- The proper school feeding programme will restart after the COVID-19 pandemic
- This was revealed by the federal government on Wednesday, August 12, in Abuja
- A report by PAACA has highlighted the experience of beneficiaries of the take-home ration exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown
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The federal government has announced that it will restart the school feeding programme after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was revealed by Dotun Adebayo, special assistant to the president on school feeding, attached to the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.
Adebayo made the comment on Wednesday, August 12, at the launch of the Peering Advocacy and Advancement Center in Africa (PAACA) report on the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in the midst of COVID-19 with a focus on the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
According to him, the exercise carried out during the COVID-19 lockdown was a take-home ration, adding that after COVID-19, “we will go back to normal school feeding programmes.”
He, however, admitted challenges in the programme due to accurate data, saying, “we'll scale up the data collection process to speed up the exercise.”
The presidential aide also reiterated that the programme is currently only in 3 states, for now, across the country.
Delivering his speech at the launch, executive director of PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu, said the group undertook the study in response to the skepticism that greeted the decision of the president to proceed with the modified version of the NHGSFP while schools were closed.
He noted: “This publication presents the findings from the feedback on the implementation of the NHGSFP of this administration during the COVID-19 school lockdown, collated from residents in the 6 area councils of the FCT.
“We set out to determine the effectiveness of the process, transparency and accountability in the implementation of the programme, as executed by the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs, national disaster and social development.”
He then reeled out some key recommendations for consideration by the government. Some of which were:
1. There is a need for government to improve sensitisation in order to ensure wide participation and that all registered beneficiaries of the scheme participate and benefit from the programme.
2. Vouchers should be made available to all participants without discrimination and duplication to some beneficiaries.
3. There should be strict adherence to the standard protocol required in the verification of pupils and standardize the content of food packs.
4. There is also a need for close monitoring of officials responsible for the implementation of the scheme to ensure that food items meant for children are not hijacked by officials and associates.
5. Likewise, there is a need for the federal government of Nigeria to prioritise the establishment of a centralised and comprehensive socio-demographic database to assist the implementation of programmes like NHGSFP in future.
Nwagwu also acknowledged the support of the Department for International Development (DFID) the United Kingdom, through its partner Action Aid Nigeria for providing the financial support in undertaking the study.
“We hope that the details of this report will guide the ministry and government to improve on its processes and deliver quality and more effective implementation exercise in other states of the federation,” he concluded.
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Meanwhile, the organized labour in Borno on Saturday, August 8, inaugurated a Labour Union Anti-corruption Working Group in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The initiative was taken after leaders of the organized labour attended a one-day town hall meeting organised by PAACA, in conjunction with Action Aid, held in the state capital.
COVID-19: FG kicks off school feeding programme in Abuja | Legit TV