© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Ekiti becomes 31st state to enlist on FG’s free school feeding programme
VICE President Yemi Osinbajo was in Ekiti State on Tuesday to flag off the federal government’s Homegrown School Feeding Programme, making it the 31st out of the 36 states in the Federation to be captured in the programme, according to Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s media aide.
The event took place at St. Michael’s African Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital where Osinbajo shared a lunch with the pupils of the school alongside the State Governor, Kayode Fayemi.
VP Osinbajo with Gov Fayemi, eating lunch with pupils of St. Michael's African Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, as he launched the Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the State, the 31st State in the Federation ( Not 30th like earlier posted) pic.twitter.com/DVpjmPymaE
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) May 7, 2019
Osinbajo, while speaking at the brief ceremony, said over 9.3 million primary school pupils are currently benefitting from the free school feeding programme on a daily basis across the federation.
He added that aside from providing nutritious meals to the pupils thereby giving them an incentive to always be in school, the free school feeding programme has also created job opportunities for many Nigerians and reduced poverty.
“The aim of this government is to provide food to our students to make them focused in schools and solve the problem of malnutrition in our children,” Osinbajo said.
“When a child suffers malnutrition in school, the diseases associated with it may cause a serious challenge to our pupils and that is why we are taking care of their health for them to be more regular in schools.
“The federal government has decided to introduce this programme to turn around the agriculture sector by patronising the products of our farmers, who will sell their products in all the schools in their areas.
“9.3 million pupils are benefitting in over 56,506 primary schools across this country. 190,000 farmers are supplying materials, 767 cows are killed weekly and 7.3 million eggs are consumed weekly via this policy.
“Some asked how many jobs will this create? The benefits are unimaginable. But we are sure that we are going to increase the scope of all our social investment programmes, including ‘TraderMoni’ in the next level.”
TraderMoni is another social intervention programme of the federal government which is aimed at empowering petty traders across the country with a soft, non-interest loan of N10,000 repayable within six months and which could grow to N100,000 provided the loanee does not default in repaying the loan.
Responding, Governor Fayemi commended the Buhari administration for its many policies that are directed towards the common man.
The social development programmes of the Buhari administration have so far received positive reviews across the country, though there have been reports of abuses in some states of the federation.
One of such abuses was captured in this investigation that was commissioned by The ICIR, which revealed some fraudulent practices by handlers of the free school feeding programme in Benue, Plateau, and Taraba States in the North Central region of Nigeria.