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NIGERIA COAT OF ARM

Ministry trains CSOs, NGOs on monitoring school feeding

Participants at the training

By Jacinta Nwachukwu

 The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD) has trained members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on school feeding programme monitoring.

Speaking at the capacity building in Abuja on Monday, Dr Grace Dafiel, the facilitator of the programme said that the aim of the training was to ensure effective accountability and sustainability of school feeding programme.

“The essence of the training is to ensure that CSO/ NGO capacity is built to be able to monitor the National Home-Growth School Feeding programme.

“This is to help us understand how we can institutionalise the programme which is one of the four clusters of the social protections programme under the ministry.

“The CSOs involvement means that a lot of advocacy work is going to go into it, especially at the community level for the community participation ownership.

“As well as ensuring sustainability even if all odds are there, you know the government cannot do it alone, there is a need for the CSOs to come on board,’’ Dafiel said.

She said that after the training, they would come up with strategies that would ensure sustainability.

“Give life to the programme as well as ensure that the programme is executed in a transparent, open and accountable manner.’’

Similarly, Mr Salaudeen Hashim, one of the participants, said that building the capacity of the CSOs was very crucial as they were the ones closest to the communities.

Hashim said that one of the key gap noticed in the programme was stakeholders’ coordination, saying that the training would go a long way in breaching the gap.

“This is actually a stepping stone as it will encourage stakeholders’ participation.

“It is also important to remove the issue of politicisation of the programme.’’

He also expressed concern over the number of out of school children in some parts of the country, saying that currently 9.8 million children were already benefiting from the programme.

“While there are still about 10.5 million out of school children in the North east, it is very necessary to get more people to enrol and participate in school feeding programme.’’

Mrs Ijeoma Nnaji, the Executive Director, Youth Child Support Initiative, Enugu, said that the programme was a good innovation.

Nnaji said that partnering with the CSOs would aid effective monitoring of the programme at the community level and ensure accountability.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the capacity building workshop under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was organised for the CSOs and NGOs across 34 states. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Nick Nicholas/Grace Yussuf