Acting President receives web portal on school feeding

By Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

Managing Director, Commercial Banking of First City Monument Bank, Mr. Nuru Adam hands over Portal for Home Grown School Feeding Program to the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja

Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has received a web portal developed for the effective implementation of the home-grown school feeding component of the Social Investment Programme, SIP.

The portal, developed and funded by the First City Monument Bank, FCMB, is also to ensure the visibility and accountability in the school-feeding programme.

Professor Osinbajo said the gesture was impressive because the bank and its management considered that the business of government was not to be left to the elected people and some appointed people.

”All of us must be active participants because the consequences for good or for ill affect us all,” he stated.

Professor Osinbajo said what the FCMB did was public spirited and worthy of emulation.

Extremely useful portal
”The portal would be extremely useful because the home-grown school feeding programme is clearly the largest of its sort in Africa…There is no school feeding programme in Africa that matches with Nigeria’s home-grown school feeding programme in size or in complexity.

“We are dealing with literarily millions of school children… because it is a home-grown programme, it has linkages with agriculture and the entire value chain,’’ he said.

According to him, government is not importing food or serving ready-made food for the children, so there are many people, including vendors, cooks and traders, involved in the programme, making it quite a very involved and complex programme to run.

Private participation
Professor Osinbajo said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government assumed a lot of private sector participation in its implementation.

“The participation government expects in the ERGP is not in the in the sense of Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, type of involvement but in terms of thinking through how it could this could be done and real game-changing activities,” the acting President stressed.

The Managing Director of the FCMB, Mr. Nuru Adam commended the home-grown school feeding programme.

Mr Adam said it had improved the nutrition and healthy living of pupils, increased enrolment in schools, boost in agricultural production and its value chain as well as creation of employment opportunities.

Information hub
The portal is an information hub that will help in the remote monitoring and evaluation of the school feeding programme.

“It is easy to use and designed to offer security and convenience in such a manner that it gives data to includes, but not limited to, the number of people employed in the value chain, the money on state-by-state basis, the impact of the programme on agricultural production, overall health and well-being of school children… This would help in the tracking of the programme,” he explained.

Making a presentation on the web portal, the Divisional Head, Bank Tracking, FCMB, Rolayo Akhigbe said the web portal would work as a close circuit of accountability on the teachers part and on the vendors part as the central management system would be monitoring the programme.

Mercy Chukwudiebere