Boko Haram: North-east State Assemblies Initiate Bill to Regulate NGOs

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By Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The state Houses of Assembly of the six North-east states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe and Taraba have introduced a bill to regulate and co-ordinate the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Boko Haram insurgents ravaged region.

This may not be unconnected to the recent allegation made by the Nigerian military that some NGOs under the guise of providing succour to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are fronting for the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Chairman of the North-east Speakers Forum (NESF) and the Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon. Abubakar Suleman, disclosed this on Friday when he led a delegation of North-east speakers to the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in Abuja.

He commended the federal government for establishing the commission aimed at developing the region following its devastation by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Speaker also commended the commission for the life-touching projects it has embarked on, adding that they decided to pay a courtesy visit in order to establish synergy between the commission and the legislative arm of the six states of the North-east.

Suleman noted that the legislative arm of the six states in the region wants to be involved in the activities of re-development of the North-east.

He stated: “Some of the states have already passed a bill that will regulate and co-ordinate the activities of the NGOs in the region. As you are all aware, North-east region is now like a home to most of these NGOs who are going there to provide solution to the people of the area. We want to coordinate the activities of these NGOs. State Assemblies like Adamawa and Borno have already gone far on this bill. Other state Assemblies are also in the pipeline, it is a bill that will regulate and co-ordinate this NGOs.

Suleman said that knowing the calibre of people in the commission, they are not going to make the same mistake made by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), stressing that they believed the commission would use the little resources it has in developing the region.

Responding, the Chairman of the commission, Maj-Gen Paul Tarfa, said it was thoughtful of the forum to seek collaboration with NEDC.

He noted that though the commission was still very young, but assured the people that very soon the impact of the commission would be felt.

Tarfa said that the commission has compiled the problems peculiar to each state, adding that: “It is important for us to deliver and we want to commit ourselves to the states and the suffering publics.

“We are hoping we have learnt our example from NDDC. We are hoping that next year by this time, people will see what have been achieved by this commission. We have been planning and now we want to start execution.”