The enumeration committee of the Federal Government homegrown feeding programme for public primary schools says it has uncovered 349 ghost schools in Nasarawa State benefiting from the scheme.
The money thus earmarked for the ghost schools has been ending up in private pockets, according to the committee head and adviser to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Mallam Abdullahi Usman.
Usman told Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia yesterday that sequel to the discovery the state was almost delisted as one of the beneficiaries of the programme.
But the state programme officer and the consultant were suspended and replaced.
“After due process of vetting, the committee discovered that 349 of such schools were actually ghost schools, with some officials pocketing the money meant for feeding these schools,” he said.
He said top ministry officials in Abuja recommended the removal of Nasarawa State from the scheme but the decision was rejected to avoid undue punishment of innocent children that would benefit from the scheme.
One thousand, two hundred and three public primary schools were originally captured as beneficiaries in the state.
He thanked all the relevant stakeholders including the National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), the state Ministry of Education, amongst others, for making the work of the committee a success in Nasarawa State.
He particularly applauded the governor for his cooperation and support while also recognising the contribution of the state focal person, Mr Imran Usman Jibrin, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Humanitarian Services.