Again, Lagos shifts commencement of School Feeding Programme
After four years of incoherent implementation of the a-meal a-day programme of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for pupils in primary schools across the country, the National Home-grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP) announced the programme would resume in September while Lagos was to commence the exercise for the first time.
But, that was not to be, as Lagos State has now fixed October for the flag-off.
The Public Relations Officer of Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr. Kayode Sutton, said: “In fairness, we ought to have started it in September. It is in the offing. We hope to kick off in the next one or two weeks. We are working on it. The Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has given approval and modalities are in place. We must get it right. We must not fail, and this is Lagos with its high population…”
On the number of pupils the project intends to cater for, he could not provide a figure, because he did not have it. But, he said, even if the state began with a pilot scheme, it must be something acceptable to everybody, considering the population of pupils in Lagos.
An employee of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian the programme would begin in October, though he was not able to provide the number of schools and pupils that would benefit.
A-meal a-day project is a joint venture between the Federal Government (FG) and the states. The FG is expected to provide 60 per cent of the funding, while the state government provides 40 percent of the cost.
So, it was not surprising when in a tweet on August 23, the National Home-grown School Feeding programme said the a-meal a-day project would start in Lagos in September. The tweet, which has four photographs, said: “Presently in Lagos, the Lagos State Technical Committee is meeting with pre-selected cooks at the six education district levels for a sensitisation meeting. This is to prepare for the commencement of the school feeding programme in Lagos State in September.”
There are about 500,000 pupils in Lagos public primary schools and the school feeding project is targeted at pupils in primary school.