President Bola Tinubu has unveiled a significant milestone in the recently approved 2024 budget, allocating N100 billion for school feeding programs nationwide. The announcement came during the official signing of the 2024 appropriation bill at the State House in Abuja.
In his address, the president emphasized that this allocation is designed to act as a catalyst for increasing school attendance and mitigating the challenge of out-of-school children. Tinubu expressed confidence that the provision will not only foster enrollment but also combat malnutrition among school children.
“I am excited to share that a substantial focus of the just-passed bill is the N100 billion allocation for school children’s feeding. I believe this initiative will serve as a motivational factor to boost school enrollment and effectively address malnutrition concerns among our young learners. I am eager to engage with local governments at sub-national levels to collaboratively implement this comprehensive program,” the president stated.
President Tinubu highlighted that the budget, named “Renewed Hope,” prioritizes a reduction in recurrent expenditure while increasing capital expenditure. He emphasized the administration’s commitment to bringing down the deficit from 6.11% to 3.88%.
“The budget is strategically aligned with our goals of reducing the deficit and amplifying capital expenditure in crucial sectors. The approved 2024 budget successfully achieves these objectives, featuring a substantial increase in capital allocation, a decrease in recurrent spending, and a commendable reduction of the deficit from 6.11% to 3.88%,” Tinubu affirmed.
In a noteworthy backstory, President Tinubu reinstated the school feeding program in December, transferring its oversight from the Humanitarian Ministry to the Education Ministry. Previously paused under former President Muhammadu Buhari, the program now falls under the Education Ministry’s jurisdiction with the aim of not only providing nutritious meals but also fostering regular attendance and enriching the learning experience.
President Tinubu sees the relaunch as pivotal in addressing the learning crisis and creating a more conducive educational environment for all children. Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, stressed the program’s objective to translate policies into practical solutions, assigning accountability to organizations responsible for tackling the issue of out-of-school youth.