Mustapha Maihaja, director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has denied allegations of financial impropriety levelled against the agency.
Speaking at a public hearing at the house of representatives on Wednesday, Maihaja said NEMA follows due process in all of its operations.
The hearing was on the alleged infractions by NEMA in the award of N3.1 billion contract for procurement of 10,000 metric tonnes of rice in some parts of the country between 2017 and 2018.
“We insist that due process be followed on procurement since my assumption of office in April 2017,” he said when asked by the house of representatives committee to clear the air on the allegations.
“This is because different methods were used before then with serious resistance from within and outside. Today, NEMA is one of the most investigated agencies but due process was followed in our procurements.”
He said 10,000 metric tons of rice was purchased in compliance with the procurement act, and that the agency sought presidential approval for it.
“The approval letter was signed by the vice-president — while he was in acting capacity — on June 6, 2017,” he said while tendering the said letter.
“The contract was awarded to Olam Nigeria Limited and Three Brothers on June 28, and the contractors don’t get paid until deliveries are confirmed by the recipient agencies.
“Also, the deliveries directly to by NEMA are taken to our warehouses across the country and confirmed by our store officers before payments are made.”
The NEMA DG said the procurement of the said contract was signed by a director because the agency had no ranking procurement officer at the time.
He said: “The officer in charge then was a junior planning officer and cannot sign contract awards, and being an emergency situation, in all sincerity, the director, relief, was asked to sign the documents.
“My action was done with utmost sincerity, there was no intention to sidetrack anyone in their responsibility.”