Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq
The Federal Government and its partners have commenced the review of the cost required to feed a child in the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Stakeholders at a two-day workshop organised in Abuja on Thursday by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said the review became vital due to the rising cost of living in Nigeria.
They said the aim of the review was to reflect the current economic realities across the country, which had affected the implementation of the NHGSFP in states.
The stakeholders, drawn from across the country, were tasked to deliberate on the present N70 cost of meal per pupil, make appropriate recommendations on the possible cost of meal per child and suggest possible alternative sources for funding.
The Head of Catering, Federal Ministry of Education, Katrina Adamu, told journalists that the workshop was aimed at sustaining the gains of the school feeding programme and improving on lapses observed in its implementation.
She said, “We are still on it. We’ve not finished but as I have seen, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have not really got it right. We are still working to actualise the dream for the indigent children across this country to enjoy.
“The food shared in the school feeding programme attracts children to school and encourages high school attendance. As there is food waiting for the children whenever they come to school, they will always be excited to go there.
What we are doing now is to try to see if they get the right food at the right temperature to help the children nutritionally in growing up, as well as take them off the streets.”
Adamu said the programme was also aimed at helping parents who could not afford to feed their children, describing it as a kind of relief.
“If the facilitators take our suggestions, they will get there. They need to involve the right people in the right places so that this programme can stand the test of time,” she stated.
Other measures initiated by the humanitarian ministry to scale up the NHGSFP include the training of focal persons on recommended dietary requirements for creating menu, engagement of quality control officers to supervise and train cooks, revision of menu to reflect local availability, among others.