Mallam Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna state has adopted the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme known as O-MEALS for pupils in the state primary and junior secondary schools.
The Kaduna version of the school free feeding programme will provide daily meal for 1.5 million pupils across the state.
Flagging off the programme at the Aliyu Makama Road Primary School, Barnawa, Kaduna, El-Rufai said the gesture marked the beginning of a different phase of the Kaduna State Government’s project to expand access to free education in the state.
He noted that the programme would save parents break-time money and empower the women within the community who have been selected as the catering vendors to serve in the various schools across the state.
According to the governor, “Today is a special day in the unfolding of the change agenda the APC was elected to implement. I am moved by the responsibility to implement the school feeding programme for primary school pupils.
”Every school day from today, the Kaduna State Government will be providing a meal for 1.5m pupils. It is an unprecedented undertaking in this state, but one that we solemnly pledged to do when we were campaigning. It is a challenge in terms of its scale, cost and the logistics required to deliver the meals everyday. But our children deserve this, and more.
”In fact, the school feeding programme is directly creating 17,000 jobs for catering vendors, each of whom will need to employ workers to help them deliver.
“Thus there is something for everyone in the School Feeding Programme. In seeking to take care of our children, we are creating jobs, boosting demand and exposing our people to new skills and hygiene standards and providing extra income.
”I urge everyone involved in the programme to discharge their responsibilities with the utmost sense of commitment, transparency and accountability. The monitoring mechanism must be rigorous, and we invite the school-based management committees and Parent-Teacher Associations to review and provide us their observations on the implementation of the programme at the school level.”
Earlier, Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology in the State, Dr. Shehu Usman Adamu, said emergency lines had been provided for callers to access the state free feeding programme.