Over 9m pupils in 29 states benefiting from FG’s free feeding programme – Manager

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Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian military ruler and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) speaks during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos February 19, 2011. Buhari, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria's presidential election, said he was optimistic it would be a more credible race than in the past but warned events in north Africa showed people would no longer accept a rigged vote. Picture taken February 19, 2011. To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/ REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

No fewer than nine million pupils in 29 states are currently getting free meals under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Dotun Adebayo, the programme Operational Manager, has said.
Adebayo also said at a stakeholders engagement meeting on Friday in Kaduna that over 96,000 cooks were engaged for the programme across the affected states.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the School Feeding Program is being implemented as part of Federal Government’s National Social Intervention Programme.
According to him, the implementation of the programme was pioneered by Kaduna State in 2016, adding that the remaining states would be integrated as soon as they complete necessary preparations.
Adebayo listed the benefits of the free feeding programme to include, “increase in the enrollment of pupils, improvement of nutritional health, improving our locally produced food and job creation”.
He explained that the engagement with stakeholders including parents, teachers, pupils, cooks, school based management committees and ministries, was to review the programme, identify and plug loopholes.
Adebayo who commended the food vendors for a job well done, urged all stakeholders to monitor the feeding of the children to ensure more success.
Earlier, Hajiya Hafsat Abdullahi, Technical Assistant to Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i on the programme, said the state government was fully committed to ensuring the achievement of set goals.
Abdullahi said:  “We started feeding pupils for over a year in Kaduna before the implementation of the programme at the national level and we thank God that things have been good so far.
“I urge all food vendors to be dedicated and honest in their work as children are for all.”
Participants at the event commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the free feeding programme for pupils and said it should be sustained.
Madam Alheri Bako, a parent, said it was a good programme that is helping parents by  providing healthy breakfast to their children.
Also, Hauwa Abdullahi, a food vendor, said the initiative has enhanced rural economy and created jobs to thousands of women who now earn decent living.
On his part, a pupil, Ismail Muhammad from LEA Primary School Sultan Bello said “we thank God for the man who gives us healthy and delicious food”.