School Feeding: Education Ministry, ICPC team up for investigation

The Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, has reiterated his commitment in investigating the N2.67 Billion discovered by the Indpendent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to have been diverted into private account.

In a Press Statement, Tuesday, signed by the Ministry of Education's Director of Press,  Ben Bem Goong, the Ministry stated, "Following the report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commision, (ICPC) that the sum of N2.67Billion released to the 104 Unity College during the COVID-19 lockdown for meal subsidies found its way into individual accounts, Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, has ordered  a full-scale investigation into the matter."

The Statement furthered that in response to preliminary enquiry by the Federal Ministry of Education, the Principal Officers explained that payment on meal subsidies to Unity Colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System,  (GIFMIS) platform is designed to accommodate individual officers of those Colleges who are officially recognised  to recieve such payments and disburse same to food vendors.

The Principal Officers further explained that farmers, local food vendors and market women who do not have Tax Identification Number (TIN), PENCOM and other requirements were unable to recieve direct payments noting that the payment made during the lockdown to the said account had to do with debts owed to food vendors  even before the lockdown which was occasioned by irregular and inadequate budgetary allocations and release over the years.

The Education Minister however insisted on partnering the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) in order to thoroughly verify the claim of the principal officers and ensure that public funds are not actually diverted to individual accounts by those entrusted with such funds.

"The investigation is to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same."

"To this end, the Ministry in line with the Minister's directive is to collaborate effectively with the officials of the (ICPC) unearth the facts as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that will ensure accountability and transparency," the Ministry stated. 

Read Also>>>Breaking: N2.67 Billion Home Grown School Feeding Fund stashed in some Private Accounts -ICPC

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