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.

Troops Foil Attack By Three Suicide Bombers In Maiduguri

Corpses of the suicide bomber being evacuated by NEMA/BOSEMA teams

Troops of the Nigerian Army have prevented another attack by suicide bombers in Maiduguri.

Three teenage female suicide bombers had attempted to attack military outpost popularly known as “Gontanamo” along Muna garage, Maiduguri around 10:05pm on Wednesday.

They were sighted, however, trying to gain access to the premises and were shot by the security operatives leading to the detonation of their concealed explosives, which killed all three of them and injured one of the security personnel.

The Information Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency in the North East, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, confirmed the attack in a statement.

The corpses were evacuated to Borno state Specialist Hospital by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA) Emergency Response teams, the statement added.

 

Buhari Approves New Board For NTA, Others

Buhari at his office The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has a new board led by a former Newspaper Editor and former Presidential Spokesman, Mr Duro Onabule.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday approved the new board which consists of six other Executive Directors.

They are: Dr. Steve Egbo, Administration and Training; Abdul Hamid Salihu Dembos, Marketing; Mohammed Labbo, News; Fatima M. Barda, Finance; Stephen Okoanachi, Engineering; and Wole Coker, Programmes.

Some other appointments were also announced in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“At the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Aliyu Hayatu is new chairman, while Buhari Auwalu and Yinka Amosun, are Zonal Directors, Kaduna and Lagos, respectively.

“Under the Ministry of Information and Culture, the following agencies have new appointees: Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chika Maduekwe, General Manager; National Theatre and National Troupe of Nigeria, Comrade Tar Ukoh, Artistic Director; National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General; National Film and Video Censors Board, Folorunsho Coker, Director-General,” the statement read.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will also serve as the Chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while Mr Mustapha Maihaja is to serve as the agency’s Director-General.

According to the statement, other members of the NEMA Board are: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir Lawal; Captain Talba Alkali, representing Ministry of Transport and Aviation; Ambassador Rabiu Dagari, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Ngozi Azadoh, Ministry of Health; Mr Muhammadu Maccido, Ministry of Interior; Mr Ajisegiri Benson Akinloye; Ministry of Water Resources, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, Nigerian Armed Forces; and AIG Salisu Fagge Abdullahi, Nigerian Police Force”.

The President’s spokesman said the appointments are to take immediate effect.

NEMA Deploys Helicopter, Ambulances To Kaduna

NEMA Deploys Helicopter, Ambulances To KadunaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed a rescue helicopter, three Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) Ambulances and three Rapid Intervention Vehicles to Kaduna State.

This according to the agency is to join other stakeholders in providing support for emergency operations in the state, following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

A statement issued on Friday by the spokesman for NEMA, Sani Datti, explained that the helicopter would be used for medical patrol, while the MICU ambulances with the Rapid Intervention Vehicles are stationed along Jere and Katari Towns, Kaduna-Abuja road and Kaduna International Airport.

“The MICU ambulances are used to administer first aid treatment and stabilisation for trauma victims on their way to the hospital, as it serves as a mobile hospital with the capacity to carry one critical and one less critical victim.

“The Rapid Intervention Vehicles are used for search and rescue, fight fire rapidly and extrication of victims trapped in accident vehicles or collapsed structures,” he said.

NEMA asked the public to contact it through its North West Zonal office at number 15 Wurno, Road Unguwan Sarki, Kaduna.

The agency said it can also be reached through its emergency call number: 0800CALLNEMA (080022556362) or the National Emergency Number 112, stressing that all calls are toll free.

Fire Wreaks Havoc At Ebute Metta Sawmill

Fire Wreaks Havoc At Ebute Metta SawmillGoods worth millions of naira have been destroyed in a fire incident that gutted the popular Adekunle Sawmill in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State.

Residents said the inferno started from a surge, after the restoration of power by the electricity distribution company covering the area.

Although no life was lost in the incident, the traders called for a permanent solution to the recurring cases of fire outbreak in the market over the last couple of years.

The inferno comes less than 24 hours after the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it has attended to about 50 cases of disasters between Friday and Sunday.

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The agency has appealed to Nigerians to be safety conscious and guide against unsafe practices as the new phase of dry season sets in.

NEMA also advised parents and schools to educate children and the elderly about basic safe actions.

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NEMA: About 50 Disasters Recorded In Lagos, Ogun

fire4Emergency agencies in Lagos and Ogun states say they have attended to about 50 different disasters between Friday and Sunday.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), one of the disasters which occurred on Sunday was the fire outbreak at Rida National Plastic Company in Oshodi area of Lagos State.

