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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: February 26, 2024

Group calls for sack of suspended Humanitarian minister

Group calls for sack of suspended Humanitarian minister

A prominent civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the immediate sack and appointment to fill the vacant office of the Humanitarian minister following the suspension of the incumbent, Betta Edu.

The group in a statement on Monday by it's National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko said , this has become necessary due to the economic situation of the country and further delay could threaten national security. Stressing the tardiness and unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks that have delayed the sacking of the suspended Minister.

HURIWA also,  knocks the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over the prolonged delay in the investigation of the alleged N100bn fraud in the Humanitarian Ministry and the N17bn in The National Social Investment Programme Agency, as officials are yet to be charged.

The Rights group said the report that the suspended conditional cash transfer programme is resuming even when there is no certainty in the humanitarian affairs sector, is inappropriate and this approach to such a very important assignment of this administration is absolutely condemnable.

HURIWA however dismissed the approach of not appointing a substantive minister to take over from the suspended minister, as tardy and substandard, further recalled that since January 2, Tinubu suspended Halima Shehu as the chief executive officer (CEO) of NSIPA, over alleged financial malfeasance and then on January 8, the president suspended Betta Edu as minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation.  

HURIWA lamented that it has taken a very long time for the President to take a decision and appoint a fresh person who is an expert in the field of humanitarian affairs and who is not a politician but a technocrat to assume office as minister immediately. 

“We in the organised Civil Rights Community are shocked that it has taken the EFCC too long to reach a determination one way or the other regarding the alleged massive corruption in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The decision not to dismiss the suspended minister even when the EFCC has reportedly recovered humongous amount of public funds allegedly diverted and stashed in private accounts belonging to the ministry, is a demonstration that the Federal Government is callously insensitive to the increasing rates of economic hardships, absolute hunger and deadly poverty that are spreading right now like wildfires and have engulfed millions of households due to poor economic policies of the current government.”

"The Rights group said the delay to do the needful and get the humanitarian sector buffeted by administrative corruption and alleged misappropriation to restart the work of reaching out to the millions of multi dimensionally poor households, is unacceptable  just as any further delay could threaten National Security due to the ever expanding economic hardships afflicting more and more households in Nigeria"

HURIWA which admitted that with  the rising cost of living, hunger protests, and free fall of the Naira, among others, the programme is billed to alleviate the sufferings of millions of vulnerable households, especially those slipping below the poverty line nationwide but only when a substantive minister is appointed immediately just as the idea of carrying out these key assignments by a mere panel constituted by the President portends serious danger.

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