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FG accuses Ebonyi Governor, Umahi of stealing World Bank-donated Covid-19 Relief Funds

The Federal Government has written to the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, accusing him of stealing the Covid-19 relief funds donated by the World Bank for alleviation of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the people of the state, SaharaReports writes.

SaharaReports said that the Federal Government of Nigeria in a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, dated August 31, 2022, informed Governor Umahi that the World Bank was making a move to shut down its project implementation agencies in Ebonyi State over the funds.

According to the letter obtained by Peoples Gazette, the Nigerian government referred to a report from the World Bank, which detailed its plans.

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SaharaReporters learnt that the World Bank said that the decision to shut down its project implementation agencies in the state 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 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,” the letter read.

The letter which was received on September 1 was signed by a director at the SGF’s office, David Attah.

It was revealed that the World Bank 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).

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According to the letter, 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.

The letter pointed out that the programme had yet to begin in Ebonyi state despite the release of the first tranche of $3 million in February by the World Bank.

It further revealed that Governor Umahi’s government owes EB-CSDA, FADAMA, and MSMEs beneficiaries over 12 months of arrears of salaries dating to July 2021.