Mr Umar Ndashacba, the Programme Manager of National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in Niger, has said that no fewer than 14,000 jobs were created within two years of its existence in the state.
Ndashacba made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“Even though the programme was inaugurated in the state in 2018, it has created over 14,000 jobs for women and opportunity for farmers to boost agricultural production,” he said.
He said that the state had over 560,000 pupils registered under the programme which according to him, seems to optimise their enrolment into primary school.
“The programme has created jobs, boost agriculture activities and giving the farmers the needed attention.
“The farmers grow beans, rice, soya beans, etc and those are what we use in our menu for the children.
“The programmes has created over 14, 000 jobs and more jobs will come as we progress; we have cooks, local suppliers, desk officers and multi-sectoral team,’’ Ndashaba said.
Niger NHGSFP Manager, however, called for a review of cost of a meal per child to reflect current market forces and the dwindling economy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Federal Government introduced the N70 per day, per child NHGSFP in 2016, to boost enrolment into primary schools across the country. It covers pupils in primary one to three in public schools.
He said that the N70 a meal per child was not realistic as the amount was fixed when the programme began in 2016.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to review upward the N70 per meal, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation had overshadowed the amount that was fixed when the programme started.
“However, we are hopeful that the Federal Government will increase the price of the meal per child,’’ he said.