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Borno Gov. seeks NGOs probe over North-East humanitarian funds expenses

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has urged the United Nations to beam its torch light on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and humanitarian activities undertaken by agencies of the UN in the state, particularly in the area of fund disbursement and expenses in the last ten years.

He indicated that the leakages in their systems and their mode of operations which had been shrouded in secrecy necessitated the need to probe their humanitarian activities in details and give accounts of every penny spent in the last decade.

Zulum noted that the issues of accountability by some of the NGOs operating in the state had been a thing of concerns and it was high time the UN take decisive action in ensuring all funds were accounted for with concrete proof from beneficiaries.

Speaking yesterday when he received in audience the UN under Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gilles Michaud, in Maiduguri, Borno State Capital, the governor who praised the UN for the far reaching contributions of its agencies, said that more needed be done in ensuring the beneficiaries were at the receiving end of the funds.

He regretted that there were a lot of leakages in the NGOs system and operations, adding that the people, especially the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were not getting maximum benefit from the UN interventions.

According to him, the volume of money that has been sunk to the entire northeast by donor partners in the last ten years can resolve most of our problems.

“We need to know who are working and where, you are coming to Borno, we need to know who you are, what are you doing, but they don’t want us to check them. There are hundreds of INGOs, some of them are not genuine. We need to tame down and know exactly who are the right ones” Zulum said.

“We appreciate the support from all our partners, it is unfortunate some of the partners are working on their own without recourse to the government, without recourse to the people. Coordination is very important, you can’t solve the problem you do not understand, we need to work together. We know our problem better than anyone” the governor added

Zulum noted that “there are a number of good humanitarian actors especially the UN agencies like UNDP, the UNICEF, UNHCR and host of other development partners like the EU”.

In his remarks, Michaud said he was in Maiduguri for on the spot humanitarian needs assessment, and to meet Zulum in line with the UN commitment to welfare of refugees and IDPs.

He commended the governor on his developmental stride, particularly the 25-years post-Boko Haram development plan recently unvieled by his administration, adding that he had built a high reputation, which he said many people in the UN were discussing amongst themselves.

“I have heard alot of good things about you, your reputation precedes you. We see the proactive vision that you execute here in Borno State. You can count on our continued support (at the UN) for your efforts” the UN undersecretary told Zulum.

He explained that his visit was to oversee humanitarian activities undertaken by agencies of the UN in different parts of Borno State, in line with needs of persons affected by insurgency crisis.

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