DSS arrests teachers, desk officers, food vendors for school feeding fraud

Cooks dishing food at one of the schools where the school feeding programme is operational

Operatives of the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) have arrested many teachers and desk officers in charge of the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme for allegedly sabotaging the programme.

Ten food vendors were also arrested for allegedly conniving with the teachers and the desk officers to shortchange the process.

It was learnt that majority of those nabbed were from the Central Primary School in Minna, Niger State, while arrests were also made from schools in Kachia in Kachia Local Government Area, and in Gwada in the Shiroro LGA of the state.

Apart from allegedly diverting raw food meant for pupils in the schools, it was learnt that those arrested in Gwada allegedly took away 30 crates of eggs meant for the breakfast of some of the pupils, which they allegedly sold to local food sellers in the town.

As a result of the under-the-table dealing, it was gathered that four pupils were being made to share just one egg during their meals.

Confirming the story, the state Focal Person of the School Feeding Programme, Mrs Amina Guar said security operatives have been informed about the development.

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She said the organisation was able to trace the crates of eggs diverted by those concerned to tea sellers in Gwada town.

In her words, “We were able to retrieve the eggs and return them to the school concerned.

“It is true that some of our teachers at the Central Primary School are currently with the DSS, in fact some of them fainted on getting there.

“We have zero tolerance for corruption of any sort; feeding fat at the expense of innocent children is unacceptable to any rational thinking person.”

Guar added that she was rushing to the DSS office to know the situation of things.

When contacted, the state Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Principal Assistant Secretary, Labaran Garba, said the union was not aware of the development but “we will investigate it.”

Meanwhile, Guar has disclosed that the state government has received over N27 billion for various federal government Social Intervention Programmes (SIP) from 2016 till date out of which N11.4 billion was for the Conditional Cash Transfer; N3.8 billion for the Home Grown School Feeding scheme and N12,2billion for the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.

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