Worried by the rising number of refugees across the country, the House of Representatives has directed the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to develop a comprehensive database of all refugees, migrants and displaced Nigerians for proper resource management and protection of the vulnerable.
Chairman, House Committee on IDPs and Humanitarian Matters, Hon Muhammad Jega, who gave the charge during budget defence session with the Refugees Commission, said doing so would enable the legislature appropriate adequately for them.
“This committee will want to see a situation where a comprehensive database of all IDPs and refugees in the country. This will bring about effective tracking mechanism for providing adequate care and protection to them.
“And it will also help us in the process of appropriation to gauge the level of humanitarian need the commission is expected to cater for, and appropriate accordingly,” he said.
Earlier, the commissioner in charge of the Refugees Commission, Sen. Bashir Garba Mohammed, told the Committee that the sum of N5.7billion was appropriated for the agency as capital and recurrent expenditure in 2020, adding that the amount represent 36.5 per cent increase from 2019.
He said the overhead was N29million, just as he disclosed that the commission recently awarded contracts due to the delay occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic.
Mohammed said out of the total sum, only N4.2million for overhead has been released so far and that the sum of N2.1billion was approved for zonal intervention (constituency) projects for lawmakers.
“The commission has the capacity and full willingness to execute projects appropriated for in the 2020 budget,” he said.
He therefore appealed to the committee to help the commission extend the life of its capital budget implementation, just as he called for the review of its capital allocation from what is currently at hand.
“Commission has been working to ensure the realisation of its mandates N5.7billion approved for both capitals and recurrent. Larger part of the sum has been released as at Nov 1st”, he said, adding that “two months releases are outstanding for September and October.
“The commission is faced with lots of challenges which we believe can be surmounted with your support. And the major of such challenges is paucity of funds which we hope this committee would assist in reviewing upward,” he appealed to the committee.