//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna Northwest Nigeria//
As part of efforts to allow smooth running of free school feeding programme in Kaduna State, the State Government on Thursday met with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs) to chart the way forward.
The CSOs, NGOs and community based pressure groups seem intetested in budget implementation in Kaduna State lately hence the need for ministries, parastatals and agencies of government in the state to partner with them for monitoring.
Declaring the meeting open, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Andrew Nok, said that, the programme would resume in no distant time saying, the programme which hold in the state from January to August in 2016 could not continue due to some challenges which had been addressed.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Adamu Mansur said, the meeting provide avenue for relevant stakeholders to make inputs to ensure the success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Director of Higher Education in the ministry, Mr John Gora, said that, partnership with the CSOs and NGOs was crucial to the success of the programme, particularly in the area of monitoring and evaluation.
He said, “the CSOs and NGOs would play a crucial role in effective monitoring of the implementation of the programme throughout the state. Similarly, there is concern from stakeholders on the need for the programme to cover the first days 1000 of a child.
“The argument is that, once the child missed the nutrients required in his first 1000 days, the crucial stage in the development of the brain, there would be serious health, social and economic consequences”.
Gora further said that, 16,000 vendors would participate in the programme in the state, adding that 13,670 have been captured and BVN verified.
On her part, Ms Abimbola Adesanmi, the Programme Manager, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme hinted that, based on the arrangement, the Federal Government would take care of primary one to three pupils while the state government would take care of primary four to six.
According to her, the meeting provide avenue to synchronized all interventions for the smooth take off of the programme.
“We are in Kaduna State to learn from its experience and lesson learnt being a pioneer of the national school feeding programme.
“We equally want to see how the federal government as well as relevant CSOs and NGOs can support the process with expertise for successful implementation”.