FEDERAL Government has disclosed that its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme would be kick started this September with 5.5 million pupils across the states. The National Programme Manager, Abimbola Adesanmi revealed this during a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Adesanmi said the government has resolved to start the programme this September with pupils in Primary 1 to 3 with all the states that have structures for the home grown programme. She however explained that all the states of the federation, depending on their preparedness, would benefit from the social intervention initiative. According to her, the number of beneficiaries would increase based on enrolment level in the schools. The programme Manager explained that the federal government would be providing oversight, technical assistance and fund to strengthen the structures that exist in the states. Adesanmi explained that Ogun State government, with the workshop, would be able to define a state model that will be cost effective and sustainable in the state. She said, “Ogun State would be able to define a state model that will be cost effective and sustainable and inclusive of all stakeholders to roll out the implementation of the school feeding programme. “The FG is providing oversight, they are supporting every state with technical assistance to strengthen the structure that exists in the states, and they are also providing funds to feed pupils in primary 1-3 as a start up. “For this year, it is 5.5 million and with increase in enrolment, we may go beyond that but that is what we plan. There are a lot of factors involved, we have to know how many pupils are in school and that is the first determinant and this workshop would assist us in determining that.” When asked about the threat by some opposition states to pull out of the programme, she said, “We have opposition states as you called them, but we don’t see them as opposition, they are all under the administration of President Buhari. “A lot of them are part of this programme, we have Enugu on our list, we have Taraba, that are already engaged in, and as far as we are concerned, we are all working together to achieve the national goal, we have not had a situation where they want to pull out because it is a federal programme that we are advocating all to key into, for the benefit of the local economy of the state.” While speaking, Governor Ibikunle Amosun said 1,154 public primary schools in the state with about 2, 000 would benefit from the initiative. He also revealed that about 3, 000 women, widow and jobless drawn from across the 236 wards in the as food vendors. He added that, “It’s a well- thought out program because the unemployed would be engaged. All the value chains of the agricultural sector would be involved; poultry producers will sell; the meat sellers will sell their produce and the agriculture sector will generally get a boost. Agricultural produce that often gets spoilt would now be mopped up and more money will come into the purse of the average farmer. “The transport sector would equally be involved. They would convey the food to the schools. Youths would equally get employed. And I think this is a notice to the youths, it’s time to work. You should not be going around asking for jobs again. You should key into this program
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