By Olawale Afolabi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in New York called for more private sector participation in the humanitarian sector in Nigeria.
Buhari made the call against the backdrop of lingering challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic weather events and conflicts.
The president, according to his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina in a statement, spoke at a side event at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, United States, on Friday.
The event was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, entitled ”Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No One Behind.”
The president also stressed the need for efficient collaboration among stakeholders involved in humanitarian action and disaster mitigation in the country.
He urged the bilateral and multilateral development partners to continue to provide technical support to well-planned policies and programmes in the sector.
The president described the creation of the Humanitarian Ministry in August 2019 as a strategic intervention,
Buhari said it underscored Nigeria’s commitment to consistently strengthen resilience and sustain development through improved coordination and synergy between international, regional and national humanitarian and development actors, partners and governments.
He told the meeting that in the 37 months the Ministry had been operational, it has worked with national governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
”It has also organised private sector, the United Nations, Local and International Non-Governmental Organisations and security actors to widen dialogue, reinforce existing capacities and strengthen coping strategies:
”The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, its Agencies and Programmes, have developed policies, frameworks, programmes and plans that form the foundation necessary to build resilience.
”Some of these include the Civil Security Cooperation in Humanitarian Action, which created the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee, the development of LIFE Coordination Framework and the National Humanitarian Committee Technical Working Group.
”Other policies, frameworks, programmes and plans that support the agenda 2030 and resilience building of our citizenry are the National Internally Displaced Persons Policy, the Revised National Emergency Management Plan, the National Emergency Flood and Response Plan.
”Others are; the National Policy for Aging for Elderly Persons, the Poverty Reduction Plan, and the revised National Policy on disability, all aimed at supporting our Administration’s strategy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”
According to him, the Ministry has also led the administration’s efforts to tackle poverty and ensure social inclusion through the Social Investment Programmes.
These include; the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the N-Power Programme and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
According to the president, Nigeria has also brought to the fore the inclusion of Persons with Disability and elderly persons in the social protection space by the creation of agencies that will lay emphasis on these populations in the country.
He, therefore, urged the meeting to analyse the shared experiences over the years and devise possible transformational solutions for the future.
In her welcome address, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, thanked President Buhari for his support since the creation of the Ministry in 2019.
Goodwill messages were delivered by Prof. Babagana Zulum on behalf of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations as well as Development Partners.