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N206bn In Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s Budget Wrongly Coded NOT Budget Padding — Zainab Ahmed



Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says N206 billion captured in the ministry of humanitarian affairs’ 2023 budget proposal was wrongly coded by the Budget Office.

In a statement issued by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, special adviser, media & communications, ministry of finance, the minister said this on Tuesday at a meeting with the house committee on appropriation.

Ahmed, who dismissed the budget padding allegation, explained that the N206 billion was an oversight.

The minister said the N206 billion was for the national social safety nets project funded by the World Bank and domiciled in the humanitarian ministry.

She noted that the wrong coding resulted in the item being wrongly captured as “purchase of security equipment” and had nothing to do with budget padding but an oversight.

According to her, the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management should have called the attention of the budget office to the anomaly like her counterparts in other ministries.

She disclosed that the ministry of defence, ministry of power, among others, also committed the same error.

Ahmed, however, called for collaboration among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to forestall such oversight.


Meanwhile, the ministry of humanitarian affairs has exonerated Ahmed and the ministry of finance of any budget padding allegation.

The statement added that Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, backtracked and exonerated the finance ministry at the committee’s meeting.

“Before I comment on the content of the comment, let me comment on the context. I was at the briefing when the minister was asked a question about the code, and she said that she did not understand that and that she would get clarification. Then the chairman obliged that the clarification will be brought and the matter was closed,” the statement quoted Farouq, represented by Nasir Sani Gwarzo, permanent secretary, finance ministry, as saying.

“One of the members then, in his summary, insinuated that that was padding, and that was what the press took. So, the minister of humanitarian affairs did not mention or use the word padding.

“She requested time to correct this mistake that she observed. Secondly, we did not go to the media refuting or challenging, rather we wrote a letter to the ministry of finance, budget and national planning seeking clarification. Therefore, I concur totally that what has been provided in the budget is part of our project. The only mistake was the coding which has been clarified even before this interactive meeting.”

The statement added that the permanent secretary, who stood in for the minister, distanced her from the budget padding statement.

Farouq, who had appeared before the senate committee on special duties to defend the 2023 budget proposal, claimed that the ministry requested some projects for the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and the National Social Safety Net Project in the 2022 budget, which were not released.

She said that her ministry was surprised that the money inserted was then 10 times the 2023 proposed budget for her ministry.

“Yes we made mention of the projects for 2022, which was not released, and part of it was for the NEDC,” she had said.

“The money was not released and now we have seen it recurring by almost 10 folds, and we are also going to clarify from the Ministry of Finance to know why this increase, despite the fact that the previous year, the money was not even released for the project. So, we will get the details and then send them to you on that.

On upscaling of the National Social Safety Net Project, she said: “These projects are under the National Social Safety Net, the condition cash transfer, the updating of the national social register and the rapid response register as well to cushion the effect of inflation.

“This is all I can say for this. I cannot give full details of how this amount is going to be utilised because it is something that was negotiated between the Ministry of Finance and World Bank.”

Aliyu Betera, chairman, house of representatives committee on appropriation, expressed the displeasure of the committee with the humanitarian minister over her continued failure to appear before the committees of the house when summoned.

Betara asked the humanitarian minister to appear and defend the ministry’s budget.


Tinubu Meets PDP’s G-5 Members



President Bola Tinubu is in a meeting with members of the defunct ‘G5 Governors’ at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The group made up of Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde; former Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ifeanyi Ugwuwanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) are all members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The group is considered to have been friendly with President Tinubu and contributed to his electoral victory in February.

Although the reason for the visit is yet to be known, it is believed Makinde and the former Governors would be seeking to take advantage of their cordial relationship with the President to gain political capital.

Makinde and Wike have frequented the Villa a couple of times in the last few days


More to come…

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BREAKING: Tinubu Signs Bill Raising Judges’ Retirement Age Into Law



President Bola Tinubu has signed into law the bill on uniform retirement age for judicial officers.

Tinubu signed the bill into law on Thursday.

More to come…

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You Are A Liar, Woman Beater, Ondo Deputy Governor’s Wife, Seun Ayedatiwa Tells Husband



The wife of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Seun Ayedatiwa, has faulted her husband’s defence over allegation of assault, maintaining that she is a serial victim of abuse in his hand.

