The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) is set to kick-start the distribution of food to primary school pupils at home. The Chairman of Lagos SUBEB, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, who disclosed this on Thursday when he visited the warehouse where the food palliatives were kept in Ikeja, noted that the initiative is part of the Presidential directive that the Home Grown School Feeding Programme must continue in spite of school closure. He explained that the government agencies involved have been working relentlessly for the past few weeks to ensure that the directive is carried out, hence the reason for the monitoring of the exercise by the Board.
“The programme is under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, in collaboration with the Lagos State Government through the Universal Basic Education Board and all stakeholders in the basic education sub-sector”, the Chairman stated. Allaying fears that the programme might be sabotaged, Alawiye-King maintained that the beneficiaries have been identified and verified, saying “We need to understand that the school feeding programme has been running before now; it is targeted at primary 1-3 pupils in public primary schools. We have gone around using our school vendors and school management board based on available data to identify and verify the households that will benefit from the programme”.
He also gave an assurance that the exercise will be transparent, as international and local organisations are part of the monitoring group involved to ensure that the food palliatives get to the right households, disclosing that over 37,589 homes are being targeted for the pilot scheme. “202 centres are designated for the distribution of food packages which include 5kg of Rice, 5kg of Beans, 2 Rolls of Sachet Tomato Paste, 500ml of Palm and Groundnut Oil, Salt and 12 Eggs”, Alawiye-King said.
The Special Adviser to the President on National Home Grown School Feeding (NHGSF), Mrs. Titilola Adeyemi-Doro also said that the Federal Government is basically coordinating the process while the State is to take ownership of the Programme because the resources to reach the students are available to the government. She averred that Lagos SUBEB is taking the lead in the collaboration with all stakeholders in the education sector.
In her contribution, the Board Secretary of LASUBEB, Mrs. Folusho Ajimoti, stated that a series of meetings were held to ensure efficient distribution of the food items, adding that vouchers would soon be given to the various households already identified. She also emphasised that Board Members, alongside Education Secretaries of each Local Government as well as food vendors, will form part of the distribution team with relevant stakeholders serving as monitoring groups.