Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, on Saturday, faulted the ‘disbursement’ of N585,189,500.00 into a personal account.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, in a viral document personally signed by her and directed to the Office of the AGF, had instructed the payment of the funds to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.
The document also showed that the payment of the N585.189 million grant, meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states, was made into Oniyelu’s account.
But Rasheed Zubair, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister in his reaction to the leaked document,
in a statement on Friday, said the payment for the vulnerable group followed due process.
Zubair argued that the payment of the grant to the account of Bridget was because the fellow currently serves as the Project Accountant of Grants for Vulnerable Groups.
But in her response to the development, the AGF, in a statement on Saturday by the Director of Press, OAGF, Bawa Mokwa, said she refused to honour Edu’s request.
She said it was not her responsibility to make payments for projects and programmes on behalf of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The statement quoted the AGF as saying that allocations were released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget and such MDAs were responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.
She explained that although her Office received the said request from the ministry, it did not carry out the payment.
Madein added that the ministry was advised on the appropriate steps to take in making such payments in line with the established payment procedure.
The statement partly read, “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.
“Dr. Madein reiterated her determination to uphold the principles of accountability and transparency in the management of public finances. She advised MDAs to always ensure that the requisite steps are taken in carrying out financial transactions.”