Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ismail Agaka, has called for the creation of a Special Fund to provide succour to the Internally Displaced Persons.
The NSITF Chief, who stated this while donating relief material to the Karmajiji IDP camp in a suburb of Abuja, explained that the government must be assisted by all the segments of the society in the midst of dwindling resources accruing to the country.
He said: “Broadly speaking, there is always a social security element to the life of every citizen because it is from cradle to grave thing. At every point in life, human beings require one form of social security or the other. I think that government needs to look at what has been budgeted in terms of direct intervention fund for displaced people. And because people need social security at some point in their life, adequate funds must be made available to make such interventions a reality that which will add meaning to the lives of the people.”
Agaka explained that the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the social protection sector must develop programmes that suit the purpose of the socially deprived Nigerians.
“There are many forms of social protection initiatives and programmes spread across more than 10 government agencies. It is the responsibility of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to factors in issues such as the displaced people in their operations. While every MDA know what and how to do this, there must be a coordinating body of these various activities to ensure deliverables and targets are met in order for the people to feel the impacts of such programmes and initiatives,” he stated.
While seeking a more coordination of the activities of agencies of government rendering social protection initiatives, Agaka called on good spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the internally displaced persons.
He stressed that the donation is a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of the NSITF and not an obligation towards the IPDS saying the mandate of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) does not cover the informal sector under which most of the IDPs fall.
His words: “At the moment and the way the law that establishes employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) is structured, the NSITF cannot provide any social protection to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because an employee has to come under the cover of an employer, but we do have a corporate social responsibility as an agency.”
The NSITF helmsman bemoaned non-provision of toilet facilities in the camp, saying, “the environment is not a normal habitable kind of environment. No one would wish anybody to live in this kind of habitation because it is mostly make-shift and if there is any heavy rainfall, it could sweep the whole camp away. The sanitary condition is very bad, as the IDPS do not have toilet facilities. I am calling on the relevant government agencies to come to the aid of the IDPs by making the environment more friendly and habitable.”
Speaking on behalf of the camp, the IDPs Women Leader, Liyatu Ayuba, said two newborn babies died in the camp due the poor environmental condition of the camp.
She added: “Not too long ago, two babies died here because of the poor sanitary condition here. We thank God and NSITF for these relief items because about two months ago, we didn’t have a single bag of rice to give to our people. We have been suffering from shortage of food items in this camp.”