By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Federal Government is to conduct head counts of Almajiris in the country and enroll them into the homegrown school feeding programme by the present administration.
This was disclosed on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Schools Feeding, Dr. Yetunde Adeniji during a courtesy call on the Governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi A. Sule in Lafia.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the SSA, Mr. Oyedokun Oyewumi, plans are now on by the Federal government towards ensuring this as the program targets children in public schools and that her office is open to suggestions.
Dr Adeniji said her interactions with relevant authorities demonstrates President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to improving the welfare and educational opportunities for children through the school feeding program, with a focus on incorporating marginalized groups, such as the Almajiris.
Governor Sule while speaking during the courtesy visit called on the Federal government to make it a priority to include Almajiris in the home-grown school feeding plan.
Recognizing the efforts of the Senior Special Assistant to bring about reforms that would ensure the success of the schools feeding program, the governor appealed to the SSA, to provide an improved livelihood for the almajiris, as this will eradicate child destitution and remove beggars from the streets.
“ The incorporation of the Almajiri, a group of traditionally itinerant Islamic students, into the program would help in taking them off the streets and provide them with proper nutrition and education”, he said
Assuring Dr. Adeniji of Nasarawa State Government’s support in achieving the objectives of the program, the governor said, “we call on the Office of the SSA to, in collaboration with Northern States, relevant institutions, conduct a census of Almajiri schools and headcount of the destitute children with the view to enrolling them in the ongoing National Home-grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP)”.
Earlier in the week, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani commended the Senior Special Assistant on her proactive methods in getting familiar with institutions and states that will add to the success of the programme.
He equally said that the Kaduna state government would partner with the SSA’s office to ensure success of the programme when it begins, with a view to improve the nutrition value of the children.