Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (R), and Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister of State, FCT, at the Inauguration of the FCT School Feeding Programme at LEA Model Primary School, Karu, FCT
By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Abuja – Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has said that 8.4 millions primary schools pupils are benefiting from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), across the country.
Farouq stated this in her keynote address at the inauguration of the NHGSFP in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Friday, at the LEA Model Primary School, Karu in Abuja.
She congratulated the minister and people of the FCT for supporting the successful commencement of the School Feeding Programme in the territory.
“The NHGSFP is currently benefiting more than 8.4 million pupils in 56,000 public primary schools in 35 states across Nigeria.
“More than 107,670 cooks have been empowered and over 200,000 small holders farmers linked to the programme through the supply of locally sourced ingredients to improve the nutrition and quality of meals for our children.
“In the FCT alone, 73,000 pupils are being fed in 402 schools by 796 women. The benefits of this are evident.
“With over 8.4 millions eggs consumed weekly and 94 metric tons of fish, the school feeding programme provides local farmers with predictable markets for their products, leading to stable income.
“The children enjoy good health and diversified food which makes it more likely that they will stay in school, perform better and improve their adult job prospects.
“At the community level, the programme promotes nutrition education, better eating habits, and encourages the diversification of production with special emphasis local crops.
“The Ministry is committed to ensuring that the strategic objectives of all the social intervention programmes are achieved,” Farouq said.
She appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering efforts in eradicating poverty, supporting and sustaining the National Social Investment Programmes.
“I wish to reiterate that the Federal Government remains committed to ensuring that every child counts in this noble course.
“As we launch the FCT HGSFP today, I wish the territory a successful and sustainable implementation of the programme,” Farouq said.
Similarly, in her address, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister of State, FCT said the FCT Administration is laying an important building block in securing and ensuring that even the most disadvantage children are free from malnutrition in the territory.
“We are going to roll out plans in due course to address childhood malnutrition within and outside the school system in the territory.
“The NHGSFP links local farmers to the education sector by facilitating their access to school feeding markets.
“The programme in the FCT is also targeting 120,300 pupils drawn from 326 public primary school across the six area councils.
“Henceforth, pupils will feed daily with foods containing the six required nutrition, from primary one to three.
“I want to assure all stakeholders that they will be carried along in the implementation of the programme,” Aliyu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the event attracted relevant stakeholders including traditional rulers, Chairmen of area Councils, officials of FCT Education Board, among others.
NAN also reports that the primary school was established in 1942 and currently has 1,391 pupils, 58 teachers mostly from N-Power, and 33 standard classrooms.