The FCT Administration has said it will continue to provide access to basic education to the children and other vulnerable persons at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the FCT, pending when they would return to their original communities.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, while receiving a delegation from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI).
Malam Bello disclosed that the FCT Administration has made available its vocation and rehabilitation centres for use by NGOs and other relevant government agencies in the FCT for the training of internally displaced persons to at least equip them with the basic economic skills while they are still housed at the IDP camps.
According to the Minister, “We have tried using our relationship with a number of NGOs to make sure that we concentrate on giving the young boys and girls basic education that they require so that by the time they move back to their communities, at least they would not have missed out too much.”
“Within the FCT, we have a number of vocational institutions that we usually make the facilities available to the agencies of government that may want to use them to provide some form of intervention or some kind of skill acquisition training. So, in order for every agency not to duplicate by establishing its own vocational centre, I will advise that your organization leverage on what is already on ground because you are going to cater for people who are really not going to be permanent. All you need to do is to give them some semblance of stability before they move on”, he said.
He charged the NCRMI and similar agencies, including those in the FCT to really assist these people, especially the young ones, noting that most of them have missed out of school for four to five sessions. “That impact will not be seen in our communities and their communities until many years down the road. Then you will realize that a certain age group missed out, either in terms of employment or in terms of getting into tertiary institutions”, he said.
“With respect to your request for a transit camp for deportees, we would look into the master plan, and we believe there should be something that could accommodate this so that if for any reason deportees are brought to Abuja for instance, you can have a place where you can keep them, do some medical checks on them and then try to work out how to link them up with their final places of abode. That is something we can work on and we should be able to make land available to sort this out”.
Earlier in her remarks, the Federal Commissioner for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI), Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk said the Commission has been receiving Nigerian nationals who have been returned from various parts of the world, stressing that their intervention for this group has been focused on return, readmission as well as integration to at least to ensure that the returnees are brought back in dignity and safety and are able to settle back into the society so as to contribute to the development of such communities.
She said the Commission is currently engaged in providing economic and employment opportunities for the displaced persons living in camps “because we believe that poverty has contributed immensely to the internal displacements especially in the North East. We are committed to keying into the recovery plan envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari to alleviate the sufferings of our persons of concern while protecting their dignity”.
“We realized that we cannot do it alone without reaching to those that are widely known for their empathy to the plight of the vulnerable persons, hence our coming to the FCT Administration to explore areas of collaboration in terms of providing skills for the IDPs and transit camps particularly for deportees”.
Special Assistant (Media) to FCT Minister