NEMA spends N112.13bn on disaster management in 11 years
...Reps frown at agency's claim of reaching out to 1.4m flood victims
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday said it has spent N112.13 billion from
consolidated accruals and ecological fund utilisation on disaster management in the country from 2011-2022.
This is just as members of the House of Representatives committee on Ecology expressed displeasure with the disclosure by Ahmed Mustapha, the director general of NEMA that the agency reached out to over 1,427,370 persons displaced by the flood disaster across the nation.
Mustapha, who appeared before the committee which is investigating the total consolidated accruals and utilisation of ecological fund, said unlike other appropriated finance, balances from the funds are rolled over to a next fiscal year.
The director-general told the committee that documents for
the 2010 expenditure were not available as they were destroyed during the #ENDSARS protests, and police extract to that effect has been obtained.
He lamented that 2022 flood disaster was the worst flood disaster in the history of Nigeria, saying it was far more devastating than the 2012 flood which was hitherto considered unprecedented in the country’s history.
Read also: Reps urge Buhari to seek N100bn supplementary budget for flood control
“As predicted, the 2022 flood hit the country with devastating consequences, impacted thousands of communities and wreaked havoc in all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. A total of 612 persons lost their lives, 3,219,780 persons were affected, 1,427,370 persons were displaced and 2,776 others suffered various degrees of injuries.
“A total of 181,600 houses were partially damaged and 123,807 houses were totally damaged. A total of 176,852 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 392,300 hectares of farmland got totally destroyed as a result of the floods,” Mustapha said.
The NEMA Boss also said the provision of food and non-food items for immediate relief and building materials to facilitate long term rehabilitation of those affected by flood was ongoing.
But Oghuma Johnson (APC, Edo), a member of the committee who frowned at Mustapha’s statement, accused NEMA of favouring a particular region of the country in their relief materials distribution selection process.
The lawmaker, who later staged a walk out, said the director general was partial as the impact of their distribution claims was not seen or felt in his constituency and Edo State as a whole.
Johnson said: “In the whole of my area, we do not have any assembly member and you said you informed assembly members from my state and I am here. It is my own federal constituency that is swallowed up by the flood.
“I moved a motion concerning my federal constituency and that is the only way they communicate to you. I do not have any personal relationship with you. I don’t have to ask you for anything because I do not need anything from you.
“For my people, they are part of Nigeria and I want to put it to you that you people were not appointed to be partial. You swore an oath before you took your office. The way you treat some of us from this area, is that the same way you are treating other people?
“I am bitter because of the way you have abandoned these people. My state is never recognised. You have never done anything in Edo State and you call yourself NEMA. Is NEMA not Nigeria? Is it a regional organisation?”
Similarly, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), chairman of the committee
said the NEMA boss was not doing enough to reach out to all Nigerians who are to be served by the agency.
“Everything starts and ends at your table. Nobody is asking for any special favour. But what you are doing if they (lawmakers) are carried along, the pressure on them will lessen.
“I am telling you that here as we are seated here, there are three members from Ogun State here, including I as the Chairman of this committee,” Isiaka said.
Also, Adewunmi Onanuga (APC, Ogun) said she has written twice to NEMA with regards to issues in her state and constituency, not once has anyone replied her back.
The lawmaker said she had issues with the way the agency was being run, stating that not once did they get any information with regards to what NEMA is doing in the whole of that south-west.
Earlier, the committee’s chairman, Isiaka fumed at the absence of Ministries Departments and Agencies of Federal Government and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) at the probe to defend the amount they received and how it was spent.
The lawmaker threatened that the House might rescind its decision on any support given to the 774 local governments and MDAs if they continued the way they were doing things.