Ekiti Won’t Contribute Counterpart Fund To FG’s School Feeding Programme – Fayose

Ayo FayoseGovernor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has said much as the school feeding programme proposed by the Federal Government is a laudable idea, the state will not be contributing a dime to it.
Governor Fayose said it was wrong of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government to ask state governments for a 40 per cent counterpart funding of the project.
“The Federal Government is already looking for excuses for the impending failure of the programme by asking states to contribute 40 per cent to the scheme”, he said in a statement on Sunday.
It would be recalled that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo last Thursday inaugurated the ‘strategic plan’ and the national coordinating team for the implementation of the programme aimed at feeding over 24 million school children at the basic school level with one meal a day from locally sourced foodstuff.
During the launch, Osinbajo said the Federal Government would partner with states and local communities for the successful implementation of the Home Grown School Feeding programme to achieve national coverage.
But the Ekiti governor said the programme was purely a contract between the APC-led Federal Government and Nigerians.
“Were the states consulted before the APC made the promise during the presidential campaign?” the governor queried.
“How can you make a promise and win election on the basis of that promise and now expect states to help you to fulfil the promise? That to me is fraud”.
According to Mr. Fayose, Ekiti and other states in the country deserve to benefit from the programme without assisting the federal government with any 40 per cent counterpart funding.
He, therefore, said the APC-led Federal Government should rather blame itself for failing to do proper study on the practicability of the scheme before promising Nigerians instead of looking for scapegoat for its failure to fulfil the school feeding promise.
“Apart from the fact that Ekiti State lacked the financial wherewithal to provide counterpart fund for such a programme, it is the duty of President Muhammed Buhari and his APC that won election on the basis of their promise to give free meal to school pupils to fulfill the promise without placing any burden on other tiers of government”, he said.
“Nigerians should come to terms with the reality that the federal government is already looking for a ready alibi for the impending failure of the school feeding programme.
“The federal government knows that 80 per cent of the states lack the financial will to be able to contribute the 40 per cent counterpart fund for the programme and the time the programme eventually fails, Nigerians will be told that it failed because states did not key in to it.
“As for us in Ekiti, we are interested in the programme because Nigeria belongs to all of us. But we won’t contribute any counterpart fund because the programme is solely an electoral promise of the APC and we were never consulted before the promise was made.
“We don’t even have the capability to make any financial contribution even if it is 10 per cent because our financial condition is such that we can’t even pay workers salary”.

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