A disagreement ensued among members of the House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons on Tuesday, during the 2021 budget defence session of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
The lawmakers who seemed to be worried about the extra-budgetary spending of the ministry and incomplete budget documents submitted by the Humanitarian Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouk, took their turns to address the minister.
“I don’t think that the document conclusively and comprehensively the challenges of our office. Engaging with these documents will mean that we are taking just a fraction of our responsibility,” a committee member, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, said.
While some lawmakers raised their voices another Reps member, Fatuhu Mohammed, accused members of the committee of harassing the minister after which he stormed out of the meeting.
Hon. Muhammed said rather than focusing on the main issues of the day, they were accusing the minister of not sharing food items and palliatives which were stored up in warehouses, resulting in the series of lootings that took place across the country.
Another lawmaker noted that it was unheard of that an expenditure was defined as non-budgetary. But in defence, the minister explained that it was a special intervention fund by President Buhari – under the Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
She, however, maintained that apart from the budget, her ministry had never received money from anywhere.
Ms Farouq’s claim comes months after the country had received cash donations running into billions to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A chunk of the donations had come from the Nigeria Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
It would be recalled that about three weeks ago, warehouses accomodating COVID-19 palliatives across the country were broken into, and food and relief materials were looted.
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