The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, has revealed that she did not honour the controversial N585.198 million requested by the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Betta Edu.
The humanitarian minister had in a letter referenced: FMHAPA/HQ/S.208 and dated December 20, 2023, requested that the AGF transfer the money to the personal account of one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, as the fund was meant for grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos States.
But following the public backlash concerning the illegality of the request by the minister, the AGF, in a statement issued by the OAGF director of press, Bawa Mokwa, in Abuja, on Saturday, said it wasn’t her responsibility to make payments for projects and programmes on behalf of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
According to Mrs Madein, allocations are released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget and such MDAs are responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.
The AGF’s statement read, “The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Dr Oluwatoyin Madein has clarified that the OAGF does not make payments on behalf of MDAs for projects and programmes implemented by the MDAs.
“The AGF was reacting to media reports concerning a request from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for payment of grants to vulnerable groups in some States of the Federation.
“She stated that allocations are released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget and such MDAs are responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects,” she explained.
Admitting that, “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.”
Explaining the appropriate way the request should have been made, the AGF explained 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.”
“Such payment should be sent to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts,” she added.
Mrs Madein expressed her resolve to uphold the principles of accountability and transparency in the management of public finances while she advised MDAs to always ensure that the requisite steps are taken in carrying out financial transactions.