By Williams Anuku, Abuja
Under the watchful eyes of the Federal Government, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has uncovered how high wire fraud still takes place within the civil service system.
According to the anti-Graft agency, its officials recently uncovered a N2.67 billion payment made to some Federal Colleges, also known as Unity Schools for the homegrown feeding programme during the lockdown.
It also detected that the funds were diverted into personal accounts of the Ministry officials when children are observing the lockdown imposed by the government.
Beyond this, another N2.5 billion was alleged to have been appropriated by a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for himself and cronies.
Unfortunately the kingpin is now deceased.
It also listed other assets recovered in the Agric ministry to include 18 buildings, 12 business premises and 25 plots of land.
The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, gave details of these frauds in his keynote address at the second National Summit on Diminishing Corruption with the theme: “Together Against Corruption and Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy”.
The event held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said under Open Treasury Portal review carried out between January to August 15, 2020, out of 268 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) 72 of them had cumulative infractions of N90 million.
According to Owasanoye, while 33 MDAs tendered explanations that N4.1 billion was transferred to sub-TSA, N4.2 billion paid to individuals had no satisfactory explanations.
“We observed that transfers to sub-TSA 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, “Owasanoye told participants.
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) was tracked across 16 states.