President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Friday stated that accountability and oversight must be necessary components in the nation’s efforts to rehabilitate the insurgency-ravaged North East zone.
Saraki’s statement was in response to the conclusion of the four-day visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Dr. Chaloka Beyani. The Senate President indicated that he was encouraged to learn that the international community is beginning to pay more attention to the suffering in the North East.
“We are hopeful about the increasing international attention being shown toward the North East. On our part, we need to make sure that our accountability mechanisms generate confidence in our ability to absorb and monitor the delivery of aid material and resources”, he stated.
The Senate President added that Nigeria was heading in the right direction in tackling the North East’s humanitarian crisis, however, there are still many issues in the areas of accountability, such as sexual abuse, lack of protection and the provision of basic services that need to be addressed.
“Gradually but surely, we are heading in the right direction. However, let us not take our foot off the gas pedal. We must make accountability an expectation in Nigeria’s humanitarian relief infrastructure. Accountability must be built into all aspects of the relief to rehabilitation effort to promote greater confidence in our capacity”, he added.
He also emphasised that there is a need to focus less on the sensational stories of corruption in the relief effort and instead focus on more transparent systems to root out corruption and profiteering. Saraki further stated that when the 8th Senate resumes sitting later in the month, the humanitarian crisis in the North East will be a high priority.
“As Senate President, I am sure that I speak for many of my colleagues when I say that we are more than willing to work with any and all Nigerian and international stakeholders to restore development, dignity and hope to the people of the north east”, he stated.