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I did no wrong – Osinbajo replies Reps

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday faulted the report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness which allegedly indicted him over “ emergency intervention of food security to the North- East ” in June 2017 , when he was Acting President .
Osinbajo ’ s position was contained in a statement made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity , Mr . Laolu Akande .

In its report, the committee had alleged that N 5 , 865 , 671 , 939 . 26 was approved and released in June 2017 via a memo raised from the Office of the Acting President , directing the Minister of Finance and the Accountant – General of the Federation to so act .

The committee concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly .

“ This conclusion is both false and misleading , ” the statement read .

Akande explained that the period in question was a time when Internally Displaced Persons and their host communities faced severe food shortages throughout the North East , as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands , minimal cross -border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities .
He recalled that the United Nations World Food Programme had on April 15 , 2017 issued a warning that it would be reducing its support to about 1 . 8 million IDPs by as much as 85 % , due to corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries .

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He added that around the same time , the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas .

He said , “ The Federal Government moved urgently to prevent the looming disaster by establishing a strategic food intervention plan for the affected States .

“ A Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Delivery to the North East was convened and the Committee met on the 13 th of May , 2017 to kick off the process , with the then Acting President as Chairman .

“ Other members of the Committee included Minister of Finance ; Minister of Budget and National Planning ; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning ; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development ; Governor of Central Bank ; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President ; and the Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President .

“ Resulting from the deliberations of this and subsequent meetings , the approval referred to in the House Committee ’ s report was , in fact , based on a request raised by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as facilitator of the National Food Security Programme , via a letter dated May 25 , 2017 .

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“ As explained in the said letter, there was an immediate need to distribute grains , including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency .

“ The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Progamme earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves . “

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