109 Senators Donate N32.7m to Tackle Humanitarian Crisis in NorthEast Nigeria

Members of the upper legislative chamber have agreed to donate N300,000 each to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northeast, totalling N32.7m.

The decision was arrived at after a debate on the humanitarian crisis in the region.

In a motion on Tuesday, Baba Kaka Bashir Gabai, a senator from Borno central, recalled that on November 17, 2015, the senate raised the amount proposed by the executive in the budget for IDPs from N6bn to 10bn, in recognition of the magnitude of the crisis.

However, he said that there had been “no tangible result on the ground despite the release of half of the money appropriated.”

Gabai alleged that “rather than use the money appropriated for the IDPs and the northeast to ameliorate the problems, the focus of the disbursement so far made has been used to feather other interest.”

He therefore called on the senate to constitute an adhoc committee to ascertain how much had been released to the presidential initiative on the northeast and how these funds had been utilised from inception to date.

He also asked the senate to investigate the diversion of grains and other food items meant for IDPs from strategic grain reserves.

After a debate on the motion, the senate agreed to do more than just investigate by donating money to the IDPs.

Speaking on the motion, Senate President Bukola Saraki described the humanitarian crisis as an outcome of “poor coordination, slow response and monumental corruption.”

Thereafter, he constituted a committee to investigate the problem.

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