IDPs: Senate alleges diversion of over N1bn by contractors

4 years ago

The Senate on Tuesday claimed that contractors involved in providing various services to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in connivance with some officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, have diverted over N1billion.
In a motion sponsored by Senator Baba Kaka Bashir representing Borno Central District, which was also co-sponsored by 18 others, the Upper Chamber frowned at the infinitesimal impact of government’s effort in providing reliefs to IDPs in various camps across the North-East despite the huge sum so far released.

In his submission, Garba expressed worries at the extreme conditions despite the presidential initiative which was set up to manage the crisis as well as Senate’s support at ensuring that there was adequate care for the IDPs.

“Senate President, Distinguished Colleagues, it is worrisome that the Presidential Initiative on the North East which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari a year ago to manage the crisis is yet to show tangible result on ground with over half of the money appropriated to it,” he submitted.

In his graphic tabulation of how funds were paid to contractors, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume pointed out that some companies that were paid did not do the job as there was no evidence to that effect.

Ndume explained that UNICEF’s report indicating that “4.5million people are in dire need of assistance out of which one million people are in danger of extreme malnutrition” was an indictment on the nation.

He described as a national disgrace, United Nations diplomat’s remark that government was not responding to the high level starvation in the North East IDPs’ camps.

He sought for the commitment of the Senate to seeing to the end of fraud in IDPs’ camps by contractors.

Contributing, Senator Abubakar Kyari wondered why a contractor who diverted 95 trucks of grains during the last administration was awarded a contract to convey grains from strategic reserve in Gombe to Borno again by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Reacting to Ndume’s earlier position on diversion, Kyari said 63 trucks of grains are currently missing from the 109 trucks that was approved to be delivered.

After various contributions, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki constituted an ad-hoc committee headed by Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) to investigate the diversion of grains and report back to the Upper Chamber in two weeks.

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