Sen. Laah faults El-Rufai’s N450m per week free school feeding programme.

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Posted by Luka Binniyat

Sen. Laah faults El-Rufai’s N450m per week free school feeding programme.
KADUNA – Senator Danjuma Laah (PDP, Kaduna South Senatorial Zone) yesterday faulted the recent free feeding program introduced for the 1.8 million primary school pupils of Kaduna state at N50 per meal by the Governor Nasir El Rufai led government of Kaduna state.
It could be recalled that penultimate Monday, El Rufai had flagged off a free, one-meal feeding programme for the 1.8 million Kaduna State primary pupils and enthused that the programme would increase school enrolment and assist children to learn better. Each meal would cost N50 Naira, he had said.
Senator Laah who is the only member of the senate elected on the platform of the PDP in North West Zone described the project as a deliberate attempt by the state Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to score a dubious political point.
In a Statement he signed in Kaduna, he argued that the sum of N90 million per day or N450 million per week gulped to feed pupils, could have been used to improve the quality and quantity of school infrastructure and teaching aids in the state.
He said: “I believe that it is time we tell ourselves the truth irrespective of party, if elected leaders like me really mean well for Kaduna state. I am sticking to the interest of the state and I stand against how our common wealth is being used wrongly in the state in the name of feeding 1.8 million primary school children every day.
“If Kaduna State government claims that it is using N50 to feed every child, that means that each day the state spends N90 million per day, N450 million per week and N1.8 billion will be spent in a month.
“Though the government is claiming that it is going to get assistance from the Federal government on the programme, it does not make sense that a state that gets a mere N3.5 billion from the Federation Account each month and, has a wage bill of about N2.2 billion per month could use N1.8 billion to feed kids that should be fed by their parents.
“I expect Kaduna state government to use these money to improve on the quantity and quality of primary schools, create nice learning spaces for these children and improve on the welfare of teachers and provide more learning aids.

Senator Laah who is the Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on poverty alleviation added that, “there is no way the feeding program can be sustained. It is just a means of looking for a dubious political score.
. “This feeding program is a political gimmick. Parents from my Senatorial Zone can afford to feed their children and do not need anyone to insult them with a N50 meal.
“Does the government feed these children during their holidays? So who told this government that almost all of parents are so irresponsible that they can’t feed their own children with a meal before and after school? I want Kaduna state government to make rational and positive use of the scarce resources available to the state”, the statement reads in conclusion.