As the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of N585 million by the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Dr. Betta Edu, unfolds, the Presidency has called for patience and restraint from Nigerians, cautioning against a trial by media.
Responding to recent revelations on the matter, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, disclosed that President Bola Tinubu had approved the release of N3 billion for the verification of the National Social Register during the former administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
The National Social Register was established for cash transfers and other social investment programs under Buhari. A memo dated December 18, 2023, from the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, conveyed the approval, stating, “Please be informed that Mr. President has approved the expenditure of N3 billion from the Covid-19 Palliative Fund for verification of the National Social Register.”
In a statement, Onanuga reiterated, “The President has directed the EFCC to investigate the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and all these matters are under investigation already. I am sure that the EFCC had seen that memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff, and they are doing something about these findings.”
The revelations regarding the N3 billion approval shed light on the context surrounding the ongoing investigation, highlighting the role of the presidency in funding the verification of the National Social Register. As Nigerians await further developments in the probe, the presidency emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation by the EFCC into the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.