N5.8bn NEMA probe: You’ve questions to answer, Reps tell Osinbajo

By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muahammad Puma

The House of the Representatives Committee investigating the violation of public trust in the National Emergency Management (NEMA) yesterday disclosed that the Vice President Yomi Osinbajo still has question to answer as the then acting president that approved the N5.8 billion and Chairman of the broad, even as it stressed that the Vice President was not indicted in its report in any way.
Our correspondent reports that, the Vice President Osinbajo in contravention of constitutional illegally approved the release of the sum of N5, 865, 671, 939.26 in June 2017 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account which was mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), according to the report by the House Committee on NEMA.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Ali Isa (PDP Gombe) disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the National Assembly Complex over controversy trailing the report of the committee.
“The Vice President was the acting president and he was the one that approved the said fund but there was nowhere that the committee indicted the Vice President as person in the report. He was also the Chairman of broad governing council of NEMA” he said
According to him, the Committee appraised the submissions made by stakeholders involved in the matter and observed that the Chinese government donated and shipped a total of 6,779 metric tons of rice, that is 271 trucks and approximately 162,696 bags of rice into the country’s seaport in June 2017 meant for distribution to IDPs in the North-East as food assistance.
“The government Agencies namely – Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and NEMA were charged with different responsibilities of receiving, clearing,
storage, transportation and distribution of the consignments to the IDP’s in the North East but more than one year after the goods were donated, there is no evidence that the 6 States of the North East, who are the beneficiaries have received the items.
“Evaluation of the correspondences by the Chinese government on the free donation of the items and responses by the Federal government Agencies confirmed that there was adequate information on the donation.
He said the most of the states were sub changed as some of the states get less than N100 million to 50 million of the N1.6 million released by the Federal Government, adding that the state governors have no knowledge of the fund or the materials that was claimed by NAME to have distributed to the IPD’s.
“NEMA confirmed receiving the sum of N1.6 Billion released to it by the Federal Government as Intervention Fund to purchase food items and other relief materials for distribution to all the 16 States which was affected by the flood disaster in June 2017. The States are: Lagos, Oyo, Edo, Kwara, Ebonyi, Niger, Ekiti, Kebbi, Akwa Ibom, Plateau, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Enugu, Ondo, Abia State and FCTThe ratio of distribution of the fund for each State is N100,000,000.00.
‘The Committee further confirmed that 11 of the States received relief items worth less than N50,000,000.00 each while 5 States received items worth N70,000,000.00 each from NEMA and only received the items in March 2018 when the investigative hearing commenced.
“The relief materials released was an afterthought and not intended to salvage the situation as the disbursement happened 9 months after the flood disaster. Thereby defeating the emergency purpose for which it was meant.
“NEMA could only account for the disbursement of N900 Million to the Sixteen States. The balance of N700 Million could not be accounted for.
“The Committee fine out that NEMA released 2.4 Billion Naira to Olam Nigeria Limited to supply 8,000 metric tons of rice, gave 3 Brother Rice Mill Limited the contract to supply 2,000 metric tons of rice at N600,000,000 and N153,160,000 for logistics and transportation of the items, all totaling N3,153,000,000.00.
“Committee observed that Olam Nigeria Limited and 3 Brother Rice Mill Limited were contacted verbally by Ministry of Agriculture to go to NEMA for the jobs without due process.
“The contract award letters issued to Olam Nigeria Limited and 3 Brothers Rice Ltd were all signed by the Ag. Director of Relief and Rehabilitation and not by Director of Procurement in contravention of Public Procurement Act.
Isa disclosed that the authorization of the release of the fund for emergency food intervention of food security in the North East does not followed due process in National Assembly He added that that approval was also a breached of the provision that the National Assembly must approve all issuance of Euro Bond from which the minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay from.

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