Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has reacted to reports that a sum of N2.72billion meant for the Federal Government’s school feeding programme was traced to private accounts.
Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) disclosed at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, that preliminary investigation had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts.
He added that hat 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.
However, the Minister in a statement by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, her media aide disociatted herself and the ministry from the diverted funds.
She argued that the statement by the ICPC chairman was misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The statement by ICPC was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs,” the statement read.
She maintained 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.”
The Minister added 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,” she said.
While describing those casting aspersions on her based on the reports as malicious and unfair, she called on the 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.