President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja pledged to assist the Nigerian Red Cross Society to secure permanent office accommodation in Abuja.
The President made the pledge after his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Red Cross at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa.
President Buhari expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Red Cross Society for its Philanthropic support to Nigeria and its people during the civil war and other emergency situations.
He also lauded the organisation for its assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast region of the country.
The President acknowledged the request made by the Nigerian Red Cross in terms of logistics and office accommodation and promised the federal government assistance.
“I have taken note of your logistics especially your request for office here in Abuja.
“I assure you that the government will do its best when you decide to build such facilities in terms of securing an area here within the Federal Capital Territory and we hope you will not do the Nigerian ways of doing things.
“To use the words of famous Nigerian Minister `I hope you will not build an elephantine headquarters’ which is going to be functional because we have seen your activities throughout the country,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the National President of the Society, Mr Bolaji Anani, said the society which was registered as an independent national society in 1961, had over 800,000 trained volunteers based in communities across the 774 local government areas of the federation.
He stated that the society’s interventions included responses to cases disasters, disease outbreaks, displacements and providing succor and psycho-social support to victims of dehumanization.
Bolaji called for the review of the Nigerian Red Cross Society Act which he said had not been reviewed since it was passed in 1960.
“A review is long overdue. We note with pleasure that the current National Assembly is in the process of doing that. In fact, the revision has already undergone public hearing.
“We hope when the revised Bill is passed by the national assembly it will be to begraciously assented to by Mr President,’’ he said.
He also appealed to President Buhari to restore federal government’s grants, subventions and programme support to the society to enable it discharge its mandate diligently.