FG to resettle 22,071 IDPs in Niger State

Humanitarian Minister, Betta Edu

The Federal Government has promised to resettle the 22,071 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) scattered in various communities of Niger.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, disclosed this during the presentation of starter packs to some of the IDPs at the Gwada camp, Shiroro, on Friday.

Edu decried the activities of bandits and terrorists that had forced the closure of more than 400 schools throwing 11,000 children out of school.

“The situation is unacceptable; the Federal Government has put in place stringent measures to end banditry, terrorism and other forms of security challenges in the country.

“The President said I should tell you all that hope has come and that he will provide durable solutions to all the things that are bothering us.

“We have seen a couple of things, especially regarding your poor living conditions.

“We are here to assess the situation and ensure that we intervene to change things for the better.

“We are considering resettling all the IDPs here because of the insecurity in their various places; we are optimistic that resettling them in Shiroro will be better for now.

“We will provide a resettlement city where everyone who is displaced can live so that you can be safe and your children can also go back to school,” she said

The minister, who lamented the spate of out-of-school children in the state, pointed out that education was fundamental toward addressing poverty and other vices in the society.

She added that government had initiated sustainable plans that would ensure security of lives and property in all communities across the state.

Edu said that 435 IDPs in the state had benefitted from the N-Skill programme, adding that starter packs would be presented to them alongside some palliatives to cushion their current hardship.

She added that government plans to expand its social register to accommodate and capture the IDPs in the various social interventions schemes.

Earlier, Alhaji Ahmed Suleiman, Niger Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, had said that the state currently had 22,071 IDPs scattered in various communities.

Suleiman, who decried the spate of insecurity in the state, said that the situation had forced over 90 per cent of the people to abandon farming for fear of being attacked in their farms.

He explained that residents in eleven out of the 25 local government areas of the state were currently displaced due to insecurity.

“The state government is now faced with the challenge of providing all necessary amenities and food, aside from the huge funds allocated to fighting insecurity.

“Our educational institutions, especially primary and secondary schools, which serve as temporary shelter for the displaced persons, are now over stretched and our children’s academic programmes are being disrupted

”IDPs in the various camps in Kontagora, Mariga, Mashegu, Rijau, Rafi, Mokwa and Munya lack shelter and other critical social amenities like water, medical, educational and toilet facilities,” he said.

The commissioner, however, thanked the federal government for the support to the IDPs and called for more action toward addressing the spate of insecurity in Niger. (NAN)