The allegation against Betta Edu, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Reduction, by a Halima Shehu, Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), of looting N3 billion may seem not to stand the acid test as indications have emerged that President Bola Tinubu, may have indeed directed Femi Gbajabiamila, the chief Of staff, to sign the President’s memo, authorising Betta Edu,to spend from the COVID paliative fund.
This is contrary to widespread allegations and speculation that the funds were looted.
In the trending memo sighted by BRANDPOWER, the Chief of the Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila is clearly seen to have acted on President Bola Tinubu’s directive and given approval to the now suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Betta Edu, for the release of N3 billion to verify the National Social Register, which was initially compiled under former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The leaked memo dated September 18, 2023, from the Office of Chief of the Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, titled ‘Conveyance of approval read made it clear that the president was responding to an appeal to use N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) from the Covid-19 palliative fund for verification of the national social register,’
It reads: “The above subject refers. Please be informed that Mr President has approved the expenditure of N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) only, from the Covid-19 Palliative Fund for verification of the National Social Register. Please accept the assurance of my highest regards.
Story continues after leaked memo image…
The leaked memo showed that the President gave his assent on the 18 of September , 2023
The social register had been created for cash transfers and other social investment programmes.
Presidency says investigation is still on
Speaking on the issue Bayo Onanuga, Special Media Adviser to the President said “The President has directed the EFCC to investigate the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and all these matters are under investigation already.
“I am sure that the EFCC had seen that memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff and they are doing something about these findings.
“Let us allow them to do their work. Let us not to be doing double investigation on the same issue or a media trial on an issue that is under investigation. Nigerians should exercise patience.
“When the EFCC is done with their findings, they will tender their report to the President who will then act on the result of the investigation.”
Reports have it that a company owned by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, was paid a total of N438.1m by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation under Betta Edu for consultancy services from the contract.
New Planet Project Limited was reportedly one of the consultants awarded contracts from the N3bn doled out by the suspended minister for the national social register contract.
According to reports, other beneficiaries include Fabunmi Olanipekun & Co, which got N419.5m, Vintsolve Global Consult was also paid N558.8m, Periscope Consulting got N277m, Blue Trend Enterprise was reportedly paid N277.8m, Laitop Dynamics Interlink Services got N277m, Memak Nigeria Limited was paid N277m, MC Van Management Consult Limited got N275.8m, Danzinger Nigeria Limited got N275.8m , while Blue Trend Enterprises received N277.8m