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Reps to probe Minister, NEDC boss over alleged ‘disappearance’ of N100bn

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social DevelopmentThe House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouk and the Managing Director, North East Development Commission (NEDC). Mr Mohammed Alkali over alleged misappropriation of N100 billion.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) at the plenary on Thursday in Abuja alleging that the Minister has entered into an unholy deal with the managing director of the commission which has resulted in serious corrupt practices at the Commission.

In his motion, Elumelu alleged that the NEDC which was set up to ameliorate the sufferings of the people is now enmeshed in serious corrupt practices by the management.

The corrupt practices include high handedness by the Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Alkali, over inflation of contracts, awards of non existent contracts, massive contract splitting and flagrant disregard for the procurement laws in the award of contracts.

The N100 billion so far disbursed to the commission by the Federal Government is said to have vanished under a year without any visible impact on the refugees nor any infrastructural development credited to the name of the commission in the whole of the Northeast.

There are allegations of how the managing director and his close associates diverted funds meant for the commission to purchasing of choice properties in highbrow neighborhoods of Abuja, Kaduna and maiduguri to the detriment of the suffering refugees and infrastructural development,”he said.

He alleged that the deal illegally withdrew the sum of N5 billion from the account of the commission to purchase military vehicles without any recourse to the board.

The lawmaker said that the act completely disregarded the Nigeria’s procurement laws and must be seriously frowned at.

He alleged that the managing director single handedly procured Coronavirus materials and supplies to the tune of N5 billion without an approval from the board.

The minority leader alleged that there is another massive corruption scheme on the verge of being implemented in the name of housing scheme in Maiduguri without the board’s knowledge.

According to him, these consistent abuse of procurement laws if not checked may defeat the purpose for the establishment of the commission, hence the need for an urgent investigation.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabimila mandated the Committees on Finance, Procurement and NEDC to exhaustively investigate these allegations and report back in 8 weeks.

The Northeast Development Commission Bill was signed into law in October 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It replaced other initiatives, such as the Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE) and Victims Support Fund (VSF) and the Board of Management Inaugurated in may 2019.

The commission was established with a mission of coordinating funds accruing from the federation account and donor agencies for the purposes of rehabilitating and resettling of victims of insurgency.

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