ICPC recovers N2.5b diverted by deceased staff of Agric Ministry

*** N2.67b school feeding funds also found in private accounts

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) says it has found over N2.5b diverted by a deceased worker with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

Apart from the diverted funds, the commission also recovered 18 buildings, 12 business premises and 25 plots of land in the same ministry.

Speaking at the second National Summit on diminishing corruption in the public sector, which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, the chairman of the commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed that the agency also uncovered N2.67 billion meant for the school feeding programme in private accounts.

The summit themed, ‘Together against corruption’ which took place in Abuja on Monday also included the launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy.

Under the Open Treasury Portal review carried out between January to August 15, 2020, he said 72 out of 268 ministries, departments and agencies had cumulative infractions of N90 million.

The ICPC chairman noted that while 33 MDAs tendered explanations that N4.1b  was transferred to sub-Treasury Single Account, N4.2b paid to individuals had no satisfactory explanations.

“We observed that transfers to sub-TSA was to prevent disbursement from being monitored. Nevertheless, we discovered payments to some federal colleges for school feeding in the sum of N2.67 billion during lockdown when the children are not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into this finding.”

He said under its 2020 constituency and executive projects tracking initiative, 722 projects with a threshold of N100 million (490 ZiP and 232 executive) were tracked across 16 states.

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The constituency tracking project of the agency, according to him compelled 59 contractors to return to sites, adding that the individuals handling the projects worth N2.25 billion had abandoned the projects before the ICPC’s intervention.

 

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