Betta Edu News: Betta Edu approved flight fares for the total sum of N72,374,500 for staff to a state with no airport
Betta Edu News: For the agency’s employees traveling to Kogi, a state without an airport, Betta Edu, minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, provided funding for plane tickets and airport taxis.
TheCable was able to view an internal memo that was released and dated November 6, 2023, which contained the approval.
The minister authorized the memo, “The Disbursement Under the 2023 Grant for Vulnerable Groups Programs in Kogi State, 2023,” which was written by the national program manager and requested a total of N72,374,500.
The document appropriates the amount for the minister’s “advanced team” to fly to Kogi for an “event.”
The entire amount of N72,374,500 was given to the minister’s “advanced team” personnel, including aides, for aircraft tickets, an airport cab fare of N20,000, local operating costs, and DTA based on grade level.
The minister’s airfare was scheduled to cost N300,000.
Nevertheless, Kogi lacks a private airport.
The governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello, met with President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2020 at Aso Rock to establish an airport in the state.
After the meeting, Bello told reporters that he had requested Buhari to see to it that Kogi received funding for the airport.
“The purpose of my visit was to inform the president about the Confluence State, its progress, and the obstacles ahead. Additionally, I wanted to share with him the message from the Kogi State people that the social bond between the government and the governed remains strong.”
A WEEK FULL OF DISPUTES
The controversy that has followed the minister in recent times is the most recent in a string of them.
Following the disclosure of a memo in which the minister requested that the federation’s accountant general, Oluwatoyin Madein, move N585 million to a private account, the minister has come under fire.
A letter with the payment instructions, dated December 20, 2023, was leaked.
Edu gave the accountant general instructions to deposit the aforementioned amount to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola’s UBA account. The letter, which was signed by the minister and was titled “Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun States Respectively,” contained this instruction.
A few people on social media have demanded that the minister and her ministry be looked into.
Minister Edu’s action is considered a “serious procurement and fiscal malfeasance that attracts serious penalties,” according to the Network for the Actualization of Social Growth and Viable Development (NEFGAD), which petitioned President Bola Tinubu to start disciplinary procedures against the minister on Saturday.
In the face of popular indignation, Edu refuted any misconduct.