Home Grown School feeding increases enrollment in Niger.
Yahaya zakka Minna
The Special Adviser to the Governor and Focal Person of tbe National Home Grown School feeding programme of the Federal Goverment in Niger state, Barr.Amina Musa Gu’ar has disclosed that children enrolment in schools have increased by 35 percent because of the food being served by the programme in the schools across the state.
Barr.Amina Musa Gu’ar mentioned this while briefing Newsmen on the achievement recorded so far under the programme from 2016-2021 in the state.
Barr. Gu’ar stated that federal government had spent over N28billion in the state on four programmes namely; Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, the N-power, Conditional Cash Transfer, adding that school feeding programme alone have created over 14,000 jobs in Niger state.
The Focal person said the national office of the HGSFP was planning to increase the cost of feeding a child above the current N70, pointing out that the programme was currently feeding 560,000 pupils in 2,663 schools accross the state with 5,971 cooks engaged
Barr.Amna said pupils in the state were fed every school day from Monday to Friday, with rice, beans, bread, yam, eggs and soya bean cheese supplied by 1,146 local farmers whom she disclosed are encouraged to add value to their produce and increase yields.
She explained that the massive value – chain created by the programme for the local farmers, aggregators, suppliers, cooks and others in the state was unquantifiable, adding that all payments to beneficiaries were done by the national office in Abuja.
She further disclosed that her office does not handle money neither does she pay for any services rendered, adding that all service providers were paid directly from the headguater !n Abuja.
The focal person said they were aware some cooks and vendors were shortchanging the programme, however said about 20 of them were arrested by the DSS. “We caught a certain supplier in Shiroro local government who shortchanged us with 30 tubers of yam and we arrested him and handed him over to the DSS”, she disclosed.
Barr Amina Gu’ar revealed that DSS, Parents Teachers Association, School Based Management Committee and other stakeholders were brought in to enforce compliance.
She then solicitated the support of parents, the media and members of the public to help in monitoring the programme so as to report any wrong doing to the office.
She said about N12.6b has been spent on school feeding programme, N3.8b paid to 19,000 beneficiaries of Conditional Cash Transfer, N11.4b paid to N-power beneficiaries and N95m to enrollees of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme