The Plateau Government on Thursday said the Federal Government’s School Feeding Programme being carried out in the state and other states of the federation is not a scam.
Dr. Sumaye Hamza, Executive Assistant to Governor Simon Lalong on Special Intervention Programmes, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in her office in Jos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there were insinuations in some quarters that the programe was a scam because its impact was not felt in the State.
It was also alleged that some of schools get the food only once or twice a week and sometimes the pupils were served food on their palms.
Hamza, however, debunked the claims and disclosed that the feeding table was prompt, regular and nourishing.
She said: “On Mondays -Yam pottage, Tuesday’s – Pap and Bananas, Wednesdays – Tom Brown, Thursday’s – Potatoes and Friday’s – Special NASCO Biscuit respectively.
“Anybody who described the Federal Government School Feeding Programme as a scam is either ignorant of the reality on ground or is not being fair to the government.
“This is a programme that has brought about a turn-around in school enrollments across the nation and improved the standard of education in most states including Plateau.”
Hamza also revealed that the programme, which began in 2017, had great impacts on the health and academic performances of the pupils.
She said that plates were recently distributed to all the beneficiary schools, therefore, “the issue of pupils being fed on their palms is not true”.
According to her, in Plateau alone, 220, 000 pupils are being fed from Mondays to Fridays with variety of food including Bananas and special made biscuits.
The coordinator further stated that 2800 cooks were being engaged to provide foods for the pupils in both the Bukuru-Jos metropolis and the hinterlands.
She said: “It was very unfortunate and discouraging. But we refuse to be discouraged because of its successes.”
Prof. Matthew Sule, Chairman, Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, also added that the programme had not only encouraged enrollment, but helped in retaining pupils to complete school.
Sule said: “The school feeding programme is aimed at ensuring the pupils are enrolled, retained and complete school for basic education.
“It is unfair for anyone to brand it as a scam: yes there are challenges such as logistics but government is trying to overcome them for a hundred percent success.”