239,834 Displaced Nigerians Are Still Refugees In Neighbouring Countries – NEMA

Displaced Nigerians in neighbouring countriesAt least 239,000 Nigerians are still refugees in neighbouring countries where they fled to in the heat of insurgency in the oil-rich nation’s northeast, an emergency management agency said on Monday.

The figure was contained in a report of humanitarian relief intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) released recently.

It also says that about 29, 581 Nigerians, who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to Republic of Niger and Cameroun as a result of insurgents’ activities had voluntarily returned to Nigeria.

‘Provided With Humanitarian Relief’

According to the report, 13,046 Nigerians returned from Niger Republic in May, 2015 and were received in Geidam, Yobe State while Between April and December, 2015 NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians that have voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area near Mubi in Adamawa State.

“Some of the Nigerians that fled to Neighbouring countries (Niger, Chad and Cameroun) were provided with humanitarian relief support by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NEMA to alleviate their suffering.

“The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian supports from the host governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries’’ the report read.

The spokesman for the agency, Sani Datti, said that of the 239,834 refugees, 20,804 of them are living in the Republic of Chad, 80,709 in the Republic of Cameroun and 138,321 in the Republic in Niger.

The agency further said that it had adopted a monthly Humanitarian Coordination Meeting; a forum that consists of relevant Federal government Agencies, UN Systems and International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) to undertake analysis of causes of humanitarian situations, conduct need assessments, identify priorities and provide humanitarian interventions based on their respective mandates.

According to the agency, the system operates through different sectors lead by national Ministries Department and Agencies and co-lead by UN Agencies.

The report pointed out that due to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Military with the support of Multi-National Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, the humanitarian dashboard was fast changing.

“The focus is gradually shifting towards Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Recovery and dignified return of IDPs back home while process for the return of Nigerian refugees from neighboring countries is equally on-going.

“NEMA will continue to support and work towards bridging the identified gaps in humanitarian response through enhanced coordination, capacity building and strengthening of collaboration with the affected States and relevant stakeholders including line MDAs, local and international response organizations and the UN system,” the report added.

Navy, Counter-terrorism, Lake chad
UN says children with ‘skin over bone’, as a result of malnutrition, risk death before end of 2016

Boko Haram has, in the past seven years, carried out a campaign to establish an Islamic State and also end Western education in the region.

It has attacked communities and villages, taking people hostage, mostly women and children.

At least two million persons have been displaced, with over six million now needing help inform of food.

Alarmed by severe malnutrition in the region triggered by the lack of food for the displaced persons, UN agency, UNICEF, has called for more aid in the region in form of nutritious foods.

UN has said that over 75,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers risk death due to malnutrition.

FRSC Confirms Four Dead,Analyses Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Situation

Lagos-Ibadan expressway, gridlock, Tanker accident,One more person has been confirmed dead, by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, bringing the death toll of the Lagos-Ibadan express way accident, to Four.

He also made the confirmation that five, not four vehicles as against Wednesday’s report, were involved, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Oyeyemi, explaining the situation that led up to the recent road congestion, said:

“The Lagos Ibadan expressway has the highest traffic density in the country, of about 25,000 vehicles per hour.”

Hence, the need for the ongoing road construction, aimed at expanding the roads from two-way lanes to three.

He explained that “when this kind of construction is on-going, there is bound to be such chaotic situation, however, even before the construction started, there have been series of traffic alerts by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)”.

After rescue efforts were completed, on Wednesday, the aftermath of the accident was the gridlock which commuters still have to suffer a day or more after.

The FRSC Boss, explaining further said:

“All those tankers, trailers that were packed because of the gridlock yesterday, started moving, and because the inbound lane had been shut down for repairs, leaving only one lane, there is bound to be a band-wagon effect.

“When those tankers are moving, there’s no way for any other vehicle to attempt to over-take,” he said.

He however stated that his men had worked over-night and were still on ground, while suggesting that “what we require now, is traffic redistribution.

“All those trailers should be re-routed so that there can be flow of traffic for smaller vehicles and buses,” he stated.

