trade2Beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Home-grown Feeding programme in Enugu State have complained that the quantity of food served the children is small. They made their feelings known while  speaking with Radio Nigeria Correspondent on special assignment.

The National Home-grown School Feeding Programme formally inaugurated on June 9, 2016 is part of the social investment plans of the present administration for which five hundred billion naira was budgeted in 2016. The aim of the programme is to give primary one to three pupils adequate diet, at last once every school day at seventy naira per meal. The programme has commenced in some States of the Federation while it is yet to take off in others.

In Enugu State, it started on the eighth of February this year. One month after the commencement of the programme in the state, Radio Nigeria visited some primary schools to find out how it was going. The head teachers in some of the schools visited, Mrs. Elizabeth Okolo and Mrs. Joy Nebo said the food vendors had started bringing food in their schools. They however complained that the vendors were not regular and when they came, the food they gave the children was too small.

‘’They started on 8th February, after ten days they stopped, I called them on phone, they said that the money given to them is for ten days, that it has expired. On Monday, again they came with food and said they have got another alert. The food they are giving the children is not worth it.’’

 ‘’Well the food is fair, the one we tested we saw it and told them that the oil there was not enough, they have corrected it.’’

The head teachers who also complained that children at nursery level  were excluded from the plan, which had brought unhappiness to the young ones, pleaded that the gesture be extended to them. Some parents interviewed while thanking the Federal Government for the initiative expressed concern that the supply of the food was confusing as they could not know when the meal would not be provided for them to  give their children lunch packs.

Some pupils expressed joy that they now ate in the school, but complained that sometimes, they took their plates to school with the hope to get food only to be disappointed.

’My name is Mba Chinecherem, on Monday, we ate beans and orange, Tuesday, rice and banana, they are doing it week by week. They didn’t come last week.’’

Enyinnaya Ebuka, they don’t give us full food, sometimes, they give us half of banana, sometimes, half of orange, last week they did not come’’.

 Reacting to some of the issues raised, the Secretary and Programme Manager, Enugu State Steering Committee on the Home Grown School Feeding programme, Mr. Ifeanyi Onah said the irregular supply of food was as a result of some initial hitches.

‘’They paid the vendors for the first two weeks which is ten school days, it is expected that before the expiration of the ten days , Federal Government paid them again and they continued.Unfortunately, after the first instance in Enugu State, there we had a week long interruption which could be what people are referring as they disappeared.’’

The Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Professor Uche Eze said the Ministry was monitoring the activities of the food vendors.

’When we get information, those  that are paid, we follow them up to ensure the services they are paid for are delivered.’’

Professor Eze also said he was working with relevant authorities to see if the seventy naira per meal for each child could be reviewed as it was insufficient given the economic condition in the country.



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