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N2.67 billion school feeding funds have been diverted to private accounts; ICPC reveals

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on Monday, said that it uncovered the sum of N2.67 billion payment made to some federal colleges for school feeding during the lockdown in personal accounts.

The ICPC said that the money diverted into personal accounts was paid when children were not in school.

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed this in his keynote address at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption with the theme: “Together Against Corruption and Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy,” at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Owasanoye said N2.5 billion appropriated by a senior civil servant in the ministry of Agric now deceased for himself and cronies was also discovered.

Vanguard news reports that the anti-graft agency listed other assets recovered in the Agric ministry to include 18 buildings, 12 business premises, and 25 plots of land.

He said under the Open Treasury Portal review carried out between January to August 15, 2020, out of 268 Ministries, Departments and Agendas (MDAs) 72 of them 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.

According to Owasanoye, “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.”

The ICPC boss also said under its 2020 constituency and executive projects tracking initiative, 722 projects with a threshold of N100 million (490 ZiP and 232 executives) were tracked across 16 states.

He noted that a number of projects described as ongoing in the budget, were found to be new projects that ought to have been excluded in order to enable the government complete exiting projects; the absence of needs assessment resulted in projects recommended for communities that do not require them being abandoned; projects sited in private houses on private land thus appropriating common asset to personal use, hence denying communities of the benefit; absence of synergy between outgoing project sponsors and their successors

He said the commission also discovered that uncompleted projects sponsored by legislators who do not return get abandoned to the loss of the community and the state.


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