Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said the Federal Government would not import food to implement the school feeding aspect of its social investment programmes.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke while receiving a delegation of the World Food Programme at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The delegation was led by its Executive Director, Ms. Ertharin Cousin.
Osinbajo said the Home-Grown School Feeding, through which primary school pupils would receive one full meal a day would “energise the agriculture base in the state so that the farmers can benefit.”
Ruling out the importation of foodstuff, the Vice-President noted that the programme would also create jobs, not only for farmers, but caterers, adding that the entire value-chain would be beneficial to the local communities.
He said the school feeding had already started in some states and the impact was being felt, with well-fed students, rise in school enrollment and energised agricultural economies.
He added that the Federal Government would partner with the World Food Programme, a UN agency, in the implementation of the feeding programmes.
“It will be very helpful to look at your best practices, so that we are sure we are on course,” he stated.
Osinbajo emphasised the importance of such partnership because “nutrition is important for school children at that tender age”.
In her remarks, the leader of the delegation, Cousin, commended the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in addressing the plight of Internally Displaced Persons in the North East.
She said the UN agency was interested in partnering with the Federal Government in strengthening the school feeding programme as part of her organisation’s contribution to education.