By GRACE AUDU, Abuja –
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has pledged the support of the FCT Administration towards improving the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Territory.
Malam Bello made the pledge when he received a delegation from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development led by its Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, on a courtesy visit to the FCTA.
According to a statement by Anthony Ogunleye, the Chief Press Secretary in the FCTA, Malam Bello implored his Humanitarian Affairs counterpart to take advantage of training facilities owned by the FCTA to train IDPs on various skills needed to empower them economically. The Minister added that FCT owned orphanages were also at the disposal of orphans of IDPs.
Malam Bello recommended for a partnership with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs that will ensure the strengthening of FCTA owned facilities so that they serve as models that can be replicated in other states of the Federation.
He said: “For instance, we have schools that carter for children with special needs. We also have a training centre in Nyanya that will be able to train many of the IDPs in meaningful skills that will help them have a meaningful life wherever they are settled. We also have the Bwari centre where people that are picked from the street, particularly orphans and those who have no means of livelihood are trained”.
He continued “these centres have been there for quite sometime and are functional. We also have orphanages. All are being handled by our Social Development Secretariat. And I noticed that they all fall under the purview of what your Ministry handles…you may not need to invest in new institutions and facilities. All you need is just to use what is already here in the FCT. Its just a matter of having a partnership where we jointly develop these institutions, upgrade them so that they can be up to the standard that you can use as models and encourage other states across the country to replicate.
Malam Bello then directed the setting up of a joint committee comprising members from both Ministries and to be supervised by the FCT Minister of state, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, to work out modalities for the partnership, adding that it was the least they could do for the IDPs.
Earlier, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq had solicited the support of the FCTA for the improved welfare of IDPs in terms of rehabilitation of the settlements so that they can have befitting living environment in terms of water, health and education.
She said her Ministry has a record of over 26, 726 IDPs spread across camps in the FCT, explaining that although some of them have skills, they still needed to be encouraged to improve themselves as well as contribute to the economy of the Territory.