The conception of the idea by this current administration during their campaign cycle (Central Gov’t) to float the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme for primary schools (lunch) across the federation never got my admiration despite its forecasted objectives.

With many recycled misconceptions, what many has failed to realize is the programme is that of the FG and so far has empowered over 1.6 million Nigerians through its four components, namely; N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.

Now back to Niger State which is about to flag up the programme which is purported to expend 1.2BN in 20 working days as announced by the State focal person is bogus, unrealistic and outrageous. From the available records, NGS is replicating Kaduna State’s figures with 800,000 pupils, 3,000 primary schs, 70,170 shortlisted vendors. If Kaduna which is considered proactive in-service delivery by their admirers claimed to have spent 10BN in just 8months and had to put the programme on hold, how realistic and far can our dear State go in the long run?

The truth is, many citizens in the state are kicking against the program because it will serve as a conduit pipe for corruption and to enrich few within a short period coupled with little or no results. Upon all the raised concerns, the most descriptive of emerging scenarios that is demeaning and unhealthy to some extent, many thanks to some misfits in the government is the level of low TRUST they have introduced in the minds of many especially with many resources at its disposal.

Now my suggestions:

Since many of the piloted states that have implemented the programme so far has crippled, Niger State should retreat from the programme by seeking for a change of intent from National Social Investment Programme by requesting that the funds earmarked for the feeding be navigated for improving the welfare packages of the selected primary school teachers to complement the effort the state gov’t is doing in the education sector. More efforts are required to keep afloat efficiency through intrinsic motivational packages that will go a long way in translating to huge sense of belongings.

The State government needs to create more room for Building Trust Accounts (From The Book ‘Speed of Trust by S. Covey’), more transparency, accountability and creativity (#Ideas) to justify their programmes for the citizenry. We mustn’t fall for failure especially when indicators are glaring But certainly, 1.2BN in just 20days doesn’t sink in me and is beyond logical reasoning and interpretations.

MD Abubakar
21st Sept. 2017

Abdulazeez Author

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