The Kaduna State Government has begun verifying 7,261 cooks engaged under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in the state.
The Programme Manager, Umar Abdullahi, made this known in Zaria on the sideline of a two-day Media Roundtable to enlist media support on reportage of social protection programmes.
Mr Abdullahi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the goal was to verify the cooks and ensure that they are doing the right thing and to equally protect the programme from corrupt practices.
“We also want to ensure that the cooks are discharging their duties accordingly to ensure value for money.
“Some of the cooks are sick and can no longer discharge their duties, some have died while others have relocated to other locations or out of the state. We want to know them for possible replacements.
“Some of the key questions we are asking are the number of pupils a cook is feeding, how a cook received, who withdrew the money for the cook and other critical questions.
“This will enable us to evaluate the challenges being faced by the cooks and look for how to solve the problems for smooth implementation of the programme.”
He added that the audit was also part of efforts to re-evaluate the implementation of the NHGSFP in the state with a view to strengthening implementation for quality service delivery,” he said.
He equally said that the programme would partner with nutrition experts, to review the current menu, with a view to improving the nutrition value of the meals for the benefit of the children.
“The current menu is moi-moi, garnished with vegetables on Mondays, Jollof rice and beans, garnished with vegetables on Tuesday, and beans porridge, garnished with vegetables on Wednesdays.
“On Thursdays, it is Jollof rice and boiled eggs while the pupils get biscuit and juice/yoghurt on Fridays.
“We want to improve the menu to enrich the nutritional content using locally produced agricultural and dairy food within the state,” he added.
He said that currently, 735,280 primary three pupils were being fed one meal per day in 3,449 public primary schools across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
The programme manager explained that due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and closure of schools, the modified school feeding programme would provide raw food to the 735,280 pupils in 2,500 households in the state.
He said that each household would receive 5.0 kg of rice, 5.0kg of beans, 500 millilitres (ml) of vegetable oil, 750 ml of palm oil, and 500 milligrams of salt.