By Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President.
*Over 80,000 cooks engaged in 45,394 schools
Following the achievement of its target of 5.5 million pupils being fed free daily under the programme in 2017, the Buhari administration’s National Home-grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) now feeds 8,260,984 pupils in 45,394 public primary schools across 24 states.
The 24 states currently benefitting from the school feeding programme are Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Ondo and Borno.
Similarly, over 80,000 direct jobs have since been created from the School Feeding Programme; with 87,261 cooks currently engaged in the 24 participating states. All 36 states of the Federation and the FCT will eventually benefit from the programme.
The programme’s educational, economic and health benefits have been praised by many.
Not only has the Buhari administration’s School Feeding Programme created jobs for thousands of Nigerians in these communities where the programme is being implemented, it has also helped to boost local economies by linking the local farmers to the school feeding market.
Similarly, the school feeding programme continues to record significant milestones in the classrooms as the scheme has led to an increase in enrolment.
Another important aspect of the School Feeding Programme is that by providing a meal a day for millions of pupils, it addresses the issues of malnutrition and stunting among children, increasing the chances of the pupils making a significant headway in their learning and in life.
The NHGSFP plans to implement feeding in 28 States in the coming months, and all over the country soon after.