NSITF calls for special fund for IDPs, donates relief materials

Acting MD, NSITF, Mr Ismail Agaka (middle), the IDPs Women Leader, Liyatu Ayuba, (right) and one of the IDPs when the leadership of NSITF paid a visit to the IDPs camp in Abuja and donated relief materials. Photo: SOJI-EZE FAGBEMI.

The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has called on the Federal Government to establish a special fund that would provide for the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Acting Managing Director, NSITF, Mr Ismail Agaka, advocated for the establishment of the special fund when he led the leadership of the agency to donate relief materials to the Karmajiji IDP camp in a suburb of Abuja.

However, Agaka who was highly disturbed at the sight of the IDPs and their helpless condition said the government must be assisted by all the segments of the society due to the bad economic situation and dwindling resources of the country.

He pointed out that in the life of every citizen, there is always a social security element, adding that at every point in life, human being requires one form of social security or other.

Against this background, he advised that all the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the social protection sector must develop programmes that suit the purpose of the socially deprived Nigerians.

He explained that these programmes and the activities of the government rendering social protection initiatives must, however, be more coordinated, while spirited Nigerians should come to the aid of the internally displaced persons.

“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.

“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 factor 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,” Agaka said.

On the donation by the NSITF, he pointed out that the donation was a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the NSITF and not an obligation towards the IPDs.

He explained that the mandate of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) does not cover the informal sector under which most of the IDPs fall.

“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,” he said.

He also decried the non-provision of toilet facilities in the camp.

Speaking on behalf of the camp, the IDPs Women Leader, Liyatu Ayuba, said two newborn babies died in the camp due to the poor environmental condition of the camp.