Reps complain about the use of N270m to "clear grass" at IDPs camps


House of Rep committee investigating alleged diversion of funds and materials meant for IDPs, especially the alleged use of N270m just to clear grass by the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) said it was being frustrated by the refusal of the SGF, Babachir Lawal to appear before it, Vanguardngr reports.

The Committee on IDPs and the North-East Initiatives, mandated by the house to investigate the allegation had invited Lawal to explain how his office used about N12 billion allocated for the IDPs’ challenges.

The committee is also investigating the expenditure of N270m by the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE) “on just clearing of grass’’. Also being probed by house committee is the purported allocation of N188.69m for Nigerian refugees living in Minawao, Republic of Cameroon‎.

Expressing disappointment with the attitude of the SGF towards the committee, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Sani Zorro, said “The SGF who was slated to have appeared hasn’t showed up to explain why issues of IDPshave remained un-encouraging, in spite of the billions of naira claimed to have been spent.

We have been inundated by reports of diversion of materials and funds meant for the rehabilitation of the IDPs, and the North-East and the scandal had led to international embarrassment for the country.”

However, testifying before the committee members, Executive Secretary in charge of the PINE, Umar Gulani, said that N270m was awarded as contract. He said the contract was for the removal of 250km of “invasive plant species along river channels and simplified village irrigation scheme (phase II) in Komadugu Basin in Yobe."

In reaction, Zorro expressed dissatisfaction with the explanation, saying, “It’s not acceptable that you would spend such a huge amount of money on the clearing of weeds while 2.5 million internally displaced victims of terror go hungry. They have no shelter and medical care.”


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