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CORRUPTION: SGF Spends N270million To Cut Grasses In IDP Camp, Reps Kick

Source: pointblanknews.com
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House of Representatives committee investigating alleged diversion of

funds and materials meant for Internally Displaced Persons (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, Mr Babachir Lawal to appear before

it.
The ittee particularly decried the failure of Secretary to Government of

the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, to honour summon to him to appear

and clarify some issues on the allegations.
on IDPs and the North-East Initiatives, mandated by the house to

investigate the allegation had invited Lawal to explain how his office

spent about N12 billion allocated for the IDPs' challenges.

The committee is also investigating the expenditure of N270 million 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 N188.69 million 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.”
“He did not write to intimate us on why his office would not come to

explain why issues of internally displaced persons‎ have remained

un-encouraging, in spite of the billions of naira claimed to have been

spent.
“The PINE officials said he's at the villa.
But, as the secretary to the government under whose office the

rehabilitation of the North-East was placed, we had expected him to come

to throw light on the financial expenses made by his office.

“We also expected him to explain the implementation framework being used

to spend money.
“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.

“Given the issues of credibility and integrity raised against the agency

in charge of the North-East Initiative (PiNE) which falls under the SGF

office, we had expected him to respect the invitation.”

However, testifying before the committee members, Executive Secretary in

charge of the Presidential Initiative, Mr Umar  Gulani, said that N270

million was awarded as contract.
He said the contract was for the removal of 250 kilometres 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,

“we are of the opinion that the expenditure of the magnitude you have

made‎ is not justified.
“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.”

The committee, therefore, demanded further details from PINE, to be

submitted to it without delay.
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