The Federal Government says that Cross River State has benefited immensely from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme(NHGSFP).
Justice Bibiye, Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO), in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the multiplier effect of the social intervention programmes and the potential for creating wealth could best be imagined, NAN reports.
Bibiye said the NHGSFP successfully commenced implementation since November 2017 in Cross River with 362,870 pupils being fed by 3,706 cooks in 1,430 public primary schools across the state.
He said the NSIO’s attention had been drawn to the views expressed by the Prof. Ben Ayade in which he decried what he considered the dearth of presidential and Federal Government interventions in Cross Rivers.
Bibiye said that Ayade, particularly mentioned the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme(NHGSFP), claiming that his state was not getting the desired push from the centre to leverage on the commercial opportunities of the programme.
He said that such assertion by a governor, whose state was benefiting immensely from the Federal Government’s Social Safety Net Initiatives, was rather unfortunate, unfair and perhaps based on insufficient knowledge of the impact of the programme.
“NHGSFP is a key component of the SIPs launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The main objective of the programme is to provide one nutritious, balanced meal each school day to pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools across Nigeria.
“In addition to improving nutrition, the programme also increase enrolment rates by mopping up the huge numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
“The NHGSFP also develops an agricultural value chain by creating jobs for the cooks and a sustainable income for small holder farmers, thereby engendering a ripple effect in the rural economy.
“The NHGSFP successfully commenced implementation since November 2017 in Cross River State with 362,870 pupils being fed by 3,706 cooks in 1,430 public primary schools across the state.
“The enrolment of children in the state has increased significantly, while the cooks in the communities have been empowered by direct payments of monies into their accounts, for the purpose of feeding.
“Indeed, since inception, the programme has continued to boost the health of the children, who have become more diligent in class, as a consequence of the nutritious meals availed them in school.
“The children’s menu comprises a carefully designed balanced and nutritious diet, consisting of locally available and affordable food components such as eggs, bread, chicken, fruits and ‘tom brown’, a meal made from groundnut, soybean, maize and millet.
“Indeed, when the programme commenced, the poultry required by the cooks in Cross Rivers State was being sourced from neighbouring States, but over time, the state itself began providing the poultry requirements, as the need for developing the sector quickly became evident.’’
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