OrderpaperToday- The House of Representatives has recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari relieve the Managing Director of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, of his duties and allow him be prosecuted by relevant authorities.
The recommendation, among six others with subsections, is sequel to a report by the committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, which was considered during plenary.
According to chairman of the committee, Mr. Ali Isa, based on the investigation conducted by the Committee, it has been established that the federal government of Nigeria lost a total sum of over N33 Billion Naira as a result of mismanagement or outright embezzlement of funds occasioned by the actions or inactions of the Managing Director of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.
On the issue of the donation of 6,779 metric tons of rice by the Chinese Government for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East as contained in the report, the House condemned the negligence and inefficiency of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the National Emergency Management Agency for the long delay in the collection of the donated rice from the port terminal and called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate and prosecute all involved.
“The ICPC, EFCC and Police should ensure the recovery of the payment of about N800million demurrage from the concerned officers of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and NEMA. They should further investigate the conflicting testimonies of the above agencies and determine whether there was multiple payment transaction for the demurrage,” said Mr. Isa.
Other recommendations in the report include the reinstatement and payment of arrears of entitlement of some NEMA management staff who were suspended. They include: Director, Finance and Account, Director Disaster and Risk Reduction, Acting Director, Special Duties, Deputy Director Welfare, DD Captain of the Air Ambulance and Assistant Chief Administrative Officer.
It therefore recommended that all the board members involved in the suspension of these members of staff be suspended.
Also, the green chamber directed NEMA to submit through the appropriate authority all the Ecological funds accrued to it, yearly, to the National Assembly committee for appropriation in order to meet its constitutional requirements. They also called for a comprehensive investigation into the receipt and utilisation of 20% of the Ecological Fund to NEMA over the years.
These are in line with the findings by the committee on unaccounted N17,889,050,401 released from Ecological Fund to NEMA.
Still on the committee’s findings, on the issue regarding the evacuation of Nigerians from Libya, it was recommended that the federal government make available adequate funds to the relevant agencies of government for the rehabilitation of those Nigerians evacuated from abroad in order to prevent them from going back, adding that method and cost of evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad be made transparent in order to ensure better accountability.