A total of 17,000 children in primary and junior secondary schools across the 18 local government areas of Cross River State are benefitting from one meal during school hours under the Federal Government’s school feeding programme.
Mrs Marian Uwais, the Special Adviser to the President on National Social Investment speaking in Calabar Sunday, also stated that 16, 000 households in six local government areas of the state are receiving the N5,000 each from the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme of the government, part of the social welfare project of the government to cushion the effects of hardship on the poor and zero income earners in the country.
Uwais commended Cross River State government for allowing the four social investment schemes: N- Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Artisans Loan Scheme and Schools Feeding Progaramme to function in the state, saying that this was why the National Social Investment Office chose the state as host for stakeholders operating the programmes to interact and find a benchmark to address the issues facing the scheme in the state.
According to her, “4,500 graduates from Cross River State are participating in the N-Power programme with majority of them working as teachers in schools and others as Agricultural Extension workers while the remaining number is functioning as environmental worker force.”
She said any state that plays politics with any of the programmes would lose because the target is to address the needs of the people and not about advancing the interest of any political party which is why Cross River, a People’s Democratic Party state is given adequate attention with plans to upscale up the number of beneficiaries in the different progrrammes in the state.
“The programmes are federal government scheme and does not discriminate between indigenes of a state and visitors so long as they are resident in the benefitting state they should not be excluded or discriminated against during the collation of data or list of beneficiaries for any of the schemes
Professor Ivara Esu, the Deputy Governor of the state said the school feeding programme has given children in rural areas who hitherto depended on the fermented cassava and yam as their daily meal to eat more nutritious food which will go a long way in enhancing their health standard and physical well-being
Esu stated that the Conditional Cash Transfer has turned the fortune of many people in the state and called for a review of the list of beneficiaries to make sure it is only the poor in the society that benefit not people who can fend for themselves as currently observed in some cases.