NEMA DG Replies Reps, Denies Allegations Of N33billion Funds Mismanagement

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, has denied allegations by the House of Representatives that the Agency mismanaged over N33 billion, meant for various emergency interventions including the provision of relief materials to internally displaced persons in the northeast.

In response to the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, the NEMA boss told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that every money allocated by the Federal Government for disaster management were spent diligently and in compliance with existing laws.

He said the House of Representatives’ committee got the whole figures mixed up, leading it to make the accusation.

“We spent only N1.7billion in about 10 or 11 months. The remaining N6.6billion was reported to them that it was in the account, so how could they have arrived at the N30biilion, that is a question to ask.

“On the issue of N1.6billion, we received N1.6billion, we carried out needs assessment because when the money was released, it was after the disaster has happened. So, the N1.6billion was spent. We have proof and receipts of documents from all the states except for Bayelsa State.”

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The DG also denied receiving N5.8 billion for the Emergency Intervention of Food Security in the North East (EFINE) as contained in the committee’s report.

He explained that NEMA only got about N800 million while other funds were paid directly to contractors.

“The Emergency Intervention of Food security in the North East (EFINE) came into being due to a number of factors and the project demand was a clear case of an emergency.

“In the course of the programme, grains were moved from various warehouses in Ibadan, Funtua, Kano, Gombe and Kaduna to the North East to cater for the dire food needs of victims of insurgency.

“The movement of the grains was well-coordinated with adequate security and there was no reported case of a single bag of grain that got missing in the movement.

“As part of the process of monitoring the project, a visit was undertaken by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning on August 7 and 8, 2017 to Bauchi, Yola and Maiduguri.

“During those visits, no issues were raised by the states and throughout the entire process, we did not receive any feedback, positive or negative on the process.

“Taken into cognizance the open door policy we had taken and the long tenure of the project, there were many avenues for these issues to be raised to NEMA or the acting president,’’ Mr Maihaja added.

The House Committee on Emergency and Disaster preparedness had on November 8 indicted the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of mismanaging over N33 billion that was given to the agency for disaster management.

Reps To Probe NEMA Over Alleged Mismanagement Of N17bn

Reps Urge Osinbajo To Swear In Ministers-Designate
File photo

 

The House of Representatives on Thursday ordered its committee on emergency and disaster preparedness to probe the financial operations of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

This is following an allegation that the agency has been unable to account for the sum of N17 billion which it has received so far.

The resolution to probe the agency followed a motion brought by a member from Benue State, Representative Benjamin Wayo, who alleged that the agency has violated the public trust by allegedly mismanaging relief materials and awarding contracts illegally.

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“The core mandate of NEMA is to coordinate the management of disasters across the country and to assist victims of such disasters. In spite of this core mandate, several cases of disasters across the country have not been given necessary attention.

“For example, the hunger issue in IDP camps in the North East, the farmers/herdsmen conflict, fire disaster victims and many other such cases across the country that have been neglected,” Wayo told the House.

Representative Benjamin Wayo on the floor of the House.

He explained further that NEMA has received more than N10 billion from the 20% national ecological fund in the last one year. He said N5billion was allotted for the agency to tackle hunger in the North East and about N2billion was given to the agency for flood intervention across the country.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the members when it was put to a voice vote by the speaker, Right Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

The House, therefore, mandated its committee on emergency and disaster preparedness to investigate NEMA and report back within six weeks.