17 May 2018

Nigeria: No Cash Given to NEMA for Relief Materials in North-East, Say AGF, Others

No cash was given to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for the supply of relief food materials to victims of insurgency in the North-east in 2017, it was learnt Wednesday.

The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, and some of the companies involved in the programme made the confirmation at the ongoing House of Representatives investigation into the activities of NEMA.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) confirmed the disbursement of the funds in accordance with a mandate from the OAGF.

In his submission, Idris said the need to release the fund for the supply was as a result of the scaling down of funding by international agencies operating in the region which could jeopardise the lives of the people of the region.

Represented by the Director of Funds, Mohammed Usamn, the AGF said: "N5.8billion was released to five companies and N829million to NEMA for logistics.

"The objective of the release of the fund was the scaling down of international donor food funding in the region by 85 per cent.

"However, no money was given to NEMA other than the money for logistics but it was charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund."

When the Isa Ali-led Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Committee insisted on the reasons behind the release of the money, he said: "I would have come with the records concerning reasons for the release of the fund, if such request was included in what we were asked to provide the committee with."

He pleaded for time to come up with the requested information.

One of the companies that were engaged for the supply of the relief food items also confirmed that NEMA was not involved in the disbursement of money for the cost of the food materials.

The representative of Dangote Industries, one of the companies that supplied maize worth N936m, Ahmed Hasheem said it had no contract with NEMA on the subject matter.

According to him, CBN engaged the companies to mop up food items around the country in 2016 in anticipation of off season.

"In December 2016, with others companies in food business, we were given money by CBN to mop up grains from local markets so that it can be used off season.

"We were paid after which we mopped up the food grains and later we were asked to supply the items to NEMA which we did.

"All the documentation of the grains supplied and delivered are available but we were contacted for the supply in 2017," he said.

The committee however gave the AGF 72 hours to supply the requested information.

The meeting was adjourned indefinitely.


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