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Humanitarian minister leads in return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon

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Humanitarian minister leads in return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk has led the successful return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.

This was coming as a follow up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s instructions that all Nigerian refugees in Cameroon be returned home safely to a life of dignity and pride with immediate effec.

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), had earlier met with the officials of the Cameroonian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Maroua, Cameroon, over the weekend.

The Honourable Federal Commissioner, Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (Lado) led Nigerian officials in the meeting with the officials of the Cameroonian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Maroua, Cameroon, over the weekend.

The meeting, is a follow-up to meetings in 2017 initiated by the then commissioner and now minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk

The humanitarian minister who has also shown tremendous concern and care towards the return of the refugee, also stressed that necessary arrangements have been made for the refugees’ socioeconomic reinsertion into Nigeria.

Speaking at the meeting, the commissioner, who was represented by the commission’s director of refugee and migration, Tai Hassan Ejibunu added that the importance of the meeting of the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) of both countries, on the Voluntary Repatriation of Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon and the suppport of the humanitarian ministry cannot be overemphasized.

Senator Lado, who is also the chairman, Technical Working Group (TWG) of Nigeria on the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees, said the TWGs’ meeting is a forerunner to the Tripartite Commission (TC) meeting scheduled to hold this week”.

“”The meeting this week would provide the latitude and platform for officials of both counties to have in-depth discussions on the protocols and strategies to follow in repatriating the several thousands of Nigerian Refugees that are stationed in Minawao Camp in the Republic of Cameroon”, he explained

“Therefore, I would urge officials of both countries to be opened in their discussions, while putting into consideration, the interests of the refugees, following international best practices and the guidance of our technical partner, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Offices, both in Nigeria and Cameroon”, Lado further stressed.

“At this juncture, let me take this opportunity, to thank the UNHCR Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Chansa Kapaya, and her dedicated staff for their invaluable contribution, assistance and collaboration in all spheres, to ensure that discussions were held always, on how best to tackle the repatriation of these Persons of Concerns (PoCs) to Nigeria”, he added.

“The Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, is a governor that has demonstrated uncommon passion in ensuring that the citizens of his State in Cameroon are repatriated home in safety and given a new lease of life”.

“Zulum’s reintegration plans for the PoCs, if well executed, and with support of the relevant stakeholders and partners will assuage the losses and fears being entertained by the refugees upon their return home back in Borno State”.

He then thanked the government and people of Cameroon, who have shown love and hospitality to the Nigerian refugees.

“The Government and the country have exemplified the true African spirit, character and culture of good neighborliness, in being fellow African brother’s keeper. The country’s acceptance to host the Joint TWG is a further attestation of the spirit of umbuntu ‘You Live, So I Live’ which is engrained in the psyche and the blood streams of Africans”, he concluded.

The return of the refugees he said will also be in line with the Commission’s on going resettlement cities project, which will shelter thousands of displaced persons in a two-bedroom housing units across some states, consisting of primary health care and education centres, security outposts, worship houses, skill acquisition centres, markets and adjoining farmlands for use by the occupants.

According to him, the commission’s Project Reliance is another programme aimed at providing a stable means of livelihoood for the returnee refugees, empowering them by way of giving them start-up capitals and empowerment tools in more than 50 different vocations and businesses of their choices.

Other stakeholders in the humanitarian space on the exercise are; the representatives of the governors of Borno and Adamawa states, representatives of the ministers of humanitarian affairs, foreign affairs, health, finance, interior and budget and national planning.

Others are; the representatives of the NSA NIA, DSS, Police IG, Chief of Defence Staff, Civil Defence, Immigration, NAPTIP, NEDC and NEMA

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Chad’s President dies from injuries sustained from battle field

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Chad’s President dies from injuries sustained from battle field

The Chadian President Idriss Deby has died on the battlefield after three decades in power, the army announced on state television on Tuesday.
The shocking news came only a day after the 68-year-old was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.
The army said the President had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.
Deby “has just breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield,” army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
Deby, 68, had ruled Chad with an iron fist for three decades but was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the troubled Sahel region.
The army said a military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general, would replace him.
On Monday, the army had claimed a “great victory” in its battle against the rebels from neighbouring Libya, saying it had killed 300 fighters, with the loss of five soldiers in its own ranks during eight days of combat.

