Over nine million pupils have been identified as having benefited from the Federal Government’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) across the country.
Hajia Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, made the disclosure during the launching of the NHGSFP enumeration exercise on Monday, July 5, in Kaduna.
Represented by Alhaji Dabo Tijjani, the Minister said that the exercise was aimed at verifying and updating the number of beneficiaries in the state, with headcount to be conducted alongside relevant MDAs in Kaduna.
She explained that the programme was designed to reduce poverty in all its forms, and also that the arrangement had been concluded to reach additional five million pupils by 2023.
“With more than 100,000 cooks employed and over 100,000 small-holder farmers participating in this value chain, NHGSFP is a serious potential for socio-economic development and needs to be strengthened, scaled up and sustained nationwide.
“This has also created massive employment opportunities within the school feeding ecosystem in transportation, agriculture, energy supply and food materials packaging sectors,”
“Specifically, it is aimed at providing one nutritious meal to all pupils in public primary schools in classes I to III,” she said.
The present administration fully recognises the country’s social challenges; hence the proactive and decisive measures by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the challenges of poverty and its attendant consequences.
“The programme is designed to improve the enrolment rate by mopping out-of-school children from the streets. It provides jobs for cooks; and sustainable income for farmers who key into the scheme,” the minister said.
She also noted that the scheme was aimed at specifically targeting vulnerable Nigerians, including youths; elderly persons; widows; poorest of the poor; children; and micro-business persons.
According to her, NSIP is strategically designed to fully involve all stakeholders; especially state governments.
Farouq said that the Ministry was working in partnership with key stakeholders, including the National Bureau of Statistics; Ministry of Education; National Orientation Agency; National Population Commission; UBEC; National Youth Service Corps; and state education boards to verify the existing number of beneficiaries; and update the records for better effectiveness, transparency and accountability.