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Kwara School Feeding Programme Starts In January

The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq says the National Home-grown School Feeding Programme will commence in January.

 

The Governor spoke in Ilorin at the hand-over ceremony of the feeding utensils to the state focal person Hajia Bashirah AbdulRazaq by officials of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development that coordinates the scheme.

 

AbdulRazaq said the project represents another milestone in the administration’s catalogue of achievements.

 

“Today again represents a milestone in the strides of the Otoge administration. Since coming on board, we have worked hard to enlist Kwara in this laudable and hugely beneficial programme,” he said.

 

“The school feeding programme began a few years ago. Until today, only Kwara and another state were absent from the list.”

 

Represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Mamman Saba Jibril, AbdulRazaq said his government had to relaunch the implementation committee for the programme in 2019 because the former administration failed to do it.

 

He said the programme will reduce malnutrition, improve school enrollment and boost the state’s economy.

 

“A multi-sectoral committee the former administration set up in 2017 to implement the programme in Kwara State made no headway because of lack of political will. It died a natural death until we came on board in 2019 and relaunched the committee back to action,” he recalled.

 

“I’m therefore glad that Kwara is today joining 34 other states of the federation to key into this strategic programme. Under this initiative, pupils from primary 1 to 3 across Kwara State will get a nutritious meal per day.

 

“Apart from the significant effects it has in reducing malnutrition, the programme has been tested to greatly improve school enrolment, retention rate, and boost learning outcomes. It also comes with huge and inclusive economic benefits for the state.

 

“Hundreds of vendors have been engaged while ingredients for the nutritious meals are to be sourced from local farmers, produce associations, and retailers. From this programme alone, thousands of jobs will be created with tremendous trickle-down effects on the local economy and general well-being.”

 

The Governor commended the Federal government especially the Minister and the state agencies for their commitment.

 

At the ceremony were the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiyyah Umar Faruq, represented by Mrs Sefiyat Sanni; representative of the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Poverty Alleviation, Alhaji Muhammad Bawa; representative of the Kwara First Lady and Commissioner for Communications Mrs Abosede Buraimoh; Special Adviser to the Governor on Strategy Sa’ad Salau; Special Adviser on Political Abdullateef Alakawa; Special Adviser Political Communication Bashir Adigun; and Chairman Kwara SUBEB Prof Sheu Raheem Adaramaja.

 

Mrs Sefiyat Sanni, who stood in for the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, said the programme is designed to address poverty, boost school enrollment, nutrition and economic activities across the nation.

 

She said the Ministry has deployed technology-supported monitoring systems to enable it to know how the programme is being implemented and the areas that need intervention and amendment.

 

“This intervention is part of our activities for onboarding Kwara State into the National Home-grown School Feeding Programme. Come January 2022, we expect to return to Kwara state for an official launching of the scheme,” she said.

 

“It is our fervent hope that once the programme commences these items are put to the use they are provided for so that the target school children can benefit more.”

 

Sefiyat, thereafter, led her team to Government House Ilorin on a courtesy visit, where he told Governor AbdulRazaq that the Ministry was impressed by how the state is efficiently handling the federal government’s conditional cash transfer in the state.

 

She cited how AbdulRazaq came to the aid of the Agidingbi women — a community in Irepodun local government that used their cash transfer money to build a school for their children.

 

Bawa said the National Assembly, through its oversight duties, would continue to assist the Committee to evaluate the results of the programme, noting this will help achieve the set objectives.

 

Mrs Bashirah AbdulRazaq, the state focal person for the project, said the handover of the utensils to the state is a clear demonstration that the state is now enrolled on the scheme.

 

She thanked the Governor for facilitating the inclusion of Kwara, describing it as a befitting platform to enrich the health of the school pupils and create employment opportunities for thousands of youth and women.

 

Prof. Adaramaja, in his goodwill message, said the SUBEB will constitute a monitoring team that will be able to provide updates on how the engaged people handle the feeding programme, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure that the government achieves the goals.

 

Source: Voice of Nigeria