Abuja – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that a total of 239,834 Nigerians are currently taking refuge in neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The information is in a statement by Mr Sani Datti, the Head of Media and Public Relations of NEMA made available on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, a published report on humanitarian relief intervention by the Agency reveals that the Republic of Chad hosts about 20,804 Nigerian refugees, 80,709 in Cameroon and 138, 321 in Niger Republic.
He, however, said that in 2015, about 29,581 Nigerians who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states as a result of the insurgency had voluntarily returned home.
Datti stated that in May 2015, 13,046 Nigerian returnees from Niger Republic were received in Geidam, Yobe State, while between April and
December 2015, NEMA received 15,595 returnees from Cameroon.
“Some of the Nigerians that fled to Neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon were provided with humanitarian relief support by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NEMA to alleviate their suffering.
“The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian support from the host governments, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries,” he added.
Datti said that NEMA adopted a monthly Humanitarian Coordination Meeting; a forum which consists of relevant Federal Government agencies, UN systems and International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs).
The public relations head explained that the forum analysed the humanitarian situations, conducted need assessments, identified priorities and provided humanitarian interventions to the displaced persons based on their respective mandates.
He said that the system operated through different sectors, led by national MDAs and co-led by UN Agencies.
He added that due to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Military with the support of Multi-National Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the fight against Boko Haram, “the humanitarian dashboard is fast changing.”
Datti said the focus was gradually shifting toward Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Recovery and dignified return of IDPs back home.
According to him, the process for the return of Nigerian refugees from neighbouring countries is ongoing.
He added that NEMA would continue to support and work toward bridging the identified gaps in humanitarian response through enhanced coordination, capacity building and strengthening collaboration with the affected states and relevant stakeholders.
These, he said, would be achieved in line with MDAs, local and international response organisations and the UN system.