In North East: EFCC to monitor distribution of food aids to IDPs
The EFCC has joined forces with the World Food Programme to monitor the distribution of food aids to IDPs in North East Nigeria.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday signed an MoU with the World Food Programme (WFP) to protect the distribution of food aids in the country against fraud.
EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, who disclosed this in a statement, said the signing ceremony took place at the commission’s head office in Abuja.
Under the MoU, EFCC officials are expected to closely monitor the implementation of WFP intervention programmes, including distribution of food aids to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the development is coming amid reports of diversion of relief materials meant for IDPs by government officials.
In September, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the police to arrest officials accused of involvement in the act.
The EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, pledged the commission’s support for WFP to ensure that its donations and those of the government reached their beneficiaries free of corruption.
Magu stated that the EFCC-WFP partnership would greatly help in alleviating the sufferings of internally displaced people especially in the northern part of the country.
“We assure you that we will follow you to every nook and cranny of the North Eastern states such as Yobe, Borno and Adamawa.
“We will be with you whereever you need our attention. If there are no operatives where you are, we will send you operatives from here.
“We will support and work with your intervention to reach its beneficiaries without any threat of corruption,’’ the statement quoted him as saying.
Earlier, Mr Bernadin Assiene, the WFP Director of Inspections and Investigations, noted that that the MoU was an important aspect of WFP’s intervention in Nigeria.
Its main objective, according to him, is to ensure that all the support mobilised by the programme does not only effectively reach the target beneficiaries but also corruption-free.
Assiene described the MoU as first of its kind and a confirmation that the EFCC was the right partner to help WFP to establish specific assurance mechanisms in Nigeria.
“EFCC’s expertise, reputation and track record of successful engagements in the fight against fraud and corruption in the utilisation of foreign assistance is well recognised, both nationally and internationally,’’ he said.
Mr Sory Ouane, the WFP Representative and Country Director, explained how the WFP had provided intervention to the North-East through its intervention programme, assuring that it would continue.
“The ongoing conflict in northeast Nigeria has the potential to cause further displacement and increase food insecurity.
“Therefore, WFP is revising its emergency operations to implement a robust scale up and an integrated response to meet the overwhelming needs in northeast Nigeria.
“We are targeting 1.8 milllion people in Borno and Yobe in 2017,’’ Ouane said, according to the statement.
While Magu signed the MoU on behalf of the EFCC, Assiene signed for the WFP, the statement added.