NEMA DG denies Reps’ allegation of misappropriating N33bn

Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, has denied misappropriating N33 billion as alleged by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

Maihaja denied the allegation while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, where he shed more light on activities and interventions of the agency.

He described the public response as an obligation to adequately inform Nigerians on what truly happened in NEMA.

He said the House of Representatives’ committee got the whole figures mixed up, leading it to make the accusation.

The house at its plenary on Nov. 8 had received the report of the committee led by Rep Isa Ali, alleging violation of public trust against NEMA.

He 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 beings 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,’’ Maihaja said.

Maihaja also explained that the People’s Republic of China donated 6,779 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria as part of its support to the North East humanitarian efforts.

He said the quantity of the rice was 135,550 units of 50kg bags.

He said that in total, 271 containers arrived Apapa Port from China in five shipments between June and October 2017.

He explained that the agency expended N518 million on shipping and storage charges for the 271 containers donated by China.

He said that the original shipping documents and Custom Exemption Certificates were handed over to NEMA by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in December 2017 and January 2018.

He said that thereafter, NEMA commenced the immediate clearing and subsequent haulage of the donated rice to Maiduguri, Damaturu, Yola, Jalingo, Gombe and Bauchi.

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