May 23, 2024

FG flags off school feeding programme in 599 primary schools in Bayelsa

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Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Federal government on Thursday commenced the National Home -Grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP) in Bayelsa with some 59,000 pupils 599 public primary schools in Bayelsa benefiting.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq made this known during the inauguration of the program in Yenagoa.

She explained that NHGSFP is a component of National Social Investment Program (NSIP) aimed at providing one free nutritious meal a day to pupils of primary 1 to 3 in public primary schools across the nation.

According to the Minister who was represented by Mr Garba Haganawega, Director Legal Services of the Ministry the objectives of the program are to increase school enrolment, attendance and retention, improve the nutritional and health status of school children , job creation by stimulating local agricultural production among others.

The Minister stated that the school feeding program is now taking place in the 36 states of the Federation including the FCT, with the inclusion of Bayelsa into the program.

Gov Douye Diri who noted that his administration is in the process of transforming education through the provision of computers for learning, expressed concern in the delay in initiating the school feeding program in the state.

Represented by Mr Gentle Emekah, Commissioner for the National Home -Grown school feeding program would further strengthen what the state government is doing in the education sector.

The representative of the Minister presented cooking utensils for the programme to the Commissioner for Education to flag off the programme in the state.

Mr Hector Johnson, Secretary of the Bayelsa chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers urged the selected cooks to ensure hygienic preparation of the meals to avoid the adverse impact of food poisoning on the health of the beneficiaries.

Mr Emmanuel Benson, Focal Person of the National Social Investment Programme in Bayelsa commended the federal government for converting the programme to a Department backed by an Act under the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry to ensure continuity.

He expressed optimism that the programme will achieve its objectives in Bayelsa in spite of starting behind others.

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