5.5m children to benefit from FG’s school feeding programme
Special Adviser on Social Investment to the president, Mrs Maryam Uwais has disclosed that about 5.5m school children would benefit from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme of the federal government.
Already, Uwais who is the national coordinator of the programme said 6, 044,625 pupils are being fed daily in 20 states by 61,352 cooks in 33,981 primary schools.
She added that six more states would be included in the first quarter of this year even as she pledged government’s readiness to make the scheme a success.
Uwais who spoke with reporters in Lagos on the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of the present administration said, “The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme is to provide one nutritious meal a day to 5.5 million school children in classes 1- 3 public primary schools, with the aim of increasing enrolment rates and mopping up the over 10.5 million children currently out of school. There are also secondary beneficiaries of the programme, such as the cooks whom we pay directly and farmers who supply the foodstuff. The scheme boosts the children’s nutrition, with a value chain that creates jobs for the cooks and ensures a sustainable income for small holder farmers.”
This is in addition to plans aimed at empowering over 500,000 unemployed graduates under the federal government N-Power programme.
She explained that the programme is aimed at empowering unemployed graduates and help them to live above the poverty line.
“We need inclusive growth, which will enable economic recovery and growth of the country. We researched and found 26 attempts at economic growth in the past through FG driven social protection programmes since the 1990s but with no policy in place and poor implementation as federal and state governments scuffled over who has control of the programme but with little or no success.”
“N-Power is a job creation and youth employment programme. Our targets are 500,000 unemployed graduates, 100,000 artisans and eight regional innovation hubs for one million primary and secondary students, which offer access to computer training in animation, coding and programming.”
Uwais disclosed that about 200,000 N-Power graduates have been successfully deployed and are being paid in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
She added, “Volunteers have been engaged for N-Power Agro, N-Power Tax, N-Power Health And N-Power Teach sub-Categories. Next round of 300, 000 graduate volunteers have been pre-selected. 10,000 N-Build artisans have been verified, supplied with toolboxes for three months training and assigned to 160 skill centres in 22 States. After training is concluded, artisans have the opportunity to become interns for nine months before exiting. 80 more centres in 15 States being audited to engage 10,000 more.
For early child development, Uwais said the federal government intends to deliberately invest in facilitating practical, creative and innovative skills for young Nigerians, which would be the catalyst for the nation’s emerging knowledge economy.
“N-POWER Junior Targets 1,000,000 children; the programme will be administered during regular school hours and not as an after school programme with 3000 N-Power Volunteers Selected and Trained in CISCO Academies to foster a future for our young citizens where creativity and innovation find expression.
“This programme will enable young citizens to be critical thinkers, become aware of issues in their community, armed with enquiring minds and the orientation for problem solving.”
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