ActionAid Nigeria said it has discovered several ghost cooks in its ongoing audit of Kaduna State Home Grown School Feeding programme through its Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the School Feeding (PATS-F) project across the 23 LGAs of the state.
PATS-F Project Coordinator Kehinde Arowosegbe told Arewa Trust Weekly that with over 7,000 school cooks in Kaduna, the audit will assist the state government in identifying the original cooks.
“We have seen a lot of ghost cooks but we don’t have their total number yet until we do the data analysis,” he said.
Arowosegbe, who spoke to our correspondent at LEA Primary School Lakwaja Road Rigasa in Igabi LGA, said the audit exercise, which is the first of its kind since the commencement of the programme in Nigeria, was aimed at having proper records of the cooks in the state.
He said PATS-F was a three-year ActionAid Nigeria project supported by MacArthur Foundation, adding that other cohort members supported in the project included the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Nigeria Popular Theatre Alliance (NPTA), Girl Child Concern (GCC) and Connecting Gender for Development (GCC).
He said the project was at the request of Kaduna State government to carry out cooks’ audit in all LGAs of the state adding, “We want to know how close the cooks are to the school; to know the exact number of cooks and to know how transparent the school feeding has so far been in the state.
“We monitored 400 schools in Kaduna out of which ActionAid Nigeria alone monitored 150 schools so the state approached us to do the food audit to be able to determine the actual number of cooks in the state and to find out if there are cooks that are dead but not reported,” he said.
The project coordinator said the group had visited all the LGAs except Birnin-Gwari due to the security situation.
“A lot of things are being unravelled by the food audit which the government is interested in.
“Now the government consistently asked us to get the analysis of the data so that they can take a decision.”