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FG, Lagos trade blames over delay in commencement of school feeding

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On August 23, the National Home-grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP) twitted that the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) a-meal a-day programme for pupils would kick off in September in Lagos schools.

Almost two months after, the Federal Government (FG) and Lagos State have traded blame for the non-commencement of the campaign promise.When The Guardian contacted the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), the Chairman, Wahab Olawale Alawiye-King said the state government did not have absolute control over the school feeding project, since it was FG’s initiative.

“The Federal Government has absolute control over it. We have done what we should do and we are waiting for Federal Government to start. We have identified all the vendors and picked all the centres. They have done medicals they ought to do. We are waiting for Abuja to do certain things.

“For instance, we are still expecting plates and spoons from the Federal Government. It was to start in the second week of October. That is what we planned for, but since we are not in full control, we have to key in. The officer in charge in Lagos is on top of it. We are waiting for the FG to do the needful.”

The Programme Manager, NHGSFP, Abimbola Adesanmi did not respond specifically to the question, saying the delay could be due to incomplete cooks’ data, irregular banking details which require re-validation by NIBSS and confirmation of BVN by financial institutions and state data not up to 70 per cent cutoff for payment.

Alawiye-King revealed that Primary One to Three pupils would be catered for across all schools in Lagos. “That is where we want to start with, as a pilot programme. If it works out well, which I believe it will, we will extend to other classes. We are targeting between 155,000 to 180,000 pupils.”On when it will eventually commence, while Alawiye-King said: “I do not know. You have to direct that question to them (FG),” Adesanmi said: “The state would eventually decide when to start, once accounts of cooks are credited. The FGN normally gives a window of five days to allow for ground logistics and operations to be clearly defined.”

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