Oxfam Nigeria, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has called on the Federal Government to ensure accountability and transparency in establishing a North -East Development Commission (NEDC).
Its Programme Officer, Mr Celestine Odo, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the commission would not achieve the desired results if mechanisms for accountability and transparency to check the usage of funds were not available.
“I think it is a good measure, but for me it is not just about providing money, but how this money is going to be utilized.
“If you push up money, what are the mechanisms in place to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the utilization of the funds.
“It is not about individuals but it is how to make the institution to be strong, because we talk about strong institutions and not strong individuals.’’
Odo, however, said that establishing the NEDC was a good initiative as it would help the geo-political zone to recover from the effects of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He also said that Oxfam had, over the past three years, involved in intervention programmes for the area through sanitation, food relief and water.
“We are integrating relief into development, so it is not just about giving them relief materials but integrating it into development.
“This has gone a long way in ensuring sustainable mechanisms and we are seeing the results of Oxfam work in the North East.’’
The Senate had, in 2016, passed a bill to establish the NEDC to be partly funded by three per cent of Value Added Taxes (VAT) accrual to the Federal Government.
The commission will be tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding the North East region after years of destruction by activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. (NAN)