A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) has called on the Federal government to improve the budget of the Home Grown Feeding Programme to accommodate more public primary school pupils.
The call was made at a joint stakeholder engagement, organised by WOCON to appraise the success of the Home Grown Feeding Programme in the State.
The theme of the event was “Promoting Accountability in the Ogun Home Grown School Feeding Programme”.
WOCON has been monitoring the implementation of the Home Grown Feeding Programme in the State.
Speaking to journalists during the event, the project coordinator of WOCON, Olukunle Adeogun, argued 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.
He commended the State government for implementing the programme well, saying the government and other stakeholders handling the programme in the State have been diligently implementing it.
Adeogun said, “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.
According to him, 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.
“The Homegrown School feeding programme cover nearly all public primary schools in Ogun State. About 95 per cent 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.
WOCON Director of Programmes, Morenike Omaiboje, said her NGO 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.
She said, “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.”