How Nigerians are reacting to the alleged diversion of ₦2.67bn meant for the school feeding programme

Corruption is a hydra-headed monster that is difficult to eradicate. And when it becomes legal, it becomes a culture that becomes almost impossible to shake off. And, with the recent report of the  ₦2.67 billion school feeding fund uncovered in private accounts, one can only wonder how much more there is to unearth.

On Monday, September 28, 2020, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) disclosed that N2.67 billion meant for FG’s school feeding programme during the lockdown had been diverted into private bank accounts. Coming months after the Federal Government insisted on sustaining the school feeding programme when schools were shut, and the shocking revelation that the FG had spent about N523.3 million on the programme.

Many concerned Nigerians had questioned the rationale behind the school feeding programme during the lockdown as it did not seem feasible when schools, across the country, were shut. But that’s not all there is to ‘dynamics’ of a now reported money laundering pipe school feeding programme – there are other shocking tales about ghost cooks, ghost pupils and ghost schools too.

In 2018, Benue Social Investment Office of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme embarked on a screening exercise that uncovered over 500 ghost schools, ghost pupils and ghost vendors who were delisted from the programme, that saved the state from losing N33 million every month.

Also, the Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai had uncovered a system that harboured ghost cooks in 23 LGAs in Kaduna earlier this year and eventually carried out an audit to ascertain the number of cooks in its Home Grown School Feeding programme through Action Aid Nigeria.

Though, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, through her special assistant on media, Nneka Anibeze, has said the report from the ICPC was misinterpreted.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, therefore, calls on the general public to disregard the false reports being linked to the ministry as it is not in any way involved in the Federal Government Colleges School Feeding,” a statement reads.

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