Mr Oyeyemi, then suggested three ways by which the situation could be abated.

He said, vehicles could re-route through Lekki-epe, Ikorodu or Sango-ota, Abeokuta routes.

However to make that move possible, he hinted that he would be relocating from Abuja to Lagos on Thursday, so that proper discussion could be held on how to further ease the situation.

The ghastly accident occurred when a tanker collided with another truck, causing a fire explosion, on a major bridge along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The prompt deployment of men of the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), NSCDC, fire service and the police prevented the situation from escalating further.

Three Confirmed Dead In Diesel Tanker Accident

Tanker accident, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, gridlockThree persons have been confirmed dead on Wednesday, after an accident that occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan express way.

The ghastly accident occurred when a tanker collided with another truck, causing a fire explosion, on a major bridge along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The roads reached a gridlock following the incident, although traffic officials have been working to ease the road tension so far, and joint evacuation efforts were being carried out by men of the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), NSCDC, fire service and the police.

FRSC Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, explaining the situation that led up to the recent road congestion, said:

“The Lagos Ibadan expressway has the highest traffic density in the country, of about 25,000 vehicles per hour.”

Hence, the need for the ongoing road construction, aimed at expanding the roads from two-way lanes to three.

He explained that “when this kind of construction is on-going, there is bound to be such chaotic situation, however, even before the construction started, there have been series of traffic alerts by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)”.

As early as 3:30am on Wednesday, traffic already started building-up, in what many thought was the usual traffic, which started last week due to the re-construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Unknown to them, the ghastly accident had just occurred, involving goods-laden truck, diesel tanker and some vehicles.

According to passers-by, vehicles heading toward the axis were diverted to the inward-Lagos lane as officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) cordoned off the outward Lagos-lane.

A bus driver giving account of the event said he got caught up in the traffic which he thought was due to the u-turn before Secretariat bus-stop, but on getting to the u-turn, he saw FRSC officials diverting vehicles to the inward-Lagos lane.

Tanker accident, Lagos-IbadanVehicles that were already ahead on the cordoned off lane started making a u-turn to join the inward-Lagos lane on sighting the diesel tanker accident.

Public vehicles that are Mowe-Ibafo bound, began dropping off passengers at Berger bus-stop, refusing to go further because of the situation, with passengers left with no other choice than to trek from Berger to their various destinations.

Another eye-witness who requested anonymity, explained that the failure of the fuel tanker’s brake system caused it to lose control and collide with the truck.

Thanks to the prompt alertness of the FRSC, LASEMA, Lagos State Firefighters, and Police who were able to bring the situation under control with rescue operations still ongoing.

FRSC Officials however warned motorists that were now driving against traffic, to be careful.

Petrol Tanker accidentA spokesman for the FRSC told Channels Television that immediately the event occurred, “Our men, LASEMA and many other emergency response organizations, rushed to the scene of the accident.

He believes that the accident was as a result of indiscipline of drivers.

“What you have seen is a classical example of indiscipline that has been happening on this road, since the commencement of the rehabilitation of the roads.

“As you can see, there are about four vehicles involved, which means two-lane carriage way had been converted to four-lanes and as a result, they struck themselves and there was a crash and also an explosion of fire.

He however, gave the assurance that the debris would be cleared while the traffic would ease as soon as possible.

Nigeria Plans Automation Of Air Communication System By 2017

planeThe Nigerian government will install satellite equipment to improve communication at the nation’s airports by 2017.

Speaking in Abuja on Monday at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conference on Aviation Safety in Africa, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said the procurement and installation were part of the automation upgrade to be carried out in airports across the country.

Senator Sirika told reporters that the equipment would assist the National Emergency Management Agency with relevant data for search and rescue operations.

“As you might be aware, few years ago we embarked on a project for the provision of a new aeronautical telecommunication network under the A.I.S. Automation project.

“The primary objective of the project is to automate our aeronautical information management system, develop a new communication backbone with a network at all Nigerian airports, as well as at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s headquarters and the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency for search and rescue coordination.

