Why free school feeding was suspended in Ondo

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The Ondo State Government has given reason why its free school feeding programme was suspended.

Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi while speaking with The Hope yesterday said that the programme was suspended due to the discrepancies in the accounts submitted by the food vendors.

He said many of the food vendors did not have bank accounts before they registered for the programme but hurriedly opened without genuine BVN

He said: "they were not paid, essentially due to the discrepancies in the accounts submitted by the vendors. For many of them, the names they submitted when they were registering did not tally with their BVN. As a result of that, money could not be paid into their accounts.

"Most of those vendors are not the high tech caterers. Many of them did not even have bank accounts before now. They just went to open accounts, and they may have BVN that bears Kayode Crown, but the name they registered with may be Kayode Adeolu. Such discrepancies made it difficult for them to access money in their accounts.

Speaking with The Hope in a telephone interview, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mrs Olubunmi Ademosu  said some of the vendors apart from giving wrong information of themselves including wrong names and addresses, Biometrics Verification Number, BVN were dubious from the findings of the agency monitoring the programme.

She said it was discovered that some of the vendors wanted to sublet the work to others.

Ademosun said the agency found out that about 95 %of pupils in Akoko areas of Ondo State were not benefitting from the programme when it took off in the state and did not want to allow the public to politicize the issue.

She said the failure of the programme was because the bank couldn't get in touch with the said vendors through the documents presented like their phone numbers, names among others.

The reason was that the vendors gave wrong information of their details. Some gave account numbers of their brothers, some their children. The names they uploaded on their details do not tally with the people when they were called to verify. We got information from them when they went for medical test at public health centers. It is wrong for Akokos not to benefit from the programme "

Ademosu said to rectify the imbalance, she wrote to Abuja to stop releasing fund to other vendors across the state till all the vendors will give correct information about themselves.

She said about 90 %of the vendors have now rectified their accounts and hopefully, the right vendors will be credited by Monday, next week and the programme will commence immediately.

"Over 80 percent of the vendors have now complied fully and their details uploaded now. I am in Abuja as I speak with you now (yesterday) for final ratification. The slight hitch is not only peculiar to Ondo State but other states . Hopefully by Monday, the accounts of the vendors will be credited and the programme will commence immediately

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