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FG inaugurates national school feeding programme

By The Rainbow
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The Federal Government is set to roll out a programme.                                                                                                                                                                                               aimed at feeding over 24 million school children at the basic school level with one meal a day from locally sourced foodstuff.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday inaugurated the 'strategic plan' and the national coordinating team for the implementation of the programme on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria's capital.

“The strategic plan runs until 2020 and forms the cornerstone of the nationwide Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme, which when fully realised will provide a nutritious hot meal a day to over 24 million primary school children,” a statement by the Vice President's spokesman said.

Professor Osinbajo said besides feeding school children, the programme was also targeted at creating 1.14 million new jobs.

“Not only will the Home Grown School Feeding programme help our pupils become better students, it will also boost the local economies, and create new jobs along the way,” he said.

Through the programme, the government hopes to attract capital investment to the tune of 980 billion Naira through farm inputs, equipment, agricultural financing and small holder farm development schemes.

“To achieve national coverage, the Federal Government is working in partnership with states and local communities for the successful implementation of the HGSF programme.

“Equally to support the process, the Federal Government is working with key technical partners to capitalise upon global experience and adopt best practices.

“One of such partner is the UK's Imperial College, London's Partnership for Child Development (PCD) which is providing technical assistance to the Presidency,” the statement read.

The forum had in attendance Governors of Borno, Oyo, Osun, Enugu and Kaduna, and other government representatives and stakeholders from all 36 Nigerian States as well as developmental partners.

Besides the strategic plan, the Vice President would also launch the 'Global School Feeding Sourcebook: Lessons from 14 countries', a joint Partnership for Child Development, the World Bank and World Food Programme analysis of national school feeding programmes from across the globe.