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Why we didn’t honour Betta Edu’s request to pay N585m into private account – AGF



The Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, has explained why her office did not honour the request by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, for payment of N585 million into a private account.

Edu had come under severe criticism after a letter she personally signed and addressed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, requested the payment of the funds to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

However, in a statement issued on Friday by her media aide, Rasheed Zubair, the minister said the payment was to address the needs of vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos States.

She said the grant followed due process and was duly approved by the presidency.

But in a statement issued on Saturday by the Director of Press, OAGF, Mr. Jacob Mokwa, the AGF said the office did not honour the letter with reference no: FMHAPA/HQ/S.208, dated December 20, 2023.

She said bulk payments such as the one requested by the minister are by the affected ministries as self-accounting entities and not the OAGF.

READ ALSO: Reps summon minister, Betta Edu, raise questions over conditional cash transfer programme

The statement read: “In a statement in Abuja, the AGF explained that although her office received the said request from the ministry, it did not carry out the payment. The ministry was, however, advised on the appropriate steps to take in making such payments in line with the established payment procedure.

“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 payment should be sent to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts.

“Dr. 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 in carrying out financial transactions.”

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