The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says it has commenced investigations into alleged cases of corruption in the management of COVID-19 funds and palliatives.
Speaking during a virtual meeting of stakeholders, the ICPC Director of Operations, Akeem Lawal, said that there are allegations of fraud by some participating public institutions in the release and distribution of grains from strategic food reserve to “financially exploit local governments.”
He said the cases include alleged infractions in the procurement of COVID-19 palliatives and logistics and community enlightenment activities.
Lawal also said there was also an allegation of diversion of “COVID-19 logistics and contingency emergency fund into personal account.”
The ICPC Director said:
In all cases of infraction, culprits will be investigated and prosecuted.
He added that the ICPC was also monitoring the distribution of money and food under the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme and the Home School Feeding Programme.
Lawal stated that the commission’s intervention in the COVID-19 fund management was pursuant to its corruption prevention, enforcement and public sensitisation mandate.
He said the aim was to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of the funds as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
During the web meeting, the Special Adviser to the President on School Feeding Programme, Dotun Adebayo, disclosed that the government was targeting 3,131,971 households in the Home School Feeding Programme.
He added that each household would get a food ration package worth N4, 200 on the presumption of an average of three children per household.
A package, according to Adebayo, contains five kilogrammes each of rice and beans; 500 milligrammes of vegetable oil, 750 milligrammes of palm oil, 500 gramme of salt, 15 eggs and 140 grammes of tomato paste.
We normally expend N1,400 per child per 20 days when schools are open.
Fortunately, we had existing fund to cover 20-day circle in April for 35 states before schools were closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
He further revealed that the government was leveraging the existing structure of the programme to deliver the food items to the beneficiaries.