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Why I Did Approve The Payment of N585 Million Into A Private Account – Betta Edu, Tinubu’s Minister

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According to a document that surfaced, Minister Betta Edu of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation allegedly transferred N585,198,500.00 into a personal account. This suggests that the crisis involving financial corruption is far from over.

In a widely circulated document addressed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and signed by Edu, the Minister directed that N585,198,500.00 be paid to one Oniyelu Bridget.

The document additionally demonstrated that N585.198 million, the award intended for vulnerable communities in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom, was deposited into Oniyelu’s account.

Rasheed Zubair, the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, responded to the development by stating that the N585.198 million payment for the disadvantaged group was made in accordance with the law.

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According to him, the reason the award was paid to Oniyelu Bridget’s account is that the fellow is currently the Project Accountant for Grants for Vulnerable Groups.

He clarified that the N585.198 million award was intended to support vulnerable populations in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.

The aforementioned N585 million was allowed for the avoidance and is intended to be used to implement grants to vulnerable populations in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.

“Note that Kogi State was the first state to implement GVG, and there, recipients provided testimony. In December 2023, Akwa Ibom and Cross River were introduced. Others will be introduced in the upcoming weeks, with Kogi having already taken place in November.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is carrying out one of the Federal Government’s social intervention programs, the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups, which the general public is invited to take note of.

“It is lawful in the civil service for a staff member, the project accountant, to be paid and use the same funds lawfully and retire the same with all receipts and evidence after the project or program is completed,” he said. “Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance.”

Nigerians expressed confusion on social media about the development, questioning why a sizable portion of the federal government’s funds would be transferred to a single person’s account.

The 2009 public sector financial regulations forbid the transfer of public cash to a private individual’s account.

The law’s Section 713 declares that “neither public nor personal funds may under any circumstances be deposited into a private or government bank account.” When an official deposits public funds into a personal account, it is considered that they did so with the aim to deceive.

Remember how President Bola Ahmed Tinubu just four days ago suspended Halima Shehu, the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, an organization under Edu, on suspicion of embezzlement.

As a result, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, arrested and interrogated Halima Shehu on an alleged N44 billion scam.

After a probe, the EFCC blocked N30 billion that had been transferred from NSIPA’s accounts.

Comparably, the EFCC invited Sadiya Umar-Farouq, a former minister of the ministry, to testify about a financial scam that was purportedly orchestrated by one contractor, James Okwete.

 

Credit: Dailypost

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