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I did not release N25bn Military Pensioners Fund to Defence Minister- Betta Edu

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…Says Ministry processing 17,077 Veterans,264,560 Pensioners

By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The Minister For Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has refuted the news that the ministry has released N25 billion Military Pensioners Fund directly to the Defense Minister, Muhammed Badaru.

Edu reacted to the alleged the news in the media been drawn to a fake news making rounds in the media and public spaces alleging N25 Billion purportedly meant for the Retired Military Pensioners from the Conditioner Cash Transfer Funds has been given to the Minister of Defense, Muhammed Badaru Abubakar.

In a press release issued by the ministry, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs urged the general public to disregard such reports as not only fake, deliberate, and malicious attempt by mischief-makers, disgruntled elements and enemies of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration to tarnish the image and integrity of the Honourable Minister.

The statement added, “For the records, at no time did the Honorable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation give or contemplate giving funds meant for the Pensioners of the Retired Military personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces to Ministers or Ministries.

For the avoidance of doubt, 17,077 Veterans, and 264,560 Pensioners list were submitted to the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office
(NASSCO), in the third week of November and the process of in-person verification of the names submitted by the Nigerian Legion and the Pensioners group is still ongoing.

Similarly, the office responsible for the verification of the register under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is doing a painstaking job, of working with the World Bank. All the captured retired veterans who meet the criteria and pensioners will be paid once the rigorous verification exercise is completed.

The Members of the public ,especially the media, are hereby informed that the ministry has not released or planning to release any money meant for the Renewed Hope Cash Transfer to any individual or group.

In line with the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, all funds upon confirmation of the beneficiaries’ details, are to be sent directly to them through their bank accounts and is verifiable.

The good intention of Mr. President to expand the National Social Register and commence payment of the N25,000 for three months to accommodate the veterans of the Nigerian Armed Forces, which is a novel idea and the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, should be appreciated by Nigerians and not allow themselves to be distracted or misinformed by naysayers.

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