Group to sue Ondo government over failed school feeding programme
Minister seeks tax rebate for private schools
Movement for the Survival of the Underprivileged (MOSUP), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Ondo State, has vowed to sue the state government for alleged misappropriation of funds and deception in its school feeding programme.
In a statement yesterday in Akure, its President, Dappa Maharajah, said Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) was a ruse in the state. He lamented that the National Home Grown Feeding programme initiated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Federal Government, was launched in the state to deceive the people. He said the scheme, which was inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo about four weeks ago along other programmes only lasted a few days.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had budgeted N4.2b for the scheme in the 2018 budget as the state’s counterpart funding, pledging to recruit no fewer than 1,500 hygienically certified and trained cooks for the project.
The Guardian also learnt that the 78,944 pupils in primary one to three, who are the main targets of the scheme, have not been eating in the schools for the past three weeks since Osinbajo launched it, while the cooks absent due to lack of funds.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, who confirmed the break in the scheme, said there was delay in the payment to the cooks due to some unavoidable hitches. Meanwhile, a former Minister of Interior, Maj. Gen. Godwin Abbe (rtd.), yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to consider tax rebate for private school operators, saying investment in the country’s education sector was capital intensive.
He pointed that out the establishment of private schools in the country was an indication that government on its own could not meet the manpower development needs, adding that training of teachers should also be extended to private schools. Abbe, who is the Chairman/Founder, Inomwan Foundation School, Benin City, Edo State, stated this during the commissioning of the school’s multi-purpose hall, noting that the facility was aimed at raising the standard of basic education.
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