A delegation of the Federal Government led by Senior Special Assistant to the President on School Feeding, Yetunde Adeniji, has paid a scheduled visit to Osun State following the food poisoning incident that involved 18 pupils of St. James Primary School in Osogbo.
A statement released on Thursday by her media team quoted Adeniji as saying that the visit was a fact-finding mission to get an update on the purported food poisoning on December 12 under the state government’s Home Grown School Feeding (O-MEALS) programme.
The visit came barely one week after the state government commenced a probe into the circumstances surrounding the mid-day meal served to the pupils under the Osun free school feeding programme.
Governor Ademola Adeleke had immediately directed the stoppage of food cooking at the affected school pending the outcome of the investigations.
The FG delegation, which was received by the state governor and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, stated it discovered during their visit to the affected school that the purported incident was largely misrepresented.
While reiterating President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the well-being of children in public schools, the presidential aide emphasised that he remains committed to school feeding programmes as part of his eight-point agenda and will not leave any state unattended to in line with his vision to feed 10 million children across the country.
She also warned, “The meals served in schools must be of very high standards. We urged schools to remain vigilant against sharp practices as relates to the quality and hygiene of the meals served.
“The FG will be establishing a monitoring and evaluation unit to ensure continued commitment to the safety and success of school feeding programmes across the country. In the coming days, her office would ensure government policies are strictly adhered to across the federation to standardize school feeding programs in Nigeria, amongst other sweeping reforms.”
Sharing her sentiment, Osun deputy governor also stated that the issue was largely blown out of proportion.
“This incident on Monday, December 12th, 2023, was a clear case of misinformation. Unfortunately, such occurrences are not uncommon in governance at any level,” he said.
In the same vein, the school Headmistress, Adenike Olutola, added that the matter was purportedly fabricated.