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North-East crisis: Senate to debate probe of funds expenditure



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The Senate will today discuss the humanitarian crisis in the North-Eastern and the call for the probe of alleged diversion of funds.

A statement from the Office of the Senate President said it was necessitated by recent reports that over four million people were in dire need of assistance, while over one million people were in danger of extreme malnutrition.

The statement signed by the Special Adviser to Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said in a motion sponsored by Senator Bashir Babakaka Gabai from Borno-Central Senatorial District, the Senate was invited to consider the information that about two million people could not be reached with aids and were at the risk of starvation in the zone, while Western diplomats believe government’s response to the development remained a “disgrace.”

Gabai alleged that “rather than use the money appropriated for the IDPs and the North-East to ameliorate the problems, the focus of the disbursement so far made has been used to feather other interest.”

He cited examples of wastage and diversion of money meant for the welfare of the people as including “award of N80.7m to JMT Global Technologies Ltd. for rehabilitation of the Police Station in Kwambir; N203.357m to another company, Josman Technologies Limited for removal of invasive plant species along river channels and another N117m paid to Lintex International for supply of temporary shelters with no record of these shelters anywhere.”

The senator therefore called on the Senate to constitute an ad hoc committee to ascertain how much has been released to the presidential initiative on the North-East and how these funds had been utilised from inception to date.

The Senate was also being asked to investigate the diversion of grains and other food items from the strategic grains reserves, NEMA and other sources for the IDPs.

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