By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The African Action Congress (AAC) has demanded immediate stoppage of the proposed feeding of school children at home by Federal Government in collaboration with State Governments to cushion the impact of Coronavitus pandemic due to commence this week.
In a statement issued by the national chairman of the party, Leonard Nzenwa, AAC expressed shock over the programme, saying it is ill-conceived, irrational, undigested and not properly thought out.
He lamented that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development would incubate such programme at this perilous time when there are better and creative ways to manage the concerns and needs of Nigerians amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is outrageous, embarrassing and a mockery of our national intelligence. We are disheartened that Federal Government has refused to listen to well meaning, patriotic Nigerians to originate credible, high impact people-centered policies but all they have gotten so far look more as ego- enhancing and reactionary policies to suit their whims and caprices.
“We are still wondering if the proposed feeding effort is school feeding or feeding at home of school pupils. AAC sees this as feasting on the people than feeding Nigerian school pupils.
“Barely a fortnight after expressing misgivings about the whole school feeding programme in a National Television the minister would still go ahead to resubscribe and pursue to execute the programme. The school feeding programme which has engulfed over #3 billion since the Buhari administration started it has turned out to be a disaster.
“It is inconceivable that Sadiya Umar-Farouk who earlier described the programme as a disaster will now be so passionate about it and going the extra mile of extending it to school children at home.
“It is obvious that the proposed feeding of school children at home is a scam, a drain pipe to syphon tax payers money and enrich unscrupulous Nigerians going by what happened during payment of purported #20,000.00 to vulnerable Nigerians.
“AAC insist that the entire school feeding of children at home being promoted by the minister will be riddled with corruption. It is an uphill task to locate these children in their respective homes most of them residing in rural areas.
“The questions that beg for answers are, how did the ministry obtain accurate data of these school children? What logistics are in place to reach them? How much did the Federal Government budget for the programme? Who are the contractors? Did the Ministry follow due process and procurement rules in selecting the contractors?
“Are there designated venues, dates and time mapped out for public scrutiny and tracking by EFCC, ICPC, Police, civil society organizations, media, etc. It is a mission impossible and should be stopped immediately. We should avoid embarrassing Nigeria and turning it into a joke.
“AAC calls on the Federal Government to pay the funds allocated for the purported feeding of school children at home to Nigerians with bank BVN as proposed earlier by government.
“The funds earmarked for the programme will make more impact if paid into bank accounts of Nigerians who are parents of these school children. This way the funds will be properly accounted for. To do otherwise is to further institutionalize corruption in the polity through this phony programme.”