A total of 400,000 pupils in Benue State are set to receive support through the Federal Government’s school feeding initiative.
The Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in the state, Aondowase Kunde, shared this information during a training session for Master Cooks of the National Home-grown School Feeding Programme held in Makurdi on Wednesday.
Kunde mentioned that the program would require more than 6,512 cooks to facilitate it across the state. He further stated that previous cooks have been replaced to create opportunities for others, emphasizing that the Social Investment Programme is intended to benefit all Nigerians.
Kunde said, “I believe that the gains of this exercise will ensure the delivery of safe and healthy meals to the over 400,000 pupils benefitting from the programme in Benue State and also ensure a healthy and safe hygienic environment for our children.
“I want to charge the cooks who will be trained today to pay rapt attention to the training sessions knowing that they will be required to cascade the training to over 6,512 of their colleagues.
“This administration conducted a review and evaluation of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme and as part of measures to re-organise the programme, all cooks. who served between 2017 and 2023 have been disengaged.
“This measure is to give other citizens the opportunity to benefit from the programme as the Social Investment Programmes are designed to be spread to all Nigerians, particularly the poor and vulnerable within a specified duration of time.
“This implies that all our would-be-cooks will be persons who have not benefitted from the programme in the past.”
The commissioner said the recruitment of cooks was transparent, open and handled in line with set guidelines contained in the Operational Manual of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programne.
Speaking earlier, the state facilitator, Mrs Joy Ijuwo, said that the National Social Investment Programme was a project to change the lives of Nigerians living in extreme poverty and upgrade the living standard of children, youths and women.