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NHGSFP to Overtake S/Africa as Largest School Feeding Scheme in Africa

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School Feeding Programme

By Dipo Olowookere

Nigeria’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSF) is set to overtake South Africa’s as the largest school feeding programme in Africa.

The scheme was launched in 2016 by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and it currently feeds a total of 8,596,340 pupils daily in 46,247 public primary schools in 24 states of the federation.

In South Africa, where a similar programme, National School Nutrition Programme, was launched 24 years ago (1994), it caters for an estimated 9.2 million learners, going by a 2017 report by the South Africa’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, explained that following NHGSF’s impressive adoption and growth in just two years of the launch of the initiative, it was evident that the social intervention programme will become the largest in Africa by the close of 2018.

She added that the benefits of the NHGSF initiative include increases in school enrolments and improvement in the health and nutrition of pupils in all the schools where the initiative is being implemented.

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Mrs Uwais expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved by the programme and noted that its goals, which include ensuring increased enrolment, attendance and improvement in the health and nutrition of pupils in schools are being met.

She revealed further that through the NHGSFP initiative, total of 90,670 Nigerians have been engaged and empowered to be cooks, while over a hundred thousand farmers have also been linked to the school feeding programme to supply locally sourced farm produce to the cooks.

“In other words, we have created a value chain with significant economic benefits to the microeconomic development of the states. The value chain offers additional benefits of job creation and increased livelihood outcomes for both cooks and small holder farmers; hence improving livelihood and the local economies,” she said.

She also stated that the NHGSFP implementation is guided by the five global standards for school feeding programmes of this nature. These are: the establishment of a policy framework, programme design and implementation, institutional capacity and coordination, funding standards and community participation.

“NHGSFP leverages on the institutional structures within the States to implement the programme. Each participating state has signed Memorandum of Association with the federal government, which defines the roles and responsibilities for the key programme deliverables such as cook recruitment, operational activities, delivery of meals as well as basic monitoring and evaluation of the programme,” she added.

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Speaking further, Mrs Uwais said that one of the critical success factors for the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHSGP) is the strong political will of the Federal Government.

“The process of funds disbursement for the NHGSFP ensures transparency, accountability and trackability.  The NHGSFP has not only improved the livelihood of farmers engaged but has also improved that of cooks; most of whom now have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs; such as financial literary, transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance. Financial inclusion is a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We are proud to say, these are some of the key achievements of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme,” she added.

To ensure continuous improvement in programme delivery, Mrs Uwais said the programme has put together a system of regular Peer Review with the States to share key learnings and problem-solving mechanisms.

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The NSIO also ensures strict compliance with set standards by the Federal Government by suspending the programme in any state where the prescribed standard is reported to have fallen below expectations, until a redesign and re-alignment is achieved.

NHGSF is one of the four Social Investment Programmes of the President Buhari administration which seeks to provide one nutritious meal a day to pupils in primary 1-3 in public primary schools in all States in Nigeria.

Today, the school programme is currently being implemented in 24 States in Nigeria. The 24 States include Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo in South-East; Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta in the South-South; Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun in the South-West; Benue, Niger and Plateau in the North-Central; Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina and Zamfara in the North-West as well as Bauchi, Gombe, Borno and Jigawa in the North-East. Sokoto and Adamawa States are expected to join the programme soon.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Education

FG Approves Agric Institute in Nasarawa

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Nasarawa State map

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has approved the establishment of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Nasarawa State to boost industrialisation in the Northern state.

This disclosure was made by Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia on Saturday at the opening ceremony of the Lafia City Mall, a subsidiary of Wave Mart Group of Companies.

Mr Sule said the agric institute would be located in Lafia as a step forward in terms of industrialising the state, adding that it also indicated the readiness of the state to maximize the diverse opportunities in the agriculture sector especially agriculture mechanization.

“We are ready here in Lafia. Lafia is attracting a lot in the area of agriculture industrialization. I am very happy.

“In fact, I woke up this morning extremely happy because last night, I receive the approval from Mr President for the setting up of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute right here in Lafia.

“I want to use this opportunity to extend my greatest appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari. Just a few weeks ago, we realized that there are going to be about three or four institutes that are about to be established.

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“I now wrote for the establishment of the institute in the state and just yesterday, Mr President approved it and we are going to establish that institute right here in Lafia,” he said.

Mr Sule added that aside from the institute, the state government had also recently signed an agreement with the Gurku-Kabusu community in the Karu local government area of the state for the commencement of an industrial zone on 13,000 hectares of land in the area.

He explained that the choice of the area was due to its close proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which thereby offers a huge market potential to the investor in the zone.

He said that it also made the business initiative beneficial to the state, the industrialists and the host community.

“Today, we concluded by signing with the people. Gurku-Kabusu is just five kilometres from Maitama. With that type of opportunity that we have, that will be mutually beneficial to the state, the community and the industrialists, we are ready now for industrialization in that area,” he said.

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The governor also revealed that in line with his policy to engage youths in skills acquisition, an institute for skill acquisition has been completed with equipment being procured for the various skill offices in the centre.

He then thanked Wave Mart Group of Companies for setting up the mall, adding that other investors who indicate interest to invest in the state would have no regrets.

“I want to thank you, the CEO of Wave Mart Group for your continuous belief and trust in Nasarawa state and I want to thank you also for giving us the opportunity to prove to the world that Nasarawa state is set for investment.

“Any investor that is interested, that is coming to Nasarawa state, there is no better time to come than now,” he said.

