October 2, 2020

NSIP trains 7,000 Benue food cooks/vendors on COVID-19 protocol

NSIP trains 7,000 Benue food cooks/vendors on COVID-19 protocol

…distributes 10,000, face masks, hand sanitizers to trainees

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Benue state office of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP, has commenced the training of 7,000 cooks/food vendors on the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, on the COVID-19 protocol and measures to check the spread of the virus among school pupils.

Flagging off the training, Monday in Makurdi, Governor Samuel Ortom said it was another step by the state government to strengthen the capacity of the cooks in line with the ’new normal’ imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu, Governor Ortom said “the training will equip the cooks with knowledge on COVID-19 Protocols to prepare them for service under the post-lockdown era.”

He also directed the distribution of 10,000 pieces of face masks and 10,000 units of hand sanitizers to the cooks and stakeholders in the 23 Local Government Areas, LGAs, areas of the state, during the training as part of measures to flatten the curve of community transmission of COVID-19.

The Benue State Focal Person of NSIP, Dr. Terris Damsa, in his speech said the training became necessary to ensure that the cooks did not become the channel of transmission of COVID-19 in school across the state.

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Dr. Damsa said, “Benue state has announced the resumption of schools, so this is part of measures that are being taken at the level of the state to ensure that we check transmission of COVID-19 in schools.

“Aside the measures put in place by the Ministry of Education, at our own level this is about the vendors on the NHGSFP. Since they will be feeding the pupils directly, it is very important that they do not become the channel for transmission of COVID-19.

“The training for 7,000 of them which is taking place in the 23 LGAs of the state is to equip them on COVID-19 protocols. It is to inform and guide them on what they need to do because for us we do not want to have one infection and the charge would be that it is coming from the cooks or vendors,” Dr. Damsa said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Matthew Mnyam said the training came timely stressing that since the government had earlier trained teachers on the protocol, it was imperative to have the cooks trained as well to safeguard the entire school community.

Chairman of the State Action Committee on COVID-19 and the State Deputy Governor Mr. Benson Abounu who commended the State NSIP Focal Person for his innovative strides said “the training fully aligns with the COVID-19 response in the state as it will go a long way in safeguarding our pupils, teachers, cooks and the entire populace in our communities.”