The House of Representatives Committee on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has queried National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons over unexplained N3.3bn expended on the purchase of food and non-food items for IDPs.The committee also demanded details of contracts awarded in with the fund as well as bank statements of all patents made.The Commission’s Federal Commissioner, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk had in her presentation duringn the 2018 budget defence explained that out of the amount released to the agency in the 2017 budget, N3.3bn, under capital projects, was utilized for the purchase of food and non-food items for IDPs as part of durable solutions.She stated that another N1.6bn was released under zonal intervention projects, which she said was utilized accordingly.
However, Chairman of the committee, Hon Muhammad Sani Zorro observed that all the sums for the contracts were in round figures, which he said was suspicious, saying “There’s no way each contract will be a round figure.”Zorro said the committee would not accept a situation where such ‘huge amount’ would be spent without any details.
“Without us having all these, we can’t proceed with the 2018 budget. The essence of parliament is to add value and impact. Since these things haven’t been provided to us, it is my humble submission that we can’t continue with the 2018 budget,” he said.
Another member of the committee, Hon Mohammed Nur Sheriff (APC, Borno) said wondered how the commission claimed that it distributed food items to communities that are not accessible in areas such as Bama, Ngala and Kala Balge,
“Over 80 percent of refugees from Cameroon are from my constituency. I represent the most devastated and affected local governments in Nigeria, yet I can’t see anything done. Some of the areas are not accessible, but I can see contracts executed there. So, I want to know how the contractors went there,” he said.
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