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, and Taraba.
Akande explained that the Conditional Cash Transfer was designed to deliver timely and accessible cash to beneficiary households and so enhance their capacity for sustainable livelihood.
“The programme provides beneficiaries – poor and vulnerable households – with a monthly transfer of N5,000 with the sole aim of taking them out of poverty,” he said.
He continued: “In the same vein, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which has the MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni schemes, currently has a combined total of over 1.7 million Nigerians benefiting from these schemes.
“So far, since after the national and state polls, 30,000 minimum beneficiaries have been added to the TraderMoni scheme, which provides interest-free loans starting from N10,000 to petty traders nationwide and is payable within six months.
“In addition, upon repayment of the N10,000 loans, some beneficiaries in some states, including Lagos, Osun, Borno, Ogun and Benue, have now started receiving the 2nd improved interest-free TraderMoni loan of N15,000.
In the same vein, the Administration’s N-Power scheme, has currently engaged 500,000 youth graduates deployed to provide public health services in teaching, health, agriculture and tax and monitoring; and a further 200,000 non-graduates in training or attached to organisations as interns”.
For the school feeding programme, the SSA listed the benefitting states to include: Anambra, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto, and Nasarawa.
Others are: Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Plateau, Delta, Zamfara, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Katsina, Ondo, Edo and Gombe.