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ICPC uncovers N2.67b meant for school feeding program in civil servants’ accounts

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says it has uncovered how high wire fraud still take place within the civil service system.

Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of ICPC said officials of the Commission recently uncovered a N2.67 billion payment made to some Federal Colleges, also known as Unity Schools for the homegrown feeding programme during lockdown.

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 stated that ICPC detected that the funds were diverted into personal accounts of the Ministry officials when children were 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.

Owasanoye also listed other assets recovered in the Agric ministry to include 18 buildings, 12 business premises and 25 plots of land.

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 him, while 33 MDAs tendered explanations that N4.1 billion was transferred to sub-TSA, N4.2 billion paid to individuals had no satisfactory explanations.

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“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 Commission’s 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.

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