Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Tuesday called on Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria, Sadiya Umar Farouq to immediately publish details of those involved in the diversion of the N2.67 billion meant for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The funds, according to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) were traced to some persons’ private bank accounts.
The group said that “Following disclosure by the ICPC that N2.67bn meant for school feeding during the COVID-19 lockdown ended up in private bank accounts, we’re calling on the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria, Sadiya Umar Farouq to immediately publish details of those suspected to be responsible, or face legal action,” SERAP said.
It further stated that if the names were not immediately published, it would issue a freedom of information request to ensure that those involved were named and shamed.
“If the names are not immediately published, we’ll issue a freedom of information request to ensure that those involved are named and shamed.
“We’ll also pursue appropriate legal actions to hold suspected perpetrators to account, in the public interest,” SERAP said.
The organization added that diverting funds meant to feed school children [who are already disproportionately affected by corruption], especially during COVID-19 was a blatant violation of the rights to education, health, and dignity, as well as the government’s own COVID-19 transparency frameworks.
“Corruption in school feeding increases distrust in the government. The Federal Government must ensure transparency and accountability measures are fundamental to all school feeding and other initiatives in the context of COVID-19, to ensure the children receive the support they need,” SERAP added.