Aregbesola Denies Plan To Stop School Feeding Scheme



Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf aregbesola, has said that he is not planning to stop his administration’s school feeding programme.

The governor stated this in a reaction to a story published by THE PUNCH that he might stop the programme based on the recommendation by labour leaders.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Friday by his media aide, Mr. semiu okanlawon, aregbesola said the programme, which had attracted commendations, would not be stopped despite the dwindling allocation accruing to the state.

The governor had challenged labour leaders to suggest ways through which his administration could generate more fund and the unionists came up with many recommendations, including the stoppage of the free meal to pupils from class 1 to class 4 in Elementary Schools.

Labour leaders, under the umbrella of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, came up with the recommendation of stopping free meal among other suggestions made to the governor on how to increase the state’s internally generated revenue.

The governor said, “OMEALs has been one of our most socially impactful programmes. How can a responsible government like ours think of reviewing a programme that has been adjudged as one of the best to come out of the country? Does that not stand logic on its head?

“We have been able to improve our state’s economy through the school feeding of over 250, 000 pupils every school day. The programme has directly employed 3,007 women and over tens of thousands of farmers in the state.

“Osun is attracting local and international attention for implementing an initiative that has not only increased enrolment in its primary schools, but has also provided jobs for farmers, majority of whom are women.”

He said that enrolment of pupils increased from 155,318 on May 31 to 194,253 by June 30, 2012, and December 2012.

Based on the increase in enrolment, aregbesola said the government decided to extend the programme to cover pupils in primaries 1 to 4, bringing the total number of pupils being fed to over 252,000.

The governor noted that the incoming All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government had seen the benefits of the scheme and had started planning to adopt it nationwide.


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