AGF refuses minister’s N585 million payment request into private account

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Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), has firmly denied approving the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu’s request for a payment of N585 million into a private account.

The controversy emerged when a document signed by Minister Edu surfaced, authorizing the disbursement of funds to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, citing the allocation for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos States.

Rasheed Zubair, the media assistant to Minister Edu, defended the transaction, asserting its legality within civil service regulations. He explained that Oniyelu Bridget, serving as the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance, could receive payments in her private account, a practice permissible in the civil service.

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Contrary to these claims, the AGF’s office, in a statement signed by Director of Press Mr. Jacob Mokwa, clarified that they did not honor the minister’s payment request. The statement emphasized that the AGF’s office does not execute payments on behalf of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). Instead, MDAs are advised on the proper procedures to follow in making such payments.

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“Although her office received the said request from the ministry, it did not carry out the payment. The ministry was, however, advised on the appropriate steps to take in making such payments in line with the established payment procedure,” the statement read.

Dr. Madein underscored her commitment to maintaining accountability and transparency in the management of public finances. She urged MDAs to adhere to established procedures, emphasizing that payments should be processed by the respective ministries as self-accounting entities. Payments, according to the AGF, should be directed to beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts.

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This revelation comes as part of the AGF’s ongoing efforts to ensure financial integrity and adherence to due processes in transactions involving public funds. The statement serves as a reminder to MDAs to exercise prudence and transparency in their financial dealings.

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