1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Agriculture is a key driver of development and progress in developing countries. Despite this, around 925 million people globally, including 235 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2013). Ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture are all aims of the United Nations Goal 2 by 2030. As a result, sustainable development will be enhanced (FAO, 2010; FAO, 2013).
Malnutrition is described by the World Food Programme (2005) as “a situation in which an individual’s physical function is compromised to the point that he or she can no longer sustain sufficient body performance processes such as growth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding as a result of inadequate or low-quality food.” It causes impairment, illness, and death, especially in babies and children under the age of five.
Malnutrition in children typically begins before conception, and it is connected to poverty, a lack of education, and a lack of access to health services, such as reproductive health and family planning (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2014). It affects all groups in society, but babies, young children, and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable because of their high nutritional needs for growth and development (World Health Organization, 2005).
Malnutrition is common in developing countries like Nigeria (DHS, 2013), and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including low income resulting in low purchasing power for adequate food, lack of access to nutritious foods, lack of awareness about the importance of proper nutrition, poor food quality due to contamination with agrochemicals (pesticides), biochemicals (e.g. aflatoxins), or pests and diseases. Nigeria was placed 40th out of 79 nations on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which, along with growing food costs, malnutrition, and mortality as a result of widespread poverty, indicates the country’s widespread food insecurity and malnutrition.
Several programs have been implemented in the past to address this issue. The National Agricultural Development Fund, NADF, was established in 2002; the National Special Program on Food Security, NSPFS, was established in 2002; the National Food Crisis Response Program [NFCRP], Food Security Thematic Group [FSTG] was established in 2009; the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement was established in 2011, the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact was established in 2013, the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) was established in 2011, and Agriculture Prom was established in 2011. (Okolo, 2009). However, food security has not been realized, particularly among teenagers in rural areas who are vulnerable. This is due to several difficulties encountered throughout the implementation and execution stages of these applications.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The National Home Growing Feeding Program was established in 2016 to address the issue of malnutrition, particularly in rural areas. The initiative primarily consists of providing food to schoolchildren (Akanbi and Alayande, 2017) to minimize micronutrient malnutrition while also promoting education, health, and agricultural community development (WFP, 2017). Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Imo, Kano, Kogi, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Yobe, and the Osun States were among the twelve states in the six geopolitical zones where the initiative was started.
Government auditing or inspection of this program may boost the effectiveness of the program. No research has been conducted on this particular subject matter.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary aim of this study is to determine the impact of government auditing of the NHGSFP on the effectiveness and efficiency of the program. Thus the following objectives;
1. To investigate if NHSFP is subject to periodical auditing.
2. To investigate if governments’ auditing has contributed to the effectiveness and efficiency of the NHSFP program.
3. To determine the challenges encountered government in auditing the NHGSFP program.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions guide this study;
1. Is NHSFP subject to periodical government auditing?
2. Has governments’ auditing contributed to the effectiveness and efficiency of the NHSFP program?
3. What are the challenges encountered by the government in auditing the NHGSFP program?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to the government as it will bring to the fore the need for government to audit the implementation of this program, not just in Katsina state but also in other states of Nigeria. This study will also be an addition to the literature as no research has been conducted on this.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will only cover Katsina state. It will only discuss the impact of government auditing on the implementation of this program.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During this study, the researcher was faced with insufficient funds to carry out this research on a more in-depth level.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
GOVERNMENT AUDITING: Government auditing focuses on improving how governments provide programs and services.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
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