Nigerians Take to Twitter, Blast Minister Edu For Transferring Over N585m Grants Meant for Vulnerable Groups Into Private Account

Jan 5, 2024 - 20:03
Jan 5, 2024 - 20:48
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Nigerians Take to Twitter, Blast Minister Edu For Transferring Over N585m Grants Meant for Vulnerable Groups Into Private Account

By Our Reporter

Amid the controversy trialing the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Nigerians have taken to Twitter (now X) blasting the Minister, Dr. Beta Edu, for directing the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, to pay public funds to a private account.

Edu, had in a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) obtained by THE BEAGLE NEWS dated December 20, 2023 with reference number FMHAPA/HQ/OHM/S.208, directed that the sum of N585,189,500.00 be paid into a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

According to the Minister, Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola is said to be the project manager in the ministry.

The letter, signed by the minister and titled "Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states respectively, read in part: "I hereby approve the payment of the cumulative sum of five hundred and eighty-five million, one hundred and eighty-nine thousand, five hundred naira (N585,189,500.00). These are payments for programmes and activities of the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups."

According to the table of disbursement, "N219,429,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom State; N73,828,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Cross River State; N219,462,250.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Lagos State while N72,468,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Ogun State.

"The payment of N585,189,500.00 total sum should be made to a UBA account number 2003682151 belonging to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

“This payment should be made from the National Social Investment Officer account with account number: 0020208461037 to the Project Accountant’s details listed above,” it stated.

The development has attracted mixed reactions from Nigerians on Twitter (X).

While a good number describes Dr. Beta Edu 's action as smack of corrupt practices and unexpected of a person in her office who prides herself as "Madam Clean", others see it as normal practice in civil service.

Reacting in his official X handle, Omotayo Williams, a human rights activist, political analysts and finance/accounting tech expert, said: "This is one of the bank accounts used by Minister Betta Edu to loot N585,189,500. More than half a billion was transferred to one personal/individual, Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola for 4 states. Who is Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, and why is a single personal account taking cash for 4 states? Nigeria is a crime scene.

"Sacked NSIPA CEO, Halima Shehu, had stated that she moved the over N30bn she is accused of embezzling to other accounts.

"Elections are over. Now is the time to ask questions. You don’t have to beg a politician for a bowl of rice in a working country."

Kicking, Sam Ed said: "I have said it before, and I will repeat it. Social intervention projects, e.g. traders' money, feeding the poor, etc., are used by politicians to steal money.

"Those involved will collect money and give a fraction of the people, take pictures and share them online. The remaining money goes into their pocket.

"There is no database to track who has received the money. Also, those they claim received the money don't have bank accounts, and the people involved don't even like paying via bank accounts because it can be tracked. They prefer paying cash at hand."

An X user by the name Energy said: "These people are just taking us for a ride. How can someone embezzle N30 billion and another transfers over N500m? This is an attack on the future of our dear nation. It's unfortunate."

For BuddlyBear, " I had thought the minister got something to offer. Just few months into being a minister, just imagine the alleged looting spree! People who has absolutely nothing to offer but are being rewarded with appointment! Buhari could be better."

But supporting Edu, another X user in the name of Ada Anambra, said: "Who was the letter addressed to?Accountant General!! Showing you Dr Betta Edu went through the right channel to get these funds approved.

"These funds were approved by Mr President before it was released to the project accountant(Mrs Bridget ); project accountant in the civil service are accountants that work with the office of the Accountant General.

"They are designated to each social intervention program implemented by the Federal Government. Read the civil service rules and stay informed."

Also reacting on the X handle, Itita Ekpe said:"Beta Edu 's one of our best hands. This I trust followed due process provided the recipient/contractor has a TIN and pays tax accordingly.

The attached request letter was never a hidden document as it was supposed to be filed in the ministry for retirement. She's Clean!"