The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Monday, June 15, 2020, expressed serious outrage over the whopping sum of N186 billion reportedly spent by the Federal Government on school feeding programme through the National Conditional Cash Transfer Office, NICTO, the coordinating office handling the project in the Presidency.
The House joint House Committees on Public Accounts, Health Services, and Institution, through its lead Chairman, Oluwole Oke, and other members on Monday, June 15, 2020, expressed their disappointment over the expenditure at an investigative hearing in Abuja.
The joint panel, while grilling the national coordinator of the School Feeding Programme, Sinkaye Temitope and National Safety Net Coordinating Officer, Iowa Apera, on the disbursement of the N64 billion out of N186 billion said to have been so far spent on feeding the school pupils alone expressed described the sum as outrageous.
As a result, the panel, currently investigating the management and utilisation of funds by the Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 demanded a complete project audit of the programme immediately.
The lawmakers were enraged by a document submitted to the committee which showed that the NICTO office received a credit of $400 million from the World Bank, $321 million from Abacha Restitution and another $400 million said to be balanced from the government equity fund.
But the National Coordinator told the lawmakers that the feeding programme had been on-going since 2016 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs initiated it and had so far gulped N186 billion in totality.
She further told the committee that the budget breakdown showed that N63.2 billion, N32.2 billion, and N124.4 billion were spent by the office in 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively.
Other committee members including Chudi Momah (Anambra, APGA) and Miriam Onuoha (Imo, APC) denounced the report saying that many schools and communities were yet to benefit from school feeding programme.