â€¢ Says allegations, malicious, fraudulent
Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) wednesday debunked allegations against it by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness as well as a member of the House that the agency spent a colossal sum of N13 billion in just one month.
NEMA in a statement in Abuja by its Head of Media and Public Relations, Sani Datti, said it observed with dismay the spurious allegations, stating that they are without factual basis, fraudulent and malicious.
According to it, â€œFor the record, the Agency is constrained to inform the public that on the assumption of new Director General, only the sum of N4.6 million was in the account of the agency to cater among other things for the multitude of problems including 1.8million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-east.
â€œThe problem also got confounded by a report from humanitarian actors that due to scaling down of funding by the donor agencies, their activities in North-east will also necessary be scaled down.
â€œFurthermore, it was reported that there was apprehension of eminent hunger and famine. Faced with this staggering reality on ground and paucity of fund at that time facing the agency, couple with the need to act decisively, the Director General of agency was forced to urgently raised the issue with the acting president who magnanimously approved the released of 30,905 metric tonnes of assorted food items from the government Strategic Reserve for immediate distribution to the affected communities by the agency. The agency was mandated to effect immediate distribution sometimes around mid- May
It said: â€œThe acting president kicked off the programme onJune 8, 2017, tagged: â€˜Emergency Food Intervention In North-east.â€ It must be stressed that the only fund released to the agency was 829million for distribution, logistics, security and associated cost. Out of this sum, only about N200million have been expended so far.
On the second leg of allegation that the DG was invited three times by the committee to explain how he expended the â€œalleged N13billionâ€ and he refused to honour the invitation on each occasion, this too, was also a fabrication and blatant misrepresentation of fact.
â€œFrom all indication, this again was meant to portray the DG in bad light and cause disaffection between the members of the National Assembly and the agency, thereby jeopardising the mutual and beneficial working relationship developed overtimes.
The statement added: â€œOn the said three invitations referred to, we wish to state that when the agency was about honouring the first invitation, the Chairman of the Committee personally appeared in the agency Headquarters and instructed the management not to honour the invitation, as same was conveyed without his authorization. On the second invitation, we wish to state categorically and without fear of any contradiction whatsoever that the management of the agency honoured the second invitation.
â€œWhen the third invitation was extended to the agency and in view of the fact that during the period, the DG was away to Banki (Borno State) on an urgent emergency mission, the agency wrote to the committee expressing its inability to hounour the invitation. The committee even officially acknowledged the said letter.
â€œIt is therefore curious, surprising and most unfortunate that in spite of available evidences confirming the true and actual position of what transpired, the presenter could still fabricate and/ or concoct lies, deliberate falsehood and/or misrepresentation in the mind of public to achieve a sinister motive, which we believe is not the position of the committee.
â€œThe entire publication, from all intent and purposes, is intended to cause confusion, distrust and mislead the public. It is self-serving and politically motivated. From all indication the publications may not have been genuinely authorised and same should be discarded.â€