By G9ija

Education Minister Adamu Adamu has ordered full scale investigation into alleged missing of N2.67 billion meant for feeding pupils during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had raised the alarm that N2.67 billion released to 104 unity schools during the lockdown for meal subsidies was found in private bank accounts.

A statement on Tuesday in Abuja by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, said head teachers of the 104 colleges claimed that payments on meal subsidies to Unity Colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform were designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who are officially recognised to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.

They said this followed the difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors and market women, who do not have Tax Identification Numbers (TINs), the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and other requirements to access the payment platform.

“The investigation is to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same.

“To this end, the ministry, in line with the minister’s directive, is to collaborate effectively with officials of the ICPC to unearth the facts as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that will ensure accountability and transparency,” the statement added.