Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described the Federal Government National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) as an initiative capable of stimulating the nations’ economy and combating unemployment.
The governor stated this, on Wednesday, while declaring open a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Abeokuta.
“This program is like using one stone to kill several birds. Feeding primary school pupils in the country has the potential to turn around the economy,” Governor Amosun said.
He added that, “It’s a well-thought out program because the unemployed would be engaged. All the value chains of the agricultural sector would be involved; poultry producers will sell; the meat sellers will sell their produce and the agriculture sector will generally get a boost. Agricultural produce that often gets spoilt would now be mopped up and more money will come into the purse of the average farmer.
“The transport sector would equally be involved. They would convey the food to the schools. Youths would equally get employed. And I think this is a notice to the youths, it’s time to work. You should not be going around asking for jobs again. You should key into this program.
“This program will also make our children stronger. When you feed pupils from primary school, you are trying to ensure a generation of healthy youths.”
Governor Amosun said the program would commence in the state in September, stressing that pupils in Primary 1 to 3 would kick-start the program, while those in Primary 4 to 6 will be considered later.
Senator Amosun revealed further that unlike other previous national programs, the NHGSFP would be a practical one involving the three tiers of government.
“It won’t be a solely Federal Government program; all the tiers of government would be involved. Even our people at the ward level would be involved,” he said.
The governor explained that, “We won’t bring anything from outside the ward the school is located. Everything will be localised. The foodstuff would be bought locally. The food vendors would be those from the wards. Nothing would come from outside the ward except those items that can’t be produced in that ward.”
In a goodwill message at the event, the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, urged youths to key into the program and embrace farming, stressing that there is a ready made market for the end product.
The Program Manager of the NHGSFP, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi, in her remarks explained that the program is a key part of the campaign promises of the President Muhammad Buhari administration.
The State Focal Person for the program and Ogun State Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Adeleke Adewolu, in a welcome address, said about 200, 000 pupils drawn from 1,554 public primary schools would benefit from the program in Ogun State.