By Mahmoud Dogara (Bauchi State Correspondent)

Bauchi State Focal person on Social Investment Programmes, Hajiya Amina Katagum, has said that the Home Grown school feeding Programme in the state suffered a setback in the year 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic which exacerbated the socio-economic challenges of the state as a result of the Lock-down and closure of business.

Katagum who is the Special Adviser to the Bauchi State governor stated this on Tuesday during a Town Hall meeting on Social Investment Programmes, organized by the Bauchi state government in collaboration with the senate Commitee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programmes, held at the Multi-purpose indoor hall Bauchi.

She said that the Home Grown School Feeding programme aims to deliver school feeding to young children with specific focus on increasing school enrollment and reducing the incidence of malnutrition, especially among the poor and ordinary people as well as empowering community women as cooks and supporting small farmers that help stimulate economic growth.

"In Bauchi state, 445,789 school children, 7,584 women and 3,000 small farmers had benefited from the Programme as at 31st March 2020.School enrollment had increased as a result of the Programme. About N624,230,600 comes into the state monthly for feeding of the school children during sessions"

"The State is awaiting additional number of schools recently captured by the National Bereau of Statistics to be included in the school feeding Programme and to this end, more women will be recruited as food vendors with benefits" she said

Under the N-power Programme which exited Batch A and B and Batch C, awaiting recruitment, Hajiya Katagum said that in Bauchi state, 15,496 had benefited from the Programme as at 31st July 2020, adding that N500,000 was injected into the state as stipends to the volunteers on a monthly basis.

She said that under the Conditioner Cash Transfer (CCT), which also a component of the social investment Programme of the federal government, 23,272,households which is equivalent to N232,720,000 as at inception in 2016 had benefited from the Programme, adding that the figure has remained until the coming of the present administration that increased the number to 54,974 also equivalent to N549,740. NNL.