The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has insisted that the School Feeding Programme of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government must be done without the proposed 40 per cent counterpart funding from the states.
Fayose said: “The Federal Government is already looking for excuse for the impending failure of the programme by asking States to contribute 40 per cent to the scheme.”
The governor, who said the school feeding programme was purely a contract between the APC-led Federal Government and Nigerians, said: “Were the States consulted before the APC made the promise during the presidential campaign? 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!”
Governor Fayose said in a statement issued on Sunday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka that Ekiti State and other States in the country deserved to benefit from the programme without assisting the federal government with any 40 per cent counterpart funding.
The governor 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 who to blame for not fulfilling the school feeding promise.
He said: “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 Mohammed Buhari and his APC that won election on the basis of their promise to give free meal to school pupils to fulfil the promise without placing any burden on other tiers of government.
“Nigerians should come to term 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 knowns 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.”