Stakeholders in the Federal government initiated Home Grown School Feeding Programme for primary Schools in Ogun State have pleaded with the federal government to ensure its proper scrutiny in order to ensure success of the programme. They recently spoke at a Town Hall Meeting organised for stakeholders in Ogun by Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN) in Abeokuta, the state capital.
CEWHIN, a Non Governmental organisation, the state government employed to monitor the programme is in charge of Abeokuta South, Yewa South and Odogbolu local governments of the state.
The stakeholders who are mostly vendors, teachers, parents, market women, officials of Ministries of Agriculture and Special duties commended the federal government for the school feeding programme said the programme had improved the living standard of women in the society, urging the government to ensure that the vendors are recruited from the community where the schools are based.
Meanwhile ,the stakeholders identified some of the challenges to include absenteesm of vendors, shortage of food, health status of vendors, hygienic condition of serving, protein size, communication gap between vendors and monitoring team among others.
One of the vendors, Omole Imoleayo lamented that the quality of food given to the pupils lacks full protein, adding that some people described the protein inside the pupils food as “size of sim cards”.
Imoleayo therefore urged the federal government to increase the payment to the vendors so as to improve the quality of the food. “Government needs to increase the payment so that the quality of food given to the children will also improve. Some people have described the protein inside the food as size of sim card. Government should do something”.
Also, Rev. Adeyemi Osinubi alleged that some vendors are being recruited in other to destroy the programme by some politicians.
Earlier in her speech, the Senior Programme Officer of CEWHIN, Mrs. ‘Sumbo Oladipo said the purpose of the meeting was to engage citizens, stakeholders on how to ensure full implementation of the programme and also to improve on it.
She said the organisation was saddled with the responsibility of proper monitoring and also to promote accountability and transparency in public expenditure.
Oladipo said CEWHIN had earlier embarked on baseline survey of its catchment areas and its findings and outcomes have been given authorities in charge of the programme.
He commended the FG, saying the initiative has increased the enrolment in schools, pupils health status, women standard among other and therefore pleaded with the federal government to address the challenges facing the programme.
In her reaction, the HGSFP project manager in the State, Mrs. Tinuola Shopeju in her address admitted the challenges raised by the stakeholders and therefore assured that the government would do everything possible to improve the programme.
She revealed that the state had so far engaged 3,009 vendors to serve in schools across the state.
Her words : “We have robust discussion with all the stakeholders. They commend the initiative. The homegrown school feeding is still very active and we will continue to improve and we can only get better “.
” We are the best in homegrown feeding in the country and we will continue to improve day by day”, she concluded.