School feeding: FG targets 196,873 pupils in Nasarawa

The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has commenced the enumeration of 196,873 pupils who are to benefit from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in Nassarawa State.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who flagged off the exercise, explained that the initiative was aimed at putting faces to the names and identities of the children by taking their details, pictures and biometrics.

The Minister was represented by the Technical Adviser, Abdullahi Usman Technical Adviser disclosed that: “over 9 million pupils benefit from one free nutritious meal a day during school term nationwide, and now we have the mandate to reach an additional five million pupils by 2023.

“We are here on a verification exercise. We have been feeding pupils since 2016 but the data we have been dealing with is actually names of pupils sent by all the States.

”The idea of the exercise is to prove that those we are feeding are actually human beings,” she said.

She added that the NHGSFP as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari is to scale up the number of pupils benefiting from the programme so as to bring more pupils under the umbrella of the government’s social protection mechanism.

“Talking specifically about Nasarawa sir, as we speak today, we have 196,873 pupils that are being fed in a total of 1,203 schools,” she said.

The Minister affirmed that with over 100,000 cooks employed and more than 100,000 smallholder farmers participating in the value chain, the NHGSFP had become a serious potential for socio-economic development and needs to be strengthened, scaled up and sustained nationwide.

In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State expressed gratitude to President Buhari for introducing the NHGSFP intervention aimed at assisting the poor through the provision of one nutritious meal to pupils in public primary schools across the country.

“And I know that Mr President will be the happiest if the target people who are expected to benefit from it are benefiting from it without anyone hijacking it along the way.

“As long as it goes all the way to the targeted people who are really in need of this assistance, I think all of us will be happier,” he said.

He also pledged the administration’s support and commitment to ensure that the programme succeeds in the state.

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