Humanitarian Minister Betta Edu denies allegations of N3 Billion NSIPA funds withdrawal

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has strongly refuted claims circulating in certain publications regarding the alleged withdrawal of N3 billion from the National Social Investment Programme Agency’s (NSIPA) funds. The minister categorically labeled these allegations as sponsored ‘Fake News’ and baseless fabrications.

The controversy unfolded following the suspension of NSIPA’s coordinator and CEO, Halima Shehu, over alleged financial impropriety. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s decision to suspend Shehu prompted speculations linking Edu to the suspension, asserting that it was related to purported fund withdrawals.

In response to these claims, Edu, through her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, emphasized that she has not authorized any such withdrawal since assuming office. The minister deemed these accusations as part of a trend where social media is flooded with unfounded information, aiming to tarnish the reputation of government appointees.

Edu clarified that the National Social Register (NSR) verification mentioned in the allegations received approval from both the President and the Federal Executive Council. This verification, integral to the Renewed Hope Mandate, aimed to expand and enhance the NSR’s integrity.

The Minister emphasized that all programs under her purview, including the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and Grants for Vulnerable Groups (GVG), obtained approval from President Tinubu. She vehemently denied any involvement in the challenges faced by NSIPA’s leadership, asserting that her focus remains on delivering assistance to vulnerable Nigerians and achieving poverty alleviation targets.

Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, the Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, urged the media, both online and conventional, to refrain from dragging the Minister’s name into ongoing investigations, emphasizing the need for a fair and unbiased examination of the NSIPA scandal.