Nigeria’s school feeding programme gets to 9.8 million children

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Nigeria’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, now feeds over 9.8 million pupils daily in 32 states.

A statement from the Office of the Vice President said Yobe State is the latest to join the programme, designed the Buhari administration to feed pupils in public schools with one balanced meal everyday.

“Under the NHGSFP, school children in over 53,000 public primary schools are fed with one free, nutritious meal a day, while it has engaged over 106,000 cooks in the 32 states.

“The 32 states currently benefitting 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, Gombe, Ekiti, and Yobe states.”

According to the statement, in the second term of the Buhari administration, the programme has a target of reaching well over 12 million pupils in all the 36 states and the FCT.

“In the same vein, the Federal Government has commenced the distribution of aluminium bowls and spoons for pupils in public primary schools in 6 states currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme.

“Under the First phase of the distribution, over 2.4 million bowls and spoons would be distributed in Plateau State (314,082), Adamawa (182,144), Kaduna (834,130), Katsina (742, 689), Oyo (199, 922), Delta (136, 710) and Ebonyi (73, 513).

“The School feeding programme has not only helped to increase enrolment rates of pupils in the states, it is also effectively tackling early year malnutrition and the problem of stunting, while improving the cognitive skills of children.”

The statement also said that the programme has also provided sustainable income for local farmers, jobs for cooks, increasing growth and productivity in the local economies.