Posted on Wed 11 Oct 2017, 08:37 AM

Oludayo Tade, Ibadan

A study from the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) has shown that the School Feeding Programmes initiated by the Federal Government have impacted positively in school enrollment, attendance and retention across the country.

The study also stated that this has reduced the school drop-outs to the barest minimum.

This was the highlight of a presentation by the Social and Governance Policy Research Department of the Institute at this month’s NISER Research Seminar Lecture Series held on Tuesday.

Specifically, the study indicated that the implementation of the School feeding Programme has increased household enrolment in public primary schools in the North-East to 61.7% followed by South-West with 61.4%, North Central with 53.3%, North West with 53.2 and the FCT with 52.4% respectively.

“The study further shows that the implementation of School feeding Programme has affected the development and health of the pupils in the community as indicated by 62.2%, 58.6%, 43.0%, 41.3%, 39.7%, 32.5% and 27.8% of the respondents in North West, FCT, North East, South West, South South, North Central and South East respectively,”.

In the presentation entitled “Prospects and Challenges of the Primary School Feeding Programme in Nigeria” by Mr. Audu Wadinga, the research team submitted that development intervention such as the School feeding Programme that target children are tools for eradicating chronic hunger and lifting poor households out of poverty trap.

He noted that “By investing in the health and nutrition of school-age children, a country can increase the human capital of its younger generation and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development”.

While noting that the programme is widely accepted and perceived by the public as relevant and are expectant that the programme would reduce the level of poverty of many households in Nigeria if truly implemented, the study attributed the failure of the initial programme in 2005/2006 to “instructional bottlenecks, lack of adequate and timely release of funds, inadequate monitoring and evaluation, poor logistics and infrastructural supports and lack of legal and policy framework”.

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