• Over 80,000 cooks engaged in 45,394 schools

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The federal government now feeds 8,260,984 pupils in 45,394 public primary schools in 24 states under its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the presidency disclosed wednesday.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the number had exceeded the target of 5.5 million pupils earmarked to be fed free daily under the initiative.

He listed the 24 states to include: Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau and Bauchi States.
Others are Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Ondo and Borno.

According to him, over 80,000 direct jobs have since been created from the school feeding programme with 87,261 cooks engaged in the 24 participating states.
He added that the entire 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would eventually benefit from the programme.

“Not only has the Buhari administration’s school feeding programme created jobs for thousands of Nigerians in these communities where the programme is being implemented, it has also helped to boost local economies by linking the local farmers to the school feeding market.
“Similarly, the school feeding programme continues to record significant milestones in the classrooms as the scheme has led to an increase in enrolment.

“Another important aspect of the school feeding programme is that by providing a meal a day for millions of pupils, it addresses the issues of malnutrition and stunting among children, increasing the chances of the pupils making a significant headway in their learning and in life.
“The NHGSFP plans to implement feeding in 28 states in the coming months, and all over the federation,” he added.