Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday launched the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in Edo State to provide free meals for children in public schools in the state.
During the launch of the programme at Eyaen Primary School in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the state, Osinbajo said the NHGSFP feeds 9.3 million children in 49,937 public primary schools in 27 states, including Edo.
Earlier, state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who received Osinbajo at Western Boys High School in Benin-city, thanked the vice president for the visit, and commended him for the Social Investment Programme, which he said has added value to the lives of Nigerians.
In his speech, Osinbajo noted that the programme employs 94,422 cooks while over 100,000 small-holder farmers are also linked to the programme.
The vice president said in feeding the children across the country, 594 cows are slaughtered, 138,000 chickens killed, and 83 million tonnes of fish used in preparing the meals.
He said the NHGSFP is part of the federal government’s Social Investment Programme which is one of the largest safety net programmes in Nigeria.
According to him, “N-Power employs over 500,000 graduates and 200,000 non-graduates across the country. Two million people benefit from our Micro Credit Scheme which includes Tradermoni and Marketmoni. This will be expanded to the next level to enable more Nigerians benefit from it. We will be able to reach five to 10 million Nigerians.”
The vice president said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been able to achieve these because it has fought corruption to secure the country’s resources and develop it.
Speaking on the impact of the Social Investment Programme, Obaseki said the programme has provided an opportunity for vulnerable families to feed and send their children to school.
He explained that the NHGSFP would be linked to the Edo basic education sector transformation programme to bring out the best in school children, and thanked President Buhari and Osinbajo for the initiative to feed children in schools.
“This is a new dawn in Edo State that is ensuring that our children in schools across the state are not malnourished,” he added.