Minister Betta Edu of the Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has firmly refuted any connection to the N3 billion corruption controversy swirling around the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA). This comes after the suspension of NSIPA’s National Coordinator, Hajia Halima Shehu, and her subsequent questioning by the EFCC, where Shehu allegedly implicated Edu.
In a statement titled “Re-Betta Edu Linked to N3bn NSIPA Fraud Scandal; Baseless Accusations Aimed at Diverting Anti-Graft Agency’s Focus,” Edu’s spokesperson, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, declared Edu’s vehement denial of involvement. Edu claims the accusations are false, orchestrated by malicious individuals intending to damage her reputation amidst the EFCC’s NSIPA investigation.
Edu clarified that during her four months in office, she neither sought nor authorized the withdrawal of N3 billion from NSIPA funds. She adamantly asserted her non-involvement in NSIPA’s current challenges, stressing that her name shouldn’t be implicated in the ongoing suspension and investigations as directed by the president.
The statement further read:“The conclusion of the well-publicised Verification Exercise led to the expansion of the National Social Register and commencement of payment sequentially and directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to various beneficiaries.
“For the records, all the programmes embarked (upon) by the ministry under the current Minister, Dr. Betta Edu, thus far, including Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Grants for Vulnerable Groups (GVG) and others secured the approval of Mr President.
“Again, let it be known that there was no time the ministry not (Dr. Betta) withdrew any fund from the NSIPA account, let alone N3 billion without due diligence, and painstaking approval from the appropriate authorities.”
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