Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has described as fraud, the request by the Federal Government that states should provide 40 per cent counterpart funding for the school feeding programme. Fayose insisted that the School Feeding Programme of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government must be done without the proposed 40 per cent counterpart funding from the states, saying; “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, asked; “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 yesterday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka that Ekiti 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. 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 Muhammed Buhari and his APC that won election on the basis of their promise to give free meals to school pupils to fulfil the promise without placing any burden on other tiers of government. “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.”
— OkoroChukwu IkeChukwu ( Correspondent)