The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) is a federal government-initiated school feeding programme that aims to improve the health and educational outcome of pupils in public primary schools in Nigeria. The programme, which successfully took off in many states, was fraught with challenges in some states before the Covid-19 pandemic brought it to a halt following the lockdown. While some states have resumed or are trying to, others see it as a mission that cannot be accomplished, especially with inherent challenges.
According to the initiators of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the primary objectives of the programme are to increase enrolment rates of primary school children in the state; improve the nutritional and health status of school children; stimulate local agricultural production and boost the income of farmers by creating a viable and ready market via the School Feeding Programme, and also provide empowerment opportunities for women, thereby improving family and local economy.
So far, the programme has received both commendations and criticism from stakeholders and members of the public.
In Imo State, the programme appeared to have been stopped in most primary schools in the state while it was never implemented in the majority of them.
For instance, at the Central School Abba, in Nwangele Local Government Area of the state, our correspondent learnt that the programme stopped sooner than it started.
A source in the school told our correspondent that two women were designated to supply food to the pupils, but it was gathered that they stopped after they were owed some money.
At the neighbouring State Primary School Ogwuaga, authorities of the school said that the programme was introduced during the tenure of Governor Rochas Okorocha, but was stopped when Emeka Ihedioha stepped in.