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UN Under Secretary-General visits Borno, lauds Zulum

United Nations (UN) Under Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Mr. Gilles Michaud, was in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday for on-thespot humanitarian need assessment and also to meet the state governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum.

 

Gilles, who paid a courtesy call at the Government House, said Governor Zulum had built a high reputation, which he said many people in the UN were discussing among themselves. “I have heard a lot of good things about you, your reputation precedes you.

 

We see the proactive vision that you execute here in Borno State. You can count on our continued support (at the UN) for your efforts,” the UN undersecretary told Zulum.

 

He explained that his visit was to oversee humanitarian activities undertaken by agencies of the UN in different parts of Borno State in line with needs of persons affected by the crisis. In his remarks, Governor Zulum thanked the Under Secretary for his visit and praised the UN for the far reaching contributions of its agencies. Zulum, however, raised concern on issues of accountability by some of the NGOs operating in the state.

 

“There are lots of leakages in the system, we are not getting maximum benefit. The volume of money that has been pumped into the entire North-East by donor partners in the last ten years can resolve most of our problems.

 

“We need to know those who are working and where you are coming into, we need to know who you are, what you’re doing, but they don’t want us to check them. There are hundreds of INGOs, some of them are not genuine.

 

We need to know exactly who the right ones are,” Zulum said. “We appreciate the support from all our partners, it’s unfortunate some of the partners are working on their own without recourse  to the government, without recourse to the people.

 

Coordination is very important, you can’t solve the problem you do not understand, we need to work together. We know our problem better than anyone,” the governor added.

 

Zulum also noted that; “There are a number of good humanitarian actors, especially the UN agencies like UNDP, the UNICEF, UNHCR and a host of other development partners like the EU”.

 

The governor spoke about his administration’s resettlement drive, highlighting areas the state government and UN can collaborate to ensure safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons back to their communities.

 

“We want to see that our people earn their means of livelihood, we are receiving tremendous humanitarian support, but it’s not sustainable. Keeping them in the IDPs camp will expose the younger ones available for recruitment by the insurgents,” Zulum said

 

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