Over $183m invested so far in school feeding programme - Osinbajo

Over $183m invested so far in school feeding programme - Osinbajo

- VP Yemi Osinbajo said the President Buhari-led administartion's school feeding programme has been successful

- The VP said over $183 million has been invested so far in the programme

- He added that over 9 million primary pupils in 26 states are benefiting from the programme

Nigeria’s vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says that over $183 million has been invested so far in the National School Feeding Programme.

Osinbajo made the disclosure in Tunis, Tunisia, in a keynote address at the closing ceremony of the 20th Annual Global Child Nutrition Forum held at Four Seasons Hotel in Tunis.

He said that over nine million primary pupils are benefitting in 26 states already.

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The vice president said that the programme has been, by all accounts, a remarkable success.

He said that by the end of 2018, with more states in the country joining the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, it was set to become the largest school-feeding programme in Africa.

Osinbajo told the 353 delegates and experts from nine countries that the programme is strategic to human capital development.

The delegates include experts in the nutrition industry, United Nations officials from World Food Programme, Global Child Nutrition Fund, the World Bank and other stakeholders.

Osinbajo said that “Nigeria took the decision to embark on a school feeding programme as an important part of our human capital development agenda.

“By tackling the broader issues of eradication of poverty, food and nutrition security, and increasing school enrolment. It is becoming clearer that the 21st century will be defined by knowledge and skills.

“The nations that are best able to present the most knowledgeable and most skilful citizens will prevail in commerce, in science and technology and of course, will enjoy the greatest prosperity and the longevity to enjoy the prosperity.

“Nations that do not invest enough to produce the required level of talent and skills will be left behind; a farther distance than ever before in the history of mankind.

“By 2035, Africa will have 1.2billion people. Over 50% of that number will be young persons under the age of 25. Today, 60% of the unemployed in Africa are young people.”

Osinbajo said at a cost of 0.19 dollars per child per day, a balanced meal was provided for every one of the children as 9,300,892 million pupils in 49,837 public primary schools in 26 states across Nigeria benefitted daily.

According to him, at current numbers, the programme costs $1,767,169.48 per day and over 183million dollars has been invested so far in the programme.

“The programme employs 95,422 cooks, and over 100,000 smallholder farmers linked to the programme, supplying locally sourced ingredients.

“This translates to 594 cattle, 138,000 chickens, 6.8 million eggs, 83 metric tons of fish that are procured, prepared, and distributed each week. As you can imagine, the quantity of starch and vegetables required for this program on a weekly basis is equally impressive”.

He told the audience that the success of the programme in a short time was due to factors such as unequivocal political will, transparency and accountability.

Osinbajo also listed good value for all participants in the value chain, multi-sectoral coordination and strategic partnership with international donors such as Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation and Partnership For Child Development, Imperial College.

He earlier commended the Global Child Nutrition Forum and World Food Programme, for providing such an excellent opportunity for the global school feeding community to come together to share ideas, learn from and inspire one another.

Present at the occasion were Hatem Ben Salem, Minister of Education, Republic of Tunisia; Arlene Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Child Nutrition Fund; Don Burdy, Specialist at World Food Programme/World Bank.

Also in attendance were Daniel Balaban, Director of Centre of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil and other regional representatives of WEF and GCNF, international donors as well as other participants.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed that the federal government had set a target of training 10 million graduates in Nigeria under the N-Power programme by 2023.

Osinbajo made this known in a special lecture he delivered on “The Challenges of Human Development in 21st Century Africa” at Oxford University, United Kingdom.

The vice president maintained that the programme has provided jobs for 500, 000 young Nigerian graduates in the last two years.

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Source: Legit.ng

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