The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has clarified that no money was missing or stolen under his watch between September and December last year as he denied reports that he supervised the illegal payment of N4.6bn into private accounts.
The minister said the controversy over the payment of N4.6bn to some directors was as a result of challenges arising from the use of government payment platform, the Integrated Personnel Payment and Information System.
The works minister said, “In all, no money was stolen or is missing. There is no smoking gun to criminalise Fashola.”
In a reaction he personally signed which was made available to our correspondent to journalist in Abuja on Monday, the minister explained that the Federal Government in 2007 initiated a payment platform, the IPPIS.
Fashola said, “What has happened is that not all government officials who, from time to time, needed to be paid for approved expenses were registered on the platform.
“In order to ensure that government work was not hampered, the directors of finance and accounts sought and obtained approval of the accountant-general to pay these monies through the accounts of an approved few who were on the platform.”
He added, “Those so approved then collect the money and disburse to the beneficiaries who sign receipts all of which are retired and available for verification as approved by the accountant-general.”
The minister noted that the accountant-general had recently issued new guidelines to deal with this process ‘because not all public officials had fully enrolled on IPPIS and the DFAs had the mandate to comply and not Fashola’.