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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: June 24, 2024

Minister criticizes Buhari's administration over alleged loan mismanagement

 Minister criticizes Buhari's administration over alleged lo

Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has criticized the Muhammadu Buhari administration for allegedly mismanaging the initial $100 million of a $500 million World Bank loan intended for women’s empowerment in Nigeria.

She revealed this during an interview on Arise Television on Monday.

According to her, the funding, part of the Nigeria For Women Project aimed at improving the livelihood of Nigerian women, was poorly spent. 

She accused the previous government of using the money for advocacy, meetings, and consultancy services, lacking proper accountability. The project has been launched in 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

She said, “About the Nigeria For Women Project, let me first tell Nigerian women to clap for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who came in after the first $100 million had been expended. When he came into the office, he looked at it with me and we were not satisfied with how the money was used.

“Let me make it clear, this is not a grant, it is a loan and when monies are given out as loans, they must be managed well so that the money can be paid back. If we don’t manage it well, how do we pay back the loan?

“When money is a loan, we expect whoever is given the loan to be allowed to utilise it properly in a way that the money will be paid back, so Nigeria will not continue owing all the time. So, the first $ 100 million, when I came in, I was not satisfied.

“It didn’t augur well with the Renewed Hope agenda. It was mainly for advocacy, meetings, and consultancy, and that was it and they shared it among the states. But remember, the project is called Nigeria For Women Project. It is supposed to be meant for projects for women, but that was not the case.”

The minister also mentioned that the revised framework has been sent to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to initiate the distribution process.

She added, “Fortunately, I quickly raised a new structure on how that money will be utilised so there won’t be more issues of advocacy, meetings and consultancy, which to me is a way of lavishing the money. So we took a new structure to him (Tinubu), he looked at it and he signed a memo, approving it for restructure. 

“I quickly wrote to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and I’m waiting for the new template to be restructured because Nigerian women are concerned, and we can work with the old structure.

“The former structure was there and women continued suffering. $500million is not a small amount of money, and I can assure you that it can change the lives of every woman who is vulnerable in this country, and I have planned myself from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, awaiting the new structure. What did I do? 

“I created a portal, and we have started onboarding women from the communities we partner with all the traditional rulers and commissioners across the nation and they have started onboarding the vulnerable women from communities.”

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