Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has lambasted some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, including United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF, for failing to justify the huge funds they claim to have expended on victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East region.
The Governor, who stopped short of calling the groups thieves, alleged that the NGOs use most of the funds released to them for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to service their overheads and personnel costs.
Shettima claimed that out of the 126 NGOs that were working in Borno state, only about eight were actually providing humanitarian services to the displaced persons.
“We have the list of all NGOs operating in this state; apart from the officially functioning NGOs,” he said.
“Some of the United Nations agencies are doing their best in their own way of doing things; but to me I am not satisfied. “The huge chunk of what they are budgeting for Borno goes to service their overheads.
The Governor said he would no longer tolerate the presence of NGOs that were in the habit of “using the name of Borno to make money and enrich themselves”.
Shettima said he was fed-up hearing the UN’s rhetoric and had decided to tackle his problems on his own.
“I, as a Governor don’t ride in bullet proof cars; but they spend more than $50, 000 buying bullet proof cars for themselves.
“They will construct five toilets in Gwoza and fly in helicopters more than seven times to inspect the toilets,” the Governor lamented.
He also wondered why the NGO’s are concentrating all their attention on IDP camps when the federal government is talking about reconstruction and rehabilitation.
“We are in the post-conflict phase of insurgency era where we are concentrating on recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. But the foreign NGOs have near fixation on the IDP camps,” Shettima said.
The Borno State Governor however singled out few NGOs for commendation.
He said: “The World Food Programme is doing a very good job, the ICRC is doing a very good job.
“We also appreciate the efforts of the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Danish Refugee council.
“The International Organisation for Migration is doing a good job. The UNHCR is also doing a good job.
“Apart from these eight NGOs, the rest of them are merely existing.”
Shettima stated further: “But we hardly know what the UN agencies are doing. We only see them in some white flashy bullet proof jeeps; apart from that, we hardly see their visible impacts.
“But particularly the UNICEF, considering the huge quantum of funds at their disposal, they are not really trying.”
“We have become a cash cow,” the Governor lamented.
“People are smiling their ways to the banks from the agony of our people. This is unacceptable.
“People that are really ready to work are very much welcome here. But people that are here to use us to make money, may as well leave.
“We don’t need them, since they are only trying to use us to make money.”