The Nigerian Government has ordered an investigation into claims by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission that N2.67bn meant for feeding school pupils during the COVID-19 lockdown were found in the account of private individuals.
Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, made the announcement on Tuesday.
The ICPC had raised the alarm that N2.67bn released to 104 unity colleges during the lockdown for meal subsidies were in the accounts of some private individuals.
Reacting to the order, however, Ben Goong, Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, said principals of the 104 colleges claimed payments on meal subsidies to unity colleges on the government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform was designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges officially recognised to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.
The principals said this followed difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors and market women, who do not have Tax Identification Numbers, PENCOM and other requirements to access the payment platform.
They added that payments made during the lockdown were related to debt owed vendors before the pandemic began.