Speaking at an event showcasing the achievement of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) , the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo said the Nigerian government was determined to actualize all the promises it made to Nigerians.
Nigeria’s Acting Pesident, Professor Yemi Osinbajo also said N-SIP and whatever else the government is doing for its citizens to alleviate poverty is not a favour but a right that all Nigerian citizens should demand.
The event, which took place at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa was in commemoration of the second anniversary of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The Acting President said President Buhari was very concerned about the plight of Nigerians and is doing everything possible to make life better for them. He said government’s achievements in the past two years were there for everyone to see. Professor Osinbajo noted that the youth have a special place in the life of the Buhari administration because they are the future of the country.
Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said the Social Investment Programme was meant to lead Nigerians out of poverty.She said the programme would be institutionalized, to enable more Nigerians benefit it now and in the future. Mrs Ahmed expressed optimism that the programme would succeed because it was designed to do so.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the current administration had achieved a lot despite the battered economy.
The Information Minister noted that the country’s foreign reserves, excess crude account and sovereign wealth have all increased under the leadership of President Buhari.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments Mrs Maryam Uwais said the programme was a tool for taking Nigerians out of poverty.The Special Adviser said all Nigerians deserve a better condition of living thus the efforts being put in place by government to enable the programme succeed.
National Chairman of the governing party, the All Progressives Congress, Mr John Odigie Oyegun said the APC has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria, as he pledged that the government will be more focused on the Social Investment Programmes.
On his part, Senate Minority Leader, Mr Godswill Akpabio, who expressed delight at the invitation of the minority to be part of the programme, pledged the support of the Senate for the Social Investment Programme.Having endorsed the programme, Senator Akpabio commended the Nigerian government for the laudable initiative of introducing the Social Investment Programme.
Some of the beneficiaries of the Social Investment Programme who spoke at the event, thanked government for making their lives better as they testified that they needed no connection from anyone before they were enrolled into the scheme.
The well attended event had members of the federal cabinet and the diplomatic corps as part of the audience.
The Social Investment Programme, which kicked off at the end of 2016, has the Home Grown School Feeding programme, the N-Power and the Conditional Cash Transfer among others as its components.
Its main aim is to alleviate poverty among Nigerians especially the less privileged and beneficiaries are already telling the stories of how these initiatives have given them a fresh start in their lives. N-sip (the sip) is the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of nigeria, with more than 1 million beneficiaries so far
Home-grown school feeding programme (hgsfp). pupils are currently being fed one meal a day across seven states through the home-grown school feeding programme in 8,587 schools across seven states.
Spotlight On Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP)
Home-grown school feeding (HGSF) is a school feeding programme that offers food produced and purchased within a country.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) HGSF particular focus is to produce and purchase food for the school feeding programme from local small-scale farmers.
In 2003, African governments, in their aim to restore agricultural growth, food security, adequate nutritional levels and rural development in Africa, endorsed the HGSF programme of the Comprehensive Africa Development Programme (CAADP). In 2003 the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) identified HGSF as having an immediate impact on food insecurity in Africa with the potential to contribute to long-term development goals.
The United Nations 2005 World Summit recommended ¨the expansion of local school meal programmes, using home-grown foods where possible¨ as one of the “quick impact initiatives” to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially for rural areas facing the dual challenge of high chronic malnutrition and low agricultural productivity (World Summit Outcome, 2005; UN Millennium Project, 2005a).
Finally, the African Union Special Food Summit, in December 2006, reaffirmed the HGSF initiative and resolved that the implementation of HGSF must be expanded to reach at least 20 percent of member states by 2008.
Motivated by NEPAD, the United Nations World Food Programme, (WFP) and the Millennium Hunger Task Force (MHTF) launched a pilot Home-Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP) designed to link school feeding to agricultural development through the purchase and use of locally and domestically produced food. NEPAD and WFP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation on HGSF, among other things.
Twelve pilot countries (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia) were invited to implement the novel programme. So far, three of them have produced specific plans and two (Ghana and Nigeria) are already implementing a nationwide programme.
Many governments, including Angola, Ghana, and Nigeria, have stated that every child attending public school should benefit from school feeding. Using this approach, the potential demand for school feeding is the total number of children enrolled in primary school, which in Africa is 114 million children (UNESCO, 2007 estimate).
Success with the project in Ghana and Nigeria has been emulated outside Africa by countires like Brazil and Chile however practical issues remain. These include but are not limited to assuring minimum nutritional standards are maintained, maintaining a continuous supply of food to schools, ensuring food quality and safety, countering corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency, reducing costs of procurement from small-scale farmers, preventing price increases, protecting farmers’ own food stocks, protecting crop diversity,avoiding increasing the community’s work load, avoiding distracting teachers from other responsibilities, transporting food to food-insecure areas, facilitating institutional coordination and balancing costs and benefits
Based on NEPAD recommendations, most African countries use a decentralized, or bottom-up, approach that relies heavily on local structures. Decentralization allows greater room for creative, albeit informal, implementation that better responds to local needs and contexts, which in turn may foster local community involvement vital to successful HGSF.
Nigeria’s decentralized, informal procurement system, for instance, allows each school management committee to purchase foodstuffs and develop menus that reflect local dietary patterns and traditions. Such services are better able to use locally adapted technologies, support coordinated community action and promote partnerships. Decentralization may indeed provide an impetus for a radical overhaul of school feeding programmes.
In many decentralized HGSF programmes, implementation is delegated to regional or local governments (e.g. in Ghana, India and South Africa), or even to individual schools (e.g. in Nigeria and Thailand). HGSF presents added burdens of local food procurement to these regional or local entities already strapped for resources. In India, many states and schools lack some of the most basic infrastructure requirements, such as water supply, kitchen sheds, storage facilities and utensils.
Many of the funding issues and solutions that emerge in HGSF programmes are similar to those of school feeding programmes. Experiences from the latter may prove to be useful in the context of HGSF.
School feeding programmes are funded in a variety of ways. Brazil, Chile, India, Nigeria and South Africa implement self-funded school feeding programmes. In other countries, financing packages for school feeding programmes combine international and national funding, where the donor-funded element may be in the form of cash or in-kind donations.
Nigeria’s implementation has been no stranger to nearly all the issues highlighted, but on balance, has been a huge success.