Lagos State Government has disclosed that pupils in over 908 primary schools in the over 1,000 public schools in the state are benefiting from the School Feeding Programme initiative of the federal government.
The state Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, disclosed that the school home feeding programme, which is being handled by the State Universal Basic Education Board, is very key to the wellbeing of children, even as she called for an upward review of fund allocated for it to meet current realities, especially in view of the rising prices of food.
Arobieke stated that the last 109 schools yet to benefit from the scheme would be added in the next school session, even as she said that no primary school pupil would be left out.
She added that Lagos would be scaling up the programme to include pupils in primary four to six.
The commissioner, who stated this during a stakeholders' meeting to fine-tune the enumeration and enrolment of beneficiaries for the resumption of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Alausa, Ikeja, said the School Feeding Programme is one of the social intervention programmes of the federal government, whereby pupils in primary one to primary three are given one nutritious meal a day during school hours.
She added that the state would monitor the enumeration and implementation to ensure that the vendors engaged for the feeding programme adhere to the terms of their contract.
The stakeholders, who discussed the challenges from the first round of the feeding programme which was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic to include inadequate allocation for feeding per child, irregular payment of vendors, and other emerging issues such as the withdrawal of some of the vendors from the programme, also made suggestions on how to overcome them.
In her remark, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk, who was represented by the team leader, Group Captain Sadeeq Shehu, promised that all identified challenges would be sent to Abuja to be fully addressed.
Also, the Project Manager in Lagos, Mrs. Yinka Makinwa, who said the programme has made positive impact in the lives of beneficiaries, said records show that pupils in about 109 schools across Lagos are yet to benefit from the programme.