By Emma Una
CALABAR—No fewer than 17,000 school children in primary and junior secondary schools across the 18 local government areas in Cross River State are being fed one meal a day during school hours through the Federal Government’s school feeding programme.
Mrs Marian Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on National Social Investment who disclosed this in Calabar, also stated that 16, 000 households in six councils of the state were receiving the sum of N5,000 each from the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme of the government which is part of the social welfare project of the government to cushion the effect of hardship on the poor and zero income earners in the country.
She said that Cross River State was doing well because all the four social investment schemes: N- Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Artisans Loan scheme and the schools feeding progaramme are all functioning in the state which 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 alongside others.
“No fewer than 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 agriculture extension workers while the remaining number is functioning as environmental worker force and they are all doing very well and the state is being supportive which is quite commendable,” Uwais stated.
She stated that any state that plays politics with any of the programmes would lose out 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, PDP, state is being given adequate attention with plans to upscale up the number of beneficiaries in the different programmes in the state.
According to her, the programme is a Federal Government scheme and does not discriminate between indigenes of a state and visitors and 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