Mixed reactions have continued to trail the home grown school feeding programme of the federal government of Nigeria.
The minister for Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Sevelopment, Sayidat Umar-Farouq had announced that the programme would continue as planned despite the pupils not being in around due to covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on thursday on the programme, Umar-Farouq said, “hunger is a by-product of this pandemic, which is why from the onset the ministry has been evolving strategies to facilitate humanitarian interventions”.
She stated further that a total of 3.1 households are the targets of the programme with Lagos and Ogun states the next port of calls after the flag off in Abuja last Thursday.
However, reacting to the programme on “Ink Table, a popular online feature programme on whatsup platform, The Inkline, Barrister Steve described the programme as a sham!
According to him, “Unlike the other social investment programs of the present administration, the school feeding program is a sham”.
Responding, Mr. Razaq Ayinla another online guest described the programme as “part of social investment programme of President Muhammadu Buhari-led FG after N-Power, N-Health and N-Agro with other components like Trade Money, Market Money and Farmer Money targeted at 24 million pupils across various public schools”.
Mr Steve however queried the reason why FG have failed to implement the programme in private schools as well as database coupled with the ongoing lockdown which may impede movement.
in his own submission, Mr. Abibu disclosed that the logistics to implement such a program at this time would be enormous. “How can they track pupils located in different parts of the community?” He queried.
He stated further that, “the vigour at which the ‘home feeding’ is being pursued is suspicious. Out of nowhere we now have the data and the residence of pupils of primary schools”.
On the #4000 worthy of meal for a child per day, Mr. Steve said, this can be likened to the assertion of a one time Comptroller of prison that N10,000 was used to feed a prisoner per day. We are robbed daily, broad day light by people who are not even qualified to serve as our gate men”. He continued that, this country is in a big mess”.
Another contributor, Mr. Olawale, a farmer was of the opinion that, “FGN have their targets set on particular region and children in the country. If not so do they expect children to come to school to feed or they have plans for dropping food at the door steps of each child?, questioning how do they intend to identify beneficiaries of the home grown feeding.
Olawale however expressed his belief that the programme will end like the 20K palliative money said to have been given, yet no trace of tangible people that we could point to as beneficiaries.
Submitting, another contributor opined that the federal government can use the home feed fund to “improve our health facilities in Nigeria”.
Another contributor, Mr Femi Idowu suggested that the money should be donated to Almajiris . While Mr. Steve wants FG prove that it is only the children of the poor that attend public schools and on the other hand, only children of the rich that attend private schools.
To Mr Shotayo, the #4000 per meal is a scam which according to him will necessitate “EFCC questioning some people after the expiration of this present government”. He concluded by asking, #1,333:00 per meal, is it coming from KFC? Too bad!
The state ICPC Officer, Mr Idris explained that the school feeding programme has been on for some time with the last exercise taking place November, last year.
Mr Idris submitted that each State Coordinator of the programme and Ogun state government should have the data of children they are feeding.
He however disclosed that, “the agency should be involved if such a programme is to take place for transparency and proper accountability before any steps”.
Mr Olapeju also buttressed the idea of accurate data to aid proper execution of government policies. He said, “it would only be possible if there is luxury of data. Without data, it would be tantamount to a recipe for the massive heist of scarce resources
Olapeju therefore, urge the federal government that ” instead of dissipating so much energy that could culminate in wastage, leakages and essentially counter productive to the prevailing conditional or enhanced movement restrictions, it could just represent an opportunity for the cash transfer programme which fortunately is within the scope of the brief of the ministry under consideration to be consolidated”.