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NERFUND crisis boils over, FG shuts agency, sends staff home

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FG dumps local borrowing for foreign loans

The crisis in the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) over allegations of corruption, has led the federal government to close down the agency.

Following the move, all staff of the agency have been sent home on indefinite leave, pending resolution of issues raised.

It would be recalled that staffers at the headquarters of the NERFUND, paralyzed business activities recently, as they accused the agency of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds running into about N700m.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Dutse issued the closure notice on Thursday to members of staff of the organisation.

Read also: NERFUND staff battle management over alleged N700m embezzlement

The notice signed by Dutse, reads in part, “Following recent developments in your organization and failure to reconcile the differences between the executive management and the entire staff, inspite of the ministry’s intervention on the matter, the Federal Ministry of Finance has decided to close down your agency with immediate effect to forestall a further breakdown of law and order.

“Consequently, all members of staff should proceed on an indefinite leave pending further instructions from the ministry.”

Protesting NERFUND workers, aside the issue of embezzlement, had also protested the failure of government to make a categorical pronouncement over the status of the organisation after almost 16 years when former President Obasanjo brought up the idea of merging Development Finance Institutions comprising NERFUND, Bank of Industry and others.

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