Friday, 16 February 2018

Vendor Queensley Bassey lend voice over controversy surrounding Home Grown Sch Feeding Programme in C/River

Efio-Ita Nyok|16 February 2018 

In reaction to the criticisms that have characterised the Federal Government sponsored Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Cross River State, Queensley Offiong Bassey, one of the food vendors with the programme in the state has lend her voice to clarify grey areas NegroidHaven can say. 

Particularly, the programme budgeted N70 per school child as feeding rate whereas there are reports saying that in the state the amount has been slashed to N55 with some persons selfishly benefitting. There are other instances of graft. For instance, Calitown has reported that, 'We discovered too that there's a health hazard component to this corrupt desire to make money that must be sounded out... Even noodles are bought and supplied to the vendors with the corrupt excuse that directives to that effect come from above. At press time, a truck load of noodles was parked at the Calabar office, awaiting distribution to vendors, gradually becoming uncomfortable with the teething corrupt practices wrapped around the programme'. What follows is an excerpt of Bassey's explanation on the controversy surrounding the programme:

'I am a vendor with the Home Grown School Feeding Programme. A happy one at that as the programme avails me the opportunity of interacting & interfacing with the kids.

'I recognise myself as a mother to so many children even though I am yet to have my own biological children; thus my affection and emotions guides me well around them. 

'I also know of the fact that as a vendor of this project, the kids are hopeful as they look up to every new day and learning becomes easy, school enjoyable.

'Every vendor of this project got a chance to back out when they were told the amount was N70 (N55 per child and N15 profit for the vendor). 

'As at when the project was flagged off last term, vendors' accounts were credited but some vendors withdrew the monies and never went to feed the kids. Some just did but shabbily and I know of some vendors who gave their heart to feeding the kids. Vendors like Ann Abue, Inyang Victor Itam, Phoebe Offiong-Obo,  Sandra Effefiong, Esther Bassey Etc. 

'Some vendors would give the children noodles with river flowing around it, some, the rice they can't even feed to their dogs, some dry bread without butter. 

'I interfaced once with a vendor and I wept when he said "na hoseboys and house girls dey primary school na so make we feed them as their name". 
Some vendors would rather use beef against the directive which states chicken. One thousand naira beef used for 100 pupils? Who does that? Then some would would feed half the number assigned them. 

'Do we have supervisors? Yes we do.
First, the head teachers send an unknown report and pictures of the food to the office, some even send videos of how you interact with the pupils.

'Then there are cluster leaders and Local Government Coordinators who go round to check vendor activities; they also write their reports. Some vendors would rather want to bribe these people than feed the innocent kids.

'The Home Grown School Feeding Project Office in turn made an attempt at trying out measures to ensure that vendors do what is right. How? Monies meant for chicken, noodles, bread and eggs were deducted at source and these items counted out to vendors accordingly. This arrangement has not met well with them and now they cry out "ABUSE". 

'My brother and mum are direct distributors of the Honeywell noodles and my money is deducted for these items too, my dad is a poultry farmer and money is deducted for chicken already fried. I am not shouting, I am not angry for  if vendors kept their part of agreement, the office wouldn't have thought out a plan to ensure uniformity.
'I am grieved that some people are always ready to bad spot others. 
These pictures are not Photoshopped.  They are as real as you can see.

Queensley Offiong Bassey
15 February 2018, Calabar. 

Federal Government Home Grown School Feeding Programme is part of a 500 billion Naira funded Social Investment Programme announced by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to address poverty and improve the health and education of children and other vulnerable sections of the Nigerian society. When fully realised, the programme anticipates to feed 24 million Nigerian school children. 

Efio-Ita Nyok 
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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