By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has described her reported involvement in the alleged N3bn National Social Investment Programme Agency’s (NSIPA) fraud as “tissues of lies”.
A statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, said there was no time the minister authorized the withdrawal of N3 billion since assuming office.
According to the minister, there was no substance in the spurious allegation but for posterity sake there was a 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.
“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, “Zubair said.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Support Group has asked President Bola Tinubu to extend his suspension hammer on the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Edu, to pave way for effective investigation of corruption allegations in the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).
Tinubu had on Tuesday suspended the coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of NSIPA, Halima Shehu, over alleged financial impropriety and appointed Akindele Egbuwalo as new head of the agency.