The Federal Government in collaboration with the Nasarawa State government, has commenced the biometric data capturing of 196,873 pupils in public schools in Nasarawa State, for the ongoing National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
The programme was flagged off on Thursday in Lafia, the state capital by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq.
Represented by Abdullahi Usman, the minister inaugurated the programme in two schools namely, Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Lafia East and Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) Nasarawa-Eggon.
The Minister said the exercise would also capture the data of 2,081 food vendors and pupils from primary one to three in 1,203 public schools across the 13 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.
She also explained that the exercise was aimed at authenticating the data of the pupils and vendors given to the ministry from the various state governments to ensure proper planning.
“We would be carrying out enumeration of pupils on yearly basis to enable us capture more beneficiaries to update our database.
“The yearly verification would also help us capture newly admitted pupils and those on transfer from other schools,” the Minister added.
She, therefore, appealed to parents, teachers and other stakeholders to support the effort of the federal government to take children off the streets and improve school enrolment.
For his part, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State on Humanitarian Services, Imran Jibril, lauded the federal government for extending the gesture to the state.
Jibril, who is also the state focal person on National Social Investment Programme, said the programme since inception has already increased the enrolment of pupils in the state.
He expressed the determination of the state government to support the programme to achieve its objectives.
Responding on behalf of other pupils, Abdulmumuni Badamasi, Salomi Ikpughur and Basil Nwabuiku, all expressed gratitude to the federal and state governments, for the gesture and appealed for the sustainence and expansion of the programme to primary to six.
On their parts, Abigail Sabo and Habiba Yakubu, some food vendors at RCM Nassarawa-Eggon, expressed gratitude to the government for engaging and empowering them.
They, however, appealed that the government should increase their monthly allowances due to high cost of food items in the market.