By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
After many months of controversy over the inexplicable non-disbursement of rice donated by the Chinese Government to internally displaced persons in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency has finally distributed the expired rice and other condiments to its workers.
The donation, which took ace at the weekend and spannes till Monday morning, is to meant to portray the embattled NEMA leadership as caring and responsive to the staff who need financial and material support at the yuletide.
But Vanguard learnt that the diversion of the foodstuff which was primarily given by the Chinese government for IDPs in Nigeria’s Northeast, is likely to be met with dire consequences from the House of Representatives which had already indicted the NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, for poor leadership leading to the wastage of the aid given by China.
Sources in NEMA told Vanguard that the disbursement commenced on Sunday and continued to Monday when staff from different departments and units were asked to collect their share of the items from their unit heads at the head office in Abuja.
A NEMA source said: “At the weekend, white hilux vans were used to convey the items from a hidden warehouse in Abuja to the agency’s head office in Wuse 2 district Abuja.
” You can see from the pictures and videos obtained by reporters showing the vehicles moving in and out of the agency’s office between 6pm to 7pm on Saturday.
“Items shared to staff included rice, pasta and oil which staffers said were either expired or sub-standard.
“Two senior management staff from the Human Resources Management Department coordinated the disbursements”.
“Delivery of some items have been made to Minna operations office Niger state, Kaduna zonal office, Kano operations office , and Jos zonal office among others.
“Items shared were 25kg of rice, 4 litres oil and a carton of pasta while other officers in the directorate cadre were given 50kg of rice, 4 litres of oil and one carton of pasta,” a source in the commission said.
It will be recalled that the NEMA boss, Maihaja, was last month indicted by the House of Representatives over fraudulent misappropriation and diversion of the sum of N33 billion intervention fund meant for the North East.
Another source hinted that the DG had recently had a meeting with the agency’s store officers from the states who were directed to sign papers purportedly receiving the wasted and diverted rice.
Another set of the Chinese donated rice was also discovered hidden in a warehouse in Lagos.
See pictures of the diverted items shared to staff: