By Catherine Philip Jelani
The Inaugural ceremony was conducted by the SSG Engr. Umar Bindir at the Conference Hall of Ministry of Education, State Secretariat Complex Yola today being Thursday the 14th of September 2017.
In his welcome address, the Hon Commissioner for Education Hon. Julius Kadala welcomed all the team members and encouraged them to take the responsibility serious.
On the other hand, the state Focal person on Npower and social investment in the State Rtd Commodore Usman Sali Bodes gave a brief introduction on the concept of the school feeding programme . He said, "the concept of the programme is to feed pupils of PRI 1-3 in each state of the federation". Bodes explained that the process is very challenging particular the logistics aspects which can not be achieved within 2 months. However , he presented the objectives of the programme as thus; to increase enrollment and attendance in the primary schools, the programme is key on building a community value-added chain that will ensure Agricultural production, job creation, and nutritional/health improvements.
He said that the programme is targeting 5.5 million primary school pupils I.e pri 1-3 while states are encouraged to feed classes 4-6.This can be achieved when the Biometrics Information of benefitting pupils will be taken He added.
More so,He explained that the method of selection of caterers is community based caterers, representatives from community women groups, parent of pupils etc. He said " one caterer to a maximum of 150 pupils only" adding that the state multi-sectoral team will guide the process of selection objectively" The selected caterers will be registered on the federal portal" he said.
Another interesting information is that, the payment of the selected caterers will be made directly using biometric information for verification. He said the amount budgeted for a child is 70naira only for 200 school days in a year.
The multi-sectoral team constitutes of;
1.Hon.Commissioner Ministry of Education as the chairman.
2.Focal person N-power
3.Representative of commissioner for Agriculture.
4.Representative of commissioner for Information.
5.Representative of commissioner for Health.
6.Representative of commissioner for Local Govt.affairs.
7.Representative of commissioner fro women affairs and social development. 8.Representative for poverty Alleviation and wealth creation office. 9.Representative of commissioner for finance and Budgeting.
11.Private sector organisation.
In an interview granted by the SSG Engr. Umar Bindir he said that "What we expect is an Education system that is functional for Adamawa State children . We want to also erase that word 'enrollment' we want to make sure that ultimately, every child in Adamawa State that has attain 5 or 6 years will have a primary school to attend. In fact, if need be very quickly,we may even enact a law to ensure that by the time facilities and provisions are available, schooling becomes compulsory. Any parent that does not get their children enrolled will face the music of sin".
In it important to note that the development objective of the National Social Safety Nets Project for Nigeria according to world bank account of 7thJune , 2016 is; "to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system. It has comprises the following two components. The first component, establishing the foundation for a National Social Safety Net System is to strengthen and consolidate the building blocks of a safety net system at the national and state level that can deliver targeted support to poor households across Nigeria. This component will include two subcomponents. i) Project Management and Institutional Capacity will provide resources to support the Government’s decision to establish a coordinating office for SSNs in Nigeria. It will also include financing for capacity building, communications, citizen engagement (CE), and grievance redress/complaints-handling. ii) Developing Building Blocks of the Safety Net System will finance investments in the main building blocks of the national social safety nets system: (a) a robust targeting mechanism and a national registry of poor and vulnerable households; (b) payment systems; and (c) Monitor and evaluation and the Management Information System MIS. The second component, implementing a targeted cash transfer will finance safety net transfers to targeted poor and vulnerable households included in the NSR, delivering regular and reliable transfers in a way that is accessible to beneficiaries and with benefit levels that are consistent with project objectives".
It is therefore in this regards that the Adamawa State Planning Commission on 28th day of November 2016, hosted the National Coordinator of the National Social Safety Net Programme , Mr. Peter Papka from Abuja Head Quarters. Mr. Peter’s visit was to meet and interact with the members of the State Operations Coordinating Unit SOCU and to brief them on how the programme has been designed and how it should be implemented. The National Coordinator was received by the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Justina Patrick at her office.
Again, on 15th December 2016, the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Senator Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow flagged off the N- Power Programme in the State at Mahmud Ribadu Square. After that, the Deputy Governor of the State Engr Martins Babale flagged off a 2-Day training for Local Government Authorities on the concept of Cash Transfer which is the State Cash Transfer Unit SCTU.
Today is however a very important day as a multi-sectoral team is inaugurated in line with the design and master plan of the National Social Safety Net Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is a good sign that Adamawa state is making progress in the implementation process.