WOMEN CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA SEEKS HIGHER BUDGETARY ALLOCATION FOR SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME
The Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON), a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO)has called on the Federal Government to improve the budget of the Home Grown Feeding Programme to accommodate more public primary school pupils.
Penpushing reports that, the Project Coordinator Olukunle Adeogun made the call at a joint stakeholder engagement, organised by the consortium to appraise the success of the Home Grown Feeding Programme in Ogun State, which has the theme,”Promoting Accountability in the Ogun Home Grown School Feeding Programme”.
The project coordinator explained that the organization has been monitoring the implementation of the Home Grown Feeding Programme in the State,pointing out that the N70 budgeted for feeding of a pupil in a country like Nigeria is no longer realistic and therefore urged the Federal Government to review the amount.
“Our recommendation is that Government must improve the budget. N70 to feed a child this time is very tight, more so that there are changes in prices goods and services. And with the new budget and the increase in VAT. There is likely going to be increase in prices of food stuffs so the issue of N70 may no longer be realistic, government should improve that amount at the moment”, Adeogun said.
Penpushing further reports that, he commended Ogun State Government for implementing the programme well, affirming that the government and other stakeholders handling the programme in the State have been diligently implementing it.
“In Ogun State where we operate, it (Home Grown Feeding Programme) has been successful because we have a team of people at the State level who have been able to interpret the project very well, they have been able to take it along.”
“We (WOCON) have been monitoring all the schools involved for the past two years now and we have seen that they have done due diligence and they have been able to handle it with care and all the attention it deserves under the Ministry of Special Duties’.
The Project Coordinator said,the programme covers about 95 per cent of public primary schools and this had improved the enrollment of children in public primary schools in the State, adding that, about 95 percent of public primary schools are covered by the programme.
‘The few that are not covered yet are maybe because they (FG) are still working on some few things to bring them on board,” Adeogun added.
Penpushing reports that, the Director of Programmes of the body, Morenike Omaiboje, said her Non-Governmental Organisation had also been monitoring the school feeding programme for accountability to ensure that all the stakeholders involved are discharging their duties as expected of them.
Her words, “We are looking out for corruption in any of the area in the programme and when we see any, we report to the government and they tackle it.”