The Senate says it will publish the names of individuals found culpable in the alleged misappropriation of funds meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the northeast.
The Senate’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in the Northeast, headed by Senator Shehu Sani, announced the plan on Friday after a visit to some IDPs’ camps in the region that has seen over seven yeas of insurgency.
Members of the committee, including Senators Ben Murray Bruce and Ali Wakili, are investigating how the nine billion Naira released by the Nigerian government for the welfare of IDPs was used. There have been reports that the funds have been misappropriated.
The Senate had talks with the IDPs in Dalori IDPs Camp in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, to access their welfare vis-a-vis allocations from government’s coffers.
For the IDPs, it was an opportunity to voice their grievances on the shortcomings of their care givers.
One of the IDPs, Abba Jime, said: “They share bags of rice among 30 of us and expect us to feed on that for two weeks until the next time they share again”.
After preliminary assessment and engagement, the Committee expressed disappointment with the way the camp was handled, saying what they have seen on ground was not commensurate to the over nine billion Naira allocated by the Federal Government.
“It is still surprising to us that despite billions of Naira sent it by the Federal Government to cater for this people at the camps, there ought not to be anything that is lacking.
“From all indications camps have turned into a cash cow for some persons to amass wealth for themselves. It is very clear to us that if this money sent in is given to those directly on ground, things could have been better.
“Look at the children here they don’t have clothes shoes, no uniforms the school is still lacking and the hospitals look at how it is with all the billions being spent by the Federal Government.
“Look at the quality of goods been given to them. It is simply not commensurate with the amount of money the Federal Government is giving in the name of catering for people in northeast Nigeria,” Senator Shehu Sani said.
The committee also had talks with he Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who decried the large number of humanitarian organisations in the state making no impact on the survivors.
He said: “I find it intriguing and sometimes irritating to hear billions of Naira being expended in he northeast and Borno because 90% of the IDPs are from Borno even the ones in Adamawa are indigenes of Borno. Unfortunately a lot of people are smiling to the bank on the agonies of our people.
“We have over 200 NGOs in Maiduguri alone some of them doing nothing”.
The committee condemned the NGOs making money off the misfortune of citizens and vowed to include their findings in their recommendation.
“There are two types of NGOs – the good ones and the bad ones. The good ones are those doing these good jobs that we have been seeing while the bad ones are the ones feeding fat on the plight of IDPs,” Senator Sani stated.
The Committee has vowed to also invite all the agencies concerned to the Senate to justify their continued presence in Borno state.
Over two million persons have been displaced since the Boko Haram insurgency began seven years ago, a situation that has caused humanitarian crisis in the region.
The terrorist group is pushing for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.
A United Nations’ agency, UNICEF has called for more aid in form of nutritious food for IDPs in the region to help save the over 75,000 children, nursing mothers and pregnant women at risk of death due to severe malnutrition.
The agency says activities of the terrorists group and other counter-terrorism operations in the region had hindered access to areas where locals that need help most are.