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ICPC Uncovers N2.67bn Fraud in Nigerian Govt. School Feeding Program, Says Funds Diverted to Private Accounts

Abel EjIkeme The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says it has uncovered corrupt practices in the federal government’s school feeding program, where N2.67 billion payment made

Abel EjIkeme

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says it has uncovered corrupt practices in the federal government’s school feeding program, where N2.67 billion payment made to some federal colleges for feeding during the coronavirus-induced lockdown ended up in personal accounts.

ICPC said more than N2 billion was appropriated by a senior civil servant in the ministry of Agriculture (now deceased) for himself and associates.

Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his keynote address at the second National Summit on Diminishing Corruption.

He said under the Open Treasury Portal review carried out between January to August 2020, 72 of the 268 Ministries, Departments, and Agendas (MDAs) in the country had cumulative infractions of N90 million.

He said while 33 MDAs tendered explanations that N4.1 billion was transferred to sub-TSA, N4.2 billion paid to individuals had no satisfactory explanations.

“We observed that transfers to sub-TSA were to prevent disbursement from being monitored. Nevertheless, we discovered payments to some federal colleges for school feeding in the sum of N2.67 billion during lockdown when the children are not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these findings,” he said.

Owasanoye added that the commission also found that uncompleted projects sponsored by legislators who do not get re-elected get abandoned to the loss of the community and the state.

In executing these projects, companies owned by sponsor’s friends or relatives or companies belonging to civil servants were used to execute projects which are abandoned or poorly performed.

The ICPC also uncovered a conspiracy between legislative aides of sponsors and implementing MDAs and contractors to undermine the quality of the project without the knowledge of the sponsor.

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