But the deputy Governor in a statement through his media aide, Kenneth Odusola, said he had never raised a hand to hit his wife since they got married.

He described the allegation as baseless, false, nothing but political blackmail taken too far,” to cause political unrest in the state.

But in a statement from London entitled, “My Ordeal At The Hands Of Lucky”, Mrs Ayedatiwa narrated her experience, adding that she could no longer endure his temperament.

According to her, she had endured physical, emotional, and mental abuse from her husband, beatings, torture, and constant mistreatment.


“I have come across numerous comments regarding the statement released by the Women Group, the Society for Women Empowerment (SWE).

“Although I cannot ascertain the existence of the group or the true intentions behind the story, I feel it is important to express my pain for the sake of other women.

“I am a woman who deeply respects and supports my husband. Our story, like many others, has been one of grace and growth. While I am sociable, I am always mindful of my husband’s position. I have dedicated myself to nurturing our home and children, as any wife and mother would. I have done so with unwavering strength.

“Prior to Lucky’s appointment as the deputy governor, we had ongoing issues revolving around abusive behavior. Each time, he would apologize, often attributing his actions to alcohol. Our children have witnessed this on two occasions. They implored me to have him arrested, but I explained that Nigerian culture does not provide room for such measures.

“I am not happy about revealing my personal struggles publicly. It is a painful reality I must confront. I have reached the conclusion that concerted efforts must be made to eradicate the scourge of violence against women. I have endured physical, emotional, and mental abuse from my husband, beatings, torture, and constant mistreatment.

“On December 1, 2022, during a minor argument, I experienced one of the most severe beatings of my life at the hands of my husband. I was left bruised and battered, to the extent that I could not attend the birthday ceremony of Toyin Akeredolu, the younger sister of Governor Akeredolu, in Ibadan. He threatened to kill me, uttering words of disdain.

“On Friday, December 2, I traveled to Ibadan to meet with the First Lady, Chief Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu, to report Lucky’s actions. When she saw my battered face, she was enraged. She subsequently reported Lucky to the Governor. Lucky used to be the First Lady’s favorite, but since that day, she has distanced herself from him.

“Upon returning to Akure, even with my bruised face, Lucky slapped me again. He accused me of exposing him to the Governor and First Lady. He not only slapped me but also poured Hennessy on my head, berating me as a worthless woman.

“A few days before the FOWOSO summit, I was burdened with depression and numerous issues. I had already made up my mind not to attend the program. However, Lucky approached me, pleaded, and promised never to harm me again. I had to apply heavy makeup and wear dark glasses to conceal the bruises on my face, just to attend the event.

“By the end of January, Lucky resumed his abusive behavior. As much as I am a strong supporter of his aspirations to succeed the Governor, I have consistently advised him to exhibit decorum in his public life.

“Every time I mentioned this, he dismissed it as jealousy and insecurity, showing no regard for my feelings. Disrespectful calls were frequently received at our home, especially from one Ambassador Tolu Taiwo, one of his girlfriends.

“During the first week of February, we had a conversation about his political aspirations, and I advised him to refrain from making certain remarks to people. Instead of considering my advice, he unleashed his anger on me, subjecting me to further physical abuse. He threatened to kill me and make another woman the First Lady when he becomes Governor.

“Lucky not only assaulted me but also locked me out of the house. I had to spend two nights at St. Jacob Hotel. He instructed the gatekeeper not to allow me entry. From there, I had to travel to Lagos and eventually moved to Ilesa, my hometown.

“After being locked out, my driver eventually went to the house to retrieve my bag, which contained my passport. Since then, I have relocated to London.

“I am aware that Lucky may attempt to deny this story once again. However, I urge you to question him: Why have I not refuted the allegations of his abuse?

“He is my husband, and no woman would want to falsely accuse her spouse. If he claims that all of this is untrue, ask him to call me and put our conversation on speaker. He is well aware of my position on this matter. I refuse to continue hiding and suffering in silence.

“Once again, the First Lady is fully aware of this situation.

If Lucky denies it once more, I will come out with pictures and videos, no matter how humiliating it sounds. I am taking this step because I can no longer endure this situation silently.”




7TH JUNE, 2023.

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