The procurement processes at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development have been flawed to protect the interest of a selected few, an anti-corruption group, the Centre for Monitoring and Evaluation (CME) said in its report.

The report also revealed that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, allegedly used cronies to siphon funds under the various social intervention programmes of the Federal Government.

Sadiya Umar Farouk

According to CME, amongst the parastatals under the Humanitarian Ministry, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) responsible for managing disasters in the country is the worst hit in terms of fraudulent contracts.

“The National Emergency Management Agency, a parastatal under the Humanitarian Affairs ministry, has been adjudged the worst in terms of violating procurement processes. It was gathered that the procurement department at NEMA receives directives from some officials in the office of the Honorable Minister,” the report read in part.

The report also highlighted the fact that the NEMA Director-General, Ahmed Habib, allegedly received kickbacks for every contract awarded at the agency.

The report stated that the various social intervention programmes under the humanitarian ministry had been highly politicised and turned into a cash cow by officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

"The conditional cash transfer regime has been plagued by inconsistencies and duplication of beneficiaries. The CTC register contained names of nonexistent persons, and the monies supposedly received by these people are routed to a pool managed by some cronies of highly placed officials of the ministry.

“The NPower scheme was also not left out of the scrutiny of the CME; it stated that the NPower scheme had fallen short of standards. The recruitment into the scheme was alleged to be in favour of a specific ethnic and religious group in the country.

“The beneficiaries’ batch C stream of NPower was largely put together by the honourable Minister and favouring a particular ethnicity and religion. It was gathered that she used it as a platform to consolidate her grip on power amongst the power brokers in the country.

“The NPower scheme was hijacked to the extent that majority of those that applied were disqualified for the preferred candidates of the minister and some other powerful forces. The Minister has succeeded in personalising the operations of all agencies under her supervision. Accountability and Transparency have been jettisoned. The minister decides who gets what in all the agencies and according to available records; these contracts were mostly awarded to her cronies.

"The case of NEMA is most worrisome as funds are being diverted daily on the orders of the Minister for nonexistent emergency relief in some states in the northern part of the country. It was also discovered that most relief items donated by well-meaning individuals and organizations were often diverted to a private warehousing facility on the orders of the Minister.

“It was discovered that these items are later sold to NEMA at an inflated rate under the guise of payment for emergency relief items for affected communities in parts of the country. And in some instances, the distribution of these items is usually skewed to favour a certain part of the country above others.

“It would be recalled that there have been allegations in the media over allegations of financial misconduct by the honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. This, according to the Centre for Monitoring and Evaluation, led to it to commission a report into the activities of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry and the parastatals under it.

“We undertook this strategic report to put issues in proper perspectives with regards the management of a critical agency of government, and the findings contained in this report were from first-hand sources and a thorough scrutiny of documents from reliable sources." the group stated in the conclusion of the report.

 

 

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