Hajia Sadiya Farouq, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, has distanced herself from reports linking her to the diversion of school feeding funds to private accounts.
The Minister in a statement on Monday by her media aide, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, explained that the report by Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been twisted by mischief-makers.
Naija News recalls Prof Owasonoye, made a presentation on Monday during the National Summit on Diminishing Corruption during which he highlighted that part of the N2.67billion meant for the school feeding programme was diverted to private accounts.
However, the Minister in charge of the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development has clarified that the school feeding in question is different from the Home Grown School Feeding which is one of its Social Investment Programmes under her supervision.
It added that the fund mentioned by Owasanoye is not handled by the ministry neither does it pass through the Minister.
While emphasizing the innocence of Hajia Farouq, the Ministry further called on the ICPC to publish the names of those involved in the diversion so that the public can be better informed.
Below is her full statement in reaction to the trending story.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development wishes to dissociate itself from a trending report in the media titled “N2.72b for School Feeding During Lockdown Diverted To Private Accounts”.
“The report emanated after a presentation by the Chairman of @ICPC_PE, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption and was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.”
“The report states thus “preliminary investigation had indicated that part of the N2.67billion was diverted to private accounts. It also revealed that over N2.5 billion was misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) in the ministry of agriculture and now deceased, for himself and cronies”.
“The statement by ICPC was twisted and misinterpreted by mischief makers and directed at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.”
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development hereby informs the public that the Federal Government Colleges school feeding in question is different from the Home Grown School Feeding which is one of its Social Investment Programmes.”
“That the School Feeding under scrutiny is feeding of students in Federal Government Colleges across the country and is not under @FMHDSD which only oversees Home Grown SchoolFeeding for children in Primaries 1-3 in select public schools across the country.”
“That the Ministry or the Minister does not even handle or disburse funds for@NHGSFP. That money for funding the Programme neither passes through the Minister nor the ministry.”
“That the over N2.5 billion which was reportedly misappropriated by a senior civil servant (name withheld) took place in a different ministry and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”
“That the ICPC recovered N16 billion worth of assets from the said ministry which was paid into an individual account for non-official purposes and not the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and Social Development describes those casting aspersions on the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq as malicious and unfair and calls on The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC to publish the names of persons, federal colleges and school heads whose names have been found to be associated with the missing funds and also freeze the accounts where the said funds were diverted.”
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, therefore, calls on the general public to disregard the false reports being linked to the ministry as it is not in anyway involved in the Federal Government Colleges School Feeding.”