The Niger State House of Assembly has set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to ascertain the challenges confronting the running of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in the state.
This was following claims by the state Focal Person of the School Feeding Programme, Barrister Amina Gua’ar, that school pupils were being shortchanged by cooks and vendors in the feeding programme, when she appeared before the House to explain why school pupils in the state were poorly fed.
It would be recalled that the Focal Person was accused by the lawmakers of feeding the pupils with expired rice and giving them half instead of a full egg.
She stated that her office was doing everything to improve the quality of food served to the pupils, but most of the cooks and vendors shortchanged the pupils.
The Focal Person revealed to the House that many cooks and other vendors, who were involved in the matter have already been handed over to the Department of State Security Service, DSS.
According to her, “We have 5,179 cooks. We have bad eggs amongst them. We have cause to report them to the DSS. About 20 of them were arrested. Infact, some of them are in the hands of the DSS. This is as a result of the intense monitoring by my office.
“We used to give out three crates of eggs but we discovered that at the end only one and half were used. Infact, anytime we have to give yam porridge, we used to give out 30 tubers of yam, but at the end, only half of it was being used. You can see how these pupils were shortchanged.”
The Focal Person further added that so far, the programme has engaged over 14,000 people and the intention is to increase the value chain and improve the economy of farmers in the state.
The committee is expected to report back to the House in two weeks.