Reps probe $1.121m, over N187bn spent in 3 years on School feeding programme  …as lawmaker dismisses report on 200,000 pupils in Anambra State

Christie Edward

 

The House of Representatives on Monday unveiled plans to probe the sum of N186 billion reportedly spent on the Modified School Feeding Programme during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Hon. ‘Wole Oke, chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts stated this during the resumed probe into the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, as well as National Coordinators of the School Feeding Programme and National Safety Net Coordinating Officer, Dr. (Mrs.) Temitope Sinkaye and Mr. Iowa Apera respectively.

According to the documents available to the Committee, 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 balance from the government equity fund.

While noting that the disbursement of the N64 billion out of N186 billion allocation spent so far on feeding the school pupils alone was outrageous and unacceptable, the lawmakers called for comprehensive audit of the programme without further delay.

The lawmakers were informed that whooping sum of N186 billion has so far been spent on the schme which commenced in 2016.

According to the Mrs. Sinkaye, the sums of N63.2 billion was spent in 2018, the sum of N32.2 billion was spent in 2019 and N124.4 billion was spent in 2020.

Some of the lawmakers who spoke during the investigative hearing, expressed concern over the total number of 200,000 pupils alleged beneficiaries from different families who were documented to have benefited  from the scheme in Ihiala Local Council Area of Anambra State which he represented.