Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCT schools’ feeding to gulp N42mn weekly

A minimum of N42.1million will be spent weekly in feeding pupils in public schools under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme in the Federal Capital Territory.

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, said a total of 120,300 pupils across the six area councils in the territory will be benefitting from the FCT Home Grown School Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, of the government.

The federal government had in 2019 stated that it spends N70 per meal daily to feed pupils in government primary schools across the country. With this estimate, a total sum of N42.105million will therefore be required to feed pupils in the nation’s capital on weekly basis.

Speaking at the official flag-off of the programme in Karu Model School, the minister revealed that the pupils are drawn from the 626 public primary schools within the six area councils of the territory.

Aliyu observed that the programme was designed to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils, stressing that the programme links local farmers to the education sector by facilitating their access to the school feeding market.

She assured that all stakeholders’ parents, teachers, traditional and community leaders who are the gatekeepers, and the vendors who will prepare the meals will be carried along in the full implementation of the programme.

“The programme is targeting about 120,300 pupils that will be drawn from 626 public primary schools across the six Area Councils of the FCT.

“Henceforth, pupils will be fed once daily with meals containing the six required nutrients from primary one to three.

“I want to assure you that all stakeholders’ parents, teachers, traditional and community leaders who are the gatekeepers, and the vendors who will prepare the meals will be carried along in the full implementation of this programme," Aliyu stressed.

The minister who specifically stated that the programme in FCT is for pupils in LEAs, however called on community leaders and all stakeholders in the FCT to assist the Federal Government in lifting the burdens off indigent parents who could not afford balanced diets for their wards.

Earlier in her remarks, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk, noted that the National Home Grown School Feeding programme is one of the four cardinal programmes of National Social Investment Programme, stressing that the programme main objective is to provide one nutritious, balanced meal each school day to pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools across the country.

According to her, "The programme is designed to increase enrolment rates by mopping up the huge numbers of out of school children in Nigeria while tackling school age malnutrition. As part of the value chain, the programme also empowers the cooks and provides a sustainable income for small holder farmers, thereby stimulating growth and productivity around the communities in the states.”

 

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