By Emeka Samuel, Uyo
At least 161,575 pupils in 899 Primary schools in Akwa Ibom have benefitted from a donation of feeding utensils by the Federal Government under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, represented by Mr. Charles Uko, Assistant Director in the ministry made the presentation in Uyo at the weekend.
Farouq, who called on the state government to provide budgetary support to the school feeding programme, said that the FG has provided funds for feeding and logistics to procure, prepare and serve the meals.
“The National Home-Grown School feeding programme for which we have gathered today, provides one free meal to over nine million pupils in primary schools across the nation.
“In Akwa Ibom State, we are providing funds to the state selected vendors to feed 161, 575 pupils, 5,383 cooks in 899 schools.
“It is our fervent hope and appeal that these items are put to use as they were provided for, so that these children benefit more.” Farouq said.
The minister sought the state government support for continuous sensitisation of communities and individuals through the various structures on the importance of the programme and the need for it to be safeguarded from all forms of corrupt practices.
In his welcome remarks, the State Focal Person of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Dr Godwin Akpan commended both the federal government and state government for sustaining the school feeding programme in the state since 2017.
Akpan who noted that the programme has provided job opportunities to particularly, women, who serve as cooks and also farmers whose farm produce are being constantly demanded for however appealed to the FG to follow the current enumeration of schools and ensure that more pupils benefit from the scheme.
On behalf of the benefiting schools, the Head Mistress of St. Michael Primary School, in Uyo metropolis, Mrs. Victoria Jacob, thanked the federal government for the show of love in providing the feeding utensils for the children.