Nigerian Senate seeks urgent attention to IDP’s needs

Edwin AKWUEH, Abuja

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Nigerian Senate has once again lamented the increasing humanitarian crises caused by growing insecurity in the North East, North West and North Central geo-political zones of the country and urged the federal government to pay urgent attention to them.

According to the senate, the crises were being fueled by Boko Haram and Islamic States in West Africa, ISWA fighters in North East, farmers/herders clashes in the North Central and rampant cases of banditry and kidnapping activities in the North West region. 

These resolutions were sequel to a motion titled “The dire state of humanitarian crises in Nigeria especially Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States” sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume in his lead debate highlighted the realities on ground in the North West zone and put the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the North East at over 7.1 million.

The lawmaker noted that about $1.2 billion (N420 billion) is required to address the humanitarian crises as soon as practicable.

He said: “Already, more than 7.1 million people need humanitarian assistance in the North East. The violence continues to disrupt livelihoods and deepening the impact of chronic vulnerabilities such as food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics in affected communities.”

As part of measures to address the disturbing issue, the Senate asked the Federal Ministry of Finance to release funds to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and Refugees Commission to enable them deal with the humanitarian crises.

Senate also resolved to hold a conference on North East humanitarian issue aimed at finding ways and means to address the humanitarian crisis in the region. 

In his remarks, the President of the senate Dr. Ahmad Lawan, frowned at some government agencies responsible for the management of funds donated by donor agencies. 

Senator Lawan warned that the mismanagement of funds must stop in the interest of the affected persons.

He particularly took exception to the practice of using bulk of the money received from donor agencies for overhead by those responsible for the implementation of the intervention programmes

According to him, “The issue of the displaced persons and IDPs are a subject of debate. It is a serious issue. We have to come up with very coordinated approach to handle the situation in the IDP camps

“As a country, we can afford to deal with the situation. We are not a very poor country. I think what we lack is the coordination to deal with the situation there and of course we deploy so much resources. 

“A situation where the donor agencies use the monies for rent and other things is wrong. I think it is not acceptable. The bulk of the funds must be expended on the IDPs. The committee on special duties will handle it when constituted, he added.”

Ime Njoku