NEMA disputes UNHCR’s, others’ figure on internally displaced persons

THE National Emergency Management Agency has contradicted the initial total number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) given by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), other related agencies and non-governmental organisations.

  Speaking at the event on the Displacement and Human Security in West Africa in Abuja, Deputy Director of NEMA, Fagbemi M. Kayode, said that some agency reports on the numbers are not reliable.

  In his words “You will all agree with me that since the crisis in the northeast it has been very difficult to respond to the people that are displaced and I can make bold that no agency of the government or of the United Nations has a better data today than the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).       

  The reason is, when there is crisis of such, the United Nations due to the security level, there are places they will never allow their staffs to go but we go there to identify the people that are displaced.   

   What happen is that we gather our data from the records of those displaced and when there is a form of disagreement we underestimate the people that are displaced, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) got some support and they went to gather their data to support their partner. I can tell you the figure of IOM is lower than the figure of NEMA as of January 15 2015.

  “When we tell the United Nations that 890,000 people are displaced they complain that the figure is low and we won’t get the support needed, so for people that gave the figure of 1.5million, how did they get it, who went out to do what we do. We do estimate, we use quantitative method but because donor will only give money when they hear or see large figures that’s why the figures are been inflated and we have to be very careful.”

   He beaconed on the citizen to join in their work if doubt are been involved. He said “figures given by NGOs and other agencies are not reliable.

  As of 15th January 2015, the figure we had for the people displaced was 981,415 and it’s the Nigeria figure, but when IOM went to the camp they got 871,507 because they found out that not all the displaced persons stay in camp that prefer to stay with neighboring committees or relatives. They also discovered in the camps that they were people living with disabilities”

He encouraged Nigerians to help them in proffering good solution in total getting rid of insurgency and the internally displaced.

Furthermore “Nigeria especially in the north the NGOs and everybody here if you want good solution you should educate the people make sure people have certain number of children they can cater for, it reduces the number of the children on the street. The insurgents recruit those who feel neglected by the society exploiting their vulnerabilities, so, in essence there should be population control.”

A consultant with the Cleen Foundation, Mrs. Barbara Maigari, said “in the mid belt especially in Plateau State we have IDPs that move from some parts of Northeast into the state and one of the very challenging issues is the lack of available resources to cater for them and it raises tension between the communities and IDPs, it is like one is competing for health issues, facilities that are available and it is not like they are not available but not adequate for those that are there, that why the insurgents do what they do is because of misguided religion, lack of parental care, poverty. She also endorses inter collaboration of agencies in Nigeria.”

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