The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Imo State has set up a 24-hour emergency rescue center.
The center according to the agency will attend to emergency issues that might occur during the yuletide season.
State Coordinator of NEMA in the state, Evans Ugoh disclosed this on Saturday, during a stakeholder’s interactive meeting in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Ugoh said NEMA as a coordinating emergency agency is collaborating with other agencies including Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Police and Red Cross society.
He added that it is important to work together with these agencies especially during the yuletide to solve any emergency problem. According to him, the collaboration will help proffer emergency solution during emergency situations like road accidents and crashes, during the yuletide.
193 more Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country.
The returnees arrived aboard a chartered Tunisia airline which touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos around 8:32 pm on Thursday.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the acting Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Segun Afolayan.
According to him, their return was made possible through the efforts of the agency in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The returnees consist of 96 female and 97 male including infants and children.
While welcoming them, the new South West Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Atokolo Daniel, asked the returnees to join the fight against human trafficking.
He also asked them to disclose the identities of all those involved in the trafficking and smuggling of Nigerians.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received another 174 Nigerians from Libya.
The returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) onboard Al Buraq Air at 1:10 am on Friday.
They comprised 61 female adults, four female children and eight female infants, 91 male adults, six male children and four male infants and were received by the Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA South West Zonal Officer, Segun Afolayan and other Federal Government Agencies.
While receiving them, Afolayan advised the returnees to be mindful of information about getting rich quick, especially when it involves travelling outside the country illegally.
Narrating his ordeal, one of the returnees, Chukwudi Onyemechie, 30, from Anambra, said he was a successful auto tyres dealer at Ladipo Market in Lagos before he was deceived and promised of a better life in Europe.
According to him, a man convinced him that he could help him travel to France and then linked him to his friend in Libya.
Afterwards, he (Chukwudi) sold off his wares and took off to Benin Republic from where his journey to Libya began.
He said, “I was told that that the journey would be by road but I never knew that it was a deadly and dangerous route. I entered Libya town where I was taken to a camp controlled by Nigerians where I spent three months in detention.
“My trafficker organised my detention in other that I would be forced to pay him money.
“He asked me to pay some amount to another man who denied that I had paid. My trafficker claimed he settled the man and I had to double the amount.
“I left Nigeria in June, 2017, I experienced unstable and dangerous life over there.
“After struggling to cross unsuccessfully, I was helped to get to IOM office in Libya who helped me back to Nigeria today.
“I am proud to be a Nigerian, though, we have challenges, but we are better and I am happy to be back.
“My advice to youth is that they should never think of traveling to Libya for anything, if you must travel, it is better to take regular routes and seek proper information before taking a decision.
Another returnee, Ajasa Kikelomo who is a mother of one and hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, said she left Nigeria in 2016 with the hope of getting a better job.
Regretting her ordeal in Libya, she said, “I got to Libya with God as my savior but the racial discrimination by the Libyans are too bad.
“If you’re unfortunate to enter a bus and sit beside a Libyan, throughout the journey, the Libyan will not want your body to touch his own and he would cover his noise throughout.
“Though, some of them are very nice and good but majority, especially the youths don’t wish well for the blacks.”
According to her, she eventually got a job as a housemaid but encountered difficulties anytime she attempted to send money back home to her family. “If I want to send 20,000 naira to Nigeria, I must part away with N40,000 or N50,000 before my family will get the N20,000.
“There is no banking system there. Nigerians who had settled down are the launderers, they have their Nigerian bank accounts.
“Once we pay them in dinars, we don’t know how they transmit the money, but our families will receive what we agreed in their bank accounts here in Nigeria.
“I am not happy for the wasted years, if I had stayed back, I could have been more settled and successful.
“My husband left for Dubai last year but tonight he will be coming back too.
“Nigerians should be proud of what they have and work instead of travelling outside looking for what riches that are not available outside,” she said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the approval of N5.8 billion by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for “emergency intervention of food security to the northeast” in June 2017, when he was acting president is illegal.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this on Wednesday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said, “You cannot come around and say that because it was an emergency, you withdrew the sum of N5.8 billion without due process, you withdrew money from the Consolidated Revenue without taking it through the organs of the National Assembly, this is not a Banana Republic.
“The action of NEMA which is chaired by the Vice President contravenes the provisions of Section 82 and 84 of the Constitution. The act constituted an infraction of due process particulary on procurement and a loss on government revenue.
“These are basic issues. For instance, the Chairman of the Committee Honourable Ali Isa did say that there was no bidding for the contract. Yes, there is a section of the Procurement Act that states that in an emergency, the authorities in NEMA can act.
