The Nigerian government wants about 80,000 Nigerians displaced to Cameroon by the Boko Haram insurgency to return.
The Federal Government has, therefore, signed a tripartite agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugee, UNHCR, and the Republic of Cameroon for the return of the refugees who fled for safety.
The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sidi, disclosed this when an African Union (AU) Humanitarian Mission visited the headquarters of the agency at the weekend. The AU mission was led by Aisha Abdullahi, its Commissioner for Political Affairs.
He said there were about 80,000 displaced Nigerians currently taking refuge in Cameroon and that the federal government has been making efforts to cater for all their basic needs.
Over a million Nigerians were displaced from the north-east by the insurgency with the majority of them in different internally displaced persons, IPDs, camps within Nigeria.
Mr. Sidi said the federal government and governments of states affected by the insurgency, United Nations organisations, international non-governmental organisations and the private sector had done a lot in the past four years to manage large numbers of internally displaced persons in the North East.
“We have moved from the emergency response stage to recovery and resettlement of the IDPs,” he said.
He urged the visiting Commissioner to use her good offices as Commissioner Political Affairs of the African Union to seek for more assistance and support for the affected persons and the states.
Mr. Sidi thanked all the development partners, UN agencies, and civil societies for working tirelessly in supporting the IDPs and Government of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Commissioner said they were in Nigeria to assess the situation of IDPs and to discuss areas of possible support. She added that displaced Nigerians were of concern to the African Union, as records available to the African Union indicate that there were about 13 million displaced persons and 3 million refugees on the continent.
She commended the efforts of the Nigerian government and the military for degrading and minimizing the activities of the insurgents in the northeast.
She said with a large number of displaced persons living in the camps, the AU will continue to give more attention to the issues of displacement through interaction and focus on addressing the root causes of conflict in Africa.