The Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, has denied a report that her office honoured the request to pay N585 million into a private account as directed by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu.
Edu, in a document that has gone viral on many social media platforms, personally signed the letter and addressed it to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, authorising the disbursement of the funds to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.
The minister added that the payment was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos States,
The media assistant to the minister, Rasheed Zubair, in a statement, said that it was legal within the civil service for such payments to be made into private accounts of staff, especially project accountants.
“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance, and it is legal in civil service for a staff, the project accountant, to be paid and use the same funds legally and retire the same with all receipts and evidence after the project or programme is completed,” Zubair had said.
The AGF, however, said the OAGF does not make payments on behalf of MDAs.
Madein stated that her office received the minister’s request as contained in a letter referenced FMHAPA/HQ/S.208, and dated December 20, 2023, but did not honour the request.
The AGF’s statement was contained in a document signed by the Director of Press, Mr. Jacob Mokwa, in Abuja, on Saturday.
The statement read, “In a statement in Abuja, the AGF explained that 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 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 the 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.: