Homegrown school feeding now in 30 states — Presidency

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Access Bank Plc

The National Homegrown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) is being implemented in 30 states of the federation at present, the presidency has said in a statement.

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to improving living conditions of Nigerians.

He said that efforts to invest in human capital development had continued to yield results through the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).

The spokesman said that administration’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), which had a target of reaching 12 million pupils, was currently feeding over 9.5 million public primary school (classes 1-3).

Akande said that the pupils were fed with one free and balanced meal a day in 30 states nationwide; while it has empowered 101,913 cooks in these states.

“The 30 states currently benefiting from the school feeding programme are: Anambra, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto, and Nasarawa.

“Others include Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Plateau, Delta, Zamfara, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Katsina, Ondo, Edo and Gombe.

“The NHGSFP has not only helped to increase enrollment rates of pupils in these communities, it is also effectively tackling early year malnutrition, while improving the cognitive skills of children.

“The School feeding programme has also provided sustainable income for local farmers, cooks, which has increased growth and productivity in the local economy.’’

He said that through its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, the administration was supporting the most vulnerable in society.

Akande said that the administration was developing a skilled workforce for economic productivity by providing jobs for millions of Nigerian youths through the N-Power programme, and improving the learning and cognitive skills of Nigeria’s children through the NHGSFP.

“Also, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) provide financial support through micro-credit schemes to small traders and businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid. Beneficiaries include petty traders, women cooperatives, youths, famers and agricultural workers.

“Subsequently, in the Next Level of the Buhari administration, about 10 million Nigerians are expected to benefit from GEEP, which includes TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.

“While the Cash Transfer scheme aims to reach one million poorest households, one million new beneficiaries are expected to be added to the N-Power scheme, arguably the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa,’’ he said.

He said that as of March; 297,973 Nigerians in 20 states (including the Borno IDP camps) were current beneficiaries CCT, which started in December 2017; with over 5,000 savings groups and cooperatives formed as a result.

Akande listed the states currently receiving payment as Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, and Taraba.

He said that CCCT was designed to deliver timely and accessible cash to beneficiary households and so enhance their capacity for sustainable livelihood.

According to him the programme provides beneficiaries – poor and vulnerable households – with a monthly transfer of N5,000 with the sole aim of taking them out of poverty.

The spokesman said that the administration’s N-Power scheme, which was designed to provide jobs for unemployed young graduates was the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa.

He said N-Power had engaged 500,000 youth graduates deployed to provide public health services in teaching, health, agriculture and tax and monitoring and a further 200,000 non-graduates in training or attached to organisations as interns.