George Okoh In Makurdi
A total of 4,150 cooks have been recruited in Benue state for the Home Grown School Feeding programme of the Buhari administration. State Focal Person, Benue State Investment Programme and the Senior Special Assistant to Benue State Governor Engr. Utaan Terhide, disclosed this on Tuesday during a news conference in Makurdi. He maintained that the schools feeding program would take off in the week ahead. Utaan stated that the Social Investment Program office in Benue adopted the use of Community Based Targeting approach for the recruitment of the food vendors out of the 16,000 applications received by the Home Grown School Feeding office, adding that due to logistics constraints, many applicants could not be accommodated in the program.
He said that the multi sectoral team set up by the state government had worked tirelessly to ensure the state government met the prerequisite conditions necessary to participate in the scheme.
According to him, a total of 272,818 pupils in primary 1-3 out of the 949,047 enrolment in public primary schools in the state would benefit from the program, with a daily feeding of N70.00 per child amounting to a daily transfer of N19,097.260 to the food vendors which transcend to about N3,819,452,000.00 per annum.
He added that the Benue State Social Investment Office in collaboration with Center for Food Technology and Agriculture (CEFTA), Benue State University has successfully trained the recruited cooks on Food Safety and Hygiene, cutting across the 23 LGAs of the state and issued certificates to all participants.
“We have matched their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with their bank accounts and those that have been matched has been compiled and shared with the NHGSFT, NIBSS and the social investment banking partners.
On the job creation and youth empowerment program known as N-Power, Utaan disclosed that the federal government started the implementation with 200,000 youths out of which a total of 9,833 Benue indigenes have been recruited to participate in the first phase placing Benue as fourth nationally. The Senior Special Assistant said that under the Conditional Cash Transfer of the social investment program of the federal government, N5000 would be transfer to 210 vulnerable households in the 276 wards in Benue state. He disclosed that with the commencement of the development of a State Social register which began in April, the Direct Cash Transfer has be scheduled to fully commence in the first week of June, 2017.