Nigerian NGO calls for biometric registration of people displaced by Boko Haram to prevent graft

A Nigerian non-governmental organization has called for the use of biometrics to identify internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the restive Northeast area as the country struggles to determine the number of people who have fled Boko Haram, Leadership reports.

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Executive Secretary Yunusa Zakari-Yau said those working with IDPs and military deployed in the region should also be biometrically identified to prevent corruption among those managing the crisis.

“There is need for more investigations on the extent of allegations at which the insurgents are said to be benefiting either from the diversion of aid or as safe havens for their families. This must be done with caution, especially the safety of their families, in order not to make IDPs camps target of Boko Haram’s reprisal. The women and children of the insurgents equally have the right to safe camps,” he said, citing the UN’s Guiding Principles for IDPs.

Improving the availability of oversight information on the camps and the schools associated with them would enable civil society organizations to assist in the fight against corruption, he said. Keeping track of military personnel would also allow the government to audit their conduct as they deal with sensitive communities.

Nigeria’s government deployed biometric systems to identify and assist IDPs affected by major flooding late last year. It is also attempting to biometrically register people crossing the border in an attempt to quell the conflict between farmers and nomadic herdsmen.

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