Home » AGF Refutes Approval of Humanitarian Minister’s N585.198m Payment Request

AGF Refutes Approval of Humanitarian Minister’s N585.198m Payment Request

AGF Dismisses N585m Payment to Humanitarian Minister Amidst Corruption Allegations

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

In the midst of escalating corruption allegations against Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, a significant development has emerged. Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), has categorically denied approving a substantial payment request of N585.198 million submitted by the Minister. This denial adds a new dimension to the controversy surrounding the Minister’s financial dealings.

The rebuttal from the AGF’s office was made public through a statement released by Mr. Bawa Mokwa, the Director of Press at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF). Dr. Madein clarified that the OAGF does not directly handle payments for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) concerning their projects and programs. Instead, the process involves releasing allocations to these MDAs based on the approved budget. These MDAs, being self-accounting entities, are then responsible for implementing and managing payments for their respective projects.

The AGF further elaborated that Dr. Edu’s Ministry had been informed about the appropriate procedures for executing such payments. The established protocol dictates that payments should not be made in bulk to individual accounts under the guise of a Project Accountant. Instead, the rightful process involves disbursing payments directly to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts.

The controversy took root following a request by Dr. Edu, as detailed in a letter with reference FMHAPA/HQ/S.208, dated December 20, 2023. In this letter, Dr. Edu sought the payment for grants intended for vulnerable groups in several states including Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos. The request notably included the transfer of the entire sum to the personal account of one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, a detail that has raised eyebrows and questions regarding the propriety of such a transaction.

This incident has not only cast a shadow over the operations of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry but also brought to light the need for stringent adherence to financial protocols in governmental transactions. In related news, the Nigerian stock market anticipates a year of robust activity in 2023. Additionally, Fidelity Bank is awaiting approval from the NGX for a rights issue of 3.2 billion. Meanwhile, the Dangote Group has expressed concerns over an EFCC visit, describing it as an attempt to cause unnecessary embarrassment.

As the situation continues to unfold, further details are expected to emerge, clarifying the circumstances surrounding the payment request and the adherence to financial governance protocols within government ministries.

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