Ogun Begins Implementation Of Free Meal For Pupils

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The Ogun State Government has started the implementation of the APC led Federal Government programme of free meal for primary school pupils. The ceremony for the take off of the programme in the state took place on Monday in the the state capital, Abeokuta.

At the ceremony on Monday, the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said the scheme was part of the Social Intervention Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

READ ALSO: Students In Ogun Plan Mass Action For February 6

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The State Governor, who was represented at the ceremony by his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, said the scheme, tagged the Ogun Home Grown School Feeding Programme, would eventually be implemented in the 1,554 primary schools across the state, with pupils in classes 1 – 3 as beneficiaries of the first phase.

He explained that the programme will start simultaneously in 874 schools in the state during the first phase launched on Monday. The Governor, according to Premium Times report on the ceremony said 2,968 women had been enrolled and trained as food vendors for the programme, out of which 1,381 commenced operation on Monday.

Mr. Amosun according to the report said the other vendors and pupils would be added as soon as documentation issues were resolved. He added that a women‎ empowerment scheme was embedded in the programme.

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School Children

The Governor listed the benefits of the programme as provision of nutritionally-balanced meals to pupils, improved school performance and health status, and boost in school enrollments. Other benefits envisaged were better school retention record, employment GENERATION and poverty alleviation.

Mr. Amosun further said the food items would be sourced locally to enhance the production and income capacities of farmers and suppliers of various products.

Also at the ceremony, the lead Project Manager of the programme in the state, Tinuola Shopeju, said the preparations‎ for the take-off of the programme’s first phase started eight months ago. Mrs. Shopeju, who is the Governor’s Special Adviser for Special Duties, said this was to help achieve the programme standard prescribed by the federal government.

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Amosun

 

“For the eight months, the state government has worked in conjunction with the federal government to achieve the highly detailed standards prescribed for states that would be benefit from this scheme”, she stated.

“In order to achieve this, our governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, set up a multi-sectorial committee which spanned the Ministries of Special Duties, Education, Agriculture, Health, and Community Development to work together on the programme”, she said.

“Today’s flag-off is the culmination of the arduous work put together‎ by this team. We are grateful to the governor for his exemplary vision‎ and drive, which has made Ogun State one of the first states to benefit from the school feeding programme.

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“It will operate through our carefully selected and trained vendors‎ who have been aptly equipped with a strict time table of nutrition foods easily grown in our local environment.”

The ceremony ended with distribution of pack of 23 items including white aprons, white caps, Adire gowns,‎ industrial coal pots, medium and small food warmers were distributed to the selected vendors and the symbolic serving of the food to the students.

Other items distributed to them were cooking spoons, turning sticks, 100-litres drums, iron pails, iron‎ pots, aluminium water basins, water bowls, aluminium sieves, and kitchen‎ knives.

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The symbolic serving of the food to the students were done by the Deputy Governor, Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, and Speaker of Ogun State‎ House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi; among other public officials.

Source: Premium Times

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