Bayelsa state have announced that they will be ready to participate in the feeding of primary 1-3 pupils in the state under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme by the next school term.

The Honourable Commissioner for Education Dr. Gentle Emelah made this known on Tuesday, during a high-level meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the State, the Ministry of Education, state Focal Person and a team deployed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to Bayelsa to conduct a second technical assessment visit to ensure that the state government buys into the School Feeding Programme.

Mr Emelah said that the state is working towards fulfilling the requirements and joining the feeding programme next term.

“We have been working on the modalities of accomplishing all requirements since your first visit and we hope that by the beginning of the next school term, the pupils will be onboarded unto the programme. We understand the importance of the programme and advantages to the State and we are working hard to join the feeding programme”.

Earlier, the Technical Assistant to the Hon Minister on the NHGSFP and Team Lead Zainab Abubakar, recalled that the first official visit in 2021 was to provide technical support and guidance to the State on the implementation requirements of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

“We are here to carry out an additional technical assessment of Bayelsa State’s readiness based on the observations and recommendations of the first assessment. This second visit is to ascertain the compliance level of the state on the requirements.

“We want to ensure the buy-in of the Bayelsa State Government for the onboarding unto the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme and to provide technical support and guide towards ensuring a successful commencement and implementation of the feeding programme”.

Another meeting was also held with the first lady of Bayelsa State Dr. Mrs Gloria Diri who assured the Ministry’s team of her commitment to ensuring that the State fulfills the conditions of the programme and keys into the laudable program.

Other participants at the meeting include the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education Mr. Christopher Ewhrudjakpo, State Focal Person National Social Investment Programmes Hon. Benson Emmanuel, Programme Manager NHGSFP Mr. Tobi Thomas Perekebina as well as Gambo Lawal Gwaram and Ibiene Green.

Over 9 million children are currently benefiting from the programme.

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Kingsley Oyero