Presidency Takes Shot at Fayose, Over Latest Rants

By Aiyeku Timothy June 15, 2016 09:56

Presidency Takes Shot at Fayose, Over Latest Rants

The Presidency has taken a swipe at the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, over a statement credited to him, on the proposed school feeding programme, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The Presidency affirmed that the National Home-grown School Feeding programme, is its sole responsibility of the Federal Government, with no help expected from State Governments.

Fayose, had recently challenged the Federal Government, insisting that the programme must be implemented without the proposed 40 percent counterpart funding from States.

The Governor, who maintained that the school feeding programme was purely a contract between the All Progressives Congress-led, APC, Federal Government and Nigerians, asked, “Were States consulted before the APC made the promise during the presidential campaign? How can you make a promise and win election on the basis of that promise and now expect States to help you to fulfill the promise? That to me is fraud!”

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday, June 14, said the present administration had already provided N93.1 billion in the 2016 budget, for the effective implementation of the programme.

Akande, said while States were active participants in the school feeding plan, their “counterpart funding is not required to start the programme implementation.”

He said, that willing States were however, being encouraged to complement the programme, so it could reach more pupils, adding that they would not be compelled to do that.

He said, “We want the States to embrace this programme, it is good for the people, it’s a win-win for everyone. School feeding programme is not a counterpart funding arrangement model, no.

“What we have is a plan where the Federal Government provides 100 per cent feeding costs for pupils in primary one to three in all public primary schools in the country.

“The Presidency has made adequate arrangements for the HGSF to happen and by the grace of God, we are going forward to do exactly that.

“But what is interesting is the fact that some States have actually gone ahead to start the school feeding programme on their own, while some others are also making such a plan.

“In that case, more primary school pupils would be fed in the final analysis”.

Akande, assured stakeholders that if a State was not able to fund the school feeding in Primary 4 to 6, the Federal Government would not abandon such a State, but instead go ahead and feed pupils from Primary 1 to 3.

Specifically, he disclosed that 5.5 million school children, would be fed free of charge for 200 school days, in the first phase of the Home-grown school feeding programme, starting this year.

Regarding how the funds would be disbursed, Akande, said the money would come from the Federal Government and go straight to caterers and other beneficiaries at a rate of N70 per meal for a pupil.

He said the feeding programme, though a part of the APC manifesto, was also an African Union inspired scheme to grow the continent, while ensuring that pupils go to schools.

He added, that the programme was also embedded within the National School in Health Policy and the Universal Basic Act of the FGN 2004.