Betta Edu denies complicity in alleged N3bn NSIPA fraud

THE Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has denied involvement in the alleged N3 billion National Social Investment Programme Agency’s (NSIPA) fraud.

In a statement signed by her special adviser on media and publicity Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair on Thursday, January 4, the minister described the allegation as a “tissue of lies, spurious allegation to divert anti-graft agency’s attention.”

According to the minister, the allegation is the handiwork of fifth columnists aimed at dragging her into the ongoing investigations of the NSIPA scandal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Ordinarily, there is no substance in the said publication currently in some online media and does not deserve a response, but there is 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 social media, in recent times, has been riddled with lots of fake and unsubstantiated news. The desire to drag traffic and also make a 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,” the statement partly reads.

The statement added that there was no time Edu requested any funds or withdrew N3 billion from NSIPA since her assumption of office.

It added that the Verification of the National Social Register (NSR), which was quoted online, was approved by President Bola Tinubu and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in line with the Renewed Hope Mandate.

“For the records, all the programmes embarked by the Ministry under the current Minister, Dr Betta Edu, thus far, including Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Grants for Vulnerable Groups (GVG) and others, secured the approval of Mr President.

“Again, let it be known that there was no time, the ministry not (Dr Betta) withdrew any fund from the NSIPA account, let alone N3 billion without due diligence and painstaking approval from the appropriate authorities,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Support Group on Wednesday, January 3, asked Tinubu to suspend Edu to pave the way for effective investigation of corruption allegations in the NSIPA.

At a news conference in Abuja, the group operating under the banner of PDP Forever Initiative said that the Federal Government, through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, was trying to hide some wrongdoings in the government.



    According to the group’s president, Gideon Obande, the body alerted the public in late 2023 about allegations that Edu might have colluded with some influential individuals to thwart Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. 

    “Today, the minister is enjoying her holiday while the national coordinator and CEO of NSIPA is being sacrificed. If the government is sincere, the minister should have been suspended alongside the national coordinator and CEO of NSIPA to pave the way for effective investigation,” the group stated.

    The ICIR reported on Wednesday that the national coordinator of NSIPA, Halima Shehu, was arrested and detained on Tuesday, January 3, after President Tinubu suspended her from office over an allegation of financial impropriety.

    source within the EFCC confirmed to The ICIR on Wednesday, January 3, that Shehu was in custody at the commission’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, where she was facing interrogation.


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