2.2 million Nigerians displaced, 230,000 others in Niger, Chad, Cameroon’s refugee camps

Nigeria is facing serious humanitarian challenge with over 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country while half of the country’s pollution live in extreme poverty.

There are also 230,000 Nigerian refugees in Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, who disclosed these yesterday at a budget defence with the House of Representatives’ committee on IDPs and women affairs, informed that “nearly half of the country’s 198 million population live in extreme poverty.” According to her, the ministry has the enormous responsibility of addressing some of the underlying causes, drivers and consequences of humanitarian crises and underdevelopment including “relatively high unemployment (at 23.2 per cent) with over 40 million unemployed or underemployed; high number of persons of concern; 22 million persons with disabilities; over 14 million persons in one form of drug and substance abuse or the other and growing needs of the elderly and vulnerable groups.”

She said N20 million has been proposed in the 2020 budget for the resettlement of the Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Libya and other countries as well as 30,000 asylum seekers and resettlement of over 12,000 Libyan returnees. Speaking before the House committee on women affairs led by Hon. Oriyomi Onanuga, the minister disclosed that the ministry plans to expend N15 million for 1,000 IDPs enrolment into NHIS; N105 million for renovation/rent of N21 per state; N60 million back to school fees; N105 million for drilling of borehole; N184 million for securing land for relocation and reintegration of IDPs in FCT and Nasarawa State and N110 million for 2,200 families as return assistance to North East, among others.

Similarly, she informed that the Federal Government has proposed a budget of N165 million for 2020 to resettle IDPs in the North- East. On the breakdown of the proposed budget for National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, the minister said it includes: “N474,306,285 for personnel, N165 million for resettlement of IDPs in the North-East and Bakassi returnees.” She expressed the resolve of the present administration to lift 90 million Nigerians who are in extreme poverty across the country.

Farouq pledged the resolve of the new ministry towards strengthening coordination of humanitarian and disaster management efforts by multiple stakeholders. In his remarks, Hon. Mohammed Jega (APC, Kebbi), who pledged to justify the confidence reposed in the committee by Nigerians, assured that the budget will impact positively on every Nigerian, both individually and collectively.

“We are therefore poised for a collaborative action with the executive arm of government to ensure that we design a performing budget that will meet the expectations of the teeming populace,” he stated.

Jega also lauded the resolution of President Muhammadu Buhari for creating the ministry with the view to address the numerous humanitarian challenges confronting the citizenry as a result of insurgency, bandits and other humanitarian challenges affecting the country.

SOURCE: New Telegraph



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