The Federal Government has said third parties, including anti-graft and security agencies, monitored its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, which gulped about N13bn during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The third parties involved in monitoring the implementation of the programme were the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Department of State Services and the World Food Pogramme.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on the School Feeding Programme, Dr Dotun Adebayo, the third party agencies were invited to monitor the efficiency of the distribution.
He said strategies were adopted to ensure transparency in the process.
The presidential aide said these in Abuja while making a presentation at a virtual meeting of stakeholders on the COVID-19 Funds Management and Monitoring organised by the ICPC.
Adebayo said in his presentation entitled, ‘Delivering a transparent food ration distribution,’ that, “To prevent slides to old habits during the food ration distribution, we have; one, validation of items across all the distribution centres; two, voucher collection process; three, invitation of third party monitors and agencies. These are the WFP, Civil Society Organisations, ICPC, DSS, and others.
“On our budget, we normally expend N1,400 per child per 20 days when schools are open. Fortunately, we had existing funds to cover a 20-day cycle in April for 35 states before schools were closed due to the COVID lockdown.
“We worked within the existing budget of the programme to come up with a food ration package of a total cost of N4,200 per household on the presumption of an average of three children per household. Our targeted number of households is 3,131,971 households.”
He disclosed that the total cost for the targeted households during the lockdown stood at N13,154,278,200, adding that the strategy adopted to deliver the food items included targeting and mapping of household with children in public primary school 1 to 3, and providing states with guidelines for procurement, security and distribution.