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Insecurity, disasters displaced 6m Nigerians

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By Usman Oladimeji

NCFRMI has been working hard to prioritize the well-being of IDPs.

According to the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), over 6.1 million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of insecurity and environmental calamities. Alhaji Tijjani Aliyu, the Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, disclosed this during a meeting with Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State, adding that the commission had recorded approximately 3 million displaced persons as of 2022. Meanwhile, as a result of occurrences such as floods and various other natural disasters, the figure has now increased twofold.

Aliyu stressed the importance of finding long-term solutions for the displaced community, noting that the government cannot bear the full burden of assistance alone. He suggested offering vocational training and trade opportunities to empower individuals to support themselves in the future. Additionally, the commission is set to create three modern skill development facilities in the Northeast with funding from the 2024/2025 budget. Around 700 displaced persons in the state received food items during the visit.

Solar-powered boreholes have been installed in IDP camps.

The commission has been working hard to prioritize the well-being and dignity of those who have been forced to leave their homes, offering educational opportunities for children and training initiatives for the adults. Moreover, they have implemented solar-powered boreholes and established new settlement communities within internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps. The ultimate goal of NCFRMI is to ensure that IDPs have access to healthcare through enrollment in a health insurance program. Governor Radda praised the efforts of the commission, emphasizing the shared duty of both state and federal authorities in aiding the IDPs.

Governor Radda acknowledged progress in addressing security issues in the state through the implementation of the Katsina Security Watch Corps. He emphasized the importance of working closely with neighboring states to strengthen security in eight specific local government councils. The distribution of food items to internally displaced persons was inaugurated by the federal commissioner and other officials as a part of their continuous assistance initiatives. Causes of internal displacement in Nigeria are varied and interconnected, arising from a combination of factors such as frequent floods and prolonged outbreaks of violence.

Floods hindered humanitarian aid efforts and caused damage.

A record number of people were forced to leave their homes in 2022 due to natural disasters, particularly from devastating floods that ravaged the country for six months. Over 2.4 million individuals were displaced, marking the highest displacement count due to disasters in sub-Saharan Africa that year. The most affected area was the southern state of Bayelsa in the Niger river delta, although Anambra and Kogi states also experienced significant displacement. Floods in Borno’s north-eastern displacement camps led to the evacuation of thousands of conflict-displaced individuals. The floods hindered humanitarian aid efforts and caused infrastructural damage.

Persisting insurgent attacks from non-state armed groups like Boko Haram in the north-east region have been contributing highly to the displacement the country is experiencing. Zamfara, a state in the north-west, has seen the highest number of displacements in the country, with 48,000 people on the move. In Kaduna, Katsina, and Benue, an additional 50,000 people were forced to leave their homes due to violence, with most being driven out by criminal attacks or conflicts between farmers and herders.

Related Article: FG budgets ₦3t for IDPs, refugees’ housing

Since the start of Nigeria’s rainy season in June 2022, more than 39,500 people have been displaced due to extreme flooding caused by heavy rainfall and the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam in Northern Cameroon. The camps and shelters for IDPs have suffered significant damage from the heavy rainfall and strong winds, resulting in a dire situation for those affected. Indiscriminate destruction of six camps in Borno State left 15,618 IDPs with no place to call home, intensifying their reliance on humanitarian aid.

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