Humanitarian Ministry Scandal: Tinubu Must Go Beyond Suspending Edu

The alleged payment of funds into a private account by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation does not come as a surprise because the ministry has always lacked transparency in its operations.

Development Diaries reports that, according to a leaked memo, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, instructed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to pay N585 million into the private bank account of a project accountant in her ministry, Bridget Oniyelu.

It is understood that President Bola Tinubu has suspended the minister over the allegations to allow for investigations. But beyond the suspension of the minister, the president must direct immediate investigations into all aspects of financial transactions involving all federal government ministries.

The leaked memo does not only question the issue of transparency in the dealings of the ministry; it also contravenes various sections of Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2009 meant to prevent fraud and other forms of corruption in government business.

Minister Edu allegedly violated section 713, chapter seven, of the Financial Regulations 2009 of Nigeria, which states that personal money should never be paid into a government bank account or any public money should ever be paid into a private account.

One major issue faced by poverty intervention programmes in Nigeria is the prevalence of corruption within the administrative and implementation processes.

This is why, over the years, there have been several poverty intervention schemes in Nigeria that have failed to address the rising poverty statistics in the country.

Edu,in a recent interview with Channels TV, announced another plan of her ministry to pull 50 million Nigerians out of poverty in 42 months.

Following this announcement, Nigerians still await the ‘how’ of the government’s plan to pull 50 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently said it uncovered the amount allegedly laundered in the ministry under former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

This is a pointer that there has been mismanagement and corruption rooted in the ministry.

There can be no justification for the criminal diversion of the said sum of N585.18 million for disbursement to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun States.

The EFCC is charged with investigating cases of corruption and financial crimes; hence, the investigation of alleged diversion of funds should be its duty.

Development Diaries calls on the EFCC to go beyond investigating only the humanitarian ministry. It must investigate all aspects of financial transactions involving all federal government ministries and bring to book all officials involved in fraudulent activities.

Photo source: Betta Edu


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