The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq over the weekend hailed the implementation of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Program in Kogi State.
The Minister stated this during the commencement of verification exercise for beneficiaries in the state, which kicked off simultaneously at the LGEA school Lokongoma, and LGEA School Ganaja Village
Representing the Minister at the exercise, the Kogi Team Leader, Mr. Danjuma Atta said the inspection and enumeration of school feeding program in Kogi was to digitalize the data base for the program.
“Our mission is to verify the data and to scale up the program for effective implementation. The program is on course in Kogi State and we can say ‘so far so good’.
“This exercise is aimed at having more data of the pupils benefiting from the programme and doing a physical verification of the pupils across Kogi state.
“We are here on a verification exercise. We have been feeding pupils since 2016 but the data we have been dealing with is actually names of pupils sent by all the states.
“So this exercise will allow us to go into the school, put faces and identities to these children by taking their details, their pictures and biometrics.
”The idea of the exercise is to prove that those we are feeding are actually human beings,”
Also speaking, the Kogi State Program Manager for the NHGSFP, Mrs. Khadijat Karibo said the program which commenced in 2019 with 13 pilot local government areas has now spread across the 21 council areas of the state
She said the program has also been able to positively affects 2,908 caterers who are in charge of supplying foods to the pupils, “About 117,604 pupils are benefitting from the program – those are pupils in Primary 1 – 3 in public schools of the state.
“The program has enhanced the livelihood of the local caterers as well as the local farmers; as the food cooked for the pupils are sourced from the locality with an intend to enhanced the economy of the local farmers.”
The state Focal Person, National Social Investment Program, NSIP, Mr. Abdulkareem Onyekehi said there has been an upsurge in enrolment in public schools since the program commenced, “The enrolment in public schools has been massive. We presently have close to 250,000 pupils in the primary schools compared to the past that is just above half of the present figures. This is due to the diligent manner that the program was carried out in the state.”