By Lucy Osuizigbo
The Lagos State Government said on Friday that the Federal Government’s school feeding programme had yet to take off in the state because of some logistics.
The state government said it was still assessing FG’s N70 feeding rate per pupil which it described as unrealistic, just as it has begun training of environmental officers who would screen the food vendors before the commencement of the programme.
Dr Idiat Adebule, the Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, said this in Alausa at a media briefing to mark the 3rd anniversary of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.
She said there was need for proper planning and assessment to ensure adequate meals for the pupils.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had during 2014 electioneering promised free daily meals for public primary school pupils across the country.
In fulfillment of the promise, the administration in 2016 introduced the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) which has commenced in some states.
The deputy governor said: “’Let me state categorically that the number of students in Lagos State schools is about the students in five to six states put together. We just have to plan properly to ensure no student is left out”.
The Annual Public Schools Census revealed that there are 1016 primary schools, 349 junior and 322 senior secondary schools in Lagos State. There are 480,110 pupils in public primary schools while the junior and senior secondary schools have 337,724 and 229,980 students.
“The Federal Government feeding rate per student is N70 is not realistic. After thorough assessment, we realised that we will need more than N70 to provide adequate meal per student.
‘“I’m happy to announce to you that we have engaged the office in charge at the federal level as well as the State Ministries of Agriculture and Health.
“Last Tuesday, we commenced the training of environmental officers who will screen food vendors to ensure adequate hygiene and prevent any form of infection.
“The process that will kick-start the school feeding programme in the state is ongoing and we will commence soon.
‘“Lagos State is not known for shoddy programmes and we are gunning for nothing but the best.”
Reeling out the achievements of the government in the year, Adebule disclosed that the state government had given out N40 million as car loans to 491 teachers, while N30 million housing loan was also approved for 38 teaching staff members.
On child abuse, Adebule said 57 cases of rape and child abuses were reported and were being handled in different courts across the state.
Also as part of efforts to promote literacy among adults, she said more than 20, 488 adults had been enrolled as at March 2018 with the centres increasing from 250 to 798.
“The Gov. Ambode led-administration is targeting to ensure that 95 per cent of residents can at least read and write.
“Our vision is to be a model of excellence in the provision of quality education for the attainment of self-reliance and the socio-economic development of the state,” she said.