The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has said that President Bola Tinubu approved the release of N3bn to verify the National Social Register under the former administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
The social register was created for cash transfers and other social investment programmes under Buhari.
A memo dated December 18, 2023, from the Office of Chief of the Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, titled ‘Conveyance of approval; Re: appeal to use N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) from the Covid-19 palliative fund for verification of the national social register surfaced online on Monday, January 17 and has generated mixed reactions. While some believed the authenticity of the memo, others claimed it was fake.
The memo read;
“The above subject refers. Please be informed that Mr President has approved the expenditure of N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) only, from the Covid-19 Palliative Fund for verification of the National Social Register. Please accept the assurance of my highest regards.
Confirming the authenticity of the memo, Onanuga in an interview with Punch, asked Nigerians to await the outcome of the EFCC in the investigation into alleged misappropriation of public funds in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The President has directed the EFCC to investigate the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and all these matters are under investigation already. I am sure that the EFCC had seen that memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff and they are doing something about these findings. Let us allow them to do their work. Let us not to be doing double investigation on the same issue or a media trial on an issue that is under investigation. Nigerians should exercise patience. When the EFCC is done with their findings, they will tender their report to the President who will then act on the result of the investigation.”