OrderPaperToday – A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Farah Dagogo (PDP, Rivers), has described the federal government’s decision to embark on school feeding when coronavirus has caused a closure of schools as a ‘scam.’
Dagogo, who represents Degema/Bonny federal constituency, stated that the insistence of the federal government to go ahead with the feeding scheme, in spite of the fact that schools are currently shutdown raises a lot of suspicion and smacks of a desperate ploy not only to further “rip us off our commonwealth but also turn the programme to an epicenter of sleaze.”
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the federal lawmaker urged the federal government to rescind ‘the very unpopular move and rather channel the billions already earmarked for the school feeding jamboree to the country’s health care sector which currently was in dire need of attention.”
Dagodo contended that the funds earmarked for the feeding “jamboree” would serve Nigeria better if invested in local search for the cure of the novel coronavirus.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government announced that it has concluded plans to formally flag off the School feeding scheme on Thursday May 14, 2020.
Last month the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on the NSIP, Mrs. Maryam Uwais drew the ire of Nigerians and the National Assembly when she stated on national television that her office would not publish the names of the beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) because it contravened section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).
Dagogo’s statement reads in part: “Having gauged the pulse of my constituents and those of others from other constituencies, I want to strongly urge the Federal Government to have a re-think on the matter of continuing with the Home Grown School Feeding Program now that schools are not in session.
“Rather than continuing with the program at this time, the funds for the program should be re- channeled to the health sector to strengthen and sustain the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. There is no gain saying the fact that this measure would be more effective and results-oriented than continuing with the school feeding program with the pupils at home.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has not only succeeded in exposing the decay and rot in our health sector, it has also shown that lies and deceit cannot last forever. How do you justify spending billions of naira on a bogus school feeding programme when schools are in lockdown? How does it even sound? Is this not part of the corruption we claim we are fighting?
“The program could be re-introduced and re-invigorated after the fight against COVID-19 pandemic has been won and things normalized.
“We are in a critical time that requires equally critical execution of policies. If this Government wants the support and respect of Nigerians, it should desist forthwith from policies which could be termed ‘ Scam’. Nigerians are intelligent and see through all these subterfuges that aim to further rip us off our commonwealth.”