Sadia Umar Faruk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says the Federal Government is taking steps to institutionalise the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
Faruk disclosed this on Friday in Lokoja, while monitoring the enumeration of befitting pupils in Kogi.
Faruk, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Special Needs, Mr Danjuma Atta, said the enumeration was part of the process to institutionalise the programme.
According to her, the exercise is to verify the existing data of the benefitting pupils on the programme as provided by each state government.
She said it would help the ministry to update the database of the benefitting pupils .
Faruk further said the data to be generated would ultimately help government to scale up the programme to reach more beneficiaries.
The minister said she was in the state to monitor the exercise based on the data received from the state government.
Faruk said the enumeration would henceforth be on a yearly basis to reflect new enrollments in every new session.
“We intend to maintain an accurate database that will serve us better in our planning and to improve transparency in the programme implementation,” she said.
The team conducted the monitoring in Lokongoma Primary School in Lokoja Local Government Area (LGA) and Ganaja Primary School in Ajaokuta LGA.
The Programme Manager, School Feeding Programme in the state, Hajia Khadijah Karibo, said that 177,604 pupils in primary one to three were currently benefitting from the programme.
She said the pupils were selected from 2,013 public primary schools in the 21 LGA.
Karibo said that 2,908 caterers were engaged to cook and supply foods to the pupils.
She said that all the schools were directed to adhere strictly to the menu list provided by the government.
She lauded the federal government for the initiative, saying that it had been of tremendous benefit to the caterers, farmers as well as parents and guardians.
Mr AbdulKarim Onekehi, the Special Adviser to Gov. Yahaya Bello on Social Investment Programmes, said the programme had recorded tremendous success in the state.
Onekehi said the programme had led to an increase in pupil enrollment in public primary schools.
He also said the state government had been providing logistics for its successful implementation.