School feeding programme best way to save children from streets
The Federal Government’s school feeding programme has been described as the best way to save children from roaming the streets and ensure they attend school.
Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments in the office of the Vice President, Mrs. Maryam Uwais who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event, said the national home grown school feeding programme was one of the best government programmes targeted at pupils in primary schools.
She said the programme would ensure that the children’s future was secured while the spate of insecurity and other social vices associated with idleness among teenagers and youths was effectively curbed.
Speaking at the Feed Nigeria Summit held in Lekki, Lagos, stakeholders in Agriculture, she advised governments at all levels and private school operators to adopt school feeding programme to ensure that the future of Nigerian children was safe and secure.
Uwais noted that the programme was deliberately tagged “home-grown” to create value at the local level by raising demands for farm produce of small scale farmers in the communities, while generating jobs for community women who would serve as cooks.
It was also aimed at mopping up the over 11 million children who were out of school by ensuring that they are enrolled in schools as incentive to the family through providing one free school meal per day to their children.
“With this in mind, government is waiting for the actualisation of the dream of having a Nigeria where every child attains primary school education at 100 percent completion rate with improved health and nutritional outcomes.
“Learning from the failures of past national school feeding programmes, the home grown feeding programme was designed to be amenable to the nuances of each state. To this end, states are entrusted with the responsibility of driving the programme and ensuring that optimal results are achieved in their constitutionally mandated spheres,” she said.
Uwais noted that the programme was formally inaugurated in June 2016 as part of Federal Government’s N500bn Social Investment Plan in the Appropriation Act.
“The programme seeks to strengthen communities across the country by increasing school enrolment and completion, improve child nutrition and health, strengthen local agricultural potential and create employment opportunities,” she added.
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