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Over 16,000 bags of rice meant for IDPs reportedly rotting away in NEMA stores

Despite claims that they have been distributed, some state governments have denied receiving any consignment from NEMA.

Bags of rice

The bags of rice were meant to be distributed to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North-East.

According to The Cable they are rotting away in the stores of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

IDP food crisis

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In 2017, there were reports of scarcity of food in IDP camps in the North-East as a result of poor harvests and the decision by the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) to reduce its supply of food in the region.

This situation led to the disbursement of over N5b by then Acting-President Yemi Osinabjo for the purchase of grains.

According to Laolu Akande,Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President Office of the Vice President, “NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding & packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media and publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.’’

Akande made this known while speaking on the report of the House of Reps committee, which claims Osinbajo's approval was done without due process.

Denials

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According to The Cable, in April, the Director-general of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, while speaking to members of the House of Representatives said that the bags of rice were not missing.

Maihaja said they had been shipped to various warehouses in Maiduguri, Borno state, and Yola in Adamawa states.

However, the state governments have denied receiving any consignment from NEMA.

NEMA reacts

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Speaking on the issue, NEMA spokesperson,  Sani Datti told The Cable that “The distribution started last year. Some of the items are still there and they are being distributed monthly. It’s not that we kept them. We distributed them directly to the beneficiaries. You know the items are large in quantity. I’m a little bit busy right now. You can get my attention later.”

You will recall that the House of Reps committee that recently investigated the activities of NEMA,  called for the sack of the agency's DG, Mustapha Maihaja, over alleged fraud and irregularities.

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