Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has advised all “nonperforming” United Nations agencies, including United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and 126 other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to leave the state for alleged failure to justify the funds they claim to be expending on people displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
Short of calling the groups thieves, the governor said most of the NGOs were using funds released to them, for servicing only their overheads and personnel costs, he accused them of enriching selves in the name of providing service to victims of Boko Haram in his state.
According to Ceoafrica, Governor Shettima said of the 126 NGOs that have mobilised to the state, only about eight were actually providing humanitarian services to the displaced people, he specifically singled out UN agencies for bashing when he said they were in the habit of using large portion of the money meant for providing for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to fund their logistic needs.
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”.
The governor said the UN system would announce millions of dollars as intervention for victims of Boko Haram, but more than half of what was released would end up being used for recurrent spending of the humanitarian agencies adding that he was fed-up of hearing the UN’s rhetoric and had decided to take tackle his problems on his own.
“We have the list of all NGOs operating in this state; apart from the officially functioning NGOs, 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. 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.
“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”.
He however singled out some few NGOs for commendation.
“The World Food Programme is doing a very good job,” he said.
“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 merely exist. I have a list of 126 NGOs in Borno state.
“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; and 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 on to use us to make money may as well leave. We don’t need them, since they are only here to use us to make money.”