…Spends N70.00 per meal per pupil, recruits 4, 150 cooks
Benue State government is set to spend N3, 819,452,000.00 per annum to feed primary school pupils in the Home Grown School Feeding programme of the federal government.
The state’s Focal Person, Benue State Investment Programme and senior special assistant to the governor, Mr. Utaan Terhide who stated this in Makurdi said a total of 272,818 pupils in primary 1-3 out of the 949,047 enrolment in public primary schools in the state would benefit from the programme.
He said each child would be given a meal worth N70.00, amounting to a daily transfer of N19, 097.260 to the food vendors and about N3.8 billion per year.
Utaan said the schools feeding programme would take off in the weeks ahead adding that the multi-sectoral team set up by the state government had worked tirelessly to ensure the state government met the prerequisite conditions necessary to participate in the scheme.
He also announced that 4,150 cooks had engaged for the programme adding that the social investment programme office in the state adopted the use of community based targeting approach for the recruitment of the food vendors out of the 16,000 applications received by the Home Grown School Feeding office.
Utaan also explained that many applicants could not be accommodated in the programme due to logistics constraints.
He added that the Social Investment Office in collaboration with Center for Food Technology and Agriculture (CEFTA), Benue State University had trained the recruited cooks on food safety and hygiene, cutting across the 23 local government areas of the state and issued certificates to all participants.
“We have matched their bank verification numbers (BVN) with their bank accounts and those that have been matched has been compiled and shared with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the social investment banking partners.
On job creation and youth empowerment programme known as N-Power, Utaan disclosed that the federal government started the implementation with 200,000 youths out of which a total of 9,833 Benue indigenes had been recruited to participate in the first phase thereby placing Benue as fourth nationally.