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Abia NOA director urges diligence in school feeding programme

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By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia

Dr (Lady) Ngozi Okechukwu, the Abia State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), has charged its Community Orientation Officers (COMOs) in the 17 LGAS to be diligent in their sensitization on the E-enrolment of the national home-grown school feeding programme to ensure that the accurate data of the targeted beneficiaries are captured for the sustainability of the programme.

Dr Okechukwu, who gave the charge during the step-down training for NOA COMOs, WAI-C Brigade and other staff of the agency on the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, held in Umuahia, pointed out that NOA was in collaboration with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to drive the sensitization process of the E-enrolment programme.

According to her, the Federal Government was using the robust structure of NOA to facilitate the distribution of forms and sensitization. At the same time, Community Orientation Officers are expected to engage in grassroots sensitization, using various platforms like churches and markets.

She added that the NHGSFP was designed to reach only pupils in 1-3 in public schools, as part of government efforts to improve enrolment, attendance retention and completion in public schools. 

Every enrolled child in the programme is entitled to a free meal in participating schools. At the same time, the local farmers will have a predictable outlet for their products, leading to a stable income, more investments and higher productivity.

Contributing, the State Focal Person, Social Investment Programme, Mr Chinenye Nwogu, reminded the participants that the state was not interested in manipulating figures, but charged them to maintain the culture of integrity. 

Mr Nwogu noted that poverty affected the capacity of children to learn effectively, and advised that all challenges that would undermine the programme should be reported to the ‘Grievance Reporting Desk’ of the community.

The State Director used the opportunity to unveil the maiden edition of NOA Magazine, the ‘Abia Mobiliser’, with the theme, “Building A People of Peace: Fall in Love With Nigeria during COVID-19 Pandemic”.

The member representing Isiala Ngwa North State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Sir Ginger Onwusibe, flanked by the State N-Power focal person, Chinenye Wogu, the Head of Service of Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Lady Sally Anosike, and Mr Richard Okoro, Executive Director/CEO RUDEP, both applauded NOA Abia state and the director for putting such research work in a colourful magazine. 

Sir Ginger, particularly, expressed appreciation to God for outliving COVID-19, adding that the pandemic period was used to test the faith of people.

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