Tinubu suspends N-Power, school-feeding, others amid corruption probe

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has suspended all programmes administered by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).

The NSIPA is domiciled under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

The suspension came amid ongoing investigations into alleged corruption in the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Ministry.

A statement by the director of information in the office to Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Segun Imohiosen, on Friday, January 12, stated that the development was in light of the ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance in the management of the agency and its programmes.

The ICIR reported how the activities of NSIPA had been under scrutiny following the suspension of the agency’s national coordinator, Halima Shehu.

Shehu was linked to the alleged laundering of N37.1 billion in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation under the former minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also arrested and interrogated Shehu after her suspension.

Subsequently, the anti-graft agency said it had recovered about N39.8 billion out of N44.8 billion allegedly embezzled from the government coffers under her watch.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, according to Imohiosen, stressed that all four programmes; N- power programme, conditional cash transfer programme, government enterprise and empowerment programme and home grown school feeding programme had been suspended for a period of six weeks in the first instance.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also raised significant concerns regarding operational lapses and improprieties surrounding payments to the programmes’ beneficiaries.

“He has therefore constituted a ministerial panel to conduct a thorough review of the agency’s operations with a view to recommending necessary reforms of the NSIPA,” the statement read.

Also, the statement noted that all NSIPA-related activities, including but not limited to all distributions, events, payments, collaborations and registrations would be put on hold throughout the duration of this suspension.






     

     

    “The President wishes to assure the stakeholders and all Nigerians that his administration remains committed to a swift and unbiased process that will ensure that, going forward, social intervention programmes will work exactly as intended, to the benefit of the most vulnerable Nigerians.”

    Shehu and the former minister were not the only individuals fingered in corruption allegations within the ministry. 

    The suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Beta Edu, was also caught depositing N585 million of public funds into a private account.

    Edu, who is currently under EFCC investigation, described the allegations of diverting the fund as blackmail.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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