NEMA Boss Reacts To Indictment By Lawmakers
The National Emergency Management Agency has reacted to the claim by the House of Representatives that it mismanaged a sum of N33bn.
In its reaction on Monday, NEMA said the house investigative committee added transactions that were not done by NEMA to get the N33bn figure.
The lawmakers claimed the fund was mismanaged by the agency in the Presidential Intervention Programme for the North-East.
Naija News recalls the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating the alleged scam, had said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and the Director-General of NEMA, Mr. Mustapha Maihaja, had cases to answer.
NEMA however submitted that the House committee shouldn’t focus on it alone for the N5.8bn Presidential intervention funds, approved by the vice president for the North-East.
Reacting to the alleged mismanagement of N33bn by NEMA, Maihaja, speaking at the headquarters of agency in Abuja on Wednesday, said the agency never mismanaged such huge fund.
“Even on the floor of the House, they couldn’t agree how much it was. So what apparently happened was that they added up every transaction whether it involved or did not involve NEMA and that was how they came up with what they could not agree among themselves as N33bn,” he said.
Giving details on the funding of North-East humanitarian response, the NEMA boss stated that the budget of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the period of January to April 2017 was $1.05bn.
He added that the sum of $590m was for food and nutrition, adding that as at April 2017, only the sum of $94.8m was provided by the donors.
“This meant that we had a shortfall of $495.8m in food funding,” he submitted.
He added that for the period of May to October 2018, when the Federal Government Emergency Food Intervention for the North-East was being implemented, the World Food Programme net-funding requirement was $230m.
On the rice donated by the People’s Republic of China, Maihaja said 6,779 metric tonnes of rice was donated to Nigeria as part of China’s support to the North-East humanitarian efforts.
This, he said, was equivalent to 135,550 units of 50kg bags of rice, adding that in total, 271 containers arrived at Apapa Port from China in five shipments between June and October 2017.
“The total cost of shipping and storage charges for the 271 containers was N518m. We have all the receipts to prove this. The actual cost of the donated rice is N2.24bn (50.05 million Chinese Yuan),” Maihaja stated.
“The companies that were engaged for clearing the donated rice were duly registered with NEMA, ITF, NSITF and PENCOM with relevant documents submitted to NEMA which formed the basis for the award of the contract.”
“To further justify that the items were received on behalf of the Federal Government, they were delivered into NEMA warehouses in Gombe, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, and warehouses provided by the state governments in Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe. The Chinese rice was used for monthly feeding of the IDPs specifically in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states with balance in stock at Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba.”
In the case of the flood intervention in 12 states which was covered in the legislative report, Maihaja said N1.6bn was released after the flood had occurred at different times in the respective states.
“We immediately conducted assessments and established the needs before moving in with relief materials,” he added.
He said the agency delivered the items to the 12 states between September and November 2017, and subsequently the remaining four states.
On the evacuation of stranded Nigerians from Libya, Maihaja said 2,130 Nigerians were evacuated as against the 5,037 earlier estimated, but noted that alternative arrangements were made to evacuate the remaining Nigerians trapped in the militia-controlled area.
The Chairman of the Reps panel, Mr. Ali Isa (APC, Gombe), while speaking with journalists on Tuesday last week said that Osinbajo, as chairman of the programme, issued directives leading to the release of the funds, while the NEMA DG supervised the execution of the directives.