In his address, Mr Emmanuel Umoru, Chairman of Wave Mart Group of Companies, said the Lafia City Mall was not the first but the third investment of the group in the state.

He said given the investments and the years spent investing in the state, he has been able to convince other investors to come for themselves and inspect the security situation with the option of also investing in the state.

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Mr Umoru then disclosed that the Lafia City Mall which so far has gulped about N678 million would employ more than a hundred staff with most of the staff been indigenes of the state.

“The reason for establishing this kind of facility is not just for making money but to give employment to our teeming youths.

“This is a state we have invested in for almost about seven years now and to the glory of God, we have no reason to regret. On this note, I make bold to say that we shall come again. We appreciate your drive for investment in the state,” he said.

On his part, the Emir of Lafia, Sidi Bage appreciated the private sector drive of the governor and also lauded the Wave Mart Group of Companies for choosing Lafia to locate their investment.

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Education

PMI Begins Free Online Course on Project Execution

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PMI Free Online Course

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Individuals willing to have knowledge of best practices and tools needed to effectively manage projects from ideation to execution can now register for a free online course introduced by Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMI is the world’s leading association for project professionals and changemakers and through its KICKOFF programme, it hopes to equip participants with the best global practices in the field.

Much of the working world revolves around projects, which have become more complex than ever due to global Megatrends, including COVID-19, climate change, and more.

The need for changemakers, regardless of industry or position level, to be well-versed in the principles of project management in order to help drive results, has never been greater.

KICKOFF is the ideal solution for those who are new to doing project-based work and would benefit from learning project managements skills to help successfully navigate the process from idea to launch and execution.

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The course is packed with digestible content, downloadable templates, a glossary of key terms, and thoughtful questions to ask to help anyone kick off any project at any time.

According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® report, an estimated 11.4 per cent of all investment into projects currently goes to waste due to poor project performance and an inability to nimbly adapt and execute in our rapidly changing world.

Introducing changemakers to project management strategies and tools enables single learners and entire teams to have the framework in place to adapt quickly and efficiently to help reduce wasted time and investment.

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KICKOFF is the free, go-to resource for those looking to quickly learn the basics of effective and strategic project management to complete projects on time and within budget.

“KICKOFF is an easily deployable resource to ensure all employees and team members have the foundational skills to seamlessly collaborate and work smarter,” said George Asamani, the Business Development Lead for Africa at PMI.

“KICKOFF arms everyone from first-time project team members to C-Suite executives with the knowledge to kick start a project at any time to help drive results and deliver value,” he added.

No two projects are the same, so KICKOFF uses a guided questionnaire to tailor the learning experience based on the best project management approach for the needs of the project.

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Learners are presented with a series of short modules that can be completed in sequence or in any order. The modules include bite-sized content focused on the fundamentals, and templates to be downloaded or distributed for immediate use.

Accessible to anyone from their laptop, phone, or tablet, KICKOFF can be completed in just 45 minutes, and is available in five languages: English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Following completion of the KICKOFF course, learners will receive a badge to share on their professional social media profiles to show their peers and company that they have the foundational skills to successfully lead any project.

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Education

Oyo: FG Feeds 209,123 Pupils in 2,448 Public Primary Schools

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Public Primary Schools feeding programme

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) is already having a positive impact in Oyo State as the scheme has benefited not less than 209,123 pupils drawn from 2,448 public primary schools.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Christiana Abioye, while speaking at an event organised for 66 trained personnel from the state, noted that the initiative has ensured more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations.

According to her, the programme has helped the vulnerable population to have improved and sustainable living conditions, with an increase in the economic growth of the state.

In view of this, the Oyo State government has praised the federal government for coming up with the scheme, noting that it was attracting more children to schools.

In a statement issued by the Ministry’s Media Officer, Temilola Akarah, it was disclosed that the training exercise was for independent monitors, who were selected across the 33 local government areas for timely reports of the scheme. They were also given engagement letters and tablets.

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Mrs Abioye, who reiterated that the scheme was a right step in the right direction, noted that the federal government social investment programme was in line with the poverty alleviation programme of the state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde.

“This administrative believes in quality education, good health and adequate security as well as the thriving economy which are in tandem with the aims and objectives of the federal government, NSIP,” she said.

The Perm Sec, however, appealed to the federal government to expand the social investment programme in view of the increasing population in the state.

The Minister, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said the 66 youths had earlier been trained on the assignment.

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Represented by the Assistant Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, in the Ministry, Mrs Jumai Abdu-Ali, the Minister added that a re-training on the application of the social investment management information system (SIMIS) became imperative for effective service delivery.

“The application allows the Ministry to have visibility up to the local government level which will guide us at the federal level to ensure that the programme is working in line with their objectives which will essentially help us to deliver on our mandate and contribute to Mr President’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” she said.

Hajia Farouk said the sum of N30,000 would be paid as a stipend to the participants while the contract would last for one year.

The Minister who said 4,452 applicants were shortlisted out of 5,000 applicants Nationwide, stressed the need for the participants to handle the task given them diligently.

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In their separate goodwill messages, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Disability Matters, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi and the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Oyo State, Mrs Folake Ayoola commended the efforts of the Federal government and urged the independent monitors to carry out the assignment with the heart of sincerity and use the gadgets for the purpose meant for.

Also, two of the participants, Mr Olayinka Babarinde and Mrs Jumoke Ismail lauded the programme and appealed to the federal government to sustain the scheme, so as to enable them to plan their future through the stipends that would be given to them.

The independent monitoring officials are to undertake periodic reports on the performance of all federal government programmes in their respective local governments in Oyo State.

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