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‘2 million Nigerians  now living as refugees’

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk,

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, has said that about two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of insurgency, armed banditry, and communal clashes amongst others.

The Minister said this on Thursday while reacting to a question on the number of displaced persons being attended to by government and the progress in rehabilitating them after a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari because of his support for persons with disabilities in the country.

Sadiya said: “Well, as at today, we have over two million displaced persons in the country, ranging from those displaced by insurgency, armed banditry, communal clashes and so on and so forth.

“The mandate of the ministry is to provide effective communication of national and international humanitarian interventions, ensure strategic disaster education and response as well as to formulate and implement policies and programmes geared towards social protection and inclusion of our citizens.

“So, the ministry is doing its best to see that people who are displaced in this country are given the necessary support by way of supporting their livelihoods, rebuild their homes in areas of disasters and settling those who have fled their places seeking for refuge, provided their communities are safe for them to return. This is what we are working and we hope to achieve the desired result.”

The minister, while speaking on key takeaways of the visit to President Buhari said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the first party in the country to have made provisions for persons with disabilities in their ward, local government, state and at national levels since inception.

She said: “That was followed by the fulfillment of Mr. President’s campaign promise to the disabilities community, where he promised to sign the disabilities Act when he comes on board.

“That has been done and the commission has been created.

“So, the next takeaway is for Mr President to issue an executive order for compliance with this act, especially in the area of access, where most of our public and private buildings are not really friendly to persons with disabilities.

“So, this is an appeal we have made to Mr President and we are hopeful that he will direct both public and private buildings in this country to comply with this provision.

“Another issue is that of funding, Mr President mentioned that the commission will be adequately funded in order for them to achieve the desired objectives of giving a dignified attention to the disabilities in this country.”

More position for persons with disabilities

Hajiya Sadiya, while commenting on the need for more positions to be given to persons with disabilities in government, said: “Yes. That is the inclusion we are talking about.

“We have started by reaching out to the Civil Service Commission to ensure that those who are qualified are given the opportunity to be part of the civil service in this country.

“As regards appointment, you will recall that Mr President has appointed a senior special assistant on issues of persons with disabilities in this country.

“So, it is a process and we are hopeful that going forward we will have more persons with disabilities in government.”

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