Senate moves to stop spending IDPs funds on agencies’ officials
The Senate yesterday resolved to henceforth engage donor agencies that give humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the country to make commitments to accountability on their donations.
It said it would do this through the National Planning Commission (NPC) to ensure that donor agencies declare exactly what they donate to the IDPs and what they stand to benefit from their assistance.
The Senate made the resolution after debating the motion on the state of humanitarian crises in Nigeria, especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states moved by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South).
Its resolution followed concern over allegation that although huge resources come from foreign donors, there was no accountability in the use of such resources.
The lawmakers noted that over 80 percent of donations for goes for payment of rents, allowances and logistics for people who work for the same donor agencies in the guise of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that coordinate the disbursements.
This, they said, was unacceptable as they moved for the bulk of funds received to be spent on the IDPS.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Nigeria disclosed that about $1.2billion, an equivalent of N420billion was required to address the humanitarian crises this year.
While the total amount allocated to the North East Development Commission (NEDC) including takeoff grant amounted to N55billion or $157.14 million, it stated that the amount was less than 14 per cent of the $1.2billion required.
However, Senate also urged that while fighting terrorism in the affected states, the Federal Government should pay attention to the humanitarian crises caused by Boko Haram/ISWA, farmer and herders’ clashes, as well as banditry.
It urged the Federal Ministry of Finance to release funds due to the North-East Development Commission (NEDC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Refugees Commission to enable them to address the humanitarian crises.
It also urged the Federal Government to include it in the 2020 budget to be submitted to National Assembly in order to meet the funding gap required to address humanitarian crises in the country.
While moving the motion, Ndume pointed out that over 7.1 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Northeast, 2.7 million need food just as 1.1 million malnourished children need nutritional support this year.
Responding, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the issue of displaced persons and IDPs particularly was a very serious issue.
Besides, three years after his rejection in 2016, the Senate yesterday confirmed Aliyu Abubakar as a Non-Executive Commissioner on the National Communications Commission (NCC’s) board.
President Muhammadu Buhari had re-nominated Abubakar, who hails from Bauchi State last week by for the same position in spite of his rejection by the Eighth Senate due to his low educational qualification.
It also confirmed the reappointment of Uba Maska from North West as Executive Commissioner, Prof. Millionaire Abowei from South-South as Non-Executive Commissioner and Abdulazeez Mohammed Salman from North Central as Non-Executive Commissioner.