The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is heading for a clash with President Muhammadu Buhari following her refusal to release N14 billion approved by the president for the execution of key ecological projects across 14 states of the federation.
Frontiersnews gathered that Adeosun has also refused to approved the over N170 million overheard for running the agency in the last 12 months, thus paralysing the day-day running of the business of the fund, domiciled in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal.
Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that Adeosun, following the approval of the N14 billion by President Buhari on August 20, 2016, promptly processed the memo and forwarded it to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to raise the mandate for payment for the projects to commence immediately but two days later, she was said to have made a un-turn and withdrew the document from the office of the AGF on August 22, 2016 for unknown reasons.
It was gathered that when the SGF got wind of the subsequent withdrawal, he approached the finance minister during one of the Federal Executive Meetings (FEC) and questioned the rationale behind the withdrawal but findings revealed that the encounter between them ended in a shouting bout.
Unfazed by the encounter, the minister was said to have refused to process the memo after five months that the document was approved by the president. The development our correspondent gathered has since stalled the execution of the key ecological projects across the affected states in the country.
Further investigations by our correspondent revealed that Adeosun is reluctant to approve the release of the funds because of the N1.3 billion project that was listed under Ogun State; the (Flood/Erosion control in Abeokuta Town) which is said not to have come from certain powerful individuals in the Buhari’s government.
It was further revealed that one of the interested party has written to dissociate himself from the project and urged Lawal to expunge the said Abeokuta projects from the already approved lists by the president.
“As am talking to you now, everything is stalled because of Adeosun and his principal’s selfish interests. I have information that the minister is acting on the instructions of a superior boss and that she would not release the money until she is told to do so. The file has been with her since August 2016 when Mr. President gave the approval. My worry is, why should they wash their dirty linen in the public? If they have issues of the ownership of the project in Ogun State why can’t they sort out the issues quietly rather than frustrating the projects in other states? Its unfair and wicked,” a senior aide to the president lamented.
The aide who spoke to Frontiersnews, on the condition of anonymity said “what they should have done is release the money for the other projects and hold the one for Ogun pending when they solve their differences. They cannot because of their selfish interests hold other states and even the agency to ransom. This is not how a government that claims to be fighting corruption should act. The minister is spoiling the name of Mr. President and something urgent must be done to call her to order. This act of impunity on her part should not be tolerated”.
Frontiersnews could however not confirm as at thee time of filing this report if the SGF had already complied by writing to Adeosun to withdraw the Ogun projects or the decision of the president allowed to prevail.