From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Minister of State for Budget and Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday, said the Federal Government would investigate the alleged non-payment of some food vendors engaged for the FG’s Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
The Minister who spoke to newsmen shortly after inspecting the school feeding programme at St Paul’s Demonstration School, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, as part of the Federal Government’s monitoring of Special Intervention programmes in the state, confirmed that some complaints had been received by her office on the issue saying the matter will be looked into with a view of making the programme hitch free.
According to her, efforts to ensure vendors were paid directly were frustrated by inability by Nigeria-interbank segment to verify the Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of some of the registered vendors noting “by the time we have everybody on the payment platform, the payment will be seamless”.
Hajia Ahmed, however, lauded Ogun Sate government for adhering to the quality of the programme saying the programme will soon be rolled all over the primary schools in the state.
“I’m very impressed with what I am seeing; the school environment is very conducive, the food they serve the kids is very tasty. I am told that the school enrolment has increased because of the feeding programme and the quality of the food I saw is balanced and nutritious, which means the children will have better learning and results.
“Our mission is to make sure we roll out that every school is covered and the state and the Federal Government is working closely on this programme.
“It actually depends on the readiness of the state, there are number of things that we need to do, we need to make sure that the right people are trained, they have bank account numbers and BVN numbers, healthy and are ready to deliver high quality nutritious food to the children. The state is still at the final phases of rolling out the programmes to all the schools”. The Minister stated.
Also speaking, Governor Ibikunle Amosun expressed satisfaction at the implementation of the programme in the state noting good nutrition will go a long way to aid learning by the pupils.
He, therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating and driving the intervention programme, which according to him has helped in building better minds.