It has come to the attention of The National Progressive Youth League that fake news and propaganda are being spread by the sacked NSIPA National Coordinator, Halima Shehu, and her cohorts in defense of the alleged diversion of 44.8 billion from the NSIP Account. Let us set the record straight – Dr. Betta Edu has never and will never lay a finger on government funds without due process, approval, and a justifiable cause.
In fact, the President himself approved the payment for Verification of social register and for one month’s allowance for NPOWER beneficiaries, which will be followed by an audit before clearing the backlog. This is the only amount that has been paid out of the said account, and the beneficiaries can attest to receiving their dues promptly.
It is vital to ask the sacked NSIPA NC under whose authority she withdrew 44.4 billion from the government account and paid into private accounts, suspense account, companies account, etc, without any approval whatsoever. She has been apprehended and will be held accountable for her actions, and all the funds will be returned to the government account.
We must not allow fake news and propaganda to cloud our judgment and tarnish the reputation of honourable public servants who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of Nigerians. Let us remain vigilant and seek the truth always.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has made a commendable move in recovering the funds that were fraudulently diverted from NSIPA to the tune of 30 billion after freezing accounts Halima sent monies into for herself. This is a positive step towards ensuring that justice is served and the culprits are held accountable for their actions, and we commend the EFCC for being swift and bold here.
It’s worth mentioning that the Minister of the Ministry, Dr Betta Edu, who shares President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, was the one who brought this fraudulent activity to the attention of the government and the EFCC. While she was providing assistance for the crisis in Plateau state, the staff in the Accounting Unit informed her of the fraudulent activity taking place for which she salvaged the situation.
It’s clear that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation will not operate as it did in the past. The previous corrupt practices will not be repeated. The Minister is determined to ensure that trust is built between Nigerians and the government, and that the Renewed Hope Agenda is sincere in its efforts to combat poverty in the country.
President Tinubu and Dr Edu have repeated assured Nigerians that they will continue the fight against corruption in all its forms. Nigerians deserve to benefit from good governance, and we want to assure us all that the Tinubu-led administration will work tirelessly to achieve this.
Halima Shehu and Hamza Bawai moved government funds into personal accounts, companies, and unknown accounts without proper approval. This type of behavior is unacceptable and goes against the values of the Tinubu/Shetima administration.
Therefore, we urge Ms. Shehu and all persons involved to come forward and be accountable for their actions. We demand transparency and an explanation for the reasons behind such moves. We owe it to the people to ensure that their hard-earned taxes are used for the betterment of our society and not for personal gains.
Let this also be a reminder to other leaders that corruption will not go unpunished under the leadership of President Tinubu who who has continued to uphold the highest standards of accountability and transparency since his days as Governor of Lagos state. We expect the same from other public office holders. The people deserve nothing less than our best efforts to serve them with integrity and honour.
Isah Yahaya Jibril,
The National Progressive Youth League,
4th January, 2024.