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OPINION: Is Federal Government Really Addressing Food Insecurity Through Its School Feeding Programme?



School feeding

School feeding

The Nigerian federal government introduced the School feeding programme in 2016 by the President Mohammed Buhari led administration as one of the five hundred billion naira Social Investment Programme which was estimated to provide about 1.14 million jobs for people living in the country.

Since the commencement of the programme, several reactions have been made by several organizations and corporate bodies living in the country on the efficacy of the programme in tackling the challenges of food insecurity in the country.

One thing that baffles Nigerians was how the programme was continued by the federal government even during the lockdown when all schools were closed down during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It came as a surprise when the federal government gave an account of how much has been spent on the programme even when all pupils were at home.

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Different opinions have emanated which mostly are not in support of this, as prices of food items keep skyrocketing on daily basis, making life uncomfortable and unbearable for the people living in the country most especially with the closure of the country’s borders against the importation of food items.

School feeding

Information given by the government concerning the amount spent daily was said to be about six hundred and seventy nine million naira (N679 million) and about thirteen point five billion naira (N13.5billion) are spent in a month across the thirty-one states with the FCT included.

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Some of the groups and representatives that have aired their views on the matter are; the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), major stakeholders in the education departments, parents and many more.

The NANS is of the programme is continued during the lockdown was not realistic as it has not sure way of distributing the food to pupils at home and thereafter suggested that parents should be taken care of as this will in turn cater for the pupils in their various homes. The NUT stated that such programme can not thrive in lockdown as the logistics needed to get the foods to various homes won’t be Nigerians.

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People live and sometimes die of hunger presently in Nigeria as food items are becoming unaffordable on daily basis.

I believe instead of the school feeding programme implemented by the government, the country borders should be opened to importation of foods so as to suppress the high cost of food materials in our markets as the programme does not even cater for all the children in the country let alone the whole populace.

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