No plan to stop school feeding programme in Osun –Gov | Independent Newspapers Limited
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No plan to stop school feeding programme in Osun –Gov

Posted: Apr 29, 2015 at 12:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase, Lagos 


Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has affirmed that there is no plan to stop the free schools’ feeding programme popularly refers to as O’MEALS in the state.

The governor said the programme is part of the state’s success stories.

Aregbesola, in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the administration has no plan of stopping any of its policies that have brought laurels to the state let alone put a stop to the school feeding programme.

The Governor debunked the insinuation in a sector of the media that his administration is considering a review of its policy on the free school feeding programme, adding that his government had at no time set up a committee to work out a review of the school feeding programme saying the report is a mere concoction of the writer.

He also noted that the alleged  nine-member  committee reported by one of the Nigeria newspapers to be working on the review of the state’s  school feeding programme for children is not known to the present administration.

It also queried how a responsible government that has improved the economy of the state by feeding elementary school children wake up overnight and scrap a programme that has brought it several awards. According to him, “OMEALs has been one of our most socially impactful programmes.

“We have been able to improve our state’s economy through the school feeding of over 250,000 elementary pupils every school day. The programme has directly employed 3,007 women and over tens of thousands of farmers in the state.

“Osun is attracting local and international attention for implementing an initiative that has not only increased enrolment in its primary schools, but has also provided employment opportunities for farmers, majority of whom are women.”

The governor emphasised that the programme has impacted positively on school enrolment with an increase of 38,000 pupils, representing 25 percent in four weeks of its introduction in the state.

He added that enrolment of pupils increased from 155,318 on May 31 to 194,253 by June 30th 2012, and December 2012, government decided to extend the programme to cover pupils in primaries 1-4 bringing the total number of pupils being fed to over 252,000.

However, he noted that the in-coming All Progressive Congress government at the centre has seen the many benefits of the scheme and is planning to adopt it nationwide.

Aregbesola averred that with Nigeria focusing on a school feeding programme that will boost local food production, create employment and boost enrollment and thereby enhance learning, the scheme has come to stay.