The Kaduna State Government has commenced a headcount of primary school pupils and cooks to verify those benefiting from the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in the state.
The Programme Manager in the state, Malam Umar Abdullahi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna.
Abdullahi explained that the head count was being conducted in collaboration with the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics (KDBS), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the NHGSFP Office.
He said that the move was to reconcile the actual number of pupils benefiting in the state and those that ought to benefit but were not captured.
He recalled that NBS earlier conducted a headcount to determine the actual number of beneficiaries in the state, in which some schools were omitted while others were not captured.
NAN reports that 1,069,140 pupils in 3,922 primary schools were being fed by more than 12,000 cooks across the state before the NBS head count.
Abdullahi however said that only 735,280 pupils in 3,449 primary schools and 7,261 cooks were currently benefiting from the programme across the state.
He added that 24,510 crates of eggs, 6,120 cartons of biscuits and 7,883 cartons of yoghurt were being supplied every week under the programme.
According to him, the head count will enable the state government, the NBS and NHGSFP Office agree on the actual number of pupils that ought to benefit from the programme in the state.
“We are confident that after the verification, more schools, more pupils and more cooks will be captured in the database.”
The programme manager also disclosed that the government would soon roll out digital platforms such as free toll lines and internet App to strengthen citizens participation in monitoring the programme.
He explained that the toll line would enable all relevant stakeholders to call the Social Investment Programme Office directly and make complaints to enable follow up.
“We have gone very far and currently in the process of introducing a reporting system for the Education Secretaries and Head Teachers across the 23 local government areas of the state.
“We will also introduce uniforms for the cooks for easy identification,” he said.