MINISTRY OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT REFUTES CLAIMS THAT HONOURABLE MINISTER WAS REPRIMANDED BY THE PRESIDENCY
The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to an uncharitable and false story by an online medium notorious for spreading falsehood alleging that the Honourable Minister had been reprimanded by the Presidency for ”excessive use of power and employment of support staff and aides beyond the financial capacity of the Ministry."
In addition, the Honourable Minister was alleged to have refused to approve payment for the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in some States as well as payments to N-Power beneficiaries.
In the light of these unsubstantiated allegations, the Ministry wishes to clear the air and set the records straight as follows:
1). At no time has the Presidency reprimanded the Honourable Minister for ”excessive use of power and employment of staff beyond the financial capacity of the Ministry“. Furthermore, the Presidency has financial capacity of the Ministry'. Furthermore, the Presidency has never sent a senior ofhcial to monitor the activities of the Minister.
2). The Minister has at no point employed any support staff, as employment in the Federal Civil Service is guided by laid down rules and procedures and cannot be carried out at the instance of the Minister. The staff of the Ministry to date Including the Honourable Minister's staff have been deoloved from other MDA's with their salaries and emoluments still domiciled in those MDAs.
3). As such, no support staff of the Honourable Minister is being paid by the Ministry. As Nigerians are aware, the Ministry came into existence on the 21st ofAugust 2019 and being a new Ministry with no staff, the Honourable Minister had to mobilise some of her support staff to come on board volunteering their skills and competencies in a bid to contribute to the success of the new Ministry. It was these support staff that worked tirelessly to do the spadework while staff were being deployed to the Ministry to deploy the much-needed foundation blocks.
4). The Honourable Minister has at no point stopped payment for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme. She has reiterated this at a Press Briefing on the 2nd of December,2019, noting that the programme had continued to run smoothly even with the understandable challenges accompanying any transition such as the one since the transfer of the National Socal Investment Programmes to the Ministry. It is pertinent to state that the Minister has approved payment for the programme up to the 31st of January 2020.
6). The Ministry wishes to reassure the general public that all decisions taken by the Minister and Management of the Ministry are guided by extant rules and regulations. Similarly, the Minister does not take for granted the weight of her onerous office and the confidence reposed in her by Mr. President and as such will not do anything that is at variance with laid down guidelines or the aspirations of the present Administration.
7. The Honourable Minister wishes to seize this opportunity to appeal to media practitioners to ensure that they are guided by the ethics of their profession and always verify stories before going public with them and to place public interest above other interests in the discharge of their duties.
8). The Ministry calls on Nigerians not to be distracted by unfounded stories aimed at distracting the Honourable Minister and the present Administration from focusig on the task of addressing poverty, creating wealth and entrenching Inclusion In our beloved nation.
Rhoda Ishaku Illiya
Assistant Director Information
Ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.