Cross River seeks partnership for rehabilitation of displaced people
Eme Offiong, Calabar
Determined to tackle challenges associated with caring for more than two hundred thousand displaced persons, the Cross River State Government has urged international and non-governmental agencies to support its efforts.
The Director General of the Cross River Migration and Control Agency, Mike Abuo made the call during a workshop organized by Children of Rural Africa – Nigeria, COR-Africa, in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Abuo, who presented a paper on ‘Agro-business and Education Opportunities for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced’, said that in the last four years more than two hundred thousand people were internally displaced in Cross River.
According to him, “out of the number, fifty thousand migrated from neighbouring Republic of Cameroon due to the outbreak of civil war in that country. Others are influx of migrants and internally displaced persons.”
He stressed the need for a comprehensive survey to ascertain the exact number of displaced people including migrants in the state and country, saying “it would be easy for us to have a database of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people to enable government plan adequately.
“So, I am using this opportunity to urge the Nigerian Government and the International Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to conduct a comprehensive survey in the state,” Abuo reiterated.
He further sued for funding from international refugee organizations to provide succor for the displaced people of Bakassi, Cameroonian refugees, illegal migrants and others, who were displaced due to communal wars.
Earlier, the National Programme Director, COR Africa – Nigeria, Dr. Jimoh Odunayo said that the organization earmarked one thousand displaced people as beneficiaries of its skill acquisition and livelihood support programmes.
Odunayo explained that the workshop was designed to expose opportunities in the agric – business and educational sectors available to migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons.
“We notice that there is a gap existing between the training that they have received, the support and everything. We realized that due to the effect of Covid-19, which broke out in 2020, the gains recorded have been eroded so far on this.
“We are holding this workshop to ensure that the refugees and internally displaced people recover from loses incurred during the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We are working with one thousand persons across three settlements in Cross River State. We will give them starter packs after the training. We are trying to re-strategize and change the logic of training,” he said.