Women under the aegis of the Association of Food Vendors from Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State on on Tuesday paid a solidarity visit to Engr. Terhide Utaan who is the Benue State Focal Person of the National Social Investments Programme at his residence in Makurdi.

Leader of the delegation and Desk Officer of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme in the area, Mr. Fidelis Awuhe Shimagande said they were in Makurdi to thank the Focal Person for mitigating the plight of women in the area through their participation on the Home Grown School Feeding Programme. He stated that the Home grown School Feeding Programme has ensured that pupils who hitherto refused to go to school were now enthusiastic about school while the participation of the women as cooks has improved the economy of the area.

Responding,  Engr. Utaan expressed delight at the gesture of the women and assured that his team would strive to daily improve on the delivery of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme and other programmes coordinated by his office. Engr. Utaan further advised the women to form cooperatives to enable them access soft loans through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) component of the Social Investments Programme adding that the loans are completely interest-free. The Focal Person indicated that regular town hall meetings will be held in the Twernty Three (23) Local Government Areas of Benue State to appraise the performance of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme and to evolve strategies for effective implementation of the programme.

The Deputy Focal Person, Mrs. Grace Akuul, Programme Manager of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Mr. Francis Ajai and the Information Officer, Aja Dan Aja were among officials of the office present during the visit.

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