“But that particular act did not say that you can go and do contract without following procurement rules, that is not the extant rule.”
Ologbondiyan, therefore, asked the Vice President to make himself available for questioning by a House of Representatives committee, saying that he ought to have known better as a Professor of Law.
The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness has insisted that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has some questions to respond to on the approval of N5.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Chairman of the committee, Mr Ali Isa, stated this while briefing reporters after Tuesday’s plenary at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He explained that the Vice President has a case to answer because he is Chairman of the governing council of NEMA.
Isa added that Professor Osinbajo was the Acting President at the time when the fund was approved.
He, however, stressed that the Committee did not mention the Vice President in its report presented on Thursday last week.
The committee has investigated the allegations of violation of public trust in the activities of the emergency agency.
In its report, it said the authorisation for the release of fund for emergency food intervention in the North East contravened Section 80(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The committee had also recommended the sack of the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, for alleged mismanagement of N33 billion fund.
It indicted all the government officials involved in the release of N5.8 billion naira for the emergency intervention of food security in the North East.
The committee had urged the relevant government agencies to take steps to recover the money.
Professor Osinbajo had said the committee’s allegation against him was both ‘false and misleading’, saying he did not violate any law in the approval of the fund.
He gave the response on Friday last week in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande.
Read the full statement below;
Our attention has been drawn to a report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness issued on Thursday, November 8, 2018, particularly in respect of funds released for “emergency intervention of food security to the North-East” in June 2017, when the Vice President was Acting President.
In its report, the Committee alleged that a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a Memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act. The House Committee also concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly. This conclusion is both false and misleading.
To start with, it is important to understand the context of the transaction. This was at a time when internally displaced persons and their host communities faced very severe food shortages throughout the North East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands, minimal cross-border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities.
On 15th April 2017, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP), a major aid organisation and food supplier to the region, had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to the corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) moved urgently to prevent the looming disaster by establishing a strategic food intervention plan for the affected States. A Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Delivery to the North East was convened and the Committee met on the 13th of May, 2017 to kick off the process, with the then Acting President as Chairman. Other members of the Committee included: (i) Minister of Finance; (ii) Minister of Budget and National Planning; (iii) Minister of State for Budget and National Planning; (iv) Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; (v) Governor of Central Bank; (vi) Deputy Chief of Staff to the President; and (vii) Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
Resulting from the deliberations of this and subsequent meetings, the approval referred to in the House Committee’s Report was, in fact, based on a request raised by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a facilitator of the National Food Security Programme, vide a letter dated May 25, 2017.
As explained in the said letter, there was an immediate need to distribute grains, including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Programme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves.
It was in consequence of the Federal Government decision to urgently purchase the stored grains for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons that the CBN made the proposal for approval of 30,905.08 Metric Tonnes at N5,229,685,333.26. Of that amount, the then Acting President eventually approved N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs. This was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.
NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding & packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media & publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.
These presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President, who needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected States and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about them. The approvals were duly communicated by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Central Bank, Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Finance for implementation.
On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, the House Committee’s assumption that the ordinary rules of procurement would apply was wrong. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.
It is also wrong to assume that taxes and interests accruable to the government from these transactions in food items were deliberately ignored or waived by neglect. Of course, we expect that any loans advanced to any of the companies would be recovered with the agreed interests and that any profits made by such companies would be liable to tax in the usual manner.
The suggestion that the grains were never delivered to the target States is also a blatant falsehood. In actual fact, in order to ensure effective distribution of the grains, an Emergency Food Intervention Project Team was established, consisting of the Director General of NEMA and representatives of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Department of State Security, Nigeria Police and the Presidency. The Committee also worked with respective State Emergency Management Agencies, as well as humanitarian agencies such as World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Deliveries were publicly made directly to the intended beneficiaries. In fact, the then Acting President personally inspected the electronic truck-tracking unit established in Maiduguri for the purpose of monitoring the transportation and flagged off the food distribution on the 8th of June, 2017. Besides, there was the integration of a robust monitoring and evaluation system into the operation in order to facilitate a transparent and accountable process.
Therefore, all insinuations on this matter regarding purported indictments and perceived violations of due process or the constitution are baseless and totally false. Such interpretations are flawed and should be utterly ignored.
Laolu Akande Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President Office of the Vice President 9th November 2018
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received a fresh batch of 120 stranded Nigerians from Libya.
