FG increases feeding cost for school pupils

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an upward review of the cost of feeding primary 1-3 pupils under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in states across the federation from N70 to N100 per child.

Fielding questions from newsmen Wednesday in Abuja, at the backdrop of a two-day national consultative meeting, the National Cooodinator of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), Dr Umar Bindir, who represented the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the upward review was as a result of rising inflation.

Bindir also implored state governors to emulate President Buhari’s gesture in sustaining the programme in their respective states, saying that it is aimed at lifting people out of poverty, especially through the patronage of small scale farmers in the food value chairman.

He said: “The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) is recognised as the most ambitious in Africa. To feed a child is a value chain: from the production, the processing, the cooking, the feeding, collection of utensils and cleaning. Procurement covers the whole process. Since 2016 that we started, we learnt a lot of things. Since it is a single meal, we expect to deliver adequate amount of carbohydrate, protein and energy; in order for the children to learn more and be more active.

“When we started, before Covid-19 in 2016, we experienced difficulties in implementing the N70 per child programme. We made presentations to the honourable minister, who passionately made submissions to the President. Mr President has graciously approved that we should raise the feeding from N70 to N100. The implementation has commenced. We expect cooperation to ensure that this is implemented with time. We hope that the state teams will take this presidential gesture with commitment; to ensure that we sustain this programme so that they can do their best in the state.

“We also hope that the state government, through the governors and their cabinets, will also realise the importance of this aspect, which has to do with tackling poverty. It is not just about feeding children, it is also about engaging women to be entrepreneurial. It is also about enhancing the entrepreneurial value of our small scale farmers. So, we hope that this presidential gesture will be understood by state governors; in order to strengthen the programme.”

Also speaking, the Country Representative of an international organisation, Resolve To Save Lives (RTSL), Dr Emmanuel Agogo, said the Foundation will be partnering with the federal government in ensuring that school children are fed with nutritious and healthy meals; in order to combat trans-fat, cardiovascular diseases and unhealthy meals under the NHGSFP.