Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Refugee Commission: Sen. Basheer’s Midas touch on victims of displacement


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NCFRMI, is a flagship agency under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Established in 2004, following the repelling of the National Commission for Refugees Act (1989), the agency is saddled with the responsibility of Resettling, Rehabilitating and Re-integrating all displaced persons in the country.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Nigeria’s humanitarian landscape is filled with a high number of refugees and displaced persons and returnee migrants, whose mere means of livelihood has been eliminated.

For almost 10 years now, the Boko Haram insurgency and other related violence in the North-east has forced the highest number of Persons of Concern, POCs, into permanent and active displacement, with more than 2 million persons in the Lake Chad region.

However, with the coming on-board of Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed as the Federal Commissioner of the NCFRMI in 2019, the cardinal objectives of establishing the agency was brought to the fore.

Under Mr Mohammed’s leadership who happened to be a round peg in a round hole, the NCFRMI has continued to support and improve the livelihood of victims of displacement in the country.

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To this end, the NCFRMI, in collaboration with Borno State Government and the UNCHR, had been working towards returning refugees of the state and any other state in the federation from neighboring countries.

The NCFRMI, in line with its mandate of ensuring continuous welfare for POCs in the country, had reached out to almost all the states of the Federation.

Recall that earlier this year, under the leadership of Mr Mohammed, the NCFRMI had distributed set of food items, clothes, academic materials, agricultural facilities and palliatives in 11 states.

The beneficiary states were; Kwara, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Cross Rivers, Sokoto, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Plateau states.

In May 2020, the commission had also distributed relief materials to about 2,000 people in Kogi State who were rendered homeless as a result of recurrent floods that have ravaged their areas.

In his compassion, Mr Mohammed had in July distributed food and non-food items to IDPs and Bakassi returnees in Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa State.

Other flood victims from Bassa, Dekina and Ibaji, all flood-prone communities located along the banks of the River Niger, also received some relief items.

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In that same July, the commission had also distributed relief materials to no fewer than 350 inmates of Zangon Jema IDP Camp in Goronyo LGA, Sokoto State.

Also, ‪Mr Mohammed had distributed food and non-food items to 567 IDP households in Patigi LGA of Kwara State, in that same month.

On September 27, the commission had also distributed relief materials to 200 vulnerable IDP households in Damaturu, Yobe State.

After the flag-off, Mr Mohammed distributed essential medicines and medical supplies to the Yobe State Primary Healthcare Board.

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In keeping with the mission of the commission, in January 2020, the Commissioner celebrated his first New Year party at the Malaysian Garden IDP camp in Abuja with a view to improving the physical and emotional well-being of the IDPs.

The party, themed: ‘Psycho-social therapy through play among IDPs population’ witnessed donations of shoes, food flasks and other school items to the IDPs.

These laudable achievements and many more could not go without attracting commendation from different stakeholders in the country.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had commended the Commissioner for upholding the values of the Commission, urging him to continue the good job.

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This is just as the Kebbi State governor and chairman, Progressive Governors Forum, Atiku Bagudu, had also commended Mr Lado’s relentless efforts in giving comfort to the Persons of Concerns, POCs, in the country.

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, had lauded the NCFRMI Commissioner for donating educational materials and food items to the IDPs in Uhogua Camp in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the State.

Also saluting the works of the commissioner, the Shehu of Borno, late El-Kanemi, had commended the commission’s humanitarian interventions in Borno State.

Right in the offing, the NCFRMI has initiated three cardinal points in the year 2020. The first, Project Reliance, is a collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, towards making 1million IDPs self-reliant by enrolling them into Skills acquisition programs.

The second project, Resettlement City Project, is aimed at establishing safer, new communities, market, clinics, Skills acquisition centers, worship centers and town halls to the IDPs.

The third project, Educational Learning Center, is geared towards building schools in camps and communities to train and deliver effective education to IDP children.

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