Nigeria to restructure school feeding programme

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The Nigerian Home-Grown School Feeding Programme received a boost through a partnership between the Federal Government and the Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London. President Bola Tinubu had previously suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks due to alleged malfeasance in its management.

Yetunde Adeniji, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, announced the partnership during a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja. She highlighted that the workshop aimed to launch a Value for Money Study, which seeks to estimate the cost of the programme and assess its multi-sectoral benefits on socio-economic and human capital development.

Adeniji emphasized that the study, sponsored by the Imperial College, would help evaluate the programme’s effectiveness in improving students’ attendance and academic performance. It will also aid in negotiations with international partners, development agencies, and NGOs.

The study will initially be launched in Kaduna and Osun states and subsequently extended to cover one state from each geopolitical zone, eventually encompassing all 36 states by the year’s end. Data for the study will be collected from primary and secondary sources, with the involvement of youths recruited from the states.

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Prof. Lesley Drake of PCD Imperial College, London, will lead a team of local and foreign experts to analyze the data. Adeniji noted that the research would benefit youths by providing employment opportunities and ensuring transparency and accountability in the programme.

Abimbola Adesanmi of PCD Nigeria Office explained that the study aimed to determine the cost of the programme and its benefits to the government. It will assess various factors, including transportation costs, feeding expenses, teachers’ contributions, and infrastructure costs, to improve implementation.

Adeniji further stated that teachers, principals, traditional rulers, and community members would be involved in the programme’s implementation, which would be monitored by state governments. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of the programme are the children.

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