Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee o n Emergency and Disaster Preparedness has summoned Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to appear before it over the suspension of directors of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The committee, which is investigating alleged violation of public trust in NEMA and the utilisation of N1.6 billion allocated to the agency, also summoned the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, as well as the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
Osinbajo is chairman of the governing council of NEMA, which allegedly suspended the directors.
Speaking at the continued investigative hearing, yesterday, the NEMA DG, Mustapha Maihaja, told the committee that the decision to suspend the six officers was taken by the governing council of the agency.
Consequently, the committee, led by Ali Isa, said Osinbajo, as chairman of the governing council, has to explain the process which led to the suspension.
However, the committee asked the vice president to send a representative if his schedule would not allow him appear in person.
In his response to questions on how the N5 billion North East Intervention Fund given to NEMA was disbursed, Maihaja said the agency only received N829 million for logistics and security.
“I received items, not money worth N5,036 billion and we were instructed to pick them from the stores. Some companies have, however, not delivered theirs like Golden Agric Input Limited.
“Food items were received from Dangote, Boa Flour Mills and others. We have distributed and still distributing. Fifty percent was moved to Maiduguri, 20 per cent to Yobe and 10 per cent to Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states.
“Our officers were deployed to do mass distribution. The instruction to pick the materials emanated from the office of the Acting President.”
Maihaja also explained that “the background to the project was that on April 21, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation wrote a memo following scaling down of support from international agencies and by implication, 145 million people would be affected.
“If by June, nothing was done, famine and hunger remain highly probable. Government responded and NEMA was asked to move in and distribute.”
Asked about the eligibility of some companies engaged to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of rice valued at N3 billion, the NEMA director general replied: “We engaged the companies under emergency, as prescribed under the Emergency Act.
“We approached the Bureau of Public Procurement, with the available documents required, and the BPP said deficiencies should be updated for further review; for the issuance of Certificate of No Objection immediately after emergency.”