School Feeding: Minister urges states govts to replicate programme

School Feeding: Minister urges states govts to replicate programme

 

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has called on state governments to complement the Federal Government’s school feeding programme.

 

Umar-Farouq made the call on Thursday in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 7th Africa Day for School Feeding.

 

The minister, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Musa Bungudu, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for the school feeding initiative.

 

According to her, the programme is an excellent one, which deserves to be replicated by state governments across the country

 

Umar-Farouq said that 9.8 million children, who were the beneficiaries of the school feeding programme, had been enrolled across the country.

 

“These concerted efforts were actually driven by the commitment of President Buhari to lift, at least, 100 million people out of poverty and he started this with the children.

 

“This is a great innovative programme,” she said

 

The minister consequently called on the state governments to replicate the programme for pupils in the upper classes of Primary Four, Five and Six.

 

Umar-Farouq said that this would complement the efforts of the Federal Government to feed those in Primary One to Primary Three.

 

“I suggest that while the Federal Government is providing this school feeding programme for pupils in Primary One, Two and Three; in all the states where Primary Four to Six are not included, the state governors should also take that responsibility,” she said.

 

Earlier, Ms Chinwe Amba, the Focal Person, National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), Federal Capital Territory (FCT), also commended Buhari for keeping to his promise to sustain the programme.

 

“President Buhari promised that he was going to reduce malnutrition in children and this is an evidence to what he is doing to that effect,” she said.

 

Amba said that the commemoration of the event was taking place all over the country to mark its seven years of operations.

 

“We are here to thank the president for this beautiful programme designed for the pupils in the FCT and across the country.

 

“Today, we are marking seven years of feeding school children in the FCT and other states of the federation,” she said.

 

Amba also commended Umar-Farouq for her passion to ensure that every child from Primary One to Primary Three across the country was captured in the programme.

 

“In the FCT, the programme is all about success stories; although there are some few challenges. And we hope that this year, we will get it better and right,” she said.

 

Similarly, pupils of Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Jabi in Abuja, appreciated the Federal Government for the school feeding initiative, while calling for its sustainability.

 

Obiora Nwodo, a 10-year-old pupil, who spoke on behalf of the pupils, commended the President for initiating the programme.

 

Nwodo said that the programme had sustained a good number of the pupils when in school, while saving their parents from providing them with lunch.

 

The Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) was introduced in primary schools in 2021, as part of designed strategies to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country.

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