Published On: Thu, Nov 8th, 2018

Alleged N33Billion Embezzlement: Reps Demand Sack Of NEMA DG, Mustapha Maihaja

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The House of Representatives on Thursday recommended the sack and immediate prosecution of the Managing Director of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, over an alleged embezzlement of N33billion fund belonging to the agency.

The House also indicted the Governing Board of the Agency chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over “illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.”

The recommendation follows a report by its committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, which was considered during plenary.

Chairman of the committee, Ali Isa, it has been established in the report 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, Mustapha Maihaja.

The House also condemned what it called 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 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by the Chinese Government for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.

The report 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.

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.

“On the emergency intervention of food security to the North-East to support the population ravaged by insurgency, a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act.

“The details further specified a directive to the Governor of CBN from the Ministry of Finance to pay the sum from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account which the AGF is to raise a mandate for. This is in contravention of approval of NASS on the issuance of Euro Bond from which the Hon. Minister authorized the payment.

“Committee noted the flaws and infractions on the authorization granted and removal of such huge sum of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the Federation in violation of the Constitution … due process was not followed as taxes and interest accruable to government were not deducted and remitted to the FIRS on the sums released and paid into the accounts of the different corporate entities shown above, this created colossal loss of revenue to the Federal Government.”

It said out of about N5.8 billion, “NEMA got N829,026,456 for logistics and it claimed it spent it as follows, without satisfactory evidence”.

The committee said it also discovered that the federal government “lost a total sum of over N33 billion as a result of mismanagement or outright embezzlement of funds occasioned by the actions or inactions of the Managing Director of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja.

“It is hereby consequently recommended that the Director General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, be relieved of his duties by Mr President, Commander in Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria and handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.”

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