ICPC reveals alleged diversion of N2.67m meant for school feeding programme

ICPC reveals alleged diversion of N2.67m meant for school feeding programme

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered diversion of part of the N2.67 billion payments made to some Federal Colleges for school feeding during the lockdown.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who stated this at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption with the theme: “Together Against Corruption and Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy”, said a preliminary investigation had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts.

1st News reports that the event presided over President Muhammadu Buhari, was held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, September 28.

The ICPC boss said: “We observed that transfer to sub-Treasury Single Account was 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.

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Owasanoye 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.

The chairman also listed other assets recovered in the ministry of agriculture 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 Aug. 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.

The ICPC chairman 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 of the federation.

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 to complete exiting projects.

According to him, the commission also found that uncompleted projects sponsored by legislators who do not return; get abandoned to the loss of the community and the state.

He also frowned at the use of companies owned by sponsor’s friends or relatives or companies belonging to civil servants in implementing; MDAs to execute projects which are abandoned or poorly performed.

The ICPC chairman condemned what he described as a conspiracy between legislative aides of sponsors; and implementing MDAs and contractors to undermine the quality of projects without the knowledge of the sponsor.

On asset recovery, Owasanoye said the commission recovered N16 billion from the ministry of agriculture; paid into individual accounts for non-official purposes.

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