February 28, 2024

The Accountant General of the Federation ( AGF) Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, has clarified that the OAGF does not make payments on behalf of MDAs for projects and programmes implemented by the MDAs. Her position is on the heels of backlash trailing a request from Dr Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Office of Accountant General of the Federation ( OAGF) to action N585 million to a certain individual, Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, as grants for vulnerable Nigerians in four states of the federation. Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, confirmed through her spokesperson, Rasheed Zubair, that she ordered the payment. Public outburst is trailing the Ministry’s request for payment which leaked to public days ago.

According to the document, Edu made the request to the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, to send public funds to the private account. Zubair, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister, said the N585.198 million payment was for the vulnerable group following due process. The SA added that the payment of the grant to the account of an individual, Oniyelu Bridget, was because the fellow currently serves as the Project Accountant of Grants for Vulnerable Groups. The letter from the minister with reference number: FMHAPA/HQ/ OHM/S.208 to the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Madein, dated December 20, 2023, had asked that over N585 million should be sent to a private account.

The letter signed by the minister, Dr Edu, is titled ‘Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun States Respectively’. Speaking on the money, the minister through her SA, explained that the payment of the N585.198 million grant was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states. Reacting officially yesterday for the first time, the AGF, in a statement is- sued by Director of press in OAGF, Mallam Bawa Mokwa, clarified that, al- locations are released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget, add- ing that, such MDAs are responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects. The AGF explained that although her Office received the said request from the Ministry, it did not carry out the payment.

The Ministry , she said, was 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 Project Accountant. She added that such payment should be sent to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts.

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