The Federal Government’s initiated homegrown school feeding programme in Benue State appears to be generating concerns again.
It will be recalled that big pen was wielded against the former focal person in the state for the poor coordination of the programme as many things went wrong and the laudable programme had actually started taking a plunge in the state, when the governor sacked him.[adrotate banner="11"]
This week, many food vendors took protest to Government House, Makurdi, signposting a new trouble as over 300, 000 pupils and many vendors have allegedly been removed from the feeding programme.
On the heels of the protest, some uninformed and illiterate food vendors operating in rural primary schools have been circulating rumours of mass sack hitting them.
In other quarters, it is bandied with that all the old food vendors in the state have been dropped and new ones who are in the good book of the wife of the state governor, Eunice Ortom, are allegedly being secretly recruited. Those who orchestrate this allegation seem to be of the opposition APC stock in the state.
While tension and panic take over the food vendors over the confused atmosphere, information from the official quarters, National Social Investment Programme/Office of the state Focal Person appears not to be diffusing the tension
An online investigation however, revealed that what is happening in the Homegrown School Feeding Programme is not unconnected with the officials of the National Statistics Office, Abuja, who recently toured primary schools in Benue to ascertain vital statistics of the schools in the scheme.
According to the source, Abuja office of the statistics has released the list of the schools toured.
In the list, many primary schools’ names were either blacklisted, omitted or downrightly expunged from the scheme.
In Oju LGA for instance, over 115 primary schools were previously enlisted in the scheme but after the visit of the officials of the National statistics, the schools have been reduced to only 90.
According to a source in the office of the state focal person, desk officers would forward the list of omitted schools up for transmission to Abuja for correction.
The earlier the correction of the error, the better for the scheme and the Buhari administration.
Or it is as good as kissing the laudable scheme bye and the good image of the government of the day will be in shreds. God forbid bad thing!