The Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN) is a registered not-for-profit organisation that promotes improved quality of life through empowerment strategies and programmes that enable individuals to actualise their rights. With the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CEWHIN is monitoring the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP), an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with the Ogun State Government to serve free lunch to pupils in primary 1 – 3 in government primary schools across Ogun State. In implementing this monitoring project, CEWHIN is working in 3 local government areas in Ogun State: Abeokuta South, Yewa South and Odogbolu. CEWHIN will monitor the implementation of this programme in 40 schools that were selected randomly.
CEWHIN’s Transparency and Accountability Project builds on the Anti–Corruption agenda of the present administration. It is a three-year project, and one of MacArthur Foundation supported projects under its ON Nigeria project. The ON Nigeria project seeks to “promote an atmosphere of accountability, transparency and good governance in Nigeria by reducing retail corruption and strengthening Nigerian-led anti-corruption efforts”.
The Transparency and Accountability Project is designed to promote accountability in public expenditure in the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Program. It is also aimed at mobilizing and equipping civil society and members of the public with skills for constructive engagement with the institutions of government in demanding accountability.
To achieve this goal, CEWHIN intends to: support the government of Ogun State in ensuring that beneficiaries of the HGSFP get the value of monies committed to the programme; ensure that leakages in government expenditure are plugged; and ensure that absenteeism, inefficiency, inequity, ghost workers, delays and leakages are reduced to the barest minimum. The project seeks to: enhance transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public resources, promote access to quality, effective and efficient services by primary school pupils in Ogun State. During the life of the project, CEWHIN will build the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) and School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) for monitoring the HGSFP and other programmes of government that they may come in contact with.
A major step towards the successful implementation of the project is the organization of the project kick-off meeting held at MITROS RESIDENCES in Abeokuta on Friday 13th April 2018. The essence of the meeting was to create awareness about the project among key stakeholders. In attendance were dignitaries from different organisations across the country, including agencies of government in Ogun State; the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties; Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, the programme manager of the Ogun State Home Grown School Feeding Programme; Mrs. Tinuola Shopeju; Amina Salihu, Senior Programme Officer, MacArthur Foundation; Mrs. Egunjobi of the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) etc. Other stakeholders within the 3 local government areas where
CEWHIN’s project is being implemented were also invited to the meeting. These stakeholders included: head teachers of the schools benefitting from the Ogun Home Grown School Feeding Programme, food vendors engaged by Ogun State government to supply cooked meals to the pupils, representatives of Parents Teachers Associations, representatives of Schools Based Management Committee (SBMC), Civil Society Organisations and Community Based Organisations and the media. CEWHIN believes that the successful implementation of the project will bring about continued engagement of citizens with the government, which will foster transparency and accountability, a critical factor for the promotion of good governance.