Reps Debunk Claims that 50 Lawmakers Tested Positive for COVID-19

Reps Orders Audit of FG School Feeding Programme

By – Glory Aregbesola

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Monday expressed serious reservations over the whopping sum of #186 billion reportedly expended on the Federal Government’s School Feeding Programme by the National Conditional Cash Transfer Office (NICTO), the coordinating office handling the project in the Presidency.

 

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Busayo Oluwole Oke and other members of the Committee while grilling the National Coordinator of the School Feeding Programme, Dr Mrs Sinkaye Temitope and National Safety Net Coordinating Officer Mr Iowa Apera on the disbursement of the #64bn out of #186 billion said to have been so far spent on feeding the school pupils alone, expressed displeasure over the development. They described the situation as outrageous and unacceptable.

 

Consequently, the Committee currently investigating the management and utilisation of the Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 demanded a complete project audit of the programme immediately.

 

The lawmakers were enraged by a document submitted to the committee which showed that the NICTO office received a credit of $400 million from the World Bank, $321 million from Abacha Restitution and another $400 million said to be a balance from the government equity fund.

 

Responding to the lawmakers, the National Coordinator of the School Feeding Programme pointed out that the programme had been on-going since 2016 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs initiated it and had so far gulped the sum of #186 billion.

 

She further explained that the budget breakdown showed that #63.2 billion, #32.2 billion and #124.4 billion were spent by the office in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.

 

Other committee members including Rep. Chudi Momah (Anambra- APGA) and Rep. Miriam Onuoha (Imo-APC) denounced the report saying that many schools and communities were yet to benefit from the school feeding programme.

 

Momah was visibly enraged as it was documented that 200,000 pupils from different families had benefited from the Programme in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, a claim he refuted.

 

The Committee Chairman, Rep. Busayo Oluwole Oke who also administered an oath to the National Coordinator, noted that the Committee would look at the documents submitted. He added that the funds might not have passed through an appropriation by the parliament.

 

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