Allegations of fraud against the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has been denied by the government official who claimed that the rumour is the handiwork of evil-doers.
Edu was implicated in the N44.8bn fraud in the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).
However, the minister urged the general public to dismiss such claims, insisting that some elements who have been trying to link her to a phantom fraud, “are behind this latest misadventure.”
The minister, reacting to the allegation of her involvement through her Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, on Friday evening, explained that the fund for the vulnerable groups in four states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states was not only approved but also went through due process.
“For the avoidance, the said N585,198,500.00 was approved, and it is meant for the implementation of Grants to Vulnerable Groups, GVG, in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states,” she added.
A response to the allegation by the ministry, read, “The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation notes with dismay, on a memo from the Ministry to the Accountant-General of the Federation approving for payment, of the sum of N585,189,500.00 Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups for four states, which is currently being circulated in the social media.
“It is glaring that the same sponsored disgruntled elements in the past few days have been trying to smear the Honourable Minister, Dr Betta Edu, and stain her integrity following the Federal Government’s ongoing 44.8 Billion Fraud in NSIPA. These elements have been trying to link her to a phantom fraud and are behind this latest misadventure.
“However, this latest vile effort of theirs is another infantile blackmail doomed for evisceration.
“For the avoidance, the said N585,198,500.00 was approved, and it is meant for the implementation of Grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states. We must, however, note that GVG was first launched in the Kogi state where recipients testified.
“Akwa Ibom and Cross River were launched in December 2023, Kogi in November, and others will be launched in the coming weeks.
“The general public is invited to note that the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups is one of the social intervention schemes of the federal government, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance and it is Legal in civil service for staff, the Project accountant to be paid and use the same funds legally and retire same with all receipts and evidence after the project or Programme is completed.
“The evil motive of the mischief-makers behind the circulation of the memo is well-known and should be ignored. Of note is the fact that since assumption of duty about five months ago, the Minister has religiously visited different parts of the country like Borno, Zamfara, Niger, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa, FCT, Lagos Cross River among others and this is done to ensure she delivers on her mandate and she has remained focused, unbiased and committed to duty.”