The Federal Government has said plans are underway to conduct head counts of Almajiris in the country and enroll them into the homegrown school feeding programme by the present administration.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Schools Feeding, Dr. Yetunde Adeniji, revealed this during a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi A. Sule in Lafia.
A statement by Special Assistant to the SSA, Mr. Oyedokun Oyewumi indicated that the programme targets children in public schools, adding that her office is open to suggestions.
She 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 programme, with a focus on incorporating marginalized groups, such as the Almajiris.
Speaking during the visit, Governor Sule called on the federal government to make it a priority to include Almajiris in the home-grown school feeding plan.
He recognized the efforts of the Senior Special Assistant to bring about reforms that would ensure the success of the schools feeding programme.
Governor Sule appealed to the SSA, to provide an improved livelihood for the almajiris, adding that this would eradicate child destitution and remove beggars from the streets.
Governor Sule said, “the incorporation of the Almajiri, a group of traditionally itinerant Islamic students, into the programme would help in taking them off the streets and provide them with proper nutrition and education”.
The Governor assured Dr. Adeniji of Nasarawa State Government’s support in achieving the objectives of the programme.
“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)”, he said
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.