"Govt. Has Stopped Giving Our Children Free Lunch" - Ondo Parents
When Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Ondo State to inspect the progress of the homegrown school feeding, little did the pupils and their parents know that the programme was gradually coming to an end.
In the week of the visit, the pupils’ experiences with the programme was quite unprecedented as mouthwatering meals regularly dotted their tables.
Within a week, the kind gestures from the government had attracted a couple of new students to enroll in the public primary school especially at the Alagbaka primary school, Akure.
But in what seems like a dream, the programme came to an abrupt end and the free meals for the pupils fizzled into the oblivion.
This came barely two weeks after the visit of the vice president.
The development had triggered outrage from parents and pupils of public school in the State.
Some of the parents who spoke about the stoppage of the programme said it was a trick by the state government to make the federal government believe the programm is underway in Ondo State.
A parent, Solape Ilemobola said since the vice president Yemi Osinbajo has left, the feeding had stopped.
"They've not been feeding the students since the day Osinbajo left.
"My daughter confirmed it to us. There is no day she doesn't go to school without food", she said.
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Mr Julius Olowosagba also confirmed the development.
"Am one of the PTA executive members in my children's school and I can authoritatively confirm to you that there is no home grown school feeding in Ondo state public school.
"It only existed the week the vice president came to the state. As soon as he left, that was the end. The programme has failed.
"We raised the issue last week at the PTA meeting and we got to know that the food vendors have not been paid by the state government. "
A pupil from Alagbaka primary school where the vice president visited also disclosed to Bounce News reporter that they have not been giving them lunch.
Meanwhile, the school feeding programme coordinator in the state, Omorinsola Olanipekun says the state government is trying to sort out financial matters with some vendors.
(Photo: Omorinsola Olanipekun)
"The programme has not stopped. The government is only trying to clear the outstanding bill it's owing the food vendors.
"If you look at the structure of the programme, you will realise it is not only the pupils that are benefiting from it, but also, hundreds of people that are gainfully engaged through the programme." She said.
Her position was further corroborated by the state Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi.
According to him, there was delay in the payment of the money of the cooks but assured that “all the accounts would be harmonised by next week and the payment would be made to ensure the success of the scheme.”
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