“The project has delivered a centralised aeronautical database that is currently being populated with data that will enhance seamless integration with other states of the regional databases,” she said.

The Minister further explained that the first phase of this project was scheduled for completion in 11 locations shortly after Christmas this year while the remaining 15 locations would be completed in the coming financial year.

House Seeks Security Emergency In Southern Kaduna

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government to declare a Security Emergency in southern Kaduna over continuous attacks on communities in the area.

The House on Wednesday adopted a motion by Honourable Simon Arabo and five others which drew attention to the attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen, resulting in deaths, injuries, loss of property and displacement from communities.

While urging the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons resulting from the attacks, the House also called on the various security agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend and bring to justice all persons involved in the several attacks in the area.

Dusk To Dawn Curfew

On October 15 at least 20 persons were killed and property destroyed in an attack by unknown armed bandits on Godogodo village in Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.

An indigene of the local government told Channels Television, that the gunmen invaded Godogodo village On Saturday night shooting sporadically and setting buildings ablaze.

“In the process they killed 20 persons while several others were injured,” the indigene said.

“The entire community has been deserted. Residents have fled from their homes for fear of being attacked by the armed bandits,” he added.

The gunmen were said to have also ambushed a police patrol team in the area on Friday evening, opened fire on them and in the process killed two policemen and injured one.

The spokesman for the police in the state, Aliyu Usman, confirmed the attack to Channels Television’s correspondent, Chimezie Enyiocha.

He says the State Police Command is assessing the situation to ascertain the number of casualties.

More mobile and conventional policemen have been deployed to Godogodo, Kafanchan and other neighbouring communities to restore order and prevent further escalation of the crisis.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the meantime, a dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed in the affected areas by the interim Chairman of Jemaa Local Government Area, Mr Humble Katuka, until normalcy returns to the area.

In his reaction to the attack, the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, described the incident as barbaric, inhumane and unwarranted.

Speaking through his Deputy, Mr Bala Bantex, the governor appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and law abiding, assuring them that the government would do everything within its powers to restore peace in the area.

He also cautioned them not to embark in any form of reprisal attacks.

Disaster Reduction: NEMA Seeks Nigerians’ Support

NEMA, risk managementThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has appealed to Nigerians to collaborate with government agencies to reduce disasters in the country.

The Director General of the Agency, Mr Muhammad Sani Sidi, made the appeal at a conference to mark the 2016 International Day for Disaster and Risk Reduction in Abuja.

The 2016 edition was themed ‘Live To Tell’ and according to Mr Sidi, the event was to provide opportunity for citizens to collaborate with government and support efforts at reducing and managing disasters.

 

On the side line of the event, the chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in Abuja, Taiye Olaniyi, identified the challenges involved in rendering relief during disasters.

An official of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, James Bisong, also stated that there is the need for more practical steps to reduce disaster occurrences.

Nigeria has had both natural and man-made disasters in recent times with flooding and activities of terrorists in various parts of the country not only leading to the death of many, but has also destroyed their livelihood.

Senate Says IDPs’ Condition Is Worrisome, Probes Presidential Committee

IDPs, Presidential Initiative on North East, SenateThe Nigerian Senate has launched an investigation into the utilisation of funds allocated to the Presidential Initiative on North East.

The lawmakers said the probe was to ameliorate the conditions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by the insurgency.

President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated the Presidential Initiative on the North East in 2015 to address the crisis in the north east.

The Senate consequently set up an ad-hoc committee at their first legislative proceedings for the week on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

They expressed concern that funds appropriated to the committee for the displaced persons have been allegedly used to take care of other interests.

Subhuman existence

The lawmakers also resolved to investigate the purported diversion of grains and other food items from the strategic grains reserve, the National Emergency Management Agency and other sources for the IDPs.

They asked the committee to ascertain how much has been released to the committee and how the funds have been utilised from inception till date.

The Senate noted that the displaced persons had fled their homes as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency and were living in IDPs’ camps scattered across the northern part of Nigeria.

They were sad that despite the fact that the insurgency victims lost their loved ones and all their property, they were contending with horrific living conditions in their various camps.

