Alleged N13bn wasteful spending: Reps tackle NEMA

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The National Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday refuted claims by the House of Representatives that the agency recently spent a colossal sum of N13bn within one month.

It said the allegation by the House Committee Chairman on NEMA, Jibrin Santumari, was spurious and had no factual basis.

The House of Representatives Committee on NEMA had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Director-General of the agency, Mustapha Maihaja, on Tuesday, mandating him to appear before the lawmakers in order to explain how he spent N13bn in just one month.

Santumari alleged that the NEMA boss had been involved in wasteful spending since he assumed office at the agency about three months ago.

But reacting to the claims of the lawmaker in a statement issued by the Head, Media and Public Relation, NEMA, Mr. Sani Datti, the agency stated that only N4.6m was in the account of the organisation when the new DG assumed office.

It said the financial problems of the agency got compounded by a report from humanitarian actors that due to the scaling down of funding by donor agencies, the humanitarian activities in North-East would also be scaled down.

NEMA said, “Furthermore, it was reported that there was apprehension of eminent hunger and famine. Faced with this staggering reality on ground and paucity of fund at that time, the director-general was forced to urgently raise the issue with the Acting President who approved the release of 30,905 metric tonnes of food items from the government’s strategic reserve for immediate distribution to the affected communities.

“It must be stressed that the only fund released to the agency was N829m for distribution, logistics, security and associated cost. Out of this sum, only about N200m have been expended so far.”Punch




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