Betta Edu News: Dr Betta Financial Dealings, Where It All Started.

Betta Edu News:

By Duke Imandu

When I first saw the accusations and counter-accusations against Dr. Betta Edu, the Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the first thing that came to my mind was to look into her trajectory down to her pre-ministerial position era. I will briefly tell you what I found out.

But before that, let me clear the table for this public discussion by reiterating in clear terms that Dr. Betta Edu is not being accused of squandering, stealing or “eating” public funds, rather, the whole outcry is that she approved the sending of the project money meant for the vulnerable Nigerians in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Lagos States to a private account which has since been found out to belong to the project’s accountant. That option became necessary being that the grant project was to be cash-in-hand since most of the beneficiaries are unbanked.

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Looking at the track record of Dr. Edu, the smearing storyline of misappropriation is neither here nor there. As a medical doctor who would rather prefer rendering humanitarian services with her personal resources and professional skills, she would do more with public funds.

As a missionary, her father didn’t only instil discipline but the life of a humanitarian to the young Betta. With diligence and honesty, she grew to enviable ranks both in her medical profession and politics. In 2013, as the Medical Officer of Health in her state, Cross River, she was put in charge of the Staff Clinic. She achieved so much including reorganising and strengthening health policies within the Primary Health Care Department in 2014.

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In 2018, she emerged as the Vice Chairman of the Forum of all CEOs of Primary Health Care Agencies and Boards in Nigeria. While she held sway, Dr. Edu reformed national policy decisions for Primary Health Care development in Nigeria and collaborated with the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to ensure full implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy in all 36 states and FCT in Nigeria. She advocated regularly to the President, National Assembly and key stakeholders to influence the institutionalisation and full implementation of key health policies, particularly the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

In 2015, she became the Special Adviser on Community Health to the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade. In this, she made so many landmark achievements including facilitating partnerships locally and internationally. In 2016, she became the first Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) and up until 2019, she facilitated the creation of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency and the enactment of the Agency’s establishment Law, the creation of Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme and the enactment of the Agency’s establishment Act, Produced the first ever Minimum Service Package for health care in the State, Revitalised over 200 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in line with the PHC Revitalisation policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Constructed 60 New PHCs to promote equitable access to primary care in unreached/underserved communities.
Then, in 2019, she became the Commissioner for Health, Cross River State which she held till March 2022. She established partnerships with local and international development partners and mobilised over 10 million USD into the state health system to support strategic investments in Resilient Systems for Sustainable Health (RSSH) and quality healthcare service coverage.

When the daredevil COVID-19 surfaced, Dr. Edu was appointed as the Chairman of the Cross River State COVID-19 Response Taskforce and with her leadership and core technical skills successfully coordinated the Cross River State COVID-19 Response, established and coordinated the Emergency Operations Centre for COVID-19 in the state and implemented the Incident Action Plan for Cross River State.

In March 2022, she emerged as the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) where she oversaw numerous empowerment and humanitarian outreaches to millions of APC women and non-party women as well. Her ingenuity resulted in the mobilisation of over 20 million Nigerian women in support of President Tinubu’s election bids.

Within the few months she had served as the Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu had transversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria delivering humanitarian materials to the vulnerable people of the country. We saw her move to the creeks that even security agents detest. Her passion and dedication to her duty was contagious, to say the least

In all these, she was not caught in the web of any financial mismanagement or misappropriation. Instead, she earned herself numerous awards within and outside the shores of Nigeria; over 600 awards from reputable organisations.

I will wrap this up with an analogy of what my late mother used to say whenever she prayed. In Igbo language, she would say, “anyị bụ azụ anyị agaghi agọ agọ mmiri.” Literally translated, it is “We are fishes we can’t deny water.” She used this whenever she wanted to ask for forgiveness of sin, meaning that “we have the nature of sin and we can’t deny having any sin in us.” Humanitarian work is in the nature of Dr. Betta Edu, she can’t deny it. A friend once told me that Betta’s zeal for this work would get her into trouble one day. If my friend was to be a prophet, his church would be flooded by now. Those who are very zealous and committed to their jobs do have lots of traps. Sometimes it’s either they unintentionally get themselves into trouble or others around who are envious of them would fabricate problems just to get them out of the way. In this Betta Edu’s scenario, the latter is the case.

I will employ the president, His Excellency, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu to tamper justice with mercy. Dr. Edu’s zealousness, dedication to her duties and achievements in this short period supersede her errors, if any.


Duke Imandu.
Abia State Coordinator, Betta Edu News Media Centre (BENMC).


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