Hasten Edu’s Probe, Reps Charge FG

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House of Representatives has urged the federal government to put on hold the alleged idea of a new steering committee board under the ministry of finance to oversee the social investment programmes as it contravenes the extant law which positions the implementing agency and activities in the ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation.
It also asked the executive arm of government to expedite the completion of the investigation of the suspended minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Dr Betta Edu and to instigate further actions in the meantime.
The House further urged the government to direct a serving minister of state to oversee relevant approvals and implementation of the National Social Investment Programme to minimise the adverse implication of increasing hunger and sufferings experienced by vulnerable Nigerians relying on it.
These resolutions were sequel to adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Billy Osawaru from Edo State at plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion, Osawaru said since January, Edu was suspended and placed under investigation while the chief executive officer and national coordinator of National Social Investment Programme Agency was sacked and new chief executive officer and national coordinator replaced.
He said consequently, the implementation of all forms of government intervention such as N-Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and Homegrown School Feeding Programme that are expected to ameliorate the suffering of people, were placed on hold, pending thorough review of the programme and investigation of the alleged misconduct in the management of the programme.
The lawmaker expressed concern that halting the implementation of the programme particularly during this period of increasing hardship has the implication of heightening the challenges of the vulnerable population relying on its assistance and could lead to rise in poverty levels, social unrest and ultimately impacting negatively on the overall stability and development of the country.
“The recent cases of looting of warehouses and food trucks in many cities across the country as a result of increasing hunger and sufferings, signals the need for immediate action to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians such as the resumption of all forms of Social Investment Programme,” he said.
Osawaru expressed delight over the interim report of the 6-man probe panel appointed by president Bola Tinubu to investigate the allegations surrounding the embattled minister which recommended the resumption of the programmme.


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