As the school feeding programme resumed on Tuesday in Ondo State, the implementation team inaugurated for each local government has been warned to stay away from any form of illegality or extortion that may wreck the programme.
The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Public and Intergovernmental Relations, Mrs Olubunmi Ademosu gave the warning yesterday during the inauguration of the local government implementation teams on the home grown school feeding programme held in the Cocoa Conference Hall, Akure.
Ademosun, who stated that the school feeding programme is a social intervention aimed at alleviating poverty, maintained that it is not a money making venture and as such be seen as work of mercy and taken with all sincerity to ensure its success and sustenance.
According to her the school feeding federal government project is to ensure that every child in primary one to three of public schools should be able to feed while the state government is to take care of those in primary four to six.
Her words: "This meeting is very important in order for us to understand as well as clarify some issues and to assign responsibilities as appropriate. The school feeding programme is a federal government project which is a social intervention and not a money making venture.
" No officer must collect money from any cook. Know it that the federal government has its own monitoring team from Abuja and anyone caught extorting those cooks may end up in dismissal".
She stressed further that no education office must collect a penny or compel the vendor to give them food because the money doesn't go through anyone but calculated per the number of pupils and paid directly into the vendors' account.
"Let us be sincere with this programme and allow the cooks to do their jobs. Let the era of giving return be bye gone. We should not threaten or harass them. Don't make life unbearable for them, let them earn and become self reliant".
While officially inaugurating the Implementation team, the SA charged the officers not to go into any form of illegality but be committed and join hands with the government to fight poverty out of the land, for peace to reign and for a better tomorrow.
"I want you to be committed to this programme, do your job and make change at your own individual level and make Nigeria change for better. It would be very embarrassing if just the 2000 naira you collected was what led to your career problem, please be warned".
The Permanent Secretary of the Public and Intergovernmental Relations, Mrs Tope Ojolo who spoke on the resumption of the programme which was earlier stopped few weeks after commencement, stated that total of 1200 food vendors have been engaged and paid to feed all the public primary schools pupils across the state.
She said information discrepancies, BVN problems among other challenges that led to the stoppage of the programme have been fixed and assuring that there would be smooth running of the programme henceforth.
Ojolo however advised the newly inaugurated implementation officers to be dedicated to their duties and work as a team to ensure success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Consultant on Social Investment and former Permanent Secretary in the state, Barr. Felix Alonge charged the officers to give in their best to support the programme and follow the guidelines strictly, saying erring officer would be appropriately dealt with.
Responding, one of the officers from Akure North local government, Sanitarian Oluboyede Ayorinde commended the inauguration of the team and expressed readiness of the team to work tirelessly to ensure the success of the programme.
The implementation team comprises an Education Officer who is to liaise with the SUBEB, Grievance redress officer in charge of complaints from schools and vendors, an Environmental sanitarian who was s to ensure the food is prepared and served in hygienic state and a Desk officer to oversee the activities of the team In each local government of the state.