Primary school pupils to now receive free meals from Buhari

Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on
Tuesday said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would soon
commence giving primary school children free meals.

The vice president said the free feeding
scheme was a core project of the Federal Government that would in turn
yield about 1.14 million jobs and increase in food production.
Osinbajo said this at the 45th Annual Accountants Conference in Abuja.
He said the government would be investing more in the people, education and job creation.
on the topic “Repositioning Nigeria for Sustainable Development: From
Rhetoric to Performance,” Osinbajo said that the multiplier effects of
the introduction of the school feeding scheme would help to create 1.14
million new jobs; increase food production by up to 530,000 metric
tonnes per annum, as well as attract fresh investments up to N980bn.
He said, “One of the most important
interventions required in the education sector is capacity building to
improve teacher quality.
“This programme is intended to drive
teachers’ capacity development; boost basic education; attract talents
to the teaching profession. Better educated population increases
economic potential for productivity.”
“The All Progressives Congress has made a
commitment to provide one-meal-a-day for all primary school students;
that would create jobs in agriculture, including poultry, catering and
delivery services.”
The vice president decried the high rate
of employment in the country in spite of the fact that Nigeria had
recorded high oil prices, Gross Domestic Product and foreign reserves
during the previous administrations.
This, according to him, has made it clear
that such figures, including a rise in revenue by itself, do not create
jobs or significantly reduce poverty level in the country.
“So, why are most (of our people) poor
despite rising revenues and GDP growth? Our main revenue earners, the
extractive oil and gas economy, do not by themselves create many jobs.
Such is the irony of a top-down economic model; when the major revenue
earner is extractive and the value chain is poorly developed,” he
Osinbajo also said there was need for the
government to improve the power sector and have a one-stop shop for
approvals of investments.
Other areas of focus in the Buhari
economic plan, as espoused by his deputy, are innovation and fighting
piracy; diversification of the economy in the areas of agriculture to
achieve self-sufficiency in rice and wheat (staples) production;
manufacturing; entertainment and technology.
On the power sector, he noted that
“despite the challenges, there have been measurable improvements over
the past three months (June to August 2015).”
He said, for instance, there had been a
26 per cent increase in operational generation capacity (June to August
15, 2015 compared to January to May 2015); decrease in pipeline
vandalism, boosting of gas supply; and a 10 per cent reduction in
transmission losses.
Other achievements in the sector, he
said, included reduction in red tape to remove delays; blocking the
450MW Azura-Edo IPP and the 500MW Exxon Mobil Qua-Iboe IPP; and the
imposition of a September 2015 deadline for the submission of the
DisCos’ revised tariff trajectories.
The vice president said there was no
going back on the Treasury Single Account policy of the Federal
Government, saying the TSA would address issues of non-transparency,
especially among revenue generating agencies.
He frowned at the activities of revenue
generating agencies of government that did not remit funds into the
Federation Account as and when due.
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