Over 400000 Pupils To Benefits From School Feeding Programme In Benue – Hyacinth Alia—Gov. Hyacinth Alia on Wednesday said over 400,000 pupils would benefit from the next phase of the National Home-grown School Feeding Programme ( NHGSFP) in Benue.
Alia said this while declaring open the Annual Training of Master Cooks of the NHGSFP at Government Model Secondary School, High Level, Makurdi.
The Governor represented by the Commissioner for Humanitarian and Disaster Management, Mr Anodowase Kunde, said the school vendors would be recruited from the wards in each Local Government Area.
He said a total of 6,512 persons would be selected for the programme across the 23 LGAs.
Alia said his administration would do everything possible to support the education sector.
“I believe that the gains of this exercise will ensure the delivery of safe and healthy meals for the over 400,000 pupils benefitting from the programme in Benue and also ensure a healthy and safe hygienic environment for our children.
“I want to charge the cooks who will be trained today to pay rapt attention to the training sessions knowing that they will be required to cascade the training to over 6,512 of their colleagues.
“Thus ensuring seamless implementation of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in line with standard best practices.”
He said the humanitarian ministry was focused on strengthening the social investment programme for maximum impact.
The governor said new cooks would be recruited as those who served from 2017 to 2022 would be replaced.
“This administration conducted a review and evaluation of the NHGSFP and as part of measures to reorganise the programme, all cooks who served between 2017 and 2023 have been disengaged.
“This measure is to give other citizens the opportunity to benefit from the programme as the Social Investment Programmes are designed to be spread to all Nigerians, particularly the poor and vulnerable within a specified duration of time”, he added.
He admonished the trainees to see the opportunity offered them by the programme as a medium to contribute to building their local communities.
“This administration will not condone any act inimical to the success of the programme and any cook who is found wanting will be shown the way out and penalised in accordance with the extant laws.”
In her address, Mrs Joy Ijuwo, the State Facilitator, NHGSFP, said the training would be on the programme’s procurement process, menu standardisation, food preparation, handling, safety and hygiene, financial literacy, and management.
Ijuwo said the NSIP was to change the lives of Nigerians living in extreme poverty and upgrade the living standard of children, youths and women.
“The nominated cooks that will be trained as master cooks are expected to in turn step down the training in their various local government areas to other cooks.
“We believe that the trainees will be fully equipped at the end of the day to enable them step down the training and cook nourishing meals for our children at their various local government areas, ‘’she said.
Earlier, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mr Audu Idoko urged the Master Cooks to ensure the success of the programme, adding that they hold the key to the success of the school feeding programme