CRIME

₦2.5 Billion Allegedly Misappropriated Under Agriculture, Not Humanitarian Ministry

The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, has stated that the Federal Colleges of Education students feeding is not under her Ministry and has called on mischievous people to stop alluding that the diversion to private accounts of the sum of “₦2.72 billion” for “school feeding” during the lockdown was part of the School Feeding Programme by her Ministry. The Minister said that the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) Professor Bolaji Owasanoye had clearly stated: “Preliminary investigations had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts. It also revealed that over N2.5 billion was misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) in the Ministry of Agriculture and now deceased, for himself and cronies”.

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD) late last night made this clarification in a press release to avoid the statement of ICPC being further misconstrued.

This is because there have already been insinuations in the media where the disclosure of the misappropriation of the funds were ascribed to the Minister and her Ministry. The social media is also already rife with allusion to the person of the Minister and the Ministry itself. Hence, the need for the press statement.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. To her right is the Ọgbẹni Rauf Aregbesola Minister for Interior

The press release by the FMHDSD, signed by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, and dated 28th September 2020 reads thus:

HONOURABLE MINISTER SADIYA FAROUQ DISTANCES SELF FROM DIVERTED SCHOOL FEEDING FUNDS

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development wishes to dissociate itself from a trending report in the media titled “N2.72b for School Feeding During Lockdown Diverted To Private Accounts”.

The report emanated after a presentation by the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption and was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.

The report states thus:
“preliminary investigation had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts. It also revealed that over N2.5 billion was misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) in the ministry of agriculture and now deceased, for himself and cronies.”

The statement by ICPC was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development hereby informs 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.

That the School Feeding under scrutiny is feeding of students in Federal Government Colleges across the country and is not under the FMHDSD which only oversees Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

That the over ₦2.5 billion which was reportedly misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) took place in a different Ministry and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

That the ICPC recovered ₦16 billion worth of assets from the said Ministry which was paid into an individual account for non-official purposes and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and Social Development describes those casting aspersions on the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq as malicious and unfair and calls on The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC to publish the names of persons, Federal Colleges and school heads whose names have been found to be associated with the missing funds and also freeze the accounts where the said funds were diverted.
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 anyway involved in the Federal Government Colleges School Feeding.

NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE
Special Assistant, Media
28-09-2020

It must be noted that Switch Nigeria reported the allegations as the ICPC Chairman had stated. Please click on this link to read the contents of our report on the disclosure by the ICPC-PE.

Source: The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

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