Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola: Humanitarian affairs minister defends transfer of N585m to private account

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Betta Edu

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has reacted to a viral memo indicating that she instructed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, to transfer N585 million to the account of a private individual, Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

Her media aide, Rasheed Zubair, conveyed Edu’s reaction in a statement on Friday.

Memo details

In the memo with reference number: FMHAPA/HQ/OHM/S.208 and dated December 20, 2023, the minister identified Oniyelu as a project manager with the ministry.

The letter signed by the minister is titled ‘Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun States Respectively’.

It reads, “I hereby approve the payment of the cumulative sum of five hundred and eighty-five million, one hundred and eighty-nine thousand, five hundred naira (N585,189,500.00). These are payments for programmes and activities of the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups.”

The details show that N219,429,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom State; N73,828,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Cross River State; N219,462,250.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Lagos State while N72,468,750.00 was for 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Ogun State.

The letter said the payment of N585,189,500.00 –the total sum – should be made to a UBA account: 2003682151 belonging to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

“This payment should be made from the National Social Investment Officer account with account number: 0020208461037 to the Project Accountant’s details listed above,” it added.

Minister reacts

In his statement, the minister’s aide said the minister noted with dismay that a memo from the Ministry to the Accountant-General of the Federation approving for payment the sum of N585,189,500.00 Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups for four states is now being circulated on social media.

The minister’s aide said it was glaring that the “same sponsored disgruntled elements” in the past few days have been trying to smear the minister and stain her integrity because she alerted the Federal Government to alleged ongoing N44.8 billion fraud in the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).

He added that these elements have been trying to link the minister to a phantom fraud and are behind this “latest misadventure”.

“However, this latest vile effort of theirs is another infantile blackmail doomed for evisceration.

“For the avoidance, the said N585,198,500.00 was approved, and it is meant for the implementation of grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states.

“We must, however, note that GVG (Grants to Vulnerable Groups) was first launched in the Kogi state where recipients testified.

“Akwa Ibom and Cross River were launched in December 2023. Kogi already happened in November, and others will be launched in the coming weeks.

“The general public is invited to note that the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups is one of the social intervention schemes of the federal government, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance and it is legal in civil service for a staff, the project accountant to be paid and use same funds legally and retire same with all receipts and evidence after project or Program is completed.

“The evil motive of the mischief-makers behind the circulation of the memo is well-known and should be ignored.

Zubair noted that the minister is committed to delivering on her mandate and remained focused, unbiased and committed to duty.

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