Deji Elumoye in Abuja
No fewer than two million Nigerians are living as internally displaced persons (IDP) as a result of terrorist activities in the North-east, as well as banditry and other forms of criminal activities in the North-west and other parts of the country, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, said yesterday.
The minister, after leading a delegation to visit President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, spoke on the level of dislocation that humanitarian crises had inflicted on Nigeria when answering questions from State House correspondents.
According to her, the ministry has been doing as much as the resources at its disposal would permit to cater for the needs of all IDPs in different parts of the country.
She said: “As at today, we have over two million displaced persons in the country. Ranging from those displaced by insurgency, armed banditry, communal clashes and so on and so forth.
“The mandate of the ministry is to provide effective communication of national and international humanitarian interventions, ensure strategic disaster education and response as well as to formulate and implement policies and programmes geared towards social protection and inclusion of our citizens.
“So, the ministry is doing its best to see that people who are displaced in this country are given the necessary support by way of supporting their livelihoods, rebuild their homes in areas of disasters and settling those who have fled their places seeking for refuge, provided their communities are safe for them to return.
“This is what we are working and we hope to achieve the desired result.”
She said she led others to visit the president to thank him for the attention and priority that his administration had devoted to people living with disabilities, adding that this is the administration that has ever given such attention to people with special needs.
“Today is a very important day for us and the disability community. We are here on a thank-you visit to Mr. President. First, for his support on the issues of persons with disabilities in this country.
“You may recall that in January 2019, Mr. President assented to the bill on the prohibition and discrimination against persons with disabilities in this country. That was the first milestone. Mr. President also graciously appointed the chairman, board members and the executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
“So, this is a visit to demonstrate our appreciation and our commitment to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“That was followed by the fulfillment of Mr. President’s campaign promise to the disabilities community, where he promised to sign the Disabilities Act when he comes on board.
“That has been done and the commission has been created. So the next takeaway is for Mr. President to issue an executive order for compliance with this Act, especially in the area of access, where most of our public and private buildings are not really friendly to persons with disabilities.
“So, this is an appeal we have made to Mr. President and we are hopeful that he will direct both public and private buildings in this country to comply with this provision.
“Another issue is that of funding. Mr. President mentioned that the commission will be adequately funded in order for them to achieve the desired objectives of giving a dignified attention to the disabilities in this country,” she added.