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NSIPA Scandal: Tinubu’s Minister, Betta Edu Speaks On Alleged N3B Diversion

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The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has reacted to an alleged diversion of N3 billion from the account of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) which is under her ministry.

 

Edu, in a statement titled; ‘Re-Betta Edu Fingered In N3bn NSIPA Fraud Scandal; A Tissue of Lies, Spurious Allegation To Divert Anti-Graft Agency’s Attention’ and signed by her spokesman, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, described her involvement in the alleged corruption as spurious and false.

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She stated that the allegation was sponsored by fifth columnists with the sole aim of dragging her hard-earned reputation and integrity into the ongoing investigation of the NSIPA scandal by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

Edu said she has never requested any funds or directed the withdrawal of N3 billion since her assumption of office as the minister from the NSIPA coffer in the last four months.

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The minister stated that she has no hand in the current travails of the leadership of the NSIPA, stressing that her good name should not be dragged into the ongoing suspension and investigations as approved by the president.

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The statement reads in full; “The attention of the Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu has been drawn to spurious allegations suspected to have been sponsored by some fifth columnists aimed at dragging the hard-earned reputation and integrity of the Honourable Minister into the ongoing investigations of the NSIPA scandal by the anti-graft agency.

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“Ordinarily, there is no substance in the said publication currently in some online media and does not deserve a response, but there is need to set the record straight for Nigerians and followers of the current development in NSIPA under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to be properly informed. This is necessary because the social media, in recent times, has been riddled with lots of fake and unsubstantiated news. The desire to drag traffics, also make desperate living by many bloggers has spurred several online content makers to throw caution into the wind; and rev in propaganda aimed at attacking government appointees.

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“There was no time the Minister, Dr. Betta Edu requested for any fund, needless to mention withdrawal of such amount of money to the tune of N3billion since her (Dr. Betta) assumption of office as the Minister from National Social Investment Programme Agency’s (NSIPA) coffer in the last four months, albeit one month was quoted in the sponsored ‘Fake News’.

“The Verification of the National Social Register (NSR) as quoted in the said publication online, was approved not only by Mr. President, but also by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in line with the Renewed Hope Mandate to expand the NSR as well as imbue it with integrity.

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“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 on 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 N3Billion without due diligence, and painstaking approval from the appropriate authorities.

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“The Honourable Minister wishes to inform the general public that she has no hand in the current travails of the leadership of the NSIPA, therefore her good name should not be dragged into the ongoing suspension and investigations as approved by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The responsibility of providing soccur to vulnerable Nigerians and pulling 50 millions out of poverty index within 42 months in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda has taken the Minister across the length and breadth of Nigeria and is achievable.”

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