By Dauda Iliya
The Federal government is to scale up the number of pupils enrolled under the National Home Grown School Feeding Program to fourteen million by 2023 across the country.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Farouq stated this during a stakeholders engagement on enumeration of beneficiaries in Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
Represented by Director Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry Alhaji Ali Grema, the Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari directed the ministry to increase number of beneficiaries from the current nine million with additional five million in order to increase school enrolment, boost nutrition of pupils and provide employment opportunities.
According to the minister over one hundred thousand cooks have been employed and more than one hundred thousand small holder farmers are participating in the value chain.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq explained that several government agencies have been selected and closely working together to verify existing beneficiaries and update records to ensure transparency and accountability, calling on the state government to ensure more students benefit from the program.
Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum represented by his Chief of Staff Professor Isa Marte said the school feeding program has enhanced student participation and improve teaching and learning at the primary school level.
Governor Zulum noted that the intervention is critical to the state considering the devastation of the Boko Haram insurgency occasioned by displacement of children from their communities.
The Governor enjoined all the critical stakeholders to make sure all eligible schools are enrolled and deserving pupils are fully captured to drive the full benefit of the program in the state.
“This intervention, has gone down to the targeted groups and is yielding great results, hence the need to be upgraded and sustained for upliftment of education in Borno state and the country as a whole”.
Borno State Focal person Social Investment Program Hajiya Aisha Waziri said the state is targeting to enrol about one million pupils in the exercise.
According to her, the insurgency has greatly affected enrolment of pupils when the program was earlier launched in 2016, calling for active participation of parents, traditional rulers and opinion leaders for the programme to succeed.
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