The federal government has flagged off its Home-Grown School Feeding Programme with 726,033 Primary One to Primary Three pupils in Jigawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Nuhu Muhammad Sunusi Primary School, in Dutse.
Speaking at the occasion, the state’s Deputy Governor, Hassan Ibrahim, who officially flagged off the exercise, said that N147 million would be spent weekly to feed the pupils.
Mr. Ibrahim added that over 30,000 cooks would be employed to cook the meals.
“We are happy to flag off the school feeding programme in Jigawa, where some 726,033 pupils of from Primary One to Primary Three will be fed daily, across the state.
“The sum of N147 would be spent weekly and N500million monthly, on the programme,’’ Ibrahim said.
He commended the federal government for the gesture, adding that it would enhance attendance and retention of pupils in schools.
The deputy governor noted that the programme would also improve the standard of education and provide employment to people in the state.
“This goes beyond education, into the employment of cooks, market men and women, butchers, foodstuff dealers and many more will also benefit from the programme,’’ he said.
According to him, the state government would soon complement the FG’s effort by feeding Primary Four to Primary Six pupils in the state.
“In our own part, we will feed pupils in Primary Four, Five and Six, to complement the federal government effort.
“We have encountered some delay due to the inability of the cooks to be accredited but as soon as that is sorted out, the Jigawa government will be feeding the classes four to six pupils,’’ he explained.
Mr. Ibrahim also stated that a monitoring and evaluation committee was put in place to ensure proper execution of the programme.
He cautioned cooks to be strict in the recommended menu, stressing that no cook was allowed to change the menu without the approval of the committee.
“This is to ensure the sustainability of the programme and the programme is not only being implemented in Jigawa but throughout the 36 states of the federation.
“And we are happy to announce that we have started noticing an increase in attendance since the commencement of the programme some days back,’’ he added.