- There are plans to feed 14 million school children under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme
- The aim, according to federal government officials in charge of the initiative, is to achieve the target by 2023
- According to government sources, 10 million pupils nationwide are currently benefiting from the programme
Abeokuta - The federal government, on Monday, July 5 disclosed that it is targeting to feed 14 million school children under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) by 2023.
The Nigerian Tribune newspaper reports that the minister of humanitarian Affairs, disaster management and social development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, stated this in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital recent.
According to the report, the minister was represented at the event by a director in the ministry, Abdulrahman Babatunde Jaji.
The event was a stakeholders engagement on enumeration of beneficiaries and scaling up of the programme.
Gains so far made in the programme
“Over nine million pupils benefited from the one free nutritious meal a day during the school term nationwide and now we have the mandate to reach an additional five million pupils by 2023.”
In a related development, Premium Times newspaper reports that the federal government’s school feeding programme has led to increased enrollment of primary 1-3 pupils from 1.2 million to 2.1 million in Kano state.
Education commissioner in the state Muhammad Salisu-Kiru disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting recently.
He said Kano had 1.2 million primary 1-3 pupils, but during its last annual school census the figure had increased to 2.1 million.
DSS arrests teachers, vendors for diverting food items
Meanwhile, the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) operatives have arrested many teachers and desk officers in charge of the federal government school feeding programme for allegedly sabotaging the programme.
At least 10 were also apprehended for allegedly conniving with the teachers and the desk officers to shortchange the process.
The operatives made arrests majorly from a primary school in Minna, while others were nabbed in the Katcha local government area and Gwada in the Shiroro local government area of Niger state.
10million pupils currently benefiting from FG’s feeding programme
Earlier, Minister Farouq declared that no fewer than 10 million pupils are benefiting from the federal government’s school feeding programme across the country.
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday, May 25, during the flag-off of the nationwide distribution of utensils under the NHGSFP.
She said that the federal government is totally committed to the initiative which recently resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic break.