By Ahmed Shobiye, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has stated that the state government has recruited 2,968 women as food vendors for the Federal Government Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Amosun disclosed this on Monday in Abeokuta at the formal launching of the programme designed to provide one free, hot and nutritious meal per day for pupils in classes one to three in the nation’s primary schools.
The programme is one of the five social intervention programmes of the federal government to assist and empower vulnerable Nigerians.
The governor was represented at the ceremony by his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga who commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for partnering state governments in feeding Nigerian pupils.
The governor noted that the initiative would ensure increased access, enrolment, attendance, retention and completion in our schools.
“There is a serious need to ensure the well-being of the pupils in the primary schools. Qualitative education and the well-being of the pupils are two sides of the same coin that any responsive government must take seriously.
“We will always say that education of the youths guarantees the future of any society; but we must also remember that only healthy body can make whatever knowledge received meaningful and of positive impact in the future. In fact, you cannot teach a hungry child,” he said.
Besides, Amosun explained that the programme would enhance the state’s employment generation and poverty alleviation policy.
“There is no doubt, this is an intervention designed to eradicate poverty in our households as the women will make additional income from taking on catering businesses in their communities. This can be done on weekends and when schools are not in session,” he said.
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, who commended the federal and state governments for the programme, also called for its sustenance.
The Programme Manager, Ogun Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Mrs Tinuola Shopeju, said that the programme would take off on Jan. 31 in 874 of the 1,554 public primary schools in the state.