Friday, December 2, 2022

FG writes Gov Umahi, accuses him of stealing World Bank-donated relief funds for COVID-19

The federal government also disclosed that EB-CSDA, FADAMA, and MSMEs beneficiaries are owed over 12 months of arrears of salaries since July 2021.

• October 5, 2022
David Umahi, Buhari and World Bank

The federal government has called the attention of Governor David Umahi to the World Bank’s move to shut down its project implementation agencies in Ebonyi.

In a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) dated August 31 and seen by Peoples Gazette, the presidency referred to a report from the World Bank, which details its plans. 

The World Bank told the Ebonyi government that the decision was taken following allegations such as the non-payment of counterpart funds and failure to start a COVID-19 alleviation scheme, amongst others.

“I am to convey the modest compliments of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and have the honour to draw your Excellency’s attention to a report which revealed plans by the World Bank’s project implementation agencies to shut down their offices in Ebonyi state,” the letter said. “The decision is sequel to the alleged non-payment of counterpart funds, as well as misappropriation of funds of donor agencies by officials assigned by the state government, amongst other sundry reasons.”

Mr Umahi did not reply to The Gazette’s request for comments on the fraud allegation. 

The letter dated August 31, 2022, received on September 1, 2022, was signed by David Attah, a director at the SGF’s office, on behalf of Boss Mustapha.

The agencies to be shut down include the Ebonyi State Community-Based Social Development Agency (EB-CSDA), FADAMA, NG CARES and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The letter noted that the federal government’s NG-CARES Programme, funded by the World Bank, was created to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens, pointing out that the programme had yet to begin in Ebonyi despite the release of the first tranche of $3 million in last February by the financial institution. 

The letter also disclosed that Mr Umahi’s government owes EB-CSDA, FADAMA, and MSMEs beneficiaries over 12 months of arrears of salaries dating to July 2021. 

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