UNICEF has raised concerns of acute malnutrition in children, nursing mothers and pregnant women in the region that has seen over six years of insurgency.

While the military decimate Boko Haram militants in the region, the United Nations agency said it had become difficult for aid materials to get to the displaced persons.

IDMC maps the flow of IDPs within the North Eastern region
IDMC maps the flow of IDPs within the North Eastern region.

The agency fears that if nutritious food items do not get to the IDPs in the region, 49,000 severely malnourished persons were at the risk of death.

A grim situation

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, a leading source of information and analysis on internal displacement worldwide, in its latest figures stated that about 2,096,000 people have been displaced in armed conflicts along the North East axis of Nigeria.

This agrees with figures listed by the Displacement Tracking Matrix of the International Organization for Migration.

IOM says between 2014 and 2015, some 200,000 refugees fled across the borders from north-east Nigeria into Cameroon, Niger and Chad, many of whom have since been repatriated and are now among the IDPs in Nigeria.

Buhari Elevates Response To Northeast Humanitarian Situation

Northeast Humanitarian Situation Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a change in the management of the humanitarian crisis in the northeast, putting cabinet ministers in direct charge of sectoral coordination.

He said the decision was to ensure that the situation was confronted more effectively.

Before the President’s decision, sectoral coordination of the humanitarian situation was managed by director-cadre ministry officials.

The cabinet ministers will now be in charge of governmental response to the humanitarian emergency caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria.

A statement by Laolu Akande, a spokesman for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said an inter-ministerial task force had been established by President Buhari to coordinate the response and work with humanitarian agencies to support the governments and other structures in the affected states.

In the multi-sectoral task force, each sector will now be led by a minister while the entire task force is led by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The ministry will now coordinate and mobilise the domestic, governmental and private sector resources necessary to effectively meet this challenge with the urgency it demands.

The ministers, who will now personally supervise their ministry’s role in the newly modified governance structure include ministers of health, interior, women affairs, agriculture and water resources.

Save Lives And Restore Normalcy

The National Security Adviser to the President and the Chief of Army Staff, National Emergency Management Agency and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Intervention would also be actively involved in the new elevated response model approved by the president.

After taking over power in May 2015, President Buhari’s administration has reiterated its commitment to defeating Boko Haram and countering violent extremism.

While military operations in the region have heightened, decimating the terrorist group, UNICEF has raised concerns over humanitarian crisis in the region, saying children are at risk of death due to malnutrition.

It has been difficult to send relief to people in the region due to activities of the terrorist group and military in the northeast, the UN agency said.

As the military forces move deeper into the core Boko Haram strongholds, they have discovered and freed several persons who are severely malnourished and in poor health.

This dire situation shows acute need for stronger coordination, oversight and direction of all northeast humanitarian interventions and resettlement efforts.

Non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies and other donor agencies have sent relief materials to the region but UNICEF said more nutritious foods are needed to save about 49,000 severely malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers at the risk of death before the end of the year.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has also expressed appreciation for the human and material resources already deployed by the United Nations agencies, international development partners, non-governmental organisations and other private companies and individuals who have been assisting to meet the urgent needs of the victims.

With the new management structure, the Federal Government has given assurances to the UN and all other partners, local and international, of its readiness to effectively lead the humanitarian response, deploy adequate resources and do everything possible to mobilise a rapid response in order to save lives and restore normalcy to the affected areas.

SON Decries Quality Compromise By Concrete Manufacturers

SON Decries Quality Compromise By Concrete ManufacturersThe Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has cautioned concrete manufacturers in Abuja to desist from compromising quality.

The Director and Head of SON in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Bath Okoko, gave the caution on Tuesday at a meeting with Concrete Manufacturers Association.

He attributed the recent cases of building collapse in the FCT to quacks who have infiltrated the concrete manufacturing industry.

Mr Okoko, who represented the Director General of SON, vowed that the government would henceforth, go after producers of sub-standard concrete products.

The caution comes barely two weeks after a four-storey building under construction collapsed in the early hours of Monday, August 29, in the Gwarinpa District of Abuja.

