Tinubu Approves Return Of Nigeria’s Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Hajj Commission, NAHCON To Vice President’s Offic

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will be under the supervision of the Office of the Vice President once again after President Bola Tinubu gave his approval to the transfer of responsibility.

This is in accordance with the many establishing Acts that pertain to them.
According to NTA, the President has also established a formal framework for the Office of the Vice President, as well as an adequate number of technical and administrative assistants who will assist the Vice President in the fulfillment of his tasks. This structure and these aides will work together with the Vice President in the performance of his responsibilities.

In 2019, there were rumors circulating that the then-Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had his supervisory powers over certain government entities taken away from him.

In its report from November 2018, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness implicated Osinbajo as a participant in a covert operation.

The document accused him of illegally sanctioning a N5.8 billion North East Intervention Fund, which the MPs claimed had been squandered by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

According to a report from SaharaReporters in 2018, in spite of Osinbajo's denial that he had committed any wrongdoing in the approval of N5.8 billion for "emergency intervention of food security to the northeast" in June 2017, when he was acting president, the House of Representatives insisted that he "may have questions to answer, as chairman of the governing board of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)."

The then-Vice President had denied that he engaged in any unethical conduct through his spokesman, Laolu Akande. However, he had indicated that the monies were provided to prevent a looming calamity as a result of chronic food shortages throughout the northeast.

However, while briefing the media, the head of the investigating committee, Honorable Ali J.C. (PDP, Gombe), stated that Osinbajo may have some questions to answer due to the fact that he was the chairman of the governing board of NEMA and the approving authority at the time.

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"There is nowhere in my report where I mentioned the Vice President or Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, but he may have questions to answer as the chairman of the governing board," he had remarked previously.

Ali went on to clarify that the former vice president, who was serving as president at the time, had authorised the release of the sum of N5.8 billion in June 2017 and directed the minister of finance and the accountant general of the federation to do so.

He went on to explain that the authorization of the fund was in violation of the National Assembly's power of approval "as the money was removed from the Eurobond" without the permission of the parliament. In addition, he stated that "there was no procurement, there was no due process, and there was no contract, yet the money was released and spent."

The senator stated that his committee had documentation proof to back up the transgressions, and he went on to explain that before arriving at their recommendations, many parties were invited and given enough opportunity to express their side of the story. He concluded that his committee's suggestions were appropriate.

"We invited a number of state administrations, as well as governors or representatives of governors from a number of states, and they all informed us that not a single bag of grain was delivered to their state. According to what he said, "so we gathered our facts from the presentations that were given by various states and stakeholders."

The report of the committee that probed the over N33 billion scam at NEMA had been adopted by the House, and as a result, the House had recommended to the previous president, Muhammadu Buhari, that he immediately fire the previous director general of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaji, for suspected mismanagement and embezzlement.

Osinbajo was reportedly indicted for improper approvals, despite the fact that the vice president was never mentioned in the abbreviated report of the committee, which was approved on the floor of the assembly.

 


Jenny Young

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