From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
Worried by drop in quality of food served boarding students, Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima has inaugurated a special committee to handle an improved feeding across 78 secondary schools.
He revealed plans to engage undisclosed pupils as spies who will be sending him messages via telephone and social media platforms to give hint on the quality of meals being served at dining halls.
The new committee is chaired by the Commissioner for Education, Musa Inuwa Kubo who is a highly experienced school administrator with representatives of the Parents Teachers Association, the Nigeria Union of Teachers and other stakeholders.
Governor Shettima had paid an unscheduled visit to a secondary school last month and went straight to the kitchen only to discover that meals being served fell short of the standard he had raised since 2012.
At that time, he raised the monthly allocation of boarding pupils feeding from N20m he inherited to N100m entrusted to a committee he felt was no longer necessary after Principals adjusted to distributing improved and good portions of meals for pupils, a program most parents celebrated.
Following his discovery, Shettima decided to reconstitute a 17-member feeding committee that comprise some Government and non Government officials.
The committee is sadled with a mandate of being responsible for procurements of food stuffs, distribution to schools, monitoring of cooking and quality of meals and to supervise efficient distribution of reasonable portions to pupils.
“Apart from approving funds, I will also help you to do your job. Do not feel that I am being suspicious. As you all know, I do visit schools but this time around, I will give some students (you will never know) my phone numbers to communicate directly with me to give me regular updates on the quality of meals they are”, the governor told the committee members.
“It is also within your mandate to hire and pay the salaries of cooks where there are shortages of kitchen personnel. I want all of you to work hard and identify areas that needs urgent intervention”.
“Fielding the children is important to the development of any society and we owe an obligation to humanity, to posterity to the pupils and entire citizens of the state”, he further added.