The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, has explained that the Homegrown School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government was suspended in some states because of attendant irregularities.
Uwais said there had been reports of low quality food, insufficient and irregular supply of food as well as late disbursement of funds by the government in states such as Akwa Ibom and Niger. He added that the Federal Government had started conducting a headcount of pupils benefiting from the programme and those cooking the food.
The special adviser said the outcome of the data in the affected states was being reconciled and is based on the discovery of a disagreement between the figures provided by officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board and what the monitors on the field actually reported.
She also noted that pupils had not been fed since April due to reconciliation efforts.
“We have been reconciling the data in the states after engaging the NBS to conduct a headcount of pupils and cooks for us. Essentially, we found conflicting reports of the figures between official SUBEB figures and reports from monitors in the field,” she said.
“We mobilised the NBS to venture into all government-owned primary schools where we are feeding to confirm the numbers and those actually feeding. So yes, we haven’t fed the pupils since April due to reconciliation efforts, as some of the states are contesting the figures. We (will) start feeding on June 24 for the states that have been feeding, irrespective of their protests. That is the cut-off-date for all protests.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, introduced the Social Intervention Programme designed to improve the lives of all Nigerians, irrespective of religion, political affiliation and social class.