From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has disclosed that about two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of insurgency, armed banditry, communal clashes amongst others.
Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, made the disclosure while on a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support on the issues pertaining to persons with disabilities in this country.
She was responding to a question on how many displaced persons that were being attended to by government and the progress in rehabilitating them.
She 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.”
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Farouk, said: “Today is a very important day for us and the disability community. We are here on a thank you visit to Mr. President. First, for his support on the issues of persons with disabilities in this country.
“You may recall that in January 2019, Mr. President assented to the bill on the prohibition and discrimination against persons with disabilities in this country. That was the first milestone. Mr. President also graciously appointed the chairman, board members and the executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
“So, this is a visit to demonstrate our appreciation and our commitment to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
On key take aways of the visit, the minister recalled that 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.
Farouk 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 take away is for Mr. President to issue and 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.”
On it more positions will be given to persons with disabilities in government, the minister 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.”