After a search and rescue operation that lasted all through the night after six persons had been rescued, two construction workers trapped in the building were found dead the following day.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had frowned at builders who mix cement on building sites without technical supervision when he visited the site.

While he said investigation had commenced, Mr Fashola cited unprofessionalism and poor quality of materials as likely reasons for the collapse.

FG Woos Private Investors To Develop Housing Sector

Babatunde Fashola on HousingThe Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its preparedness to enter into a public-private partnership with private investors, in order to address the housing needs of citizens.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, hinted reporters of the government’s plan shortly after inspecting some housing projects in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said the government was exploring options aimed at delivering houses to Nigerians, especially in the northeast region.

The Minister added that the government would continue to provide a level playing ground for private investors to take advantage of the opportunities in the housing sector.

Meanwhile, he said investigation had commenced into the cause of the collapsed building in Gwarinpa, a town in the Federal Capital Territory.

After a visit to the scene, Mr Fashola explained that the collapse might have occurred as a result of poor quality control or lack of professionalism.

He appealed to construction workers to industrialise their cement mixing process for safety purposes.

The four-storey building under construction had collapsed in the early hours of Monday.

Six people have been rescued from the rubble so far and two others are still trapped, the Emergency Management Agency in the state said.

Two of the rescued persons hospitalised have been discharged.

The incident is the second in less than one week. A building had on August 24 collapsed in Apo Mechanic Village in the same city.

Abuja Building Collapse: Rescue Efforts Continue Through The Night

Abuja, Building collapse, Gwarimpa,Rescue efforts will continue through the night to get two persons still trapped under rubble after a building collapsed in Nigeria’s capital out, authorities say.

The four-storey building under construction collapsed in the early hours of Monday in the Gwarinpa District of Abuja.

Six people have been rescued from the rubble and two others are still trapped.

While rescue effort is ongoing, the Director General of the FCT Emergency Management Agency, Mr Abbas Idriss, believes the two persons trapped are still alive.

The Acting Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Mrs Safiyat Umar, explained that the building was standing on a flood plain which caused the collapse.

She blamed the Federal Housing Authority for giving the approval for the construction of the building.

Meanwhile, the Minister of the FCT, Mr Mohammed Bello, has ordered an investigation into the incident.

This is the second building collapse in Abuja in less than one week.

A building had on August 24 collapsed in Apo Mechanic Village in the same city.

Kaduna Floods Ravage Over 300 Houses, Displace Over 10,000

Kaduna, Flood, Nema, 300 houses destroyed, 10000 people displacedNo fewer than 300 houses in some parts of Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria, have been submerged by flood, as a result of a heavy rainfall.

Following the Incident, more than 10, 000 people have been forced out of their homes.

The incident which started on Friday morning, after long hours of heavy downpour, lasted till later in the evening.

In July, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), issued an alert that eight Local Government Areas in the state were likely to experience flooding, and therefore warned residents of the affected areas to vacate to safer places.

Ever since the flood incident in 2012, that killed about seven people, destroyed several houses and farmlands in Kaduna, the State Emergency Management Agency has set up an early warning system to monitor the situation.

The agency said Friday’s flooding incident was as a result of drainages being blocked with refuse, and people building structures along water channels.

Some of the affected areas include: Zaria, Hayi Gada, in Jemaa Local Government Area , Abubakar Kigo road new extension, Barnawa, Narayi, Romi among others.

Reports say that most of the affected houses are those located near the bank of River Kaduna without proper drainage systems.

Flooding has become an annual occurrence in most parts of Kaduna State, as well as some other states around Nigeria, during the rainy season.

NEMA Warnings 

In spite of several warnings by the NEMA to vacate the areas, some residents had however, refused to comply with the directive, due to claims such as lack of adequate funds to secure new homes.

While Others insisted that their houses were not built on water ways, and rather requested that the Government should construct drainages along the water fronts, in order to avert any further disaster.

Due to the incident, many roads have been blocked, thereby making it difficult for residents to evacuate their properties, most of which have been submerged by flood.