No amount of resources can sustain the 2.7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps in the northeast, not even N5 billion monthly, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Duties, Yusuf Yusuf, has said.
He also urged the federal government to stop “IPD syndrome” and called on security agencies to do more to end the insurgency so that people could safely return to their various towns and villages.
The lawmaker said this while briefing journalists on his committee’s findings after an oversight visit to various IDP camps in the northeast, Daily Trust Newspaper reported.
Mr Yusuf noted that most of the victims of insurgency were eager to return home and fend for themselves, but their villages were still inaccessible.
Nigeria, he said, might witness a major crisis from the IDPs, who were mostly orphans below the age of 18, if nothing was done to get them back to their villages.
“It is a very sad thing that I have seen in the IDP camps. There are 2.7 million people in the IDP camps. No amount of resources that can sustain or take care of their palliatives.
“We cannot continue to believe that the IDP syndrome should continue. We must exit it at one time or the other. It is a sad thing. There are children who are orphans in all respects and most of them are below the age of 18. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode.
“The government, the development partners are doing their best but the resources are very small. We cannot sustain spending about N5 billion a month to take care of these people,” he said.
Mr Yusuf’s remarks come on the heels of concerns about the safety and welfare of the IDPs, especially women and children.
The UN has also raised concerns about the population of the camps and the high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 disease.
To further cater for the IDPs, the Minister of humanitarian, disaster management and social development, Sadiya Farouq, has said the Nigerian Air Force will commence air-dropping of food relief to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in difficult to reach locations of Borno State.
The federal government had earlier outlined the challenges faced by NGOs operating in the northeast to include insecurity, floods or terrain, which it said could be addressed with the support of the security services.