Akwa Ibom State focal person for the federal government school feeding programme, Dr Godwin Akpan, has debunked the allegation that the programme has failed in the state, saying that the state has received 15 tranches of payment since the programme started in 2017.
Akpan said this while speaking with our correspondent against the backdrop of claims in some quarters that the programme has stopped working in the state following allegations of large-scale fraud.
“Since the inception of the programme Akwa Ibom State has benefited from the School Feeding Programme. Until last week, when payment was made we have collected 15 tranches of payment. That is to say that Akwa Ibom has been paid 15 times since the programme started in the state in 2017.
“The figures in the payment of the tranches differ, once the enrollment drops, the money will drop and when it increases the money increases,” Akpan said.
The state focal person noted that before the National Bureau of Statistics conducted head count for both pupils and vendors, Akwa Ibom used to have 300,000 pupils and 2,862 vendors.
He however said that NBS verification exercise only captured 889 schools out of the original 1,165 and the number of pupils dropped from 300,000 to 161,000.
He said the state governor, Udom Emmanuel took up the matter with the NBS, adding that when they came again for revalidation exercise the number of people rose again to 600,000 in primary one to three.
Akpan said those who are saying that the programme has failed in the state probably did not know how it works.