From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, launched made-in-Nigeria school feeding utensils programme in Abuja.
At the launch, the government delivered over 15, 000 pieces of stainless plates, spoons, aprons and other cooking utensils to Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to help boost the school feeding programme across schools in the FCT.
It also announced that similar interventions would be done across other states to strengthen the Federal Government’s school feeding programme.
The government said the feeding programme, being one of the four key Federal Government’s intervention under the National Social Investment Program (NSIP) had significantly improved enrollment of children into schools, improved nutrition habits, encouraged entrepreneurship spirit, enhanced agricultural production and generated millions of jobs.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, who handed over the items to officials of the FCT Administration, in Abuja, said the purpose of the intervention was to promote hygiene and ensure that the children and implementers of the programme are not lacking basic items needed to serve the children.
“In 2020 when the school feeding programme kicked off in FCT, no fewer than 70, 000 set of utensils, 1,500 aprons among several other items were handed over to FCT officials. However, records indicated that the items have been judiciously used for the benefit of the children.
“So far, we have captured nearly 10 million children in the school feeding programme across the states, except Bayelsa and Kwara states that joined lately. We have also engaged over 100, 000 cooks and had created massive employment across the value chain. The programme had, undoubtedly, supported the desire of the President to pull out 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in few years.”
National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Dr. Umar Bindir, however, declined comment on the cost of the intervention, asking that attention be focused on its impacts and benefits.
He, however, disclosed that it costs the Federal Government N70 to feed a child every day in a school, saying different meals are served the children, and they must contain protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients necessary for their growth and development.