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Humanitarian Ministry plans to support project Lake Chad in three focal areas

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Humanitarian Ministry plans to support project Lake Chad in three focal areas

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has earmarked three areas it plans to support Project Lake Chad (PROLAC)

The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq gave the indication in a virtual Ministerial World Bank Group RoundTable on the Lake Chad Region held on Monday April 12, 2021.

The Focal areas  include Regional and National Coordination Platform and local capacity Building aimed at reinforcing regional dialogue, data collection and dissemination, institutional capacity building and knowledge sharing as well as Agriculture Investments and Value-Chain Development aimed at promoting public productive investments, value-chain development, citizen engagement and community participation activities in project areas. 

One of thr  focal areas is Restoring Rural Mobility and Connectivity which aims at improving access of communities to markets and providing beneficiaries with an opportunity for short-term employment.  

Umar Farouq stated that the Ministry will also support the World Bank through the provision of  a coordination structure for the targeted management of vulnerabilities through the agencies and programmes under its supervision.

“The Lake Chad Region faces a combination of multidimensional risk factors which deepen vulnerabilities.
“From 2014, Boko Haram’s violent activities took on a transnational approach, spreading its terrorist attacks from Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.”
This she said has created a humanitarian crisis, increasing the number of internally displaced persons and refugees within the Lake Chad Region.

“While the drivers of fragility and obstacles to growth existed before the insurgency, the ongoing conflict has compounded the region’s difficulties. The Boko Haram regional conflict has triggered an acute humanitarian situation with devastating social and economic impact on the population.

“Direct efforts of the Ministry through the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (amongst other structures and critical interventions) is the provision of an enabling environment to supporting peace enforcement, peace keeping and peace building across the Nation, especially within the Lake Chad Region through PROLAC”.

As part of the PROLAC project, a high-level dialogue is to be coordinated through the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum on issues of common interest including Commerce, Agriculture, Environment, Security, Education and Health. 
She said the virtual meeting is a  follow-up on the 2020 event .
Participants include Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development of Cameroon, Issa Doubragne, Minister of Economy, Development Planification and International Cooperation of Chad, 
Mr. Abdou Rabiou, Minister of Planning of Niger, Ms. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning of Nigeria, Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria, Vice President, Western/Central Africa  World Bank Ousmane Diagana, Representative of the Chairman of the North East Governors Forum Prof Babagana Umara Zulum,  Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary of Lake Chad Basin Commission and Ms. Milicent Mutuli, Regional director for Western and Central Africa, UNHCR.

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Lawan advocates for enhanced trade relationship among African Countries

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Lawan advocates for enhanced trade relationship among African Countries 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has challenged African countries to further enhance their economic Independence as a continent with higher volume of trade among them.

He spoke when the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Humphry Desmond Geiseb paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja. 

According to Lawan, “We need to increase our level of trade because this is what will make us more independent.”

He expressed the believe that once the continent is able to achieve a reasonable level of economic independence it can take major decisions when it comes to bilateral and even multilateral issues. 
According to him, even though the continent is challenged in so many way what is required of it is to ensure that the trade volume among the countries is enhanced even despite the fact that development levels vary.

“The establishment of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) is a welcome idea to us in Africa. 
“It expands the frontiers of trade and infact investment in Africa and it is for African countries to now take the opportunity that will be made available by this Agreement. 
“I believe that Nigeria has a lot of products to export to Namibia and I am happy to note that you export salt and other things to Nigeria,” Lawan said. 

The Senate President recalled the major role played by Nigeria in Namibia’s struggle for independence saying that the country did same for some other countries especially South Africa saying any country in Africa that is not free should be the concern others.
Lawan also called for more parliamentary engagements and partnerships between the Namibian and Nigerian parliaments. 

Earlier, Mr Geish said the visit was to appraise the Senate President on the current relationship between Nigeria and Namibia, which he described as “cordial.”

He said Namibia was also interested in the advances and innovations from Nigeria especially in the field of the gender based violence as well as the field of women empowerment and gender equality in governance. 

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