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Nigeria issues ultimatum to UN, other international agencies for fund accountability

The government expressed concern over the alleged mismanagement of $100 million earmarked for empowering women in business

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The Nigerian Federal Government has issued a stern 30-day ultimatum to the UN and other international agencies, demanding a comprehensive account of funds spent over the years. The government warned that failure to comply would lead to legal action compelling them to disclose financial details.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, revealed the ultimatum during a late-night press conference on Monday. The minister expressed concern over the alleged mismanagement of $100 million earmarked for a World Bank-sponsored project aimed at empowering women in business, particularly in agriculture.

Kennedy-Ohanenye criticized the handling of the funds, citing that only a few women received stipends ranging from N30,000 to N60,000, and traditional tools were used instead of modern instruments for farming. She accused the organizations of diverting funds meant for empowerment into policy-making, technical support, and irrelevant activities.

The minister demanded transparency, urging the United Nations and international agencies to provide a detailed account of funds sourced in Nigeria’s name. The 30-day ultimatum starts from October 16 to November 15, after which legal action will be pursued if reports are not made public.

Kennedy-Ohanenye emphasized that the legal action was in the interest of Nigerian women and children, who constitute over 70% of the population. She pledged to change negative narratives and hold organizations accountable for the purposeful utilization of funds.

She raised concerns about the mismanagement of the World Bank’s $100 million project, revealing that the ministry had purchased a machine to aid women in agriculture for less than $3,000. The minister questioned why the international agencies failed to provide such essential equipment despite the substantial funds allocated to the project.

Kennedy-Ohanenye stressed the need for accountable and impactful use of funds, criticizing the narrative blaming Nigerian policies for slow progress. She argued that the misuse of funds exacerbates insecurity and hinders women’s participation in politics.

The minister concluded by asserting that Nigerians demand transparency, accountability, and tangible outcomes from the funds provided to international agencies for the empowerment of vulnerable groups.

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