Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) of ₦2.67 billion released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown for meal subsidies found in individual accounts.
The Minster in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations Mr. Ben Bem Goong said the investigation is to establish the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of the same.
He said in response to the queries issued by the Federal Ministry of Education, the Principals explained that payments on meal subsidies to Unity Colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform is designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who are officially recognised to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.
According to the statement, the principals also explained that payments made during the lockdown period had to do with debts owed food vendors even before the COVID-19 pandemic, some of which were still pending.
The statement notes that the debt arose from irregular and inadequate budgetary allocation and release over the years.
It adds that with the Minister’s directive, the Ministry will 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.