FG PLACES PREMIUM ON HUMANITARIAN AND PROTECTION CRISIS IN THE LAKE CHAD
R – L: Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd); UN Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer
The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the outcome of the Regional Protection Dialogue on Lake Chad Basin would be an important building block to create solutions to protection and humanitarian crisis arising from the refugee challenges.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of the Ministerial Meeting of the Regional Dialogue on Protection in the Lake Chad Basin, Prof Osinbajo said he expected the conference to not only proffer solutions to the refugee problem bedeviling the Region but also submit plans for the future.
According to him, “the conference is crucial because the people of the Lake Chad region face problems of existential proportions” ranging from malnutrition, loss of livelihood and out-of-school children.
He commended the Lake Chad countries (Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger) for giving refuge to Nigerians who were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that such a gesture “demonstrates clearly that we are indeed one people”.
While quoting the UN Coordinator on Humanitarian Affairs, the Acting President said that the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin is under under-reported and under-funded.
He disclosed that arrangements are underway for Nigerians who fled to neighbouring countries to return home, as soon as the modalities are finalized with the affected countries.
Earlier, in a welcome address, the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd), said the Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized the Dialogue to identify the protection risks in the Lake Chad Basin resulting from conflict-induced crisis with a view to proffering solutions to them.
He commended the efforts of the UNHCR in assisting the Lake Chad Basin Countries (LCBC) to address the protection challenges posed by the crisis in the Basin.
At the end of the Dialogue, a twenty-four point Action statement was issued with a timeline of six months for review at the national level while twelve months would be for the regional level.
Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd)