Reps Panel Grills DG NEMA Over Distribution of Relief Items

Paschal Emeka, Abuja.

The House of Representatives Committee on Ecological Fund on Wednesday grilled the Director General of, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ahmed Mustapha Habib over his inability to carry critical stakeholders along in the distribution of relief materials meant for the affected states of the federation during the flood disaster that ravaged parts of the country.

The DG NEMA had appeared before Lawmakers on invitation at the ongoing public hearing organized by the Committee Investigating the total consolidated Accruals and utilization of Ecological Fund, held at National Assembly complex, Abuja,

During the investigative hearing, most lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction over deliberate exclusion of their states from relief materials provided by the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to victims of the ravaging flood that claimed many lives and property worth millions of naira.

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka had insisted that parts of his mandates as a Committee is to probe beyond the surface.

“We expect government agencies to cooperate with us and give us information on how Ecological Fund they received from the government have been utilized.

Recalled that the Committee had during sitting last week mandated the Federal Ministry of Health and Ministry of Niger Delta to immediately respond to letters written to them on or before Wednesday this week or be ready to face sanctions.

In his earlier remarks, the Committee Chairman had informed that the purpose of his Committee is never to witch-hunt anybody, ministry or agency but to ensure accountability and transparency in spending public funds.

Other lawmakers in the committee who spoke while the hearing lasted, emphasized that part of their mandates as lawmakers is to ensure prudence in the management of public funds.

The committee had also queried NEMA for not involving senators and House of Assembly members during distribution of relief materials in the states affected by the flood.

They requested that NEMA should avail them with an up-to-date details and statistics of items provided to victims of the flood throughout the country.

Lawmakers also blamed NEMA for lack of information sharing among stakeholders.
NEMA had earlier claimed that they shared relief materials from the Federal Government based on vulnerability of states and victims.

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