Three hundred and forty-nine “ghost schools” were discovered in Nasarawa state by the enumeration committee of the Federal Government’s homegrown feeding plan for public primary schools.
Mallam Abdullahi Usman, who heads the committee and is also an adviser to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, made the announcement during a visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule at the Government House in Lafia.
He said that certain state officials were stealing money from a programme to provide lunches to schoolchildren in the state.
Usman claims that 1,203 publicly funded elementary schools were first identified as potential participants in the scheme.
After a thorough investigation, the committee concluded that 349 of these institutions did not exist, and that certain authorities had stolen the funds intended for their upkeep.
He insisted that after the discovery, high-ranking ministry officials in Abuja that Nasarawa State be dropped from the programme, but that this was ultimately decided against so as not to penalise the disadvantaged youngsters who stood to gain from it.
In addition, he said that the state programme officer and the consultant for the programme in Nasarawa State had been removed from their positions and replaced.
He expressed gratitude to the state’s Ministry of Education, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and others for their contributions to the committee’s successful work in Nasarawa State.
Mr. Imran Usman Jibrin, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Humanitarian Services, was singled out for his appreciation for his work as the state’s focus person and his cooperation with and support of the initiative.
He then declared Nasarawa State to be the most enthusiastic state in Nigeria, and its squad to be the greatest in the country.