By Christiana Ekpa
A Bill for an Act to repeal the National Commission for Refugees yesterday, scaled second reading in Senate.
Leading the debate, Sen. Ubali Shitu (APC-Jigawa) said the Bill sought to enact the National Commission for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Refugees and Migrants to provide a framework for management and reintegration of victims of displacement and migration.
He said the objectives of the Bill included utilising the National Commission for Refugees as central coordinating agency in managing, facilitating and administering matters related to IDPs.
Other objectives according to him, are the facilitation of institutional and stakeholders collaborations and networks for effective management of IDPs in the country.
He noted that as at 2014 Nigeria had 3.3 million persons displaced by conflict saying that that was the highest number in Africa.
“This figure as released by the 2014 Global Overview report also adds that Nigeria ranked behind Syria with 6.5 million IDPs .
Contributing Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos) said the Bill would help in the resettlement of refugees in the country.
”The global effect of the Bill will make it easy for donor agencies to give grants toward assisting the IDPs,” he said.
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary after putting the question to a voice vote, referred the Bill to the Committee on Special Duties and Interior to report back to the Senate in four weeks.