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Education Minister, Adamu orders investigation into N2.67b school feeding fund

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ADAMU Adamu, the Minister of Education has ordered a full investigation to unravel more facts about the controversial N2. 67billion meant for the school feeding programme that was traced to bank accounts belonging to some public officials.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had earlier revealed that it traced the sum of N2.67 billion released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown for meal subsidies to some individuals account.

Reacting to the revelation, the Minister on Tuesday, in Abuja, noted that further investigation would establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of the same.

Adamu had earlier queried the principal of the Unity Schools, asking them to explain how payments on meal subsidies to the Colleges, which is usually facilitated by the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, (GIFMIS) could be violated.

However, the principals in their responses stated that the payments were made into individual accounts because of difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors, and market women who do not have Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), PENCOM and other requirements to access the payment platform themselves.

They explained further that payments made during the lockdown period had to do with debts owed food vendors even before COVID 19, some of which are still pending, adding that these debts arose from irregular and inadequate budgetary allocations and releases over the years.

The minister, however, said that the ministry would collaborate effectively with officials of the ICPC to unearth the facts as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that would ensure accountability and transparency.

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'Niyi works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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