ICPC clarifies ‘N2.67bn school feeding fraud,’ says ‘Humanitarian ministry not involved’

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has clarified the statement made by Bolaji Owasanoye, its chairman, regarding the alleged diversion of N2.67 billion school feeding funds.

Speaking on Monday at the agency’s second national submit on diminishing corruption in the public sector, Owasanoye said the ICPC traced the sum of N2.67 billion meant for feeding of students in federal government colleges to private accounts.

“We discovered payments to some federal colleges (secondary schools) for school feeding in the sum of N2.67b during the lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these findings,” Owasanoye said.

But Azuka Ogugua, ICPC spokesperson, said in a statement on Tuesday that the agency had to make some clarification after Owasanoye was misunderstood to have referred to the national home-grown school feeding programme run by the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.

The statement explained that the said fund was meant for the feeding of boarding students in some federal government colleges across the country.

“The Commission wishes to clarify that the “school feeding” referred to by the Chairman of ICPC was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is NOT the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,” the statement read.

“The Commission had discovered through its review of publications on the Open Treasury Portal that statutory monthly allocations meant for the feeding of secondary school students of SOME Federal Government Colleges were diverted into personal accounts.

“This statement is issued for the purpose of clarifying the statement of the Hon. Chairman. Consequently, the general public is hereby advised to disregard the said reports suggesting reference to the school feeding programme going on in primary schools.”

Meanwhile, the ministry of education has also denied any involvement in the alleged fraud.

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