The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has dissociated itself from a trending report in the media titled “N2.72billion for School Feeding During Lockdown Diverted To Private Accounts”.
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye on Monday said the agency has discovered N2.67 billion meant for the school feeding programme in private accounts.
The agency, he added, also found over N2.5 billion diverted by a deceased worker with the ministry of agriculture, noting that 18 buildings, 12 business premises, and 25 plots of land, were also recovered in the ministry.
Owasanoye disclosed this in Abuja on Monday, at the second National Summit on diminishing corruption in the public sector, which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation.
SA Media to the Minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze in her response on Monday, said the report emanated after a presentation by the Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption and was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
The report states, “preliminary investigation had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts. It also revealed that over N2.5 billion was misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) in the ministry of agriculture and now deceased, for himself and cronies.”
According to her statement, “The statement by ICPC was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development hereby inform the public that the Federal Government Colleges school feeding in question is different from the Home Grown School Feeding which is one of its Social Investment Programmes.
“That the School Feeding under scrutiny is feeding of students in Federal Government Colleges across the country and is not under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs which only oversees Home Grown School Feeding for children in Primaries 1-3 in select public schools across the country.
“That the Ministry or the Minister does not even handle or disburse funds for Home Grown School Feeding HGSF. That money for funding the Programme neither passes through the Minister nor the ministry.
“That the over N2.5 billion which was reportedly misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) took place in a different ministry and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“That the ICPC recovered N16 billion worth of assets from the said ministry which was paid into an individual account for non-official purposes and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development describes those casting aspersions on the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq as malicious and unfair and calls on The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC to publish the names of persons, federal colleges and school heads whose names have been found to be associated with the missing funds and also freeze the accounts where the said funds were diverted.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, therefore, calls on the general public to disregard the false reports being linked to the ministry as it is not in any way involved in the Federal Government Colleges School Feeding.”