Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has blamed his administration’s suspension of its free feeding programme for schoolchildren on failure of the Federal Government to play its part.
El-Raufi said that the office of the Vice President, under the Social Investment Programme, had promised to subsidize the cost the scheme by 60 per cent, but failed to keep to its part of the deal.
The Governor further said that he had no option other than to abandon the scheme after the Federal Government left the whole responsibility to his administration.
“We were encouraged to start the programme because the office of the Vice President, under the Social Investment Programme, promised to subsidise 60 per cent of the cost of the programme. So, we started spending our money in the expectation of being reimbursed,” El-Ruafai told Daily Trust in an interview.
“We have spent, nearly N8 billion on this programme this year and the office of the Vice President is supposed to pay us back in the region of N6 billion to N7 billion.
“Since we made education free, the enrolment in class one was huge. We have not been paid this money.
“The amount we earmarked for the programme in the 2016 budget has been exhausted. So, we cannot continue with the programme.
“We are expecting the reimbursement from the office of the vice president. We have been assured over and over that we would be reimbursed. But we didn’t think that we had the resources to continue without that reimbursement.
“We had exhausted what we budgeted for it. We will do well in education generally. I cannot prove it because it takes time before any investment in education matures. But I can give you some statistics to show that we are doing well,” he said.