Presidency says Tinubu approved N3bn for national social register verification



Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu approved the release of N3bn to verify the National Social Register under the former administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

Onanuga said this while responding to fresh revelations on the matter, in the light of the ongoing investigation into the alleged misappropriation of N585m by the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Dr Betta Edu.

Business Hallmark had reported that a leaked memo from Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff to the president, approved the diversion of the said sum from COVID fund.

The social register was created for cash transfers and other social investment programmes under Buhari.

The memo dated December 18, 2023, from the Office of Chief of the Staff to the President, titled ‘Conveyance of approval; Re: appeal to use N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) from the Covid-19 palliative fund for verification of the national social register,’ read:

“The above subject refers. Please be informed that Mr President has approved the expenditure of N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) only, from the Covid-19 Palliative Fund for verification of the National Social Register. Please accept the assurance of my highest regards.

Onanuga who spoke to Punch on Monday night, said “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.

“Let us allow them to do their work. Let us not to be doing double investigation on the same issue or a media trial on an issue that is under investigation. Nigerians should exercise patience.

“When the EFCC is done with their findings, they will tender their report to the President who will then act on the result of the investigation.”

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