Over twenty cooks and food vendors engaged by the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Niger state have been nabbed by the Department of State Services (DSS) following their involvement in serving pupils poor quality food. It should be recalled that the State House of Assembly had, last week, raised the alarm that pupils in the state were poorly fed, thereby summoning the Niger State Focal Person of the Programme, Barrister Amina Gua’ar to appear before it. Gua’ar stated when she appeared before members of the state House of Assembly that the bad elements were responsible for poor feeding of school pupils.
While explaining why school pupils in the state were poorly fed, she exonerated her office, saying “my office is not responsible for poor feeding of school pupils. According to her, “several cooks and other vendors are already in the DSS net in connection with the matter, and my office is doing everything to improve the quality of food served to the pupils.” “Currently, we have 5,179 cooks.
We have bad eggs amongst them. We have cause to report them to the DSS. Over 20 of them were arrested. In fact, some of them are with the DSS. Barr Amina Gu’ar added that her office gives out complete crates of eggs to the vendors and cooks, but admitted that most of them shortchanged the pupils. She disclosed that because of their intense monitoring, those engaged in the nefarious activities were handed over to the security.
“We used to give out three crates of eggs, but we discovered that in the end, only one and half crates were used. In fact anytime we have to give yam porridge, we used to give out 30 tubers of yam, but in the end, only half of it was used. You can see how these pupils were shortchanged,” she cried out. She added that the programme had engaged over 14,000 people in the state and the intention was to increase the value chain and improve the economy of farmers in the state. However, the lawmakers, in a resolution, set up a 7-man ad-hoc committee to engage the officials of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme to ascertain in detail the problem bedeviling the programme. The committee was given two weeks to report back to the house.