Reform for the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Nigeria.
The Buhari administration will spend N999 million per day to feed 10 million students across the country, under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP). This was revealed on Tuesday in a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the disbursement modalities for the review cost of feeding the children in National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has created funding averaging N100 per day per student, on a feeding program. This program is intended to reach ten million young students from primary 1-3 and provide their nutritional requirements while attending school. The amount spent would be approximately N1 billion per day.
The federal government cannot do it on its own.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has directed a review of N100 upward review of school feeding funds for children nationwide, which is an improvement from N70 previously. This approval was made known on Tuesday. “Grade A chicken goes for N100, sold for N70. The remaining N30 is meant to cover the cost of other food items and logistical infrastructure such as cold chain management and transportation to ensure a constant supply of fresh egg all year round.
Each school day will be themed, and will provide different food options to the students as their week progresses. Ms Aishatu Digil, is hopeful that this funding will reduce bad practices, and help encourage reform. The National Coordinator, Umar Bindir of the National Social Investment Programme, said that in order for poverty to be abolished, the federal government cannot do it on its own. The initiative must be a collaboration among the federal and state governments, along with the people.
There has been continual assertions of corruption in the program.
Students and their families were content with the former policies, but are grateful that they have reformed and increased spending to N100 per student. It was also suggested by The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, that farming practices should be taught and encouraged on school property, this would mean that the grown produce can be used to further increase the diets and health of the students.
The fund is part of the N500 billion Social Investment Programme launched in 2015 to tackle the high rates of poverty in the country. There has been continual assertions of corruption in the program, but little investigation has been done to confirm these claims. The accused have denied these claims so no intervention has been considered.
Concerns over decisions to provide food during the lockdown.
NAPTAN in 2020 expressed concern over the government’s decision to provide food to school children during the COVID-19 lockdown, arguing that this was a new avenue that corruption was likely to occur. But this claim is loaded, remembering how the globe grinded to a halt due to the virus, many students we’re still depending on that food to get through the lockdown. Yes, the intended purpose for this funding and food was meant for the students, but at that time there were food shortages and many hungry people. Dispersing food to those in need that would otherwise spoil, does not really qualify as corruption.
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