The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has turned the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to her Automated Teller Machines, where funds are taken at her conveniences, a source at the ministry told SaharaReporters.
While NEDC was, among other objectives, established to rebuild the infrastructure and institutions destroyed by Boko Haram in the North-East, NEMA was created via Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of 1999, to manage disasters in the country.
However, instead of sticking with their mandate, the management of the two agencies has been embroiled in multi-billion naira corruption scandals under the supervision of Farouq.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a source at the ministry said, “The Minister has turned both agencies to her ATMs where she collects money at any time. She took over the entire ministry funds; she didn’t allow the NEMA DG, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, and his NEDC counterpart, Mohammed Goni Alkali, to work.
“Both agencies currently have over 500 abandoned projects, Farouq turned them to where she can walk to and pluck money and go away. All funds meant for political compensation by the APC government in North East are mainly from both agencies, especially NEDC.
“You will hear her telling them in the Hausa language that ‘Baba Buhari ya nemi mu ba wannan ɗan siyasan wannan fitina, ya sake ta’ which means ‘Baba Buhari asked us to give this politician this amount, release it.’
“Even the two DGs are corrupt; they have forgotten they are in charge of interventionist agencies. If you can still remember a story done by SaharaReporters recently, about five billion naira that was approved and released as special funds for Ngwom Housing Estate is currently missing in transit between the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Managing Director of the NEDC.”
The source asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to beam its searchlight on Farouq, NEMA DG, Mustapha Habib Ahmed and NEDC MD, Mohammed Goni Alkali.
This is coming few days after a group, North-East Vanguard, claimed to have unearthed massive corruption involving billions of naira at the NEDC.
Besides allegedly embezzling billions of naira, the group accused Alkali of running the commission with nepotism.
In a document jointly signed by the group’s National Coordinator and National Secretary, Pwasato Aaron, and Goni Umar Muazu, respectively, It urges President Muhammadu Buhari to officially suspend the MD to allow free investigation into the issues raised.
The document seen by SaharaReporters reads in part, “The Managing Director, Mohammed Goni Alkali, takes home a monthly salary, N8.5 million without recourse to the Salaries and Wages Commission.
“This is apart from a whopping N300 million as running cost for his office per annum. How justifiable is that?
“Since its establishment, no single employment has been carried out, as Mohammed Goni Alkali, singlehandedly hand-picked from the ministries, people from his tribe of Kanuri (90% of the about 60 staff members of the commission are Kanuri).
“Purchase by the Managing Director of 100 Hilux pick-up vans for the military and other security personnel at the cost of N28 million each, against the market value of N17 million in 2020, without any recourse to the board, an act which completely negates the country’s procurement laws.
“The Managing Director singlehandedly procured all Covid-19 equipment to the tune of N5 billion without approval from the board and procurement procedures.
“Five billion naira that was approved and released as special funds for Ngwom Housing Estate is missing in transit between the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Managing Director of the commission.”
Other infractions allegedly committed by Alkali were said to involve the diversion of funds meant for the purchase of houses for staff members.
Other monies alleged to have been squandered involved the construction of corporate headquarters in Maiduguri and mass housing across the six North-East states.
It added, “Funds meant for the production of the master plan of the region are being stolen through bogus contracts using pseudo names.
“The Alkali management has misappropriated funds appropriated two years ago to establish 18 additional computer training centers.
“Funds meant for the construction of offices in the six states of the region have been diverted to other personal uses.
“Funds meant for the construction of ‘Mega Schools’ in the 18 senatorial zones of the region have disappeared.
“Tractors and other agricultural equipment, approved and fully funded, have yet to be purchased two years after, while billions of naira are being spent on fraudulent food procurement at the expense of farmers of the region.
“Billions of naira spent on the defunct PCNI liabilities should be thoroughly investigated as some of the claims cannot be validated.
“The board of the North-East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund-NEDCEF was inaugurated on August 7, 2020, as an educational component of the commission, but for close to one year now, the board has not been able to take off, let alone achieve its core mandate of interventions in the education sub-sector, because of meddlesomeness and needless frustrations by the Managing Director.
“Instead, funds earmarked for interventions by NEDCEF are being diverted for personal use by members of the Board Of Trustees.
“It is no surprise that during the recent presidential visit to Borno state by President Muhammadu Buhari, no single NEDC project was commissioned.”