The Borno State Government, on Wednesday, said that it was working on plans to evacuate additional 30, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their communities, after they had signified interest to return home.
Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Malam Ahmed Satome, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
Satome explained that the action also followed successful relocation of about 20,000 IDPs back to their communities.
“We have so far relocated 20, 000 IDPs back home after their communities were liberated by the military.
“The IDPs are from Gamboru-Ngala, Monguno, Mobbar, Gwoza, Dikwa and Mafa Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The exercise was conducted in line with the Kampala Convention which stipulates that the return of the IDPs back home must be voluntary and conducted in a dignified manner.
“Thirty thousand IDPs have shown interest to return home, but a number of steps must be taken before their eventual return,” he said.
He further said government had to provide a resettlement package to each of the IDPS to facilitate their reintegration.
“We have to take care of some challenges by providing livelihood support, temporary shelter and other things that are vital before returning them home.
“In essence, we have to ease their movement back home by providing packages, including some cash, building materials, food items and other things.”
He also said such support was always provided in collaboration with the donour agencies and other international bodies working to assist the IDPs.
Satome said that relocation of the IDPs back home had helped in boosting the economy of the state in the last few months.
“The return of about 70 per cent of IDPs in Damboa back home has led to significant rise in economic activities in the area.
“On market days in Damboa, over N1 million worth of trading takes place, this is the kind of development we are envisaging.”
Satome said that most IDPs were eager to go back home to begin plan for their future.
“People are returning home daily to liberated communities, either officially or none official, especially in places like Mobbar, Kukawa, Monguno, Ngazai and other areas.
“Our people are proud people who are eager to start up new life in their communities.”
He said going by the development, it was possible to attain government planned closure of IDP camps by May 29.
“I think that the May 29 target is attainable, going by the commitment of Governor Kashim Shettima on the reconstruction of damaged structures in Bama, Ngala and Gwoza, the worst hit areas in the state.
“I believe that by April, appreciable level would have been attained in the reconstruction work to pave way for relocation of the IDPs by May 29. (NAN)