Education minister, VP's office react to 'N2.67 billion school feeding fraud' as ICPC clarifies statement

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu,  says the ministry is not involved in the N2.67 billion fraud alleged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

ICPC chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed on Monday that the said sum paid to some federal colleges for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown ended up in private bank accounts.

Federal government colleges (unity schools) are under the ministry of education.

Asked to comment on the allegation, Adamu said that his ministry does not handle such programmes.

He said instead, the office of the vice-president and that of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development should be asked.

“I think you should try to verify this by asking ICPC to give you the evidence, or by asking the Office of the Vice President that was handling school feeding before, or by asking the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,” TheCable quoted Adamu as saying.

“The Federal Ministry of Education doesn’t handle the issue.”

Also,  Laolu Akande, media aide of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said that the ICPC chairman was not referring to the homegrown school feeding programme which was formerly supervised by the office of the vice-president.

”If you read the speech, you will see clearly that ICPC was not referring to the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme,” he said.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, humanitarian affairs minister, had earlier said her ministry has no link to the alleged fraud.

Umar Farouq said her ministry is responsible for the feeding of pupils in primaries 1-3 in select public schools across the country under the home grown school feeding programme, not the feeding of college students.

The ICPC later clarified the statement of its chairman.

”The Commission wishes to clarify that the “school feeding” referred to by the Chairman of ICPC was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is NOT the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,” it said.

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