The Federal Government is to train 150, 000 local cooks nationwide.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq made this known at the Orientation Programme of Facilitators for the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the programme, convened by the National Social Investments Programme (NSIP), under the NHGSFP in the Ministry of Humanitarian, is to train local cooks nationwide to meet the required standards of the school feeding initiative.
Farouq represented by Dr Umar Bindir, National Coordinator of NSIP, explained that the initiative would concentrate on the institutionalisation and the full implementation of the national home school feeding programme.
“This programme concentrates on the institutionalisation and the full implementation of the national home school programme, which is one of the prime clusters of the National Social Investment Programme.
“We started this programme in 2016 and we are feeding nearly 10 million children nationwide in all the states of the federation.
“This feeding process includes first, empowering women within the communities where the schools are located to cook the food for the children.
“This is a nationwide strategy, we are going to train cook in the country and we have 100 to 150, 000 of them,” the minister said.
According to her, the training is imperative to ensure that the cooks are well trained in their behaviour, physical appearance, their cooking methodologies, among others.
“The training will focus on the food safety, hygienic working environment, food procurement, food standardisation as well as financial literacy, ” she said.
Speaking, Mrs Flora Goka, Hospitality Consultant with the Institute for Tourism Professional of Nigeria, said the aim of the initiative by President Muhammadu Buhari among other programmes is to uplift Nigerians out of poverty through a number of social investments programmes.
Goka identified other areas as support for local agriculture through smallholder farmers, thereby stimulating economic growth through social-economic value chain.
In her contribution, Mrs Chinwendu Amba, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) NSIP focal person, explained that the programme would go along way to educate and empower the local cooks more on the NHGSFP requirements by the Federal Government.
Represented by Mrs Clementina Okoro, Nutrition Officer NHGSFP FCT, Amba said the training would increase the local cooks’ knowledge to prepare nourishable meals for the school pupils.
“This training is for cooks and it is to educate and empower them so that they can cook properly for our children,” she said.