Nigeria News

Benin Republic: Energy minister resigns over $4.5m fraud allegation

The Minister for energy in Benin Republic, Barthelemy Kassa, has resigned over allegations of massive fraud in drinking water projects.

The government of Benin confirmed the Minister’s resignation on Wednesday, May 13.

Last week, the deputy development minister of Netherlands, Liliane Ploume, suspended the “developmental relations” with Benin after an audit into aid spending showed misappropriation of funds.

According to the review, $4.5 million was missing from the country’s coffers.

The Netherlands however stopped bilateral aid, noting it will not continue until the issue of the missing four million euros is tackled.

“The minister for energy and water resigned on (Tuesday) May 12,” the government’s general-secretary Alassani Tigri told AFP.

The country’s presidency has said investigations will be carried out to uncover the misappropriation of funds allegation.

 “With a view to allowing the international audit to take place without any influence on his part, (Kassa) decided to submit his resignation to the president, who accepted it”, a statement said.

“All staff of the (drinking water) project and some senior managers of the ministry have been made available to economic and financial investigators,” it added.

Benin’s largest donor for water development projects is the Netherlands, having donated an estimated 50 million euros to the impoverished country.

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