The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Haijia Sadiya Umar Farouq, has flagged off the modified Homegrown School Feeding Programme at Kuje Primary School in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
During the event yesterday in Abuja, she indicated that the ministry was working with state governments to ensure the project catered for the targeted 3.1 million households nationwide.
“As we have stated consistently, this programme is funded by the Federal Government, but implemented by the states,” the minister explained.
Farouq said besides the official kick-off in the federal capital city, she was also conducting an on-the-spot check of the operations.
“Hunger is a serious by-product of this pandemic, which is why, from the outset, the ministry has been evolving strategies to facilitate humanitarian interventions.
“The commencement of the school feeding programme today (yesterday) is based on Mr. President’s directive to the ministry to liaise with state governments to develop strategies on the continuation of the school feeding programme,” she reiterated.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday alleged that the “school feeding claims by the Federal Government, when schools are shut due to COVID-19 pandemic, are a huge scam and a scheme by corrupt All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and some officials in the Buhari presidency to siphon a targeted N13.5 billion public funds to finance their wasteful lifestyles.”
The party described “the use of innocent school children as cover to steal and funnel not less than N679 million daily to private purses as sacrilegious, wicked and completely unpardonable.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP regretted that “while it is clear that the APC-led administration’s school feeding programme had always been a scam, the claims to feed school children even when schools are closed are colossal racketeering taken too far.”
The main opposition said it “rejects the ongoing fraud in which school children, who are in their respective homes bearing the brunt of the failures of the APC administration, are being used as metaphors to divert public funds to a few corrupt individuals in the Buhari presidency.”
It went on: “Nigerians are witnesses to how the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Umar Farouq, had always stammered, made conflicting pronouncements and pointed to Mr. President’s speech as a cover each time Nigerians demanded details of her humongous spending.”
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