Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been accused of dubiously converting the March salary of N-Power beneficiaries to COVID-19 palliatives by the Nigerian Government.

The ministry had delayed the payment of the N-Power beneficiaries for their March salaries for two weeks before payment began on April 14.

It was gathered that the delay in payment was to finalise plans to divert the salaries to palliatives measure for the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country.

In a document exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, the Humanitarian Ministry spearheaded the move despite a warning by stakeholders in the scheme.

Sources in the ministry disclosed that tagging N-Power salary as Nigerian Government COVID-19 palliatives was a bid to divert funds originally meant for the palliative.

In a bank notification, the payment was tagged “30k FG alert”.

Recall that since the creation of the ministry and transfer of the N-Power scheme from the office of the Vice President to the ministry, there has been delays in the payment of salaries despite approval and release of funds by the Ministry of Finance.

“Payment has always been processed and paid through the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) but the one for the month of March was processed with the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS).

“This payment was done by skipping the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government,” a source in the ministry familiar with the payment told SaharaReporters.

The source added that to be able to carry out the payment, the data of N-Power beneficiaries and others not included in the scheme was uploaded on the GIFMIS platform.

“The payment was done with GIFMIS, which was used to carry out the renaming of the N-Power March salary to COVID-19 palliatives," the source said.

While this was done, some beneficiaries of N-Power were deliberately excluded from the payment of the March salary.

Another source in the ministry also condemned the move, saying desperate politicians were trying to benefit from relief funds for the poor.

"There is an ongoing pressure by some politicians trying hard to loot the money that was billed to be given to poor Nigerians as palliatives and they are ready to go any length to carry out this plan," the source said.

Recall that SaharaReporters had uncovered and reported a plan by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to divert funds meant as palliatives by altering the country’s social register.

The minister subsequently asked the lawmakers to nominate individuals from their constituencies to oversee the implementation of the scheme.

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