45,518 pupils fed under Ogun Govt school feeding programme- Official



Mrs Adenike Esiet, Executive Director, Action Health Incorporated (AHI), says 45,518 primary school pupils were fed under the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) within 25 days.

Esiet made this known on Thursday in Abeokuta, at the AHI presentation of the Ogun School Feeding Data Tracker to Ogun Government.

She said that 45, 518 out of the 52, 943 enrolled pupils in primary one to three from 341 schools in four local government areas of Ogun were fed under the HGSFP.

According to her, AHI, through funding from the MacArthur Foundation, worked with the Ogun Government to develop and test strategies that could contribute to more transparent government processes to mitigate corrupt practices.

She said that the partners, through citizen-led advocacy and monitoring developed the school feeding data tracker.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the school feeding data tracker uses digital information technology to facilitate efficient monitoring of the school feeding activities, while creating greater accessibility and visualisation of data.

The real-time and user-friendly platform would enable communities to send school feeding monitoring information for central reporting, thus facilitating faster decision making on the programme.

The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme is an intervention of the Federal Government aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils.

It uses farm produce locally grown by small holder farmers to provide children nutritious mid-day meals on every school day.

Esiet said that the school feeding data tracker was currently used in AHI’s four project local government areas (Ado-Odo in Ota, Ifo, Ijebu-Ode and Sagamu area of Ogun).

She said that 306 schools had submitted data on the platform since the beginning of feeding in May.

Esiet said that 765 reports were submitted from the four LGAs in seven days.

She said that the tracker would reduce time and resources spent on paper processing and travel around the state for routine data collection.

According to her, the tracker will facilitate efficient processing, analysis and reporting of school feeding performance data.

She added that the communities would be empowered to report duty bearers’ performance, use of resources and obligations to uphold their promise to provide meals to public primary school pupils.

Esiet said that this would foster a culture of accountability to the intended beneficiary communities.

She said if fully adopted by the government, in collaboration with the citizens, the innovation has the capability to greatly enhance monitoring of the school feeding programme across over 1,500 public primary schools in the 20 LGAs of Ogun.

“We at AHI, feel honoured for the opportunity to collaborate with the state government to create a new outlook to accountability in government programming.

“We appreciate all the supports the government has afforded us to get the tracker up and running,” she said.

Earlier, Mr Femi Ogunbanwo, the state Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, said that the feeding programme was introduced by the government to improve the diet, nutritional benefits and health of primary school pupils.

Ogunbanwo saidd that without effective monitoring and accountability, the purpose of the programme would not be achieved.

He commended AHI for developing the tracker, adding that it would strengthen transparency and accountability in the programme. (NAN)