Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says the reintroduction of school feeding programme by the Federal Government in partnership with state governments would attract millions out-of-school children.
He disclosed this at a three-day workshop held at the Western Hall of the State Secretariat, Ibadan, to equip stakeholders with the required knowledge for the success of the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme is part of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme which the federal government is undertaking in partnership with states across the country.
Ajimobi, who was represented by Alhaji Ishmael Alli, the Secretary to the State Government, said that the programme would attract millions of out-of-school children and keep them in class.
“The Federal Government’s decision to revive the school feeding programme is, therefore, a demonstration of its commitment to tackling the problem of malnutrition among school-age children.
“A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there. It allows children to focus on their studies rather than their stomachs and helps to increase school enrolment and attendance,” Ajimobi said.
The governor pointed out that the project would create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for people in the state including farmers, caterers, artisans and feed mills operators, among others.
Mrs Abimbola Adesanmi, Head of the federal government team on the project, re-emphasised the declaration of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who said that the project would attract N980 billion investments, create jobs and boost agriculture.
She highlighted the benefits of the projects to local farmers, artisans, caterers and financial institutions, saying that there is ready market for all farm produce because demand was far higher than what was currently produced.
NAN reports that the workshop was attended by directors of the state ministries of education, health, agriculture, State Basic Education Board, representatives of the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and private sector participants. (NAN)