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School Feeding: ICPC Clarifies Chairman’s Speech On N2.7bn Diversion

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has clarified a speech by its Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, over the diverted sum of N2.7 billion meant for school feeding.

Speaking at the commission’s 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector on Monday, Owasanoye had said the ICPC discovered payments to some federal colleges (secondary schools) for school feeding in the sum of N2.67 billion, with some of the money ending up in personal accounts.

In a statement by the ICPC on Tuesday to clarify the claim, it said it had discovered that some reports had erroneously implied that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, diverted monies meant for Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.

The commission noted that its chairman was referring to the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown, NOT the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the humanitarian affairs ministry.

“The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to some reports making the rounds on a segment of the speech delivered by the ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, yesterday, Monday, 28th September 2020 at its 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector. The said reports erroneously implied that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs diverted monies meant for Home-Grown School Feeding Programme,” the statement said.

“In the speech, Professor Owasanoye stated inter alia, ‘… 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’.

“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 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. The full speech of the Chairman can be downloaded from the Commission’s website at www.icpc.gov.ng.”

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