One of the Social Investment Programmes of the Buhari administration, the National Homegrown School Feeding scheme, has entered implementation stage with the feeding of primary school pupils in Anambra State today.
This was disclosed by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Presidency.
Akande said: “Last month, the N-Power scheme kicked off with the selection of the first batch of 200,000 unemployed graduates, many of whom are now being deployed in the 36 states/FCT in the first batch of the planned half a million graduates to be engaged in the N-Power Volunteer Corps, NPVC.
“Meanwhile, no one should have to pay any fees to benefit in the N-Power or the Homegrown School Feeding programmes, and any such imposition or request for fees is uncalled for and illegal.
“Reports of such acts of extortion in some states where beneficiaries are being asked to pay a ‘fee for registration’ have reached the Presidency, and firm instructions have been given that such acts should stop”.
Speaking from Awka, the Anambra State capital earlier today, the Special Assistant on Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Dotun Adebayo said primary school pupils in Anambra were excited as the feeding program commenced in their schools.
Adebayo who led a team of federal and state officials to some of the schools on day one of the Homegrown School Feeding Programme implementation, said they witnessed the feeding in three schools in Awka: Community Primary School, Awka South, Central School Ameobi, and Central School in Nibo.
“The pupils were excited and enjoyed the meals,” he stated, adding that the cooks in those three schools, among the total 774 already recruited and trained for the feeding programme, served ‘Okpa’ a.k.a Moin-moin garnished with vegetables to the delight of the pupils who took the meals during their break time at about noon day.
Altogether, an estimated 76, 690 pupils in 1050 schools would be served every day of school in Anambra State, according to the Presidency. The feeding programme caters to pupils from primary 1-3.
Having met the stated requirements for Federal Government funding for the Homegrown School Feeding, a sum of N53, 687, 900 had been released directly to cooks for the kick-off of the school feeding programme in Anambra, to last till the end of the current school term, the Presidency said.
All the cooks were recruited from communities around the primary schools for the program, verified and trained to provide the catering service in the 21 LGAs in the State.