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Cross River Government: Cameroonian refugees get N800m,100 hectares of land



Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria have been given the sum of N800 million alongside 100 hectares of land.
The Cross River State government was said to have donated this huge amount to them, in-order to enable them farm.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Eteng Williams disclosed this on Thursday during the occasion of the Humanitarian Development Nexus meeting between the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), state ministries and international agencies where they discussed how to harness greater support to the refugees.
The Speaker commended the UN agency for constructing inner city roads, school and temporary residential blocks and other infrastructure for the refugees.
He stressed that it was very important for the UNHCR to carry the state along in their programmes in the state for the refugees.
“We need you to carry the state government along as you continue with your commendable involvements and support to ease the burdens of the refugees and host communities. But we need you to provide more boreholes for the refugees and host communities. 
While we commend you for building school blocks, please remember to provide desks for the children.
“On our part the state government has since extended a further sum of N800 million and 100 hectares of our land to enable the refugees do some farming,” he said.
Also speaking, another lawmaker who is the House committee chairman on disaster management and humanitarian crises, Hilary Bisong said due to the mass influx of the Cameroonian refugees now numbering 51,723 most of them in seven local government areas of the state, there has been increased social pressure on the host communities and state government.
Bisong said the federal government is rather paying much attention to the northeast part of the country ravaged by Boki Haram insurgents, leaving much burden on the lean shoulders of the state.
“Cross River alone cannot handle the refugees burden because of our very low financial resources. We need support and presence of the federal government regarding the huge presence of the Cameroonian refugees in our seven LGAs. We commend UNHCR for their humanitarian role.”
Head of the UNHCR sub-office in the state, Mr Mulugeta Zwedie, explained the imperatives of the joint meeting and what are expected of them to ease the burdens of the mass influx of the refugees in the two major camps of Ogoja and Calabar in Cross River as well as in Benue State.
According to him, Ogoja is the largest refugee settlement in West Africa and commended Nigeria, especially Cross River and Benue states for hosting 51,723 refugees from Cameroon.
“In two years, we have extended assistance and impacted the refugees as well as the host communities through partnership, infrastructure, education, capacity building, social protection, healthcare etc.
“To avert social challenges, we will still have to sustain continual cash and other assistance to the refugees and host communities until they are able to return. We want close collaboration from the Ministry of International Development and Cooperation and others to ease pressures,” he said.
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