House Demands Details of Beneficiaries of School Feeding Programme

0

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts yesterday resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Director General of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Mr. Yemi Kale, to appear before it and tender records of payment and details of the 9 million children benefiting from the school feeding programme initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2016

The Committee also resolved to probe the N494 billion budgeted from inception for the school feeding programme.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Wole Oke, frowned at the breach of the Public Procurement Act and demanded for relevant authorisations from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), such as the budgetary approvals for the scheme fright from its inception, as well as the lists of schools, locations and month by month, year by year details of allocations and expenditure.

Oke also directed the Special Assistant to the President on Home School Feeding Programme, Mr. Dotun Adebayo, to furnish the House with details of the cooks, states, locations of the benefiting schools as well as the over 9 million children in 84,000 schools across the country that have benefited from the programme.

Adebayo told the committee that the NBS has only printed out the names of the beneficiaries in three states and has not done the total enumeration of all of them.

He said: “We have details of the schools but particulars of the benefiting children are with the state governments. We don’t have the details because it is part of the MoU we signed with the states,” adding that “34 states and the Federal Capital Territory are participating while Kwara and Bayelsa States are yet to be enrolled.

‘’The two states have not met the criteria for participating in the programme, which include a commitment from the state government to the success of the programme. We can’t pay money outside the framework of the programme. Any state that did not meet the requirement will be left out of the programme. Presently, we budget N70 per child. It is not our intention to exempt any state from the programme. Like I said, communication has been made to state governments over the years on the programme and no state is left out.’’