- Nigeria's school feeding programme has reportedly reached 10 million pupils
- This was disclosed by the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, Sadiya Farouq
- The minister has also kicked off the distribution of utensils nationwide as part of the programme
The minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, Sadiya Farouq has declared that no fewer than 10 million pupils are currently benefiting from the federal government’s National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) across the country.
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday, May 25 during the flag-off of the nationwide distribution of utensils under the NHGSFP.
Nigerian Tribune quoted the minister as saying:
“I am happy to report that we have so far, recorded feeding nearly 10 million pupils, and engaged over 100,000 cooks.
“Also, massive employment opportunities are being created within the school feeding ecosystem in sectors of transportation, agriculture, energy supply and food materials packaging.”
Farouq said that the government is totally committed to the initiative which recently resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic break.
She explained that the federal government is responsible for funding, policy and guidelines formulations as well as the conduct of close monitoring, while the states carry out the day-to-day implementation including procurement of food items, selection of cooks and vendors.
According to her, the federal government under the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari adopted the social protection mechanism to tackle the social and economic challenges occasioned by the pandemic.
“Part of these was the deployment of take-home rations initiative to Lagos, FCT, and Ogun states, where over 127,000 households of pupils on the program were targeted to receive a food basket comprising of uncooked materials including rice, beans, palm oil, eggs etc.
“This was specifically selected for the nutritional benefits of the children. We recorded tremendous success in this intervention that brought succour to the lives of many Nigerians who are at the bottom of the pyramid.”
She noted that the school feeding program is an integral part of President Buhari’s administration policy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
The minister promised that her ministry will continue to roll our policies and strategies capable of strengthening, sustaining, and scaling up the programme as well as all the other social investment programs under its purview.
The federal government had commenced the NHGSFP in February 2021 as the COVID-19 second wave infection rates skyrocket to record numbers.
The minister had then stated that an additional 5 million pupils including children in the non-conventional educational settings, would be added to the scheme.
Around the same period, the minister flagged off the training of 5000 independent monitors for effective monitoring of the programme.
Farouq said 5000 independent monitors would be assigned to monitor the programme beneficiaries at the community level in schools' households.