Dogara lauds Buhari over N5bn budget for IDPs
By; Iyokpo Egbodo, Abuja.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for setting aside the sum of five billion Naira in the 2015 supplementary budget recently sent to the National Assembly for approval for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Speaker stated this yesterday while addressing participants at a sensitization workshop for members of the House on the role of the parliament in addressing the challenges of IDPs in Nigeria.
While calling for a comprehensive legal instruments to address the challenges of the IDPs, Dogara said; “Apart from domesticating the Kampala Convention, all legal and institutional structures with respect to rehabilitation and assistance of IDPs needs to be reorganized for better coordination. In this regard, the National Commission for Refugees Act, which is now known as National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, needs further amendment.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the Commission has been formally designated by the Federal Government to cover matters relating to Internally Displaced Persons and coordination of Migration and Development, this designation requires the backing of law in order to further strengthen the Commission to discharge its mandate.
“Today’s event offers the opportunity to restate the fact that there is no adequate legal framework for handling issues of internal displacement. Even though Nigeria at the Executive level has ratified the African Union Convention for the Protection and assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention), it has not yet been domesticated by the Legislature. Therefore, permit me to call on Mr. President to transmit to the National Assembly, an executive bill on this and indeed other relevant treaties for domestication.
“However, as legislators, we have primary constitutional responsibility to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Nigeria, and we shall in the exercise of this constitutional mandate soon be left with no option but to introduce a Bill to domesticate the all important Kampala Convention, if for whatever reason the executive is unable to send the required Bill,” the Speaker stated.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Chairman of the House Committee on IDPs, Refugees and North East Initiative, Hon. Sani Zoro recalled that Nigeria currently have over two million IDPs scattered across different camps, faced with “substandard facilities, most of whom are women and orphaned children, with hunger and malnutrition as the common denominators that define their lives”.