Lockdown School Feeding Programme: When a humanitarian service stirs controversy

 
Sat May 23rd, 2020 - Abuja (FCT)
 

Pupils feeding during school hour

“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 programme during this period without compromising our social distancing policies.”

That was President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement during his broadcast to the nation on March 29, this year; the day he ordered the lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

To cushion the effect of the lockdown, the president had announced some palliatives, which included the sustenance of the school feeding programme even though the schools remain closed, immediate payment of the conditional cash transfers for the next two months to the beneficiaries, deployment of relief materials to residents of satellite and commuter towns/communities around Lagos and Abuja, and a three-month moratorium on loans to all Tradermoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni beneficiaries. He also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

 
 

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source: Guardian