…performs ground breaking ceremony for Katsina centre tomorrow
By Egena Sunday Ode
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), has concluded plans for the establishment of resettlement centres for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the states of the federation.
The Honourable Federal Commissioner for NCFRMI, Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in his Abuja office said four states-Zamfara, Borno, Katsina and Edo-would benefit from the first phase of the project.
Accordingly, the commission will perform the ground breaking ceremony for the Katsina centre in Katsina tomorrow.
The Commissioner noted that 600 units of two bed room flats would be built in each of the centres with accompanying facilities such as schools, police posts, worship places, skills acquisition centres, water treatment plants among others to provide the IDPs with decent living.
He said the centres were necessitated by the imperative for the over 2.5 million displaced persons scattered in about 290 official and about 700 unofficial camps to exit the camps.
To achieve this dream, according to him, the commission requested for 50 hectares of land each from governors of the beneficiary states who have all “responded positively.”
“Government has provided funds and contractors are already being engaged,” he also noted.
Senator Mohammed disclosed that the whole arrangement is coming under what he called Project Reliance which is intended to provide empowerment for vulnerable and displaced Nigerians with a view to making them self reliant through acquisition of vocational skills.
He said the project which is in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would provide 50 different vocational skills for the beneficiaries to choose from.
Thereafter, according to him, the apex bank would provide 70% and 30% percent of capital required by the applicants to practice the skills acquired at the centres.
He noted that no few than 350,000 applicants had already been verified by the commission in Borno State alone, adding that “ the idea is to empower as many as possible.”
Asked whether the commission was partnering donor agencies to build the centres in view of shortfalls in government revenues, the Commissioner said he would only require their assistance in the operation of the centres after they had been fully built.