© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
School Feeding programme is run on unverified data- House of Reps
THE House of Representatives on Wednesday demanded for the data of pupils who are benefiting from the Federal Government National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
The House Committee Public Accounts chaired by Wole Oke, lawmaker representing Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency of Osun State, noted that the data used for the programme has been unverifiable since its inception.
Oke directed Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics, to provide data of all private, public schools and pupils benefiting from the initiative.
The lawmaker further demanded the details of the food vendors involved in the programme and the adequate parameters for the qualifications of the vendors.
This, he said was necessary for the purpose of accountability adding that it was also in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.
Furthermore, Oke stated that details of the food vendors were also imperative so as to safeguard the lives of the pupils who were beneficiaries of the programme.
Although he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing the programme, he argued that the programme must be reviewed by the lawmakers to ensure that public funds are not mismanaged.
While responding, Yemi Kale, said his office would do the headcount as requested and provide the list of public and private school pupils who benefited from the feeding programme.
There have been issues surrounding the School Feeding Programme especially when Sadiya Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, announced that the programme would continue despite the closure of schools nationwide during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had described the School Feeding programme as a scam and an avenue for government officials to siphon public funds.
The PDP alleged that the decision to continue the school feeding programme despite the closure of schools nationwide would allow the government to embezzle about N13.5 billion.