EBONYI State government has launched a programme to weed out all fake non-governmental organisations and charities operating within its borders as part of a clampdown on extortion.
Of late, there has been an explosion of NGOs across Nigeria but many of these bodies rarely do anything for the less privileged as they are just money-making machines for the founders. Also, the wives and relatives of many public officials found NGOs, which sometimes serve as business ventures or even conduits for money laundering.
In a bid to address the menace, the Ebonyi State government in conjunction with the police and other security agencies, has launched a clampdown. Dr Odo Stephen, the Ebonyi state commissioner for human development and monitoring, formally inaugurated the task force that will combat illegal operation and extortion from the fake NGOs.
He advised all NGOs to appear before his ministry with their necessary documents and details of their operation for proper scrutiny and clarification. Speaking in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, Dr Stephen stressed that the state will no more condole extortion of money from people using fake NGOs.
Dr Stephen added: “The Ebonyi State government has noted with dismay the continued illegal activities of some non-governmental empowerment operators and organisations now organising symposia and meetings under diverse guises, which include offering money, cars, motorcycles, electronics, food items, etc to participants as incentives so as to extort money from them. Consequently, the operators of these organisations are invited to report to the ministry of human capital development and monitoring, with all necessary documents and the details of their operations for proper scrutiny and certification.
“The general public is hereby advised to report any such operation in their area to the ministry. A task force has been inaugurated to work in collaboration with security agencies to fish out defaulters, so these operators are warned to adhere to the rules and maintain the already existing peace in the state.”