By Durob DUROB
-In accordance with the National Disaster management framework, the function of the NEMA Governing Council which is chaired by the Vice President is as follows:
As chairman of the NEMA Council, the Vice President shall ensure that
(b) Subject to the provisions of the NEMA Act, make, alter and revoke rules and regulations for carrying on the functions of the Agency;
(c) Fix the terms and conditions of service, including remuneration of the employees of the Agency after consultation with the Federal Civil Service Commission; and
(d) Do such other things which in the opinion of the Agency are necessary to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Agency.
-There were no violations in approval of N5.8b Emergency Food Intervention Fund for North-East
-The presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President.
-The action was in response to the threat of hunger and starvation based on strong warnings received from the United Nation in April, 2017.
-The procurement process was not ignored in the release of funds as alleged.
-Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.
-In any situation where the companies were considered under emergency and alleged to have fake documents, the liability lies on the owners of the companies to prove otherwise.
-Still on alleged violations; NEMA wrote to BPP for “No Objection Certificate”. The BPP replied, confirmed that the situation was Emergency and did not fault our action in any way.
-On the issue of documentation of the companies, the submission to BPP was made with the available document submitted to NEMA during the procurement process.
-Prof. Osinbajo did not approve the release of N33 billion but N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs and this was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.
-The then Acting President personally supervised the process from planning to distribution. He held several meetings on strategies for distribution some of which were attended by representatives of the National Assembly like Senator Abdulaziz Nyako.
-Prof. Osinbajo subsequently accompanied by relevant stakeholders inspected the electronic truck-tracking unit established in Maiduguri for the purpose of monitoring the transportation and flagged off the food distribution on the 8th of June, 2017.
-No product or grain meant for the IDPs got rotten.
-Probably the Reps’ call for the resignation of the NEMA DG might have been as a result of their inability to corner contracts for themselves as allegations of contract award beyond the DG’s limit are false.
-The NEMA Act requires that the DG should secure an approval from the President, which he did before the award.
-The suspension of the six NEMA directors was based on the findings of the EFCC interim report on the agency.
-They were suspended to pave way for a smooth and full-scale investigation as there were findings that related to questionable transactions on accounts linked to them.