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N585m scandal: Edu not supposed to make payments into private accounts – OAGF

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The Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Oluwatoyin Madein, has clarified that the Minister of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, is not supposed to make payments into a private account.

AGF confirmed receiving the request from Edu for an N585 million payment but did not carry out the payment.

It also clarified that the OAGF does not make payments on behalf of MDAs for projects and programmes implemented by the MDAs.

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In a statement by the Director of Press, Bawa Mokwa, on Saturday, the AGF was reacting to media reports concerning a request from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for N585 million payment of grants to vulnerable groups in some states of the federation.

The AGF explained, “Although her office received the said request from the Ministry, it did not pay. The Ministry was, however, advised on the appropriate steps to make such payments in line with the established payment procedure”, she said.

Madein noted that allocations are released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget, and such MDAs are responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.

The AGF noted that in such situations, payments are usually processed by the affected ministries as self-accounting entities and no bulk payment is supposed to be made to an individual’s account in the name of the project accountant.

She added that such payments should be sent to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts.

Madein reiterated her determination to uphold the principles of accountability and transparency in the management of public finances.

She advised MDAs to always ensure that the requisite steps are taken to carry out financial transactions.

Earlier, the DAILY POST reported that Edu insisted that the N585.198 million payment into private was for the vulnerable group following due process.

Meanwhile, DAILY POST gathered that public sector financial regulations of 2009 prohibited the payment of public funds to the account of a private individual.

Section 713 of the law states, “Personal money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government bank account, nor shall any public money be paid into a private bank account. An officer who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intention.”

For the last 24 hours, Edu has come under fire by Nigerians over the approval of NN585 million to a private account, which is against the financial regulations in public service.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu barely four days ago suspended the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, Halima Shehu, an agency under Edu, over alleged financial misappropriation.


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