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N17bn NSIPA Fraud: PDP Group Wants Humanitarian Minister Suspended Africa

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Support Group has asked President Bola Tinubu to also suspend the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, to pave the way for effective investigation of corruption allegations in the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).

Tinubu had on Tuesday suspended the coordinator/chief executive officer of NSIPA, Halima Shehu, over alleged financial impropriety and appointed Akindele Egbuwalo as new head of the agency.

The group under the aegis of PDP Forever Initiative at a press conference in Abuja yesterday alleged that the federal government through the minister of humanitarian affairs is attempting to cover up some wrongdoings in government.

The president of PDP Forever Initiative, Gideon Obande, said it was wrong for the president to approve the suspension of Shehu and immediately replaced her with a Yoruba man instead of the most senior civil servant in her agency who is from the north.

He said as opposition coalition, they had raised the alarm toward the end of 2023 that the minister Betta Edu may have allegedly connived with some highly placed persons to undermine Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda which he said was evident in the manner fictitious names were being enrolled in the National social register.

“Today, the minister is enjoying her holiday while the national coordinator and CEO of NSIPA is being sacrificed. If the government is sincere, the minister should have been suspended alongside the National coordinator and CEO of NSIPA to pave the way for effective investigation.

“We are aware that there have been direct dealings of the minister with the coordinators. Instead of reporting to the national coordinator/chief executive officer of NSIPA, they report directly to the Minister, thereby neglecting the people of Nigeria.

“We are aware that the federal government is not ready to address some critical issues raised by Nigerians like the ongoing debate on the bogus N28 trillion 2024 budget and its realisation, the expansion of the National Social Register which the minister of humanitarian is handling unilaterally without due process and the availability of the application form to deserving Nigerians.

“It is wrong for Mr President to approve the suspension of Ms Hailma Shehu and immediately replace her with a Yoruba man instead of the most senior civil servant in her agency who is from the North,” he said.

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Rabia Rabiu

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