Five million pupils get free meal in 19 states, says presidency
The Presidency yesterday disclosed that over five million pupils in 28,249 schools in 19 states are currently being fed under the National Homegrown School Feeding (NHGSF) programme.
The states are Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa and Niger. Kano and Katsina states are expected to be added to the list in the coming weeks.
Senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, Laolu Akande said the goal was to tackle hunger and create jobs for Nigerians in line with the government’s inclusive growth plan.
According to him, over 50,000 cooks are currently engaged under the programme.
In a statement yesterday, Akande said the feeding scheme, which is part of the administration’s N500 billion National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) had a target to feed 5.5 million schoolchildren by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the NHGSF is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health to carry out an integrated deworming programme for pupils in all public primary schools classes 1 to 6 across 17 states currently under the feeding scheme.
At least 243 local government areas will benefit from the exercise in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Niger, Osun, Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Anambra, Benue, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Delta and Plateau states.
The programme is scheduled for the first and second week of December. Three different drugs will be given out for the treatment of diseases endemic to specific states. The drugs are Albendazole, Ivermectin and Parazaquintel.
Facilitators will be within the states for the period to ensure that the pupils are dewormed.