Nigeria compiles data on displaced persons

Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

President Buhari welcoming the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Samantha Power.

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has begun the process of putting together comprehensive data on all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Nigerian refugees with a view to speeding up their resettlement.

Receiving the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Samantha Power, at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said the compilation of reliable data on the IDPs and refugees was being handled by designated federal government agencies, the military and other security agencies.

‘‘We have frightening indices of the number of people and the situation in the IDP camps across the country. And in spite of the government’s efforts and the hospitality of individuals and organizations, the situation needs better handling,” he said.

The Nigerian leader went into some statistics as he reeled out more facts to the American envoy.

‘‘A large segment of the IDPs are mostly women and children. Some of the children are orphaned and don’t know where they came from. Now we are working on getting a comprehensive data of all the people in the camps so that the government and NGOs will be properly briefed on where and how to support them,’’ he stressed.

The President said that IDPs, who were into farming before they were displaced by the Boko Haram, will be mobilized and assisted by the Ministry of Agriculture to return to their farms.

Ms Power commended the federal government for always being the first and highest responder to the IDPs in various camps in the country.

Ms Power, who had earlier visited Nigerian refugees in Cameroun, said the situation in the camps could be improved with more information on the number of people in the camps and their areas of need.