05 July 2021 by Ohikwo Muhammad,
The Federal Government says it is scaling up its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in view of the socio-economic benefits accruing along the value chain.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk stated this during a visit to the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaha Bello in Lokoja.
The Minister said they were in Kogi to carryout enumeration of beneficiaries in furtherance of scaling up of the NHSFP in Kogi specifically in public primary schools.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Internal Audit in the Ministry, Mrs, Patience Achor, the Minister said over nine million pupils were already benefitting from the one free nutritious meal per day with a mandate to reach another five million pupils nationwide.
She highlighted the benefits of the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme to include increased enrollment of pupils in primary schools, employment of over 100 thousand cooks, as well as engagement of over 100 thousand small holder farmers along the value chain.
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello expressed optimism that the programme would further record huge success promising that measures were being taken to make Kogi a model for the programme.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, Governor Bello noted that government operations were being digitized to ensure adequate record keeping and efficiency.
Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on SDGs and Kogi State Focal Person for the National Social Investment Programme, Abdulkarim Onyekehi explained that Kogi was developing a database of beneficiaries of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme through collaboration with relevant stakeholders with over one hundred and seventy seven thousand pupils already captured out of two hundred and fifty eight thousand primary one to three pupils in the state.
The National Homegrown School Feeding Programme was designed by the Federal Government under the National Social Investment Programme to drive school enrolment, boost nutrition of pupils as well as support local production of food while providing one nutritious meal per day to all the pupils in public primary schools in classes one to three.
Other stakeholders present during the visit included State heads and representatives of NBS, NYSC, NOA, UBEC, NPC and the state Ministry of Education.