After initial opposition to the scheme, Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has approved the take-off of the Federal Government’s School Feeding Programme for public schools.
Fayose said his administration took its time to study the scheme and found it worthy of implementation because “it is in tandem with its stomach infrastructure policy”.
The governor noted that Ekiti State keyed into the programme following a feedback from government agencies, which studied it.
He said the programme would be benefit pupils as well as other residents.
Fayose spoke yesterday at the launch of the feeding programme and stakeholders’ workshop in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The event was attended by officials of the National Home-Grown School Feeding (NHGSF) from the Presidency.
Fayose, who was represented by Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, said the study conducted by his administration showed the scheme would improve the nutrition of pupils and boost school enrolment.
The governor had vowed that the state will not participate in the scheme because it is allegedly being politicised.
According to him, it was a campaign promise by the All Progressives Congress (APC) during its presidential campaign and it is up to the party to fulfil it.
But the governor changed his position yesterday.
He said: “The study showed the potential of the programme to improve the nutrition status of pupils, increase school enrolment and attendance, energise the local economy and empower certain segments of the population. Above all, we also noted that it is in tandem with our stomach infrastructure policy.
“We have decided to set political differences aside and partner the Federal Government for the benefit of our pupils. Our participation will be a boost to our efforts to restore the glory of education in our state.”
NHGSF’s Team Leader Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi said the programme had been introduced in 21 states.
She said it would improve the health and nutrition of children as well as boost local production of agricultural produce.
Mrs Adesanmi said the scheme had a multiplier effect as it would help pupils, cooks, farmers and create jobs.