Refugees, Migrants Will Return Home by 2024, Says FG

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has disclosed the federal government’s readiness to return refugees and migrants to their various homes by 2024.

She said structures must be put in place to repatriate and reintegrate the internally displaced persons back to their communities.

The minister said this in Maiduguri, Borno State during her 2-day working visit to the state.

The minister in a statement on Friday, September 8, by her media aide, Rasheed Zubair, stated that plans were underway to establish humanitarian hubs across the 774 local government areas as part of measures to reach the poor.

On plans of the ministry, Edu said: “The Ministry under me will not only aim at eliminating poverty, but it shall also provide safety nets to prevent Nigerians from going under the poverty line.

“The Ministry shall establish humanitarian hubs in all Local Government Areas as a deliberate policy of targeting the grassroots, the rural poor that are more in large numbers in communities and villages.

“The Ministry shall deliberately create job opportunities for youth on a short- and long-term basis, giving micro-credits, vocational training among others.”

Edu encouraged the state governor, Babagana Zulum to continue giving leadership and support at the state level so that the overall objective of eliminating hunger and poverty will be attained.

Responding, Governor Zulum assured the minister of his government’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian issues and poverty.

The governor highlighted three priority areas of collaboration, including poverty which he described as a nexus with insecurity, saying once poverty was addressed, insecurity would be addressed.

Zulum while stating that IDP camps were not sustainable added that population growth and gender-based violence were issues commonly witnessed in the camp.

He said: “State government houses the internally displaced persons for only a short time as transit facilities, while they try to provide durable solutions from humanitarian to sustainable solutions.”

He also said the government created SMEs opportunities for displaced persons.

The governor also said the refugee situation was an issue confronting the state.

He said there were over 200,000 refugees in Niger, 60,000 in Cameroon and 24,000 in Chad, hence the state must work with the M
ministry to bring the refugees back home.

He noted that they needed shelter, money and job opportunities.

The governor also informed the minister of the existence of the presidential committee that was to return and reintegrate the refugees.

“The Vice President is the Chair and the work of the Committee has gone far, the Ministry has a very huge role to play in that committee”, he said.