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Humanitarian ministry developes platform for inclusion of refugees in social safety nets

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Humanitarian ministry developes platform for inclusion of refugees in social safety nets
***Joins UNHCR, ECOWAS, NCFRMI to celebrate the World Refugee Day (WRD)


The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has declared that it has taken a step further in developing modalities for inclusion of Refugees in the social safety nets through the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in order to make everyone count, most especially the vulnerable groups. she spoke as the ministry joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Nigerian Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to celebrate the World Refugee Day (WRD).

Speaking recently to mark the celebration she said the protection of Refugees and other vulnerable groups is among the top priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration” the Minister  added.
She said all hands must be on deck in the drive to providing protection and assistance to Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The years celebration is marked with the theme “Everyone can make a difference; every action counts”. 
The minister Sadiya Umar Farouq said that the United Nations General Assembly in its wisdom has rechristened Africa Refugee Day as World Refugee Day (WRD) on 4th of December, 2000 via Resolution 55/76. She added that the day was set aside to commemorate the plight, courage, and resilience of refugees who have fled their countries as a result of conflict and insurgencies, for reasons of race, nationality, membership of a particularly social group or having differing political opinions. She further stated that the World Refugee Day (WRD) is also to draw the attention of world leaders, as well as non-government actors to refrain from actions, decisions and policies that escalate conflicts in the society and give rise to mass displacement. 
Farouq stated that the theme is apt and cannot be more relevant now that the world is being devastated by COVID-19 pandemic which has constrained the freedom of people in major cities across Nigeria and the measures put in place to contain the spread of the lethal virus. “This has created untold hardship to the citizens and most especially the vulnerable population, including the Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The pandemic has presented an opportunity for the whole world to rethink the way we support Refugee communities. “As a responsive government, the government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has deployed an inclusive approach in carrying out humanitarian interventions which has been exemplified in the context specific interventions carried out during the period of Covid19 Pandemic, targeting the most vulnerable population, including the Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). 
tge minister indicated that as a Ministry mandated to coordinate all humanitarian issues, it will continue to ensure the safety and well-being of the Refugees in Nigeria, Farouq said. Speaking at the event, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Chansa Kapaya, said that in Nigerian the persons of concern to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) include; 2,045,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East out of which 1.8 million are in the BAY states, 57,800 Cameroonian refugees in the South East, 2,340 urban refugees and 1,122 asylum seekers in Lagos, Ogun, Kano States and the Federal Capital Territory. Kapaya added that over the past few years there has been an escalation of conflict in the Lake Chad region with cross-border activities of Boko Haram which has caused the displacement of many Northeastern part of Nigeria and the far Northern region of Cameroon. Adding that consequently,  292,141 Nigerian refugees have sought asylum in Niger, Cameroon and Chad. She further stated that Refugees and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the support of UNHCR, NCFRMI, and other humanitarian organizations are stepping up to make their actions count in their various communities by becoming entrepreneurs, engaging in the production of handbags, shoes, mats hand fans, keyholders and other useful items during this Covid19 crisis. Some are also involved in the production of face masks for commercial purpose using locally available materials while others are making difference by teaching in schools either as employees or volunteer teachers in the refugee settlements.The World Refugee Day (WRD), UNHCR is appealing to everyone to help continue this global movement of solidarity and actions, everyone can make a difference, and everyone counts when it comes to promoting inclusion, respect, and dignity for all, including refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.  
In a vote of thanks, the ECOWAS Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne who was represented by the ECOWAS Director for Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Sintiki Ugbe, stated that in view of the theme of the World Refugee Day (WRD) “Everyone can make a difference, every action counts”, the ECOWAS Commission in line with its humanitarian mandates will continue to support member states to address the sufferings of the populations affected by humanitarian concerns. She added that the Commission is implementing food assistance to 4 members states in the region which include; Burkinafaso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria worth 1 million dollar as palliatives to ease the impact of covid19 pandemic in the region. She appreciation the collective efforts of all stakeholders in organizing the World Refugee Day, and making sure that the needs, importance and priorities of refugees are not forgotten even during this pandemic. Jagne noted that the Commission is committed to remain engaged in working with member’s states, local communities and partners to continue to search for durable solutions to displacements in our region through political and diplomatic process as well as demonstrating our true commitment by providing assistance through member’s states to alleviate the suffering. She commended the Nigerian Government and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, for the demonstration shown to Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria with the establishment of a commission to specifically address the needs of Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons. 

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Monday, said Nigeria that was a shinning star in the 60s is now a shadow of its glorious past, now pushed further into a deep mess with ethnicity as as the supreme order.

Speaking at his official presentation of his autobiography “Made in Aba” in Abuja, the Abia Senator said Nigeria has continually regressed and the citizens were now reclining into their ethnic enclaves.

Abaribe noted that the country has regressed to the level that it would be difficult for any citizen to survive “if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave.”

He said: “I try to say a few things (in the book) that we might have forgotten. Why is it that we had a better life – we had pipe borne water, we had electricity 24 hours – in the 1960s?

“Now it is 50-60 years later, every person has to have borehole in his house. So he becomes his own NEPA generating power for himself; he becomes his own water board. Then I asked, why would life be like this? I tried to caption the reason why we are where we are today.

“I also tried to capture that there was a Nigeria, where it is said, in our former anthem, that though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.”

He said in his early career life, he secured jobs and got promotions in places outside his southeast region only based on merit without anyone asking where he came from.

“Now, what we have done is that we have a big Nigeria that has continually regressed and now all of us are into our ethnic enclaves.

“And if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave, you won’t be able to survive in Nigeria today.

“In the book, I also look at the possibility of Nigeria that we may have assuming if each and everyone of us is committed to the country.”

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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