Mohammed Magawata, the commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in Kebbi State, has disclosed that the state spends a sum of N280 million monthly on school feeding programmes so as to "enhance enrolment, retention  and completion in public schools across the state". 

Speaking, on Monday, at a training on Cash Transfer Programme organised  by the United Nations Children  Education Fund (UNICEF), Magawata said this was done to reduce the number of out-of- school children in the country.

"Every month, Kebbi State spends over 280million on feeding," he said. "This, we give for free to improve interest in going to school and also retention of children in school."

He added that the state has spent "over N2billion for providing only furniture in our schools this year".

The commissioner ascribed the increase in the number of out-of-school children in the state to the influx of people from neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad and Benin Republic. 

"We are doing very much to sustain the programme, even after UNICEF completes the programmes in the northern part of the country, we can still continue our own programmes to ensure those who are in school remain," he said.

"We have schemes in place to assist children in their education. We have our own local programmes of assisting children. We do this by helping in the payment of school fees and school feeding."

Magawata also noted that the state had been able to absorb over 500,000 beneficiaries, adding that an additional 40,000 beneficiaries had been added recently during its mopping exercise.

However, he expressed satisfication in the training, believing it might help change the mindset of parents who may want to prevent their children from attending conventional schools.

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