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Other cases include the fire outbreak at CMS Bookshops in Lagos, a car explosion in Abeokuta and a wild bush fire at Ipokia area of Ogun State, all on Saturday.

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NEMA said that five deaths have been recorded so far in all the incidents.

The agency has appealed to Nigerians to be safety conscious and guard against unsafe practices as the new phase of dry season sets in.

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Parents and schools have also been advised to educate children and the elderly about basic safe actions.

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Ndume Advocates Improved Allocation For Northeast Intervention

Ali Ndume, Northeast Intervention, Budget AllocationThe Senate Committee Chairman on Finance, Ali Ndume, says the Federal Government’s 45 billion naira allocation in the 2017 budget for intervention in Nigeria’s Northeast is not adequate.

Senator Ndume, a member of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), made the observation after the PCNI visited the Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa.

The group’s visit was to declare its donation of food items which were offloaded at the warehouse of the National Emergency Management Agency in Maiduguri.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the international community; and I have said this even on the floor of the National Assembly that the contribution of the international community and its commitment to the humanitarian crisis we have in the northeast is more than that of the government.

“We are now calling on the government using this medium to at least take the lead or match what the international communities do,” Ndume said.

The senator noted further that foreign aid and commitment to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have continued to dwarf government’s effort over the years.

“So far the humanitarian response plan under what we call UNOCHA is budgeting $1.05 billion for 2017 (and) if you turn that into Naira, it translates into over 300 billion Naira.

“As at December last year, $449 million was donated by the international community; that also represents about 130 billion Naira.

“Unfortunately last year, the Nigerian Government budgeted only 12 billion Naira. In this year’s budget, it budgeted only 45 billion Naira (and) that also is grossly inadequate.

“So we ask the Borno State government to join us and other members of the National Assembly that are crying out to the government and to the leadership of the National Assembly to increase the budget for the intervention in the northeast from a paltry 45 billion Naira to at least 108; that is our call.” Senator Ndume stated.

Mr Durkwa, on his part, thanked the PCNI for the food donations which he said would go a long way in complementing the feeding of the IDPs.

He, however, urged donors to consider providing building materials in subsequent interventions to speed up the resettling process of the displaced persons.

“We say we are grateful and we ask for more. Now that we are in the post-insurgency stage, it’s time to now carry out constructions and resettle our people back to their base.

“That means we expect more apart from the food security. We are still asking for building materials to complement the effort of the state government,” the deputy governor stated.

The Borno State government is presently carrying out rebuilding of homes destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorists in Bama, Gwoza, Konduga and Kaga local government area of the state.

Kara Market Fire: Ogun Govt. Moves To Control Recurrent Incident

Kara Market Fire: Ogun Govt. Moves To Control Recurrent Incident The Ogun state government says it is immediately commencing the process of restructuring the development at the Kara market to prevent incidents of fire outbreak which has become a yearly occurrence.

The measure, according to the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, is pending the final relocation of occupants of the market to the proposed final place at Ogere area of the state.

She made the disclosure when she led other commissioners on an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done to the market by an inferno which broke out on Christmas Day.

“It is just because of the holidays, we have equipment on ground to commence work at once. If you look behind me you will see that the place has been red tapped. The red tape is to contain the incident site where the fire started from.

“We want to put a stop to a regeneration of uncontrolled development activities around this market. Nobody has been able to pinpoint what exactly was the cause of the fire and for us, safety precaution and every moral sense dictates that we stop further development around this market,” she said.

She also commiserated with the leadership of the market over the unfortunate incident.

Meanwhile occupants of Kara market have expressed their readiness to relocate to the new market being prepared by the state government.

Reacting to some of the steps being taken by the state government, the secretary to the market expressed the willingness of the traders to abide by whatever decision the state government arrives at.

“We do not know what caused the fire, we just saw the fire and we immediately contacted the Ogun state government and they responded. We are not happy about the incident at all. This is why the commissioners are here.

“We are waiting for the government because the government is currently doing something at Ogere. So, we are ready to go to the place anytime they say we should move, we are cooperating with the government, no problem at all.’’

The Commissioner for Environment in his own contribution, admonished residents of the state and especially markets to always take adequate precautions to forestall fire outbreak during the harmattan season.

“This time of the year of course is prone to fire outbreak. Basically people should be mindful of how they handle electrical appliances and those who deal with naked fire should control  how it is done because the season we are in fire thrives most,” he said.

