A group, Lawyers of Conscience (LC) has demanded the full disclosure of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development spending as it relates to National Home Grown School Feeding Programme for Public Primary School Pupils in Nigeria.
A statement made available to newsmen in Abuja signed by its leader, Chief Nkereuwem Ndofia Akpan, said they have written to the Ministry demanding comprehensive information on the school feeding programme.
Akpan, however, said they are yet to get a response from the Ministry.
Recalled that the Ministry was created on August 21, 2019 to coordinate the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s response to the humanitarian challenges in the country, with the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) of the Ministry to N-power, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer and Empowerment Programme of the Buhari Administration.
He narrated how the Ministry, during the 2020-2021 lockdown spent N96 billion in nine months to feed school children who were allegedly at home and not in session.
Akpan said: “Back in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown, Nigeria’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development received N258.4 billion between January and September 2020, out of which it spent N96.3 billion of the sum within the same period.
“The NSIP expenditure includes N66.1 billion spent on recurrent expenditure and N29.1 billion spent on capital projects.”
Akpan said after the revision of the 2020 budget due to the shortfall in government revenue as a result of COVID-19 and the drop in oil price, a sum of N374.4 billion was appropriated for the NSIP.
He said this comprised N292 billion as recurrent expenditure, N50 billion as capital expenditure and N32.5 billion as COVID-19 capital spending.
He added that the latter was allocated for the provision of cash transfers to “additional 1 million poor Nigerians under the COVID-19 Intervention Fund” and to “cover the development of a Rapid Response Register (RRR) and the provision of N5,000.00 to target beneficiaries over a period of 12 months.”
He, however, urged the Ministry to urgently give account of the details disbursement of money meant for the project.
“We want to state emphatically, that we shall be approaching the courts to compel the Minister to make this information public to Nigerians,” he added.