By Stephen Adeleye
The Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) under the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), on Thursday resumed in public primary schools in Kogi Stste.
The Kogi State Focal Person of NSIP, Hon. Abdulkareem Suleiman Onyekehi, told journalists shortly after monitoring some schools in Lokoja on Friday, that the inspection was to ensure strict compliance by the cooks and relevant stakeholders for the appropriate feeding of the school pupils.
The school feeding programme was monitored in company of HGSFP’s Unit Head, Hajia Khadijat Karibo.
Among the schools’ visited was Holy Trinity LGEA Primary School and St Luke LGEA Primary School, Lokoja, where the Head Mistress of the Holy Trinity school, Mrs Modupe Olurundare, expressed her delight to have received such personalities in the school.
The head mistress commended the Caterers for the outstanding service delivered and praised the Focal Person and his team for the surprise visit to the school.
Oluwadare further applauded the Management of NSIP for ensuring effective service delivery in the state.
The head mistress thereafter pleaded for the inclusion of Nursery school pupils, saying they deserved equal right from the Federal Government.
On her part, the Program Manager, Hajia Khadijat Karibo noted that the Federal Government was yet to include the nursery pupils in its budget and as such could not benefit from the feeding programme at the moment. The program targets primary 1-3 pupils with the hope of expansion to cover all pupils.
The focal person and the programme manager also went round the classrooms to inspect and have a taste of the meals, where the pupils expressed their excitement for the gesture from the Federal and State Governments.
The focal person, who doubles as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, commended His Excellency for his unalloyed support for the program in all ramifications.
”We are grateful to our amiable and pragmatic Governor for taking the lead as far as the NSIP is concerned in Kogi State
”We thanked His Excellency for the office infrastructures provided for NSIP, and for ensuring the enabling environment for the full implementations of all the packages under the NSIP”, Onyekehi said.
The Home-Grown School Feeding Programme is aimed to deliver school feeding to public primary school pupils with a specific focus on increasing school enrolment and reducing malnutrition.
The HGSFP is also designed to empowering community women as cooks and by supporting farmers that help stimulate economic growth.
The HGSFP commenced in Kogi State in February 18, 2019 up to January 16, 2020, and was in progress before the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, which made the programme to be put on hold, and reintroduced on Thursday July 15, 2021.
The HGSFP had been on pilot stage in Kogi, and had engaged about 1,400 caterers to feed the current number of over 85,000 pupils.
Additional caterers were being recruited in order to capture more public primary schools to accommodate more pupils who were yet to benefit from the scheme.
Currently, Kogi State has captured over 177, 640 pupils to be fed by 2,937 cooks.
Concerted efforts are in high gear to capture all public primary schools in Kogi State with a total of over 258,000 pupils as recently validated by the National Bureau of Statistics.