By Peter Uzoho
The presidency has denied the allegation that N23 billion allegedly missing in the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was purportedly traced to the personal account of a former staff of the office.
The Head of Communication, presidential SDGs, office, Janet McDickson, in a statement yesterday, said no N23 billion was missing, adding that appropriated and released funds to the office were judiciously utilised in the discharge of its mandate.
“The attention of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) has been drawn to recent online publications and subsequent social media posts asserting a certain ‘disquiet’ in the Office due to an alleged N23billion traced to the personal account of a former staff of the Office.
“These reckless publications would have been wished away for what they evidently are; but for the need to set the records straight and put an end to these mischievous publications.
“Therefore OSSAP-SDGs wishes to categorically state that there is no N23 Billion missing in the Office. Indeed, appropriated and released Funds to the office were judiciously utilised in the discharge of its mandate,” McDickson said
She also dispelled the allegation of transfer of staff from the office to cover up the alleged fraud, saying “it is pertinent to state that it is completely the prerogative and responsibility of the pool ministry or office to redeploy any of their staff seconded to any Ministry, Department or Agency in line with extant rules and guidelines.”
She said it amounted to a misrepresentation of facts for anyone to interpret such application of official rules as an “attempt to cover-up”.
According to the head of communication, the National Assembly was amazed by the spurious allegations in the reports making the rounds and had also debunked insinuations that the allocation to OSSAP-SDGs in the 2020 budget was padded with the sum of N33billion and absolved both the person of Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and OSSAP-SDGs of such financial Impropriety.