The returnees who arrived at the MMIA Cargo Wing at about 9:15 pm on Thursday, via AL Buraq Air, were brought back with the help of the International Organisation for Migration.
They were received by the Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Segun Afolayan and other Federal Government agencies.
The returnees comprised 29 female adults, five female children, four female infants, 75 male adults, two male children and five male infants.
According to NEMA, they were brought mainly from three cities of Sabha, Bram Alshati and Oubari.
While welcoming them back, Afolayan asked the returnees to make good use of the second chance afforded by the IOM and God Almighty after surviving the dangers of illegal migration.
one of the returnees, Miss Chisom Johnson, who said she is a professional stylist, narrated her ordeal to Channels Television.
She said, “I was deceived that I would get a better job at Germany as a stylist, there were 20 of us in the team and we were promised that we would fly to Germany but after two weeks, we found ourselves in Niger Republic.
“After three weeks we were in Libya, Madam told all of us that, we can’t cross over but we have to become prostitutes in order to refund her money which was 1.4 million naira.
“I resorted to fervent prayers and pleaded with madam that it is a taboo in our family to prostitute.
“I pleaded with her to give another option. I was asked to work at a restaurant and was able to refund her money.
“Immediately I finished paying her money, I started working on my own to get some money but my madam organised my kidnapped and I was bailed by her with about N650,000 and she doubled the amount and said that I must pay her N1.3 million.
“I paid her by doing all sorts of work.
“I left Nigeria in 2014. I returned with nothing to show for the wasted four years.
“I want to beg those people thinking about travelling illegally to desist. There is nothing better outside Nigeria. Is it the freedom to move around, is it the liberty to engage in work without fear of hoodlums breaking into your house and taking away your sweat because there is no banking system for us? We have to keep our cash with us and the boys invade us to take it away.
“Nigerians should stay and look for better opportunities here please”.
The House of Representatives has recommended the sack of the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, for alleged mismangement of N33bn funds.
According to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, which investigated the alleged violation of public trust in the activities of the agency, the actions and inactions of the Director-General led to the country losing over 33 billion naira through mismanagement and embezzlement.
The committee’s report also indicted all the government officials involved in the processing, release and diversion of the sum of 5.8 billion naira for the emergency intervention of food security in the northeast, which was approved through a memo raised from the office of the acting president.
The House is urging the relevant security agencies to take steps to recover the 5.8 billion from the government officials.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has received a fresh batch of 141 stranded Nigerians from Libya.
In a statement on Wednesday by the south-west zonal spokesman for the agency, Mr Farinloye Ibrahim, the returnees were assisted back to the country by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the European Union.
NEMA’s Chief Planning Officer, Mr Segun Afolayan, welcomed the citizens back into the country, urging them not to allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively impact their lives.
Receiving the Nigerians who were mostly from City Centre of Tripoli, the capital of Libya, Mr Seguin Afolayan, Chief Planning Officer, on behalf of the Director-General and other Federal Agencies welcomed the Voluntary Returnees back in the country.
Afolayan urged the Returnees to turn a leave in forging ahead in their future endeavours and not allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively affect them.
He said: “Truly, you had bad experiences differently, collectively and individually, but these should be the motivation for you to make a positive decision to see the brighter future ahead of you.
“This is because no one can tell the story more than you and making the better use of your lives are essential.
“Please the Federal Government is urging you to be ambassadors of positive change by taking the anti-irregular migration to those still aspiring to take a dangerous journey.”
According to NEMA, the returnees comprise 71 female (adults), 3 females children and 3 babies (female)53 male (adults), 6 male children and 5 male infants.
Amongst them were 2 medical cases, 9 families and 11 pregnant women.
Agencies that joined NEMA in the emergency operation included the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), the Refugee Commission, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) among others.
The Borno State Police Command has confirmed an attack by the Boko Haram in three villages located in Konduga Local Government Area of the state.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Damian Chukwu, told Channels Television that the terrorists struck at about 8 pm and unleashed terror by burning houses.
He, however, stated that details of the attack could not be fully ascertained.
The villages attacked were Wanori, Kaleri and Amarwa all located in parts of Konduga local council.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has however issued a statement on the attack saying six persons were killed.
“Suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Wednesday night burnt down three villages in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno, in an attack that left six people dead,” NEMA’s Media Coordinator, Abdulkezo Umar said on Thursday.
Villagers told rescue officials who went on an assessment that the insurgents shot indiscriminately, looted food items before setting the villages on fire.
According to the agency, over 180 households were affected by the attack.