8.4 million pupils benefit from School Feeding Programme, says minister

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Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister Affairs, Disaster Management and Social (R), and Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister State, FCT, at Inauguration FCT School Feeding Programme at LEA Model Primary School, Karu, FCT

By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

Abuja – Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister Affairs, Disaster Management and Social , has said that 8.4 millions primary schools pupils are benefiting from Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), across the country.
Farouq stated this in her keynote address at the inauguration the NHGSFP in the (FCT), on Friday, at the LEA Model Primary School, Karu in Abuja.
She congratulated the minister and 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 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 for his unwavering efforts in eradicating poverty, supporting and sustaining the Social Investment Programmes.
“I wish to reiterate that the Federal remains committed to ensuring that every child counts in this noble course.
“As we the FCT HGSFP today, I wish the territory a successful and sustainable implementation of the programme,” Farouq said.

Pupils of LEA Model Primary School, Karu, Abuja during the inauguration of the FCT School Feeding Programme

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 in the territory.
“We are going to roll out plans in due course to address childhood 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 mostly from N-Power, and 33 standard classrooms.