The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, says there is no reliable national data on the number of missing persons in Nigeria because there is no official register.
She said this in Abuja Tuesday at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by her ministry in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Nasir Sani Gwarzo, the minister said currently, the country has no national structure or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to address the humanitarian consequences of disappearances.
She said the Federal Government was very concerned about “this often-neglected and tragic humanitarian and social issue.”
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She said irregular migration by many Nigerians, including children through cross borders, the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety and a better life each year, often contribute to the great risk of disappearance.
She stated: “The latest figures show that out of the 64,000 disappeared persons across Africa, Nigeria is recording over 25,000 missing persons including over 14,000 children.”
Head, ICRC Nigeria Delegation, Yann Bonzon, said at least 13,000 families in Nigeria were looking for their missing loved ones.