Senate Vows to Expose Diversion of IDPs’ Funds

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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The Senate ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in the North-east yesterday vowed to expose massive corruption allegedly perpetrated by public officers managing the North-east humanitarian crisis.

Speaking during a courtesy call on Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on Friday, the committee chairman, Senator Shehu Sani, said the committee would unravel the mystery behind the diversion of the resources.

The committee had visited Maiduguri to meet with state and local leaders, conduct interviews with local and international stakeholders in the humanitarian community, and as well receive testimony from internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps.

The committee was inaugurated by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in October, following reports of alleged mismanagement of resources meant for internally displaced persons (IDPs) by those entrusted with the management of the crisis.

A statement by the Senate President Media Office yesterday said Saraki commended the determination of the committee to conclude its investigation, saying its recommendations would serve as the benchmark for promotion of accountability and oversight in Nigeria’s efforts to rehabilitate the insurgency-ravaged North-east zone of the country.

“I have seen firsthand the work that needs to be done in the region,” Saraki said, “Now, with the institutional backing of the Senate, we can finally conclude on how best to manage the crisis as we partner local and international actors.”

Saraki further said he was hopeful that the report of the ad-hoc committee would be submitted before the year ends so that Nigeria could go into 2017 with an oversight strategy to monitor the government’s humanitarian intervention scheme.

Earlier this month, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the North-east Initiative (PCNI). PCNI is the organisation responsible for the overall coordination and management of government’s response in the North-east.

“Time is not on our side. Each day that we do not get it right in the North-east, hundreds of people’s lives are put at risk, many of them children. This is why we are eager to get a strategic framework in place that ensures transparency, accountability and the effective management of the crisis,” Saraki was quoted as saying.