Ondo State is set to key into the Federal Government’s National Homegrown School Feeding Programme for pupils across the 18 Council Areas of the state.
This followed a two-day strategic stakeholders meeting on the project held between the 7th and 8th June 2017, organised by the Technical team from the Office of the Vice President on how to ensure a hitch-free implementation of this vital campaign promise of the APC led Federal government.
In attendance at the stakeholders meeting were Council Chairmen, Top Bureaucrats from relevant government agencies, Food Vendors, Farmers’ Associations, Youth Groups and Civil Society Organisations among others.
Speaking at the meeting held at the Dome in Akure, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN expressed confidence that the programme will bring about massive job opportunities for the people, and promised to partner the Federal Government for a successful implementation.
Governor Akeredolu who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, stressed that the programme is a testimony of the Buhari led administration’s commitment to its electoral promises.
“I must commend President Buhari for this initiative that will not only alleviate the burden of parents but also increase the nutritional status of our children. We pledge one hundred percent support for the success of this programme” Akeredolu said.
Leader of the Facilitating Team from the Office of the Vice-President, Mrs Titilola Adeyemi-Doro expressed satisfaction with the inputs of participants at the stakeholders meeting as well as what she called profound commitment of the Ondo State Government.
She said preliminary feedback has shown that Ondo is ready to join the at least twenty other states of the federation for the commencement of the second tranche of the programme.
“We have started very well in Ondo State with an impressive turn out of stakeholders. Very soon, the project should commence after we have taken some necessary steps like recruitment of cooks and data coallation for the benefiting children. Also, the state team will embark on peer review visit to states like Osun, Ogun and anambra that have successful implemented the project. I am confident that the programme will be successful in Ondo State.” Adeyemi-Doro said.
The Focal Officer of the programme in Ondo State, Mrs Morinsola Olanipekun commended Governor Akeredolu for keying into the initiative adding that the project will boost local agricultural production, reduce poverty and improve enrollment of pupils into primary schools in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the 18 council areas chairmen, the Chairman Odigbo Council Area, Margaret Alaka expressed their readiness to pursue the programme in a way that everyone will be a direct or indirect beneficiary.
Also, The Chairman of Civil Society Coalition in Ondo State, Franklyn Oloniju and the Director of Child Development in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Niyi Ogunleye expressed hope that the social integration and health status of the benefiting pupils will greatly improve with the school feeding programme.