VP Shettima Rallies Global Partnership to End Internal Displacement in Nigeria

VP Shettima during the “Launch of the State Action Plans on Durable Solution to Internal Displacement” at the Presidential Villa Abuja


* Unveils State Action Plans, pledges to tackle root causes at UN Solution Agenda launch

Vice President Kashim Shettima has called for a global partnership to address the problem of internal displacement in Nigeria, pledging the federal government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of displaced citizens.

He outlined the strategy adopted by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration in tackling Nigeria’s internal displacement challenge, saying the nation prioritises the welfare of its people, particularly in these critical times.

The Vice President made the call on Monday during the “Launch of the State Action Plans on Durable Solution to Internal Displacement” at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

The Action Plan is a United Nations Secretary General’s Solution Agenda on Internal Displacement which aims to help internally displaced persons find a durable solution to their displacement, prevent new displacement crises from emerging and ensure those facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance.

Unveiling the programme being implemented in four northern states of Adamawa, Benue, Borno and Yobe, VP Shettima said, “For a country that has endured the devastations of economic disadvantages across generations, we cannot afford further expansion in the displacement of our people. So, we remain committed to ensuring that each displaced individual returns to a safer environment and is given a lifeline to start afresh.”

He recalled his experience dealing with conflict and displacement, just as he emphasised the need for a collaborative, cross-border approach to tackling the multifaceted challenge. “Let us harness the strength of our partnerships, both local and international, to bring about lasting change,” he urged.

The Vice President welcomed the support of the United States and other global partners, stressing that the task ahead demands a united front that transcends political divides.

“We are here to craft solutions that will outlive us, that will offer future generations a place of hope, a home for all, and a land of opportunity where dreams can be pursued without worry. The journey is not merely about addressing the symptoms of displacement but also about tackling the root causes,” he stated.

Outlining the strategy of the Tinubu administration, Shettima pledged investment in sustainable development, education, and economic opportunities as critical components of a comprehensive solution.

“By doing so, we not only address the immediate needs of the displaced but also create a foundation for a more stable and prosperous future,” the VP said.

He called for collaborative efforts transcending borders to bring about lasting change, stating that “the task ahead is immense, but with determination, unity, and a clear vision, we can make a profound difference”.

On its part, the United Nations commended the efforts of the state governments in drafting action plans for durable solutions to internal displacement.

Speaking virtually through an online conferencing platform, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, said attaining such solutions “is a priority for Nigeria and for the United Nations Secretary-General,” noting the global number of internally displaced persons has doubled in ten years to nearly 76 million globally.

“Over four million Nigerians remain in search of solutions to their forced displacement,” she stated, adding that the state action plans “capture the first essential steps towards solutions.”

Earlier in his remarks, the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Advisor on Durable Solutions, Mr Robert Piper, commended Nigeria’s commitment and leadership in being the first country among the 15 pilot countries to launch the programme.

“Today, despite the warnings and the real challenges, I have the honour to say, on behalf of the Secretary-General, that Nigeria is the first of all our 15 pilot countries to formally launch government plans placing over 4 million IDPs and Returnees on pathways to solutions,” he noted.

Piper said the launch of the programme is evidence of the political commitment to addressing the plight of IDPs in Nigeria, noting that “in many ways, the plans you launch today provide a model of how governments can take responsibility for ending displacement.

“Let me reiterate our commitment on behalf of the United Nations: We will keep supporting on the ground; we will help rally donors; we will chase missing partners; we will bring (good and bad) lessons from elsewhere; we will celebrate your successes; we may occasionally bring you unwelcome news sometimes, as friends must; but we will stand behind you. We fail or succeed together,” he said.

On his part, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, said the state government is fully committed to the implementation of the Action Plans on Durable Solutions, noting that 15% of the state’s annual budget will be dedicated to projects undertaken under the initiative.

Prof. Zulum recalled the efforts of the state government in the past few years in returning displaced persons to their communities, assuring stakeholders at the meeting that the government’s commitment to the cause of displaced persons remain unwavering.

On his part, Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State said the launch of the State Action Plans on Durable Solutions to Internal Displacement is a beacon of hope and catalyst for the transformation of lives and livelihoods in communities affected by conflict.

He commended Vice President Shettima’s inspirational leadership as well as the commitment of all the development partners involved in the project which he said aligns with the vision of the Benue State government to build a society where all residents can live in peace and harmony.

In the same vein, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, said the state government has executed projects across health, education, social welfare and security, in a bid to ensure that displaced persons return to their communities.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the state government in the operationalization of the action plan by allocating 5% of the state’s annual budget over the next 3 years.

Governor Buni called on development partners involved in the programme not to relent in their efforts towards the success of the initiative.

The representative of Adamawa State Governor and Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Human Service, Hon. Barr. Bello Hamman Diram announced the state government’s allocation of 7% of its annual budget to the implementation of the Action Plans on Durable Solutions.

On his part, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Richard Montgomery, commended the progress witnessed during his recent visit to the North-East and the government’s approach to encouraging more development investments.

“The progress I witnessed during my visit to the North-East recently deserves commendation. “Nigeria is the first to prove that government-led intervention is possible. We are proud to be part of the process,” he stated.

He also called for the mobilisation of new financing, saying “We need to mobilise additional bilateral and multilateral financing to support these plans.

“We should also think carefully about how to mobilise Nigeria’s vibrant private sector, not necessarily as a donor but as the engine for economic growth and job creation,” Montgomery added.