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Real reason Tinubu suspended NSIPA boss – Official

An official in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has explained why the national coordinator of the National Social Investment Program Agency (NSIPA), Ms. Halima Shehu was suspended.

According to the official, she was suspended because of financial misappropriation worth billions of naira.

Before Halima’s appointment, she worked as the national coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme and also served with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development between 2017 and 2022.

Her suspension is coming barely three months after her appointment was confirmed by the Senate.

She resumed after the confirmation on the 7th of November, 2023.

She was also billed to perform an event at the local government secretariat in New Karu, Nasarawa state on Tuesday morning before the news of her suspension came.

She was meant to distribute cash grants and starter packs to vulnerable groups and also reach out to some victims of kidney harvesting.

Reporters who went to the event were sent back and forth due to the uncertainty of the news of her suspension.

They had arrived at the venue of the event in New Karu but were asked to return to the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.

After their return, they were asked to go back to New Karu as the coordinator of the event was sure Shehu was going to grace the occasion despite news of her suspension.

A few minutes after their arrival the second time at the event venue in New Karu, they were asked to return to Abuja where Shehu was meant to brief.

Upon arrival, armed personnel from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were on ground and prevented journalists from entering.

Giving reasons for her suspension, the official at the ministry who didn’t want his name mentioned, said: “Her suspension is true and it was a presidential directive that had to be effected without delay.

“She was suspended due to financial misappropriation worth billions of Naira. She was once the National Programme Coordinator of the National Conditional Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) under the immediate past administration but there have been reports of financial misappropriation and that is why she was suspended. Her suspension will give room for proper investigation.

On the amount she is being probed for, he said: “I cannot state the specific amount but I know it runs in billions because she headed a cluster of the NSIP programme and a lot of controversies have surrounded the execution of that programme.

“She is not the only that is being investigation. From all indication, in the coming days, everybody linked to the misappropriation of funds in the execution of the programme would be invited by the EFCC.”

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