Pupils in Kwara State are to start benefiting from the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme of the Federal Government this year.
Beneficiaries of the one – meal per day programme are pupils in primary one to four during school hours.
The Focal Person of the Federal Government Social Intervention Programme, Chief Ayobola Samuel who disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital while answering questions on a Radio Kwara personality interview programme ,Playing Host, said the pilot scheme had commenced in sixteen states of the federation.
Chief Samuel who is also the Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, said the programme would among other things improve school enrollment and completion, curb the current rates from primary schools and reduce child Labour and as well reduce child nutrition and health.
He added that the one-day meal per day would also create multiplier effect on the local economies in communities where the schools are located.
Answering another question, the Focal Person said the Job Creation and Empowerment programme of the Federal Government known as N-POWER is also meant to tackle poverty among the youth, the vulnerable and the elderly in the country
According to him, five thousand, five hundred and fifty nine (5,559) unemployed graduate in Kwara state have already been engaged in the scheme and would soon be redeployed to their various places of assignment which are in the health, agriculture and education sector while their allowances of thirty thousand Naira (N30, 000,00k) would be paid to them before the end of this month.
The Permanent secretary also disclosed that ten thousand , eight hundred households in the state have started benefiting ten thousand Naira each from the cash transfer programme of the Federal Government across three hundred and sixty communities in twelve lac all government area of the state while the remaining four local government would be captured soon.
Chief Ayobola Samuel said about two hundred and twenty million Naira would be injected monthly into the economy of Kwara State with the two empowerment programme of the federal government adding that the poorest people in various communities were also identified and paid five thousand Naira monthly.
The Focal person assured that the people of the state would benefit from other empowerment programmes of the Federal Government such as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programme (STEP) designed for indigent students in higher institutions and the Government Entrepreneurship and Empowerment programme (GEEP) where market women and small scale farmers can be assisted with loans ranging from ten to two hundred thousand Naira.
He dispelled the claim in some quarters that some beneficiaries of the programmes were favored and declared that the selection of all the successful candidates were transparently carried out in the state devoid of political interpretation and assured all those that were yet to be chosen of more opportunities this year.
Chief Ayobola Samuel who is the longest serving permanent secretary in the State and the District Governor-Elect of Lions Club International described the civil service as the engine room of government but said the greatest challenge civil servants now face in the discharge of their duties is the dwindling economy which had led to decay in infrastructure.
He , however commended civil servants in the state for keeping the job going despite daunting challenges and praised the kwara State governor , Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed for his resolve to renovate the indoor sports hall of the Kwara state indoor sports hall which has already been budgeted for