Meanwhile, the affected place has been cordoned off by officials of the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as occupiers of the market tried to salvage some of their belongings  while others still counted their loses.

No life was lost but property worth millions of Naira were destroyed by the inferno.

Fire Wreaks Havoc In Yobe Market

yobe-market-fireProperty worth millions of naira is said to have been destroyed by fire at the popular Makera market in Nguru town of Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

The market associations and witnesses said the cause of the inferno was not yet established.

The Chairman of Nguru Market Association, Mr Hassan Ali, told Channels Television crew that they woke up to see the devastation as the incident occurred on Sunday night.

“The cause of the inferno can only be revealed by the Almighty as all of us closed our shops peacefully and went home that fateful day, only to see this devastation the next day.

“The good thing is that no life was lost. With God and determination as well as support of government and spirited groups or individuals, we can still succeed,” he said.

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Mr Ali appreciated the visit by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other spirited individuals, saying it has further given them a sense of belonging.

After adequate briefing by the traders and independent assessment, the representative of NEMA in Yobe State, Mr Nafuta Mahmoud, said the message would be communicated to the head office for prompt intervention.

He disclosed that 177 shops were affected while food and cloths materials worth millions of naira were destroyed.

Mr Mahmoud also took time off to educate the people on how best to handle fire disaster in a windy and Sahel environment such as Yobe State, particularly during the harmattan season across Nigeria’s northern region.

Fire Engulfs Kara Market In Ogun State

Fire Engulfs Kara Market In Ogun StateProperty worth millions of naira have been destroyed in a fire outbreak at Kara market in Ogun state.

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) claimed that the fire might have been caused by a faulty generator.

The NEMA official said that the swift response of the emergency unit, security operatives and members of public helped reduce the spread of the inferno.

He said that it was premature to ascertain the value of property lost but the nature of business carried out in the market proved that indeed millions of naira must have been lost.

Fire Engulfs Nigerian Breweries In Lagos

Fire, Nigerian Breweries, LagosA massive fire outbreak has occurred at the premises of the Nigerian Breweries Plc in the Iganmu area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

The blaze is said to have engulfed the factory section of the company.

At the time Channels Television senior correspondent, Ambrose Okoh, was at the scene, the fire service was battling the inferno.

According to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the fire started at about 5:30AM on Sunday.

No death has been reported in the incident and the cause of the blaze has not yet been established.

However, about three victims have been taken away by NEMA officials for treatment due to the fire outbreak, although it is not known if they are staff of the Nigerian Breweries or emergency agency workers.

Situation Under Control

In the meantime, the company, in a statement signed by its Adviser on Corporate Affairs, Mr Kufre Ekanem, said the fire has been brought under control.

Mr Ekanem confirmed that no life was lost, but only the plastic crates used in storing the liquid content were destroyed by the fire.

Fire disasters such as this are very common during festive seasons as an eyewitness told Channels Television crew that the fire began from the generator room.

Incorporated in November 1946, the Nigerian Breweries Plc boasts of 10 operational breweries from which its products are distributed to all parts of Nigeria, in addition to the malting plants in Aba and Kaduna.

The company also supports operations in Champion Breweries Plc, Uyo.

Lawmakers Solicit Better Funding For NEMA

NEMA, House of Representatives, LawmakersSome members of the House of Representatives have called for improved funding of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency expand its scope of activities for better delivery.

The House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness believed that the upgraded funds would help the agency carry out its strategic duties of threat identification, warning, prevention and post conflict settlement among others.

The lawmakers made the appeal at a retreat on disaster management held in Jos, the Plateau State capital in north-central Nigeria.

Chairman of the committee, Representative Isa Ali, expressed concern that the agency has been underfunded over the years and appealed for an upgrade for better performance.

On his part, the Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, highlighted the agency’s uniqueness in managing Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria, which he said were over two million.

Amendment Of NEMA Act

The retreat is an annual event organised by the agency, and also a platform for interaction between NEMA and the lawmakers to share ideas on ways of enhancing the performance of the agency.

It is also a gathering convened to look into its legislative and budgetary support, considering the enormous tasks facing the agency in terms of tackling nature and human induced disasters in Nigeria.

Stakeholders at the session have called for the amendment of NEMA Act to help the institution cope with emerging trends in disaster management, with emphasis on acquiring modern equipment.

They also solicited for improved welfare packages with insurance scheme for staff of the agency, as well as the establishment of a National Emergency Management Trust Fund with a board of trustee to manage the fund.