The director-gof National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja yesterday denied claims that relief materials were not distributed to states in the North-East since his assumption of office in 2017.
He also said officials of 16 state governments and some federal lawmakers witnessed distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Maihaja made the submissions while appearing before the House Ad Hoc Committee looking into the operation of NEMA.
He said the materials were distributed under a Presidential Intervention Programme and tendered the list of distribution of the materials and photographs of how deliveries were effected before the Isa Ali-led Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.
He said contrary to accusations that neither state governments nor officials of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were involved, the federal government held series of meetings with the beneficiary states.
According to him, this is a presidential intervention conceived by the vice president. “The issue at stake was a Presidential intervention. By the time I took over and I was invited on 26th May, 2017 to join the team.
“A sub-committee headed by Minister of Budget and National Planning held meetings with Borno, Yobe and others where the issue and distribution was discussed.
“They were part of the programme. We moved to site together with them. There’s perfect collaboration with the states right from the onset.
“This is not an issue of telling lies, the problem here could be communication gap. We worked together and the materials got to the right place.
“The governments of Yobe and Adamawa were invited at the inception of the programme. They made inputs of where and how many quantity of items to be distributed to each local government and a memo was raised to the Vice President and was approved.
“We visited the state governors to the best of my understanding. The states were part of the distribution from day one. There could be issue of breakdown of communication. The Vice President was the one who conceived it. Officials of Gombe and Yobe states were involved in the process of distribution of these items. They went with us and ensured that these items were distributed to the right destinations.”
Earlier, representatives of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) from Yobe, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe had denied awareness of distribution of relief materials to their states.
Bauchi confirmed knowledge of the distribution of the materials but regretted that the state government was not involved in the distribution.
Taraba SEMA claimed to be involved in the planning but excluded from the distribution; while Gombe claimed that it has no Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs) camps and had no use for relief food materials but prefer restoration of its infrastructures.
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