Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives has queried the expenditure of N186 billion reportedly spent by the federal government so far on School feeding programme and has resolved to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the funds for accountability.
The National Coordinator of the School Feeding Programme, Dr. Mrs Sinkaye Temitope and National Safety Net Coordinating Officer,
Mr. Iowa Apera told the House Committee on Public Accounts that N64billion out of N186 billion said to have been spent was spent on feeding the school pupils alone.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Busayo Oluwole Oke and other members of the committee expressed displeasure over the development, describing it as outrageous and unacceptable.
Consequently, the Committee currently investigating the management and utilisation of the Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 however demanded a complete project audit of the programme immediately
The lawmakers were visibly angered 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 balance from the government equity fund.
The National Coordinator told the lawmakers that the feeding programme had been ongoing since 2016 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs initiated it and had so far gulped N186 billion in totality.
According to her, the budget breakdown showed that N63.2 billion, N32.2 billion and N124.4 billion were spent by the office in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Other committee members including Hon. Chudi Momah (Anambra, APGA) and Hon. Miriam Onuoha (Imo, APC) denounced the report saying that many schools and communities were yet to benefit from school feeding programme.
Momah was visibly enraged as it was documented that 200,000 pupils from different families had benefited from it from Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, which he refuted.
Oke said that the committee would look at the documents submitted, adding that the funds mighty not have passed through appropriation by the National Assembly.