Accredited food vendors under the Federal Government’s Home Grown School Feeding Programme operating in designated primary schools across Oyo State have commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for the seamless operation of the project.
The vendors, whe were led in a procession to the governor’s office by Miss Toyosi Ajobo, on Monday, expressed gratitude to the All Progressives Congress-led FG for coming up with the novel idea.
The homegrown feeding programme was initiated by the FG in January to provide at least one nutritious meal for pupils in primary 1 – 3 at N70 per pupil, with Oyo as one of the seven pilot states for the first phase of the project.
Apart from helping to reduce hunger in the land, Ajobo said that their finding revealed the programme had caused a remarkable increase in school enrollment across the benefiting primary schools in the state.
She added that the programme had created a good number of jobs for the vendors, as well as farmers in the state and had also assisted to shoulder part of their responsibilities to their wards, whom, she said, were parts of the beneficiaries of the free food.
She said, “We have come to show our appreciation to the federal and state governments for this commendable initiative, which has been a good source of employment for a teeming number of our members.
“As parents, our children are also benefiting from the fully nutritional free food package for the primary school pupils. More of our children are now encouraged to go to school because of this initiative. We thank the government for the smooth running of the programme.
“This has shown that the government has not let us down. They have lived up to the promises they made during election period. We are here from all the local government areas and local development areas of Oyo State.”
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, enjoined the food vendors to always support the government in his determination to enhance the quality of education at all levels in the state.
He admonished the vendors to shun profiteering by not reducing the quality of the food being given to the pupils, warning that monitors from the state and federal agencies would be on the look out for any act of sabotage against the programme.
Adeyemo said, “We welcome your appreciation for the gesture of government towards creating jobs and enhancing educational development through provision of free meals to our primary school pupils.
“We want to charge you to put your conscience into the job. Do not shortchange the pupils by reducing the quality and quantity of the food being served.
“We have monitors from the state and federal agencies that will report anybody that goes against the standards set for you. We shall not hesitate to mete out appropriate discipline to such offenders.”