By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the federal government to immediately stop its school feeding programme, describing it as “a waste of public funds”.
The Niger State chapter chairman of the Congress, Mr. Yahaya Ndako Idris, who made the call while speaking at a solemn Assembly organised by the state wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Monday, suggested that the money spent on the school feeding programme should be channelled into other ventures that would benefit majority of Nigerians.
The federal government had recently claimed it spends well over N9 billion monthly on the feeding of several thousands of pupils in public schools across the country.
Idris said: “The federal government should immediately stop the school feeding programme. It is total corruption, they should use the money for other programmes, they should commit the money to the renovation of schools.
“We agree today that the federal government should stop school feeding. Everybody feeds his child before taking them to school.”
He commended the NUT for organising the “solemn assembly” during which prayers were offered for the smooth conduct of the general election and for God to touch the hearts of the leadership to do the bidding of workers especially teachers.
The major prayer point at the solemn Assembly was that God should allow the National Assembly to pass the N30,000 minimum wage bill before it.
The state Chairman of NUT, Mr. Ibrahim Umar, in his remarks, appreciated teachers for being dedicated to their job even in the face of daunting challenges.
Umar urged the Niger State House of Assembly to pass the bill making 65 years the retirement age for teachers, adding that government should also improve the condition of service of teachers.
Defending the rationale behind the organisation of the solemn assembly, Umar said: “Our achievements are based on prayers” before appealing to teachers to “be up and doing by discharging their duties diligently”.
Several clerics including Prophet Omotayo Alabi, Malam Yahaya Mohammed led both the christian and Islamic prayers at the assembly.