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Umara rebukes NRC, others over projects in Borno

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Professor Babagana Umara Zulum

Governor Babagana Umara of Borno State has rebuked the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Mercy Corps International over claims of completed water and housing projects in the state.

The claimed projects are part of the NGOs’ humanitarian intervention assistance sited in Jere, Gwoza and Maiduguri Metropolitan Councils.

The reproach was made on Friday, when leader of European Union (EU), Mr. Laban Onismas, led other development partners on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Maiduguri.

Umara said investigation of the claimed NRC’s 150 and Mercy Corps’ 350 water and housing projects revealed there was only one house completed by the latter at Gwoza.

“Henceforth, any NGO operating in Borno must allow state government to take the lead in monitoring and supervising its humanitarian activities across this state,” he said.

He said any organisation that failed to adhere to NGOs’ conditions of rendering humanitarian assistance must be prepared to leave the state.

On EU’s 20m euros (N8.12bn) intervention grant, Umara said: “This EU grant would not be accepted by the present administration, until government is given the free hand to monitor and take control of required developmental and post insurgency recovery plans…

“If it’s not in tandem with our demands, we have the right to write an objection to the EU. If you’re ready to change, we’re also ready to work with you. But if not, then we’re also ready to change you.”

He explained that chunks of intervention funds were channeled into psychosocial support, but government had to deliver the people’s demands.

“Since the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) are providing psychosocial support, if these international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are offering same assistance, it is duplication of efforts, which should be corrected.”

He commended UNICEF for “living up to the expectations of state government and traumatised 2.7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”


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