The Federal Government is scaling up its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) with 5 million additional pupils to the 9 million it is currently feeding.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, disclosed this when she led a team on a courtesy visit to Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the Niger State Government in Minna on Friday.
Farouk, who was represented by Mr Hezekiah Sunday, Assistant Director in the Ministry, said the team was in the state to enumerate beneficiaries and scale up the school feeding programme.
She said over 9 million pupils were currently benefitting from one free nutritious meal nationwide and the ministry had been mandated to reach an additional 5 million pupils by 2023.
She noted that the school feeding programme had employed over 100,000 cooks and more than 100,000 smallholder farmers were participating in the value chain.
Responding, Matane gave assurance that the state government would continue to give the necessary support for the successes of the programme.
He lauded the ministry for its continuous partnership and support to the state through the provision of relief materials to internally displaced persons and flood victims.
Matane called on the ministry to extend the school feeding programme to primary four to six pupils in order to motivate children to come to school and stay.
“Feeding some pupils and leaving others out can create demotivation and create issues among the pupils, let the programme be redesigned in a way that every primary pupil will be part of it,” he said.
Also, Hajiya Amina Gu’ar, Focal Person on NHGSFP, disclosed that about 2,087 schools in the state were currently participating in the school feeding out of 3,038 schools.
She said the team were to evaluate the programme and see how to address the issue of schools not captured in the scheme.