‎Reps Order Probe Of N17bn Relief Fund  

The House of Representatives has  mandated its committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to probe the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over the utilisation of over N17 billion relief fund.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action. Hon Benjamin Wayo in a motion of urgent public importance, at yesterday’s plenary.He noted that  NEMA had in the last one year received  over N17billion, from various sources,  to enable it attend to victims of various disasters across the country.

Wayo added that said the money received by the agency consists of  over N10 billion from from the 20 percent National Ecological Fund,  N5 billion for hunger intervention in the Northeast, about N2 billion for flood intervention across the country.

However, the lawmaker said inspite of the receipts, NEMA has failed to effectively discharge its core mandate of providing reliefs to victims of various disasters across the country.
According to him”the hunger issue in IDP camps in the Northeast; the farmers/herdsmen conflicts; fire disasters victims and many other such cases across the country, have not been given the necessary attention.”

Wayo blamed the inability of NEMA to fulfil its core mandate to alleged corruption in the agency. He noted that   funds allocated to the disaster management agency “were illegally siphoned by officials of the agency through dubious award of contracts without delivering relief items to the victims.”

Besides, the lawmaker added   that in contravention of the NEMA Act, the Director General of the agency, Mustapha Maihaja,has been exceeding his approval limits, especially in the award of contracts to companies, he has interest.
“Example, one company called Olam Nigeria Limited got a contract of N2.4 billion, which is against the agency’s approval limit as stated in Section 16 subsection 1 of the NEMA Act. It should be made clear that the section pegs the approval limit at just N30 million,” Wayo stated.

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