The Federal Government says it is committed to enrolling more pupils into the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, in Sokoto State.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, gave the assurance at the inauguration of stakeholders’ engagement and scaling up of the programme on Friday in Sokoto.
Mrs Umar-Farouq said the ministry had begun training of enumerators in the state to obtain an accurate population of beneficiaries.
The ministers also said that this was to fast track the pupils’ enrollment and enhance their nutritional values.
Represented by Sambo Balarabe-Gusau, the Deputy Director, Accounts in the ministry, Umar-Farouq said members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) had been engaged as enumerators to facilitate the smooth conduct of the exercise.
She said: “Technical teams were deployed in all the states of the federation as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to obtain right data and enrol more pupils.
“We have resolved that having the biometric data of all the beneficiaries of this programme would create an avenue for better programme planning and implementation.
“It will create room for enlisting more beneficiaries for transparency and accountability in line with set regulations.
“Our partners whom we have engaged are required to identify and capture the biometrics of each child on the programme,’’ she added.
According to her, the nationwide exercise will continue beyond the first intervention to enhance participation in the programme.
She said that NYSC members would serve as field enumerators, while officials of National Orientation Agency, NOA, would go for enlightenment, sensitisation and distribution of forms.
The Sokoto State Programme Officer of NHGSFP, Musa Abubakar-Gurkau, commended the Federal Government for the implementation of the interventions in the state.
Mr Abubakar-Gurkau said the NHGSFP had improved school enrollment, create employment opportunities and boost the economic base of the state.
He said: “Three hundred and sixty thousand (360,000) pupils are benefiting from the NHGSFP, while women that were engaged in the programme became economically empowered.
He noted that 600, 000 additional pupils had been enrolled in the state but some schools were not benefiting from the programme.
According to reports, the Federal Government has targeted 14 million pupils for enrollment into the school feeding programme by 2023.