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Reps. query NEMA boss over N1.6bn Libya returnees’ fund

The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management has urged the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, to account for N1.6 billion released by Federal Government for Libya returnees.

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The committee made the call at a budget defence session with the management of NEMA.

The committee said, though N1.6 billion was released for the purpose, only N1.8 million was utilised with the balance of over N1.42 billion largely unaccounted for.

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The money was meant to resettle Nigerian illegal immigrants who were recently repatriated.

The Vice-Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ali Isah (Gombe-PDP), who chaired the budget session, expressed dismay over the documents submitted by the agency.

He said “documents submitted by the agency contradicted its director-general’s explanations, adding that the director-general could not account for how the money was expended.”

Isah also said Maihaja could not convince the lawmakers on how about N8 billion from the service wide votes was utilised by the agency and could not account for ecological funds.

Members of the committee claimed that while there were documents showing that NEMA received funds from the service wide votes, whereas the director-general denied receiving anything from the government.

Consequently, the committee directed the NEMA boss to reappear before it on Thursday with all documents to back up his claims.

“You are expected to come along with the 2018 budget for the agency and details of how the 2017 appropriation was utilised.

“We will not condone misappropriation or misuse of government funds, especially at this time when many Nigerians are suffering,” Isah said.

In his response, the director-general told the committee that no money was misappropriated at the agency under his leadership, insisting that the agency had documents covering all expenses undertaken by it.

On the 2018 budget, Maihaja explained that the letter inviting him to the interaction with the committee did not indicate whether he was to defend the budget.

He added that, that informed why he could not furnish the committee with the proposal.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports many Nigerians have been returning from Libya with the third of batch of 560 arrived Port Harcourt International Airport Sunday on board Max Air, 11:52 p.m.(NAN)

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