It was a renewed hope for the people of Borno state,North East Nigeria as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr Betta Edu arrived Maiduguri for a two days working visit.
The visit being her first official movement outside Abuja since assumption of office,was described as home coming by the people of Bornu.
The Minister was received at the Government House Maiduguri, by the Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, and thanked him for the grand reception and the excellent work he is doing in Borno State that was bringing peace development and stability to the people and the state.
Edu informed the Governor that Borno State was the first state she would be visiting in her capacity as minister since her swearing in as
a member of the Federal Executive Council.
To show how important and strategic the state is to achieving results on humanitarian response and ending poverty in Nigeria the Minister described Bornu as a stabilizing state in the North East and Nigeria.
Dr Edu reiterated President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s commitment to minimizing Humanitarian crisis and eliminating poverty in Nigeria in fulfilment of the renewed hope Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2.
“It is important that the Hummanitarian Ministry renew its partnership with the State and leverage on their successes and experience to find better ways of doing things.
“The Ministry under me will not only aim at eliminating poverty, but it shall also provide safety nets to prevent Nigerians from going under the poverty line”.
The Minister informed the Governor that the Federal Government is committed to returning the refugees and migrants to their various homes by 2024.
She said structures must be put in place to repatriate and reintegrate the internally displaced persons back into their communities.
The former APC National Women Leader who described the governor as ” action leader” informed him that the National Social Register shall be cleaned up and expanded to accommodate more people In other to meet target.
“The Ministry shall establish humanitarian hubs in all Local Government Areas as a deliberate policy of targeting the grassroots, the rural poor that are more in large numbers in communities and villages.
“The Ministry shall deliberately create job opportunities for youth on a short- and long-term basis, giving micro-credits, vocational training among others.
She encouraged the Governor to continue giving leadership and support at the state level “so that the overall objective of eliminating hunger and poverty will be attained” she added.
Responding, Governor Babagana Zulum of Bornu State, congratulated the Hummanitarian Minister on her well deserved appointment as a Member of the Federal Executive Council and welcomed her and her team to Borno State.
Zulum assured the minister of his government’s commitment towards addressing the humanitarian issues and poverty.
The Governor highlighted three priority areas of collaboration, including Poverty which he described as a nexus with insecurity.saying “once poverty is addressed, insecurity would be addressed. IDPs according to the Governor is not sustainable as it is in the camps.
Other issues attributed as challenges at the IDP camps are population growth and gender-based violence.
“State Government houses the internally displaced persons for only a short time as transit facilities, while they try to provide durable solutions from humanitarian to sustainable solutions.
Government he said also created SME opportunities for displaced persons.
The third factor according to Governor Zulum was the Refugees situation, saying over 200,000 refugees in Niger, 60,000 in Cameroon and 24,000 in Chad,hence the State must work with the Ministry to bring these refugees back home. They need shelters, money and job opportunities.
The Governor informed the Minister of the existence of the Presidential Committee that is to return and reintegrate these refugees.
“The Vice President is the Chair and the work of the Committee has gone far, the Ministry has a very huge role to play in that committee” he said.
On the Humanitarian development Partners, the Governor said “their role is to complement what Government does and not to take the lead in responsibilities of Government.
“Also, the priorities of Government must be their priorities too, So, they must key into Government priorities.
On the National social register, the Governor said that States should have the opportunity of owning the register because the poverty index is continuously changing.
Highlight of the visit was the exchange of souvenir between the Governor and the Minister.