From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group , Action Aid Nigeria, has commended Kaduna State Government for setting up structures to curb corruption in the implementation of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in the state.
The coordinator of the group, Mr Kehinde Arowosegbe gave the commendation in Zaria, at the end of a one-day dissemination meeting with relevant stakeholders.
Arowosegbe said that the bold initiative of the government would tackle the sharp practices that characterised the implementation of the school feeding programme.
He also commended Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for the recent appointment of a Focal Person for the Social Investment Prgramme (SIP) and a Programme Manager for the school feeding programme and other principal officers, domiciled in his office.
“This is the best way to go as we are already feeling the impact of this laudable step toward sanitising the school feeding programme in the state,” he said.
He explained that Action Aid, along with other organisations, had been monitoring the programme under a project tagged: “Promoting Accountability and Transparency in School Feeding (PATS-F)”, funded by MacArthur Foundation.
He said the other organisations were, Connecting Gender for Development, Girl Child Concern, Federation of Muslim Women Association, Women Association and Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance.
He alleged that monies meant for the programme were being diverted through various corrupt practices by some officials and cooks involved in its implementation.
“Arowosegbe expressed optimistic that with a formal structure in place to manage the NHGSFP, all the sharp practices that characterized the implementation of the programme would be addressed.
He said that Action Aid and the other organisations were already building community structures to strengthen community participation and ownership of the programme, for sustainability.
Arowosegbe said that the NGOs had in the past weeks, carried out advocacy visits to traditional leaders in 22 Local Government Areas of the state.
Malam Umar Abdullahi, Programme Manager of the NHGSFP in the state, acknowledged that the government was aware of some of the issues, adding that steps were being taken to address them.
Abdullahi said that the issues had been segmented into different categories for proper response.