The Federal Government says it has increased the cost of feeding a primary school pupil from N70 to N100 and will be spending about N1 billion daily to feed an estimated 10 million children benefiting from the scheme across the country.
Dr Umar Bindir, the National Coordinator, National Social Investments Programme (NSIP), said this at a two-day National Consultative meeting on public food procurement in the context of Nigeria’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme on Wednesday in Abuja.
“When we started in 2016 before COVID-19, we experienced with difficulty to implement the N70 per child.
“We have made presentation to the honourable minister, who passionately made submission to the president and Mr President has graciously approved that we should raise the feeding from N70 to N100 per a child.
“And the Minister of Finance is giving a very good cooperation to ensure that this actually is implemented on time, “ he said.
Bindir used the occasion to advise the team from all the states of the federation to key into the presidential gesture and the cabinet commitment to ensure that the initiative was a sustainable one.
“We also hope that the state government through the governors and their cabinets will also realised the importance of this programme meant to tackle poverty. “
According to him, the programme is not just about feeding the children but engaging women to become entrepreneur and good food providers.
“It is also about enhancing the value, the commercial and entrepreneur value of our small scale farmers.
“So we hope that this presidential gesture will be understood by not us but also by the states so that we can strengthen the programme, “ he explained.
He explained further that the consultative meeting was aimed at putting together the implementing team of the NHGSFP in the country to discuss issues that had to do with food and feeding procurement.
“The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme of Nigeria is recognised now globally as one of the most an ambitious programme of feeding our children in public schools.
“So the intention of this consultative programme is first to drive home the partnership works and to also establish that Nigeria is doing the right things.
“As well as to ensure that we enhance our implementation procedures so that we can go higher and become better,’’ he said.
In his contribution, Dr Emmanuel Agogo, the Country Representative, Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), said that it was not the cost of the food that made it quality but the content of the food.
Agogo said that a nutritious food must be balanced, less salt and saturated fat.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) is a government-led school feeding programme that aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils.