SOCIO-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has requested the Federal Government to urgently publish details of the suppliers and contractors, as well as the procurement rules, including bidding processes, and the total budget for the implementation of the school feeding programme.
The request was made to the Federal Government through a Freedom of Information (FOI).
SERAP also seeks information on the number of states to be covered during the COVID-19 crisis, and the projected spending per state.
The request also listed details of the mechanisms and logistics that have been put in place to carry out the programme, as well as the role expected to be played by the World Food Programme.
Recall that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouk on Wednesday announced that the government would start feeding school children in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis, starting from Ogun and Lagos states, and Abuja.
SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare said publishing the details requested is in the public interest.
This would help to address public scepticism regarding the ability of the government to satisfactorily implement the programme, promote openness, and allow Nigerians to track its implementation and to hold suppliers and contractors to account, SERAP said.
“SERAP notes that the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party requires the government to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability and probity in programmes that it oversees.”
According to SERAP, “publishing the details of suppliers and contractors and the procurement rules being implemented for executing the school feeding programme at home would also remove the risks of conflicts of interest and politicisation of the programme, as well as promote transparency and accountability.”
The civil society organisation urged the federal government to establish an online national database for all suppliers and contractors responsible for carrying out the programme to feed school children in their homes which is expected to cover over three million households in Lagos and Ogun states, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.