SGF Shuns House of Reps Invitation to Explain Whereabouts of N12bn IDP Funds
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir David Lawal, on Thursday, failed to appear before a panel of the House of Representatives probing how his office spent the sum of N12 billion allocated for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Lawal had been invited to the public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on IDPs and North-East but failed to honour the invitation, reports Vanguard.
At the sitting of the panel on Thursday, the committee headed by Hon Mohammed Sani Zoro queried the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE) for spending N270 million on clearing of grass and another N188.685 million for Nigerian refugees living in Minawao in Republic of Cameroon and Niger.
Zoro expressed his anger at the SGF’s absence.
“The SGF, who was slated to appear hasn’t shown up, neither did he write to intimate us on why his office would not come to explain why the condition of internally displaced persons has remained un-encouraging, despite the billions of naira claimed to have been spent.
“The PINE officials said he is at the Villa. But as the Secretary to the Government under whose office the rehabilitation of the North-East was placed, we had expected him to come to throw light on the financial expenses made by his office and the implementation framework being used to spend money.
“We have been inundated with reports of diversion of materials and funds meant for the rehabilitation of the IDPs, and the North-East and the scandal had led to international embarrassment for the country.”
The deplorable conditions at the various IDP camps across the country particularly in the northeast has become a major source of concern in the light of revelations that huge sums have been released for the welfare of the displaced persons.
Accusations continue to grow that PINE officials in collusion with other public officials overseeing the camps may have been diverting substantial allocations meant for the IDP camps to private pockets.
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