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Reps summon VSF over N5b spent on Boko Haram victims

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AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

• Want fish importation banned
The House of Representatives has summoned the Executive Director of the Victims Support Fund (VSF), Mr. Sunday Abogonye Ochoche, to explain how N5 billion meant to support victims of Boko Haram insurgency was spent.

The lawmakers also summoned the head of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced (NCFRMI), Hajia Sadiya Umar over her refusal to render account of how monies appropriated to her outfit was expended.

The Chairman of the House committee on IDPs, Refugees and Initiatives on North East, Mr. Sani Zorro explained that the House reserved the right to scrutinize the duo.

He said it was unfortunate that Sadiya refused to honour the committee’s invitation to defend the 2018 budgetary proposal of her outfit, noting that the action could affect the timely passage of the 2018 budget.

He summoned Sadiya to appear before the committee on Monday, 29th of this month.

On the N5 billion VSF, Zorro alleged that Ochoche had been hiding under the cover of the chairman of the outfit, Gen T.Y Danjuma (rtd), to avoid the scrutiny by the National Assembly.

The lawmaker, who said he held Gen. Danjuma in high esteem, faulted the claim by Ochoche that the VSF which is a privately registered outfit cannot be forced to render account of the utilization of public fund.

He noted: “They have been making all sort of claims that they bought goats, rams and empowered several victims of terror with the money. All we are saying is come and tell us the efforts you have made and when we write them, they would claim that they have been directed not to come and render accounts. Each time we give them the opportunity, all they do is to show us disrespect.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure self- sufficiency in food production, the House of Representatives yesterday enjoined the authorities to commence a phased ban on importation of fish and fish products into Nigeria.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Tasir Olawale at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, the House mandated its committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Water Resources to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service and other stakeholders to develop a policy framework for the implementation of the proposed policy.



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