Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has denied plans to stop feeding of school children by his administration.
The Governor was reacting to a story published by a national daily where it claimed that the Governor might stop the programme based on the recommendation by labour leaders.
Aregbeshola in a statement made by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the programme, which had attracted commendations, would not be stopped despite the falling of allocation accruing to the state.
Labour leaders, under the umbrella of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, came up with the recommendation of stopping free meal among other suggestions made to the governor on how to increase the state’s internally generated revenue.
The Governor said, “OMEALs has been one of our most socially impactful programmes. How can a responsible government like ours think of reviewing a programme that has been adjudged as one of the best to come out of the country? Does that not stand logic on its head?
“We have been able to improve our state’s economy through the school feeding of over 250, 000 pupils every school day. The programme has directly employed 3,007 women and over tens of thousands of farmers in the state.
“Osun is attracting local and international attention for implementing an initiative that has not only increased enrollment in its primary schools, but has also provided jobs for farmers, majority of whom are women.”
He said that enrollment of pupils increased from 155,318 on May 31 to 194,253 by June 30, 2012, and December 2012
Based on the increase in enrollment, Aregbesola said the government decided to extend the programme to cover pupils in primaries 1 to 4, bringing the total number of pupils being fed to over 252,000.