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Nigeria’s humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development Sadiya Umar Farouq have dissociated the ministry from a N2.67bn meant for the feeding of schoolchildren during the lockdown.

“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development hereby inform the public 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,” Farouq’s spokesperson Nneka Anibeze said in a statement.

“It is not under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs which only oversees Home Grown School Feeding for children in Primaries one to three in select public schools across the country.”

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Monday, said it had uncovered an N2.67 billion for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdowns diverted to personal accounts.

ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the agency also discovered over N2.5 billion misappropriated by a deceased senior civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture to himself and cronies as well as recovered 18 buildings, 12 business premises, and 25 plots of land.

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Farouq, whose ministry oversees the government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) said ICPC’s disclosure of the diverted funds was twisted and misinterpreted.

“The ministry or the minister does not even handle or disburse funds for Home Grown School Feeding. The money for funding the programme neither passes through the minister nor the ministry,” Farouq said.

“The School Feeding under scrutiny is feeding of students in Federal Government Colleges across the country and is not under the ministry which only oversees Home Grown School Feeding for children in Primaries 1-3 in select public schools across the country.

“That money for funding the Programme neither passes through the Minister nor the ministry.”

The minister explained that the over N2.5bn which was reportedly misappropriated by a senior civil servant took place in a different ministry and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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