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The Borno State Government has said contrary to widely held insinuations that it has received billions of cash donations in local and foreign currencies for the management of Internally Displaced Persons, only a total of three hundred and forty five million naira (N345m) overall was received as cash donation by the Governor Kashim Shettima administration from May, 2011 when he Governor Shettima made the disclosure while responding to questions by journalists in Maiduguri shortly after his arrival from Abuja. The journalists sort his response over claims on the social media and a section of the main stream media the ‘the Borno Government had received billions of naira in cash donations as support to cater for IDP’S whereas the donation was diverted by Govt officials with food supplies not provided for the IDPS.
“You see, contrary to wild assumptions that the Borno State Government has received billions of cash donations in local and foreign currencies for the management of Internally Displaced Persons, a lot of Nigerians may be shocked to know that a total of three hundred and forty five million naira (N345m) is the overall amount received as cash donation by our administration from May, 2011 to date.
?Here is the list of cash donations we received from all sources whatsoever for the support of IDPS, in Borno State and this figure is from 2011 when I took over, to this moment:
?1. The FG under Jonathan gave us N200m in 4 years
2. Lagos State Government, N50m in October, 2015
3. Edo State Government, N25m in 2013
4. Kano State, N20m in 2013
5. Adamawa State, N20m in 2013
6. Ekiti State, N10m? in 2013
7. Osun State, N10m in 2013
8. Kaduna State, N5m
9. Unity Bank, N5m
??There is one woman who prefers her name not to be mentioned, she donated one hundred thousand naira in cash bringing total cash received to three hundred and forty five million, one hundred thousand naira.
?So, in effect, N345m is the total cash donation received by the Borno State Government from 2011 to date meant for support of internally displaced persons and we were spending N600m every month to cater for IDP’S throughout the Jonathan era. All other interventions have been in kind through donation of food items or medical supplies etc and they include:
A. Kebbi State Government had donated 1,200 bags of rice
B. Ebonyi State Government gave us 5,000 bags of rice
C. Taraba gave us 3 trucks of highland tea
D. Gombe gave us 6 trucks of assorted food products via 2 interventions.
These were all for IDP interventions from State Government but of course, there have many other groups who visited and donated food items in the last five years but certainly not cash to Borno State Government” he said.
The Governor explained that International partners operate in such a way they have technical partners that implement their interventions.
?”We have received tremendous support from some part of the International community but no foreign country or any International partner within or outside the UN and major world donors gave any cash to our administration from 2011 to date for the purpose of IDPS but rather all donations come in materials like medical supplies, technical support and food items, most of which are directly distributed by the International partners themselves to reach IDP’S in different parts of Borno State. Amounts you might heard through the media were not cash donated to Borno by international partners but rather, items and services worth such amount mentioned to the public. They do not give cash. For instance, there was a time the General Electric graciously donated one million dollars to Borno in support of IDPS,I was at the presentation in Abuja, I was even presented the symbolic cheque but the money was paid to UNICEF and it was UNICEF to implemented the G.E’s intervention in the era of Healthcare and nutrition.
When the Government of Norway announced donation of 4 million dollars, the money wasn’t given in the form of cash to Borno, it was the worth of their food supplies and these food supplies are being distributed by the Norwegian Refugee Council which deals directly with the IDPS in Borno. The ICRC has made the highest humanitarian intervention in Borno but we don’t even know how much they have spent, they have their men on ground who deal directly with the IDPS across Borno State” he said.
He noted that “the World Food Programme also makes intervention of food and recently they are doing conditional cash transfers and that also is handled by officials of the World Food Programme. If there is one organization that has given us any cash donation outside the N345m for IDPS, it was the Dangote Foundation which gave Borno N400m but that wasn’t for IDPS, it was an economic empowerment program for women which the Dangote Group launched in different States including Lagos,Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa and Yobe States in which N10,000 each was given to about three or four hundred thousand women across these States I mentioned. The N2b Dangote announced in support of Borno two months ago, we requested that he doesn’t give us cash but building materials worth the amount”.
Shettima also said “as far as 2012, I foresaw eventual mischief on this issue of intervention on IDP’S, that was why we made it a policy of not dealing with cash but supplies and even on the supplies when the food is much, in most cases, we insist that donors supervise the distribution of their donations to the IDPS, this was exactly what we did with the 104 trailers of food donated by Dangote Foundation for the Ramadan feeding for IDPS. Officials of Dangote led the entire distribution. So, I really don’t know where this issue of Borno collecting Billions for the purpose of IDPS came from, the Borno State Government has been the one bearing the major brunt of managing these over two million IDPs throughout the Jonathan era. We have spent Billions of our resources not only in feeding IDPS but also in reconstruction of many communities from 2011 to date and yet we manage to pay salary of N2.6b to our workers by 26th of every month without failing for once. We have paid salaries of June last week. I think people should be fair to us. We are not angels, we have our short comings as humans but we do our best most of the time to meet the needs of our citizens”.
The Governor said ?”a political group in Borno has since hijacked the issue of IDPS, the group was no where when we were in crisis and taking care of these IDPS, now that peace is emerging, politics has set in, they send all kinds of information with misleading figures and pictures, the media should try to separate facts from fiction by simply seeking clarification from us on issues that affect us. I am not a fighter by my nature but Allah has blessed me with the capacity to resist pressures. Challenges don’t distract or slow me down, they inspire me,they make more focused. I have been following all the mischief. The social media doesn’t bother me at all. The only comment that surprised me was one that kept being repeated on the Television by a particular TV station based in Lagos. There is a program they call Journalists Hang Out, in which some senior journalists that ought to simply assign their reporters in Borno to get them facts or reach my media aides or even me directly for clarifications, who chose to be making serious and libelous allegations on live TV saying Borno State has received hundreds of Billions of naira as cash donations to take care of IDPS and that the funds were diverted and IDPS were left dying of hunger. Unfortunately, other media houses seem to have bought into that misleading information since the unfortunate case of malnutrition came out of Bama which by the way, we brought it to public knowledge after I ordered the evacuation of over 1000 malnurished children and adults before and during my visit to the Bama IDP camp on 15th of June which was before the statement by the MSF” he said.