Truth Be Told - The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) is one of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) which was launched in 2016 by the Federal Government to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.
The suite of programmes under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women. The NHGSFP delivers school feeding to young children with a specific focus on increasing school enrollment, reducing the incidence of malnutrition (especially among the poor and those ordinarily unable to eat a meal-a-day), empowering community women as cooks and supporting small farmers that help stimulate economic growth.
Over 8.5 Million Primary 1-3 pupils are being fed daily in over 47, 000 schools across the country. This Programme has improved the quality of life of these young pupils who did not have access to such nutritious meals before now. This scheme is very laudable; for previously, many pupils in public schools in various states of the Federation do not eat to go to school because of the poverty of their parents and guardians. Some of these pupils have become physically weak, sickly and stunted. Incidences of pupils fainting in school because of hunger was also rampant in many public schools. But with the commencement of this programme, such pitiable sights have become a thing of the past.
When fully realised the Programme aims to support states to collectively feed over 24 million school children which will make it the largest school feeding programme of its kind in Africa. The Programme seeks to strengthen communities across the country by:
• Increasing school enrolment and completion. Nigeria currently has a primary school dropout rate of around 30%
• Improving child nutrition and health.
• Strengthening local agricultural economies by providing a school feeding market in which farmers can sell their produce.
• Create employment opportunities with jobs in catering, processing, farming, etc.
Watch Abimbola Adesanmi, Head of NHGSFP as she explains the NHGSFP as well as the Tracking and Feedback Process:
In many states of the country, school enrollment has drastically improved as a result. This programme has also helped to boost the income of our farmers and communities as all the food are locally sourced. It has created thousands of jobs for the well-trained cooks who prepare these meals in very hygienic conditions. The NHGSFP has also reduced the pressure on families to provide food on the table for their children and helped to improve learning outcomes and the health of the children.
Watch the pupils being fed:
Watch the testimonials of pupils whose lives have been changed by the NHGSFP:
The success of the Social Investment Programmes is particularly laudable because despite the limited budgetary releases, the impact is still widely felt in the Nation. We are aware of the grinding poverty of millions of our compatriots especially those in rural areas because of the bad policies and corruption of the past years but the Social Investment Programmes have reversed the trend by rescuing so many poor and forgotten families from hunger and deprivation that have inflicted them for several years.
Watch the testimonial of Rosemary Ignatius, a cook in the NHSGFP in Akwa Ibom state:
Even in the remotest of villages, primary school pupils are benefitting from the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. The Federal Government has done a lot to help the weakest and most vulnerable Nigerians. With more budgetary releases envisaged in 2018 as well as the envisaged improvement in these programmes, more Nigerians would certainly be impacted by these life-changing social investment programmes of the Federal Government.
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