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FG reviews National school Feeding program upwards, now N100 per plate



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**Humanitarian Ministry moves to build 60 Model School Kitchens

The Federal Government has reviewed upward the National Home Grown School Feeding Program meals from N70 to N100 per plate per child.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq made the disclosure at the Commemoration of the 7th Africa School Feeding Day held in at Transcorp Hilton Abuja on Tuesday.
The special adviser to the minister on media Nneka Ikem Anibeze in a statement indicated that Umar Farouq was full of gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the increment.
She added that it came at a time when all hands were on deck to ensure that all public primary school pupils 1-3 are enrolled in the program.

“I will like to seize the opportunity to commend His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the recent approval granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the upward review of the daily cost of feeding from N70 to N100 per meal per child, which comes along with increased monitoring and tighter regulations. “This is coming at a time when there is an urgent need to ensure that our children are not left behind in the development process, especially in the wake of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic to the stability of millions of Households here in Nigeria.

“That is precisely why in 2020, as part of the government’s efforts to cushion the effects of the pandemic, the Ministry provided dry take home rations to targeted households of pupils on the program in Lagos and Ogun States, and the FCT. This is in line with our mission and mandate to ensure that all Nigerians in need are heard, seen and included”.

The Minister also disclosed that series of initiatives were already being deployed to enhance effective programme delivery.

“We are currently working on a policy framework for the program, and will also be rolling out quality assurance structures, along with the introduction of the concept of School Kitchens in 60 model schools across the Nation.
“These School Kitchens are designed to serve as models, as well as training and skills building centers for cooks and other vendors of the programme”.

The minister also said that arrangements were underway to provide two free meals for Out-Of-School Children from the NHGSFP scheme as it rolls out the Alternate School Program (ASP) soon.

She thanked the Nutrition Society of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for providing the required regulatory oversight and monitoring compliance on hygiene, food safety and meal quality standards.
“The Ministry is also working closely with the World Food Programme (WFP), which is providing technical support, capacity building and policy guidance in the implementation of the NHGSFP.”

Earlier, the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programs Dr Umar Bindir noted that the School Feeding Programme introduced in 2016 has impacted on school children through a significant increase in school enrolment and attendance and improvement in the nutrition and health status of beneficiary pupils.

The programme currently has a total of 9,881,773 million enrolled children in over 53,000 schools, of which 4.1 million pupils have so far been verified and captured on the NHGSFP Database, in line with the Ministry’s ongoing efforts at establishing a verifiable database of beneficiaries across all of its programmes and interventions

Other speakers at the commemoration of the Africa School Feeding Day include the National Cordinator and Chief Executive Officer at New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD Nigeria Princess Gloria Akobundu, the Representative the Nassarawa state Governor, NEPAD’s Nutrition and Food Systems Project Manager Kefilwe Rhoba Moalisi and other stakeholders.

The theme for this year’s edition of the Africa Day of School Feeding is ‘Nutrition and human capital development in Africa through increased investment in home grown school feeding’.

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Don Advocates Govt Funding Of Research In Universities For Economic, Social Devt.




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

University Don, Prof. Benjamin Mopah Dauda, has called on the Federal and State Governments to provide adequate funding for research in universities in the country to accelerate the nation’s economic and social development.

Dauda, a Professor of Polymer Chemistry and Technology at Federal University Lokoja (FUL) made the call in his Inaugural Lecture titled, “Polymer: Material Driving Technological Advancement”, on Wednesday in Lokoja.

At the lecture which is the 15th in the FUL Inaugural Lecture Series, the Polymer expert said Nigerian professors and scholars had the know-how to evolve innovations to address the nation’s economic and social challenges.

“Government must fund research in universities for economic and social development. We have the knowhow and we can synergize with colleagues in other fields to proffer solutions”, he said.

The University Don also called on the authorities of the Federal University Lokoja to develop Post Graduate (PG) programmes that would provoke researches that can address economic and social challenges of the Country.

He said that it would be such that “every year of the PG programme, students must publish at least one paper in reputable journal or Conference proceeding such that at the end of Masters or PhD programmes their work will be a compilation of these publications.”

Prof. Dauda who is also the Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Head of Department (HOD), Department of Industrial Chemistry in FUL, urged companies to partner with Universities to help solve processing problems and improve quality of their products.

“To this end, Nigerian Companies producing for global market should have their own Research and Documentation (R&D) units where they employ researchers to conduct research that will help improve processing and quality of products”, he said.

On the use of polymer in everyday life, the Professor of Polymer said the world is in the polymer age and every effort must be made to advance the technology of polymer to help the economy.

According to him, Humans use a staggering one million plastic bottles every minute adding that the plastic bottles and lots of other containers and casings are products of polymer.

“The vehicle of Information Technology (IT) and the Internet is the “Personal Computer”, more than 70% of which is Polymer. The science and technology of polymers must therefore tag along with developments in IT.

“Such industries as in IT, Transportation, Aerospace, Music, Textiles, Medical, Construction, Packaging, etc. are totally dependent on polymers.

“Chemistry forms the basis and starting point of Polymer Science but it also depends on other scientific study-areas such as physics, engineering and manufacturing”, he said.

On crude oil spillage and devastating effect on human, aquatic lives and revenue, Prof. Dauda called for more investigation and research into oil-sorbent that would address the menace.

According to him, investigation is required to explore the complex interplay between the newly developed oil-sorbent and other environmental parameters to obtain useful information on oil spill treatment in real situations.

He said that the Oil sector provides 95 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenue adding that annually, a total number of 16,476 spills occur and approximately three million barrels spilled into the environment in Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi,
Vice-Chancellor (VC) Federal University Lokoja (FUL), said that in our ever-evolving world, the importance of materials science and its impact on technological advancement could not be overstated.

The VC noted that Mopah-Dauda’s extensive knowledge, dedication, and pioneering research in the field of Polymer Chemistry and Technology have not only contributed significantly to the academic community but have also played a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape of our society. (Ends)

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Increased quest for UK education: UK schools’ principals to visit Nigeria in October




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Nigeria is set to play host to Principals and Leaders of certain schools in London who are expected in Lagos next month due to increased quest for education in the United Kingdom by Nigerians.
The event codenamed, “UK Boarding Schools Week,” will take place in Lagos from 13-15 October at The Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to a statement issued to newsmen by the organisers, Mark Brooks Education in association with the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, activities lined up for the event includes, reception, seminar, and exhibition.

The first event will be a networking reception from 6pm – 8pm on Friday for visiting heads to meet school leaders and parents.
On Saturday, there will be a 30-minute seminar from education specialists on ‘Helping Teenagers to Thrive’
The entire programme would be concluded on Sunday 15th with a a new event ‘Lagos to London’.
Mark summed up the objective behind the summit and what it was expected to achieve.
He said:” It will create an opportunity for prospective parents to find out more and even sit entrance tests and interviews to beat the rush for places.

“An overseas education is increasingly popular for Nigerian families for a variety of reasons, an international experience, academic and sporting excellence, and a greater chance to secure a top university place.”
Some of the Principals equally revealed educational facilities and attendant advantages for prospective students.
According to Stuart Ansell, COO at Box Hill School, apart from strong academic results, the institution also ” deliver fantastic pastoral care and a ‘home away from home’ for boarding students.”
Henrietta Lightwood from Cardiff Sixth Form College disclosed that academic achievement is another reason for choosing UK school. West African students add tremendously to the community and gain “offers from world’s best universities.”
Sarah Matthews, Head at Truro High School for Girls, who is coming on the education summit for the first time said she looks “forward to spending more time in West Africa where I always receive such a warm welcome.”
She also spoke in glowing terms about her school.
“We offer a safe and affordable learning environment where girls thrive.”
Stuart Higgins of the Hereford Cathedral School said she was “delighted to be representing the school.”
“Awarded ‘great for music’ by a national publication, the school has strong Christian ethos and “offers a wide range of sporting opportunities.”
Some of the top schools in the UK to be part of the Boarding Schools Week include, Abbey College Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford College, Bromsgrove School, among others.

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Akpabio declares support for Obot in quest to break Guinness World record for longest reading aloud marathon




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The Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio has declared support for an Akwa Ibom man, Mr John Obot in his official attempt to break the Guinness World Record for longest reading aloud marathon.

In a letter he sent to the Teacher, titled: “A note to encourage you” Senator Akpabio expressed his hope that Mr Obot would have the stamina and focus to reach his target of 145 hours to beat a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyzstan, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey.

According to the Senate President: “I am thrilled by your quest. This is especially true because you have chosen to seek global laurels on a road less travelled and in a state we have benefitted from the audacious and uncommon free and compulsory education started by my administration.

“You have shown courage. You have displayed the resourcefulness of our forebears and focus of the Akwa Ibom man in our recent history. Your dedication to this cause you believe in is unrivaled.

“I am to encourage you by reminding you that only those who stay the course eventually win the race.

“Keep up the quest, and never give up. Bring your light to shine on others who may have shown genuine interest but lack the courage to take the first step. Go ahead to inspire them and lead them through the courageous path – the only path that leads to victory.

“Keep it up, John. Your place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the 145 hours reading aloud marathon is assured on the content of your character, resilience and a spirit that never gives up,” Akpabio said.

Senator Akpabio said the quest by Obot to break the Guinness World Record will encourage other Nigerian youths to engage their energies in productive ventures rather than crime and other vices.

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