The Federal Government, through the National Home Grown School Feeding Program (NHGSFP), has distributed feeding utensils to approximately 161,575 public primary school students in Akwa Ibom.
Distributing the utensils on behalf of the FG on Friday in Uyo, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, said the program had improved enrollment in public primary schools.
Farouq, who was represented by Mr. Charles Uko, Deputy Director of the Ministry, said that 899 public primary schools in Akwa Ibom have been selected to benefit from the Federal Government’s Homegrown School Feeding Program.
She said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved five million additional beneficiaries to join the scheme after the nationwide census exercise.
The Minister added that more than nine million students were already being fed by more than 100,000 cooks across the country.
Farouq, who called on the state government to provide budget support for the school feeding program, said the FG provided funds for food and logistics to procure, prepare and serve the meals.
“The National Home-Based School Feeding Program we have gathered today is providing a free meal to more than nine million students in primary schools across the country.
“In Akwa Ibom State, we are providing funds to state-selected vendors to feed 161,575 students, 5,383 cooks in 899 schools.
“It is our fervent hope and call that these items will be used as provided so that these children will benefit more,” Farouq said.
Farouq sought support from the state government for continued sensitization of communities and individuals across the various structures on the importance of the program and the need to protect it from all forms of corrupt practices.
In his welcoming remarks, the state focal point of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), Dr. Godwin Akpan, commended the federal and state governments for supporting the school feeding program in the state since 2017.
Akpan noted that the program has provided employment opportunities especially for women, who serve as cooks, as well as farmers whose agricultural products are in constant demand.
He called on the federal government to follow the current school census and ensure that more school children in the state are fed.
On behalf of the beneficiary schools, the principal of St. Michael’s Primary School, Uyo Metropolitan, Ms. Victoria Jacob, thanked the federal government for the show of love in providing the feeding utensils for the children.
Jacob assured the federal government that the children would make judicious use of the feeding utensils.