Reps fault FG’s N187bn spending on school feeding programme

The House of Representatives has faulted Federal Government’s claim of spending N186 billion on its School Feeding Programme by the National Conditional Cash Transfer Office.

The House Committee on Public Accounts picked holes in the spending while grilling the National Coordinator of the School Feeding Programme, Mrs Temitope Sinkaye; Coordinating Officer, National Safety Net, Mr Apera Iorwa, on the disbursement of N64 billion out of N186 billion said to have been so far spent on feeding pupils public schools.

Chairman of the committee, Mr Oluwole Oke, particularly described it as outrageous and unacceptable.

Consequently, the committee demanded a complete audit of the programme with immediate effect.

The lawmakers were especially enraged by a document submitted to the committee, which showed that NICTO received a credit of $400m from the World Bank, $321m from recovered ‘Abacha loot’ and another $400m said to be balance from Federal Government equity fund. 

Sikanye told the committee that the feeding programme had been ongoing since 2016 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs initiated it and had so far gulped N186bn.

She said N63.2 billion was spent in 2018, N32.2 billion in 2019 and N124.4 billion in 2020.

Members of the committee, however, disagreed with the expenditure, decrying that many schools, including those in their constituencies, had yet to benefit from the programme.

Mr Ifeanyi Momah (Anambra, APGA) and Mrs Miriam Onuoha (Imo, APC) particularly dismissed the report. Momah faulting the claim that 200,000 pupils from different families had benefited from it from Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, where he represents.  

 Oke stated that the committee would look at the documents submitted by the coordinators, expressing doubts that the National Assembly appropriated the funds.

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