IDPs: Umara criticises NGOs for inflating number of projects

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#TrackNigeria – Governor Babagana Umara, mni of Borno  on Saturday criticised some NGOs for inflating the number of projects they claimed to have constructed for internally displaced persons in the state.

Umara expressed his displeasure when he received officials of European Union,  Mr Laban Onismas led other Development Partners such as Plan International, UNICEF and Save the Children as well as other Consortium in an emergency Review meeting at the Government House, Maiduguri.

He criticised Mercy Corps International (MCI) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) over inflating  the number of drilled boreholes and constructed houses in Maiduguri Metropolis, Jere and Gwoza Local Government Areas of  the state.

“The NRC claimed and reported that it drilled 150 boreholes in Jere LGA alone, which was far from the truth.

“The Mercy Corps which claimed to have constructed 350 houses in Gwoza as reported was untrue.They built only one house in Gwoza alone,” he said.

He said that henceforth, any humanitarian organisation that is operating in Borno, must allow the state government to take the lead, monitor and supervise all activities, or else should pack out and leave.

The Governor also said, the N20 million Euros approved for intervention in the state by the European Union Consortium for the 2019 to 2021 budget, would not be accepted by the state government, until and when government is given a free hand to monitor and take total control based on its required developmental and post insurgency recovery plan to avoid duplication.

The governor while commending UNICEF for living up to the expectations of the state government and the traumatised citizens, especially millions of IDPs.

“I want to commend UNICEF for living up to the expectation of the state government and the traumatised citizens, especially millions of IDPs.

“This is because, since I was in primary school, I used to hear of UNICEF, and they have remained with us as very committed humanitarian organisation.

“I must add that the Plan International has been in Borno for quite  sometime, but we have never met until today.

“I have strived to see you people since when in was commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR)  but you have refused to come to me so that we can have first hand information of your objectives.

“With this budget of N20 million Euros which you are part of the consortium for implementation, we are not going to accept it until we sit down again, review your planned  budget, and if is not in tandem with our demands, we have the right to write objection to the EU.

“As government,  we will sit down and review this budget of N20 million Euros, if the budget is in tandem with the demands of the Borno government fine, we are willing to work with you, but if the reverse is the case, then we will not mind if you can shift your intervention to other states or country.

“If you are ready to change, we are ready to work with you, but if you are not ready to change, then we are ready to change you.

“This is in accordance with the demands of our people.

“I understand that a chunk of intervention funds are  channeled into psychosocial support, but I think as government, we also have our demands.

“Already, the World Bank and the African Development Bank are giving us psychosocial support, and if most of these International Non Governmental Organisations  (INGOs) are doing same intervention, which means there is duplication of effort that we are trying to correct,” he said.

Earlier, the leader of the EU Consortium, Onismas told the governor that they were in his office to brief him on the planned  interventions by Europe on Union Consortium and the approved budget of N20 million Euros for humanitarian assistance in the education and other sectors in the state for period of three years. (NAN)

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