School feeding: ‘Give govt benefit of doubt’
By Bukola Olamona
Former Vice Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Professor Femi Mimiko has appealed to Nigerians to give the government the benefit of the doubt in regards to continuing the school feeding scheme during COVID-19 lockdown.
While reacting to the situation, Mimiko called for understanding and patience.
The former vice-chancellor said: “I don’t think we should be quick to judge. What I heard the president said was that the relevant ministries would work out the modalities.
“I think there’s good intension, which implies they would continue to feed those kids and what the president said was that they should work out the modalities for implementation. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt.”
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, had said that the school feeding programme would continue despite the closure of schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The minister explained that talks had already begun with state governors to ensure the continuation of the programme as directed by the Nigerian leader.
President Muhammadu Buhari during his nationwide broadcast on Sunday, March 29, had directed the ministry to develop a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding programme during the period of the lockdown.
Buhari had said: “Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies.”
Following Farouq’s announcement, Nigerians have kicked against the move describing it as fraudulent, senseless and impracticable. Others questioned how the programme would be implemented with the pupils currently at home and schools locked down