The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has recovered about N39.8 billion out of N44.8billion allegedly embezzled from the government account by former National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIPA), Halima Shehu. This came as the EFCC is currently investigating three second generation banks for their complicity in the illegal transfers of the funds meant for poverty alleviation and other intervention schemes of the current government. Shehu, the sacked National Coordinator of NSIPA in concert with a Director of Finance allegedly signed off N44billion from government account in five days between 27th and 31st December 2023.
Competent sources said the year-end transfer of the N44. 8 billion unspent funds was a regular practice in the Ministry, but discovered this time by Betta Edu, who immediately reported the incident to the EFCC. The former NSIPA boss allegedly transferred the funds to some individual accounts and companies through some commercial banks without any approval from the President or the Federal Executive Council and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu. Recall that activities of the Ministry under former Minister, Dr. Sadiya Umar Farouq, came under serious criticism over multiple cases of fraud being investigated in respect of government’s intervention funds like School Feeding, Conditional Cash Transfer and N-Power over issues bothering on lack of accountability and transparency, thereby eroding public trust.