The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has handed over additional 50,000 utensils to Adamawa State Government for usage by primary school pupils under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Program (NHGSFP).
The Minister, represented by the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Program (N-SIP), Dr Umar Buba Bindir, handed over the items at Hammawa Primary School in Yola, Saturday.
Bindir said the NHGSFP is a social protection and poverty alleviation strategy which seeks to raise school enrollment, enhance school children nutrition/health, and boost local economic activities across thousands of communities in Nigeria.
Bindir explained that the NHGSFP is one of the four clusters under the National Social Investment Program (NSIP) Viz NPower, GEEP, CCT and NHGSFP, all of which are well-grounded in Adamawa State.
He said: “The NGHSFP is mainly designed to address poverty in all its forms and is a close implementation collaboration between the federal government and the state government.
“On one hand, the federal government is responsible for generating the specific policies, designing the programme, setting the implementation strategies, guiding on the monitoring, evaluation & impact assessment activities, and most importantly, of course, the release of funds.
“The state government, on the other hand, is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Programme including ensuring that data on schools and pupils are authentic (in close partnership with the SUBEB & the NBS), identification and procurement of food items (in the local areas), selection of cooks/vendors (in the communities) and ensuring that the food is properly cooked and adequate portions are timely served to the pupils.”
He reiterated that the NHGSFP had recorded over 9 million pupils being fed by over 100,000 cooks nationwide.
He added, “Entrepreneurship and Employment are being created within the school feeding ecosystem in sectors of women entrepreneurs, commodity transportation, farming & agricultural production and many other value-chain actors.”
So far, 1,286 schools are enrolled, with 162,782 children being fed, using 2,417 cooks/vendors.
The total investment on all these by the federal government is N226 million monthly.
A rough estimate revealed that, on the NHGSFP alone, the federal government has invested over N2 billion already in Adamawa State.
While previously, 182,000 utensils were distributed in Adamawa State, the distribution was one out of the several strategic plans on the programme targeted at pupils to ensure best experiences of hygiene and safety during their consumption of the free meals.
Chairman, Universal Basic Education of Adamawa State, Dr Salihi Ateequ, said the best thing that had happened to the country is the introduction of the feeding program “if not for anything, the children will come for the food to school”.
In his remark, the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, lauded the federal government’s introduction of the feeding program, adding that it had encouraged thousands of pupils into school.