School feeding: FG to introduce reforms

•Donates 339,652 school feeding utensils to Kebbi

Federal Government has unveiled plan for the operational review of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Developrnent, Sadiya Umar Farouq gave the hint during the distribution of 339,652 feeding utensils at Atiku Bagudu Primary School, Kebbi State.

The initiative was aimed at ensuring best experiences of hygiene and safety during consumption of meals by beneficiaries of the Home Grown School Feeding across the state. 

The Minister who was represented by the Director of Procurement Bello Alkali said, the items are branded for the children to benefit from the interventions provided by the Federal Government.

While pledging the Ministry’s resolve to improve on service delivery in all its social interventions especially the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

She further stated that the interventions namely: enumeration exercise, a refined and more transparent and accountable partnership between Federal Government and State aimed at improving the effectiveness of the programme has already commenced nationwide.

She said: “An operational review is underway, fully supported by experts and technical partners to ensure that the program succeeds in its objectives and capitalizes on gains and benefits such as women empowering, supporting the education of the girl child, creating employment, and improving inter-governmental collaboration; and the deployment of an extensive, layered and technology-supported monitoring system that will ensure real time information of how the program is being implemented and its evaluation.”

According to her, “the desired reforms has been identified and strategic areas that needed review to accommodate the realities of the time have been planned out and these include: Development of Evidence-Based Policy Frameworks  to guide Implementation through ensuring the reliability of data especially on schools and pupils; improving meal quality; capacity development of all actors in the value chain; building strategic partnerships to achieve sustainability; introducing support aspects on school health and nutrition; strengthening monitoring & evaluation and impact assessment systems.

“The NHGSFP is one of the 4 clusters under the National Social Investment Program N-Power, GEEP, CCT and NHGSFP all of which are well grounded in Kebbi State.

“The State Government on the other hand is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Programme including ensuring that data on schools and pupils are authentic (in close partnership with the SUBEB & the NBS), identification and procurement of food items (in the local areas), selection of cooks/vendors (in the communities) and ensuring that the food is properly cooked and adequate portions are timely served to the pupils.

“The designed accruable benefits of this program and its impact on the lives and livelihood of individuals, groups and communities is very clear.

“The number of children attending school will increase, they will perform academically better, the local women will be employed, the local farmers will sell their produce and wealth will be created and distributed within the communities, all innovatively well-coordinated to address the cross cutting issues of Out-of-school children, hunger, malnutrition and general poverty.

“The NHGSFP has recorded over 9 million pupils being fed by over 100,000 Cooks nationwide. Entrepreneurship and Employment is being created within the school feeding ecosystem in sectors of women entrepreneurs, commodity transportation, farming & agricultural production and many other value-chain actors,” she said.

The representative of Governor of Kebbi State, Commissioner of Basic Primary and Secondary Education, Alhaji Muhammadu Aliero while expressing gratitude to Federal Government for the gigantic stride of addressing the issue of out of school children in the country, observed that the programme has reduced the problem to the barest  minimum.

The Permanent Secretary for Budget and Planning and Basic Studies, Aisha Usman who commended the progress made in the state, urged the school  management to utilise the utensils well and asked that some schools that are not currently captured in the programme should be captured.

The feeding utensils were handed over to the Kebbi State  Programme Manager, Comrade Isa Umar for National Social Investment Programme for onward distribution to the schools in the state.

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