Tinubu Approves N3 Billion For Social Register Verification Amid Humanitarian Ministry Probe

President Bola Tinubu has given the green light for the release of N3 billion to verify the National Social Register, a database of poor and vulnerable Nigerians created by former President Muhammadu Buhari for cash transfers and other social welfare programmes. The fund was sourced from the COVID-19 relief fund, according to a memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, dated December 18, 2023.

This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, who spoke to The Punch on Monday. He also said that the President had ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation over various allegations of corruption.

The ministry, which oversees the social register and other social intervention programmes, has been under scrutiny following the suspension of its minister, Betta Edu, in December 2023. Edu was accused of misappropriating N585 million meant for the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

Onanuga urged Nigerians to be patient and refrain from passing judgment on Edu until the EFCC completes its investigation. He said that the President would act on the findings of the EFCC when they are submitted. He also cautioned against the media trial of Edu and advised Nigerians to let the EFCC do its work without interference.

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