The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has deployed a task force to Ebonyi and Enugu states to straighten out some of the challenges in the school feeding program.
The Special Adviser to the minister on media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze said it is aimed at strengthening and institutionalizing the National Home Grown School Feeding Program.
She quoted the Honorable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq to have indicated that the verification and enrolment drive across the country is targeted at not just the schools or benefiting pupils but also at vendors and cooks to ensure an efficient operation and provision of balanced meals for children.
As schools prepare for the new academic session, the Minister said, “We have embarked on an enumeration exercise with a view to verifying the existing data of the benefitting pupils on the program as provided by each benefiting state, update our database with accurate data and ultimately scale up the program to reach more beneficiaries across the Nation.”
To ensure an all-round efficiency, she said the Ministry has continued to partner with all relevant agencies and parastatals to ensure adequate sensitisation, data capturing and execution.
“We have therefore devised this as a multi sectoral intervention with partners such as the State National Social Investment Programs(NSIP) officers, National Orientation Agency, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), National Population Commission of Nigeria, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Universal Basic Education across the states”, Umar Farouq said.
The Minister, through the Ebonyi State Coordinator, Sunday Mbam revealed that N95m was spent in the year under review with 64,301 pupils as beneficiaries.
Mbam expressed optimism that the exercise will totally tackle and address the challenges confronting the programme in the state as well as open a vista to accommodate more schools.
Elsewhere in Enugu state, the Minister represented by the Team Lead of the State Monitoring and Enumeration of the programme, Ms Adanne Wadibia-Anyanwu, said that government has engaged 1,532 cooks who supply the daily meals to public primary schools within Enugu State.
During the enumeration and monitoring exercise at Igbariam Primary School in Achara Layout, Enugu, Ms Wadibia-Anyanwu said that the Federal Government spends about N7,998,270 daily in feeding of a total of 114,261 pupils in public primary schools within the State.
She stated that the programme had impacted junior primary pupils in 799 public schools within the 17 council areas.
”We are here to get more details on the ongoing program. We are doing enumeration and biometric data capturing of the pupils enrolled under the programme, getting feedbacks from cooks and head-teachers within the program.
”We want to keep up-to-date record of the program and make it more responsive as well as meet the beneficiaries to get real-time feedback from them as well”.
“Despite an increased record of enrollment figures in public schools plans are in top gear to enroll an additional 5 million pupils into its National Home Grown School Feeding Program by 2023.”