Nigeria government has commenced steps to receive over 80,000 of its citizens displaced in neighbouring Cameroon following the insurgency by Boko Haram militants.
A proposed resettlement centre for the refugees has already been identified and inspected in Adamawa State, north of the country, local media reports.
A special assistant to the president on policy, development and analysis, Ibrahim Bapetel, said the proposed location is the permanent site of the State Polytechnic which has been abandoned for over two decades.
The site is