The National Home Grown School Feeding programme has suspended the programme in Ondo state due to financial constraint.
In February, the Ondo state government launched the Federal government’s national school feeding programme for pupils in primary one to three of public schools in the state.
The state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu at the launch expressed the state government’s readiness by recruiting over 1500 medically-fit and trained cooks.
Similarly, over 4.2 billion Naira was earmarked for the programme in 2018 as counterpart fund for the project.
A visit to some public primary schools in Akure, pupils were seen waiting during the school break for the cooks to arrive, but none of them came till the end of the break time.
Some of the schools visited in Akure included Fanibi community primary school, Sacred heart primary school, Methodist primary school and St Peter’s demonstration primary school.
Some pupils who spoke with radio Nigeria confirmed the suspension of the free meal by the government’s cooks for the past two weeks.
Parents who spoke with radio Nigeria wondered why the state government had not addressed likely challenges before starting the programme.
According to some of them who preferred anonymity, they said the cooks have stopped feeding the pupils, claiming that there was no money to prepare the food.
In a reaction, the commissioner for information, Mr Yemi Olowolabi explained that the school cooks were having challenges with their bank account details and which had made it difficult for the government to pay them.
Mr Olowolabi added that the issue was being addressed and that the vendors would start giving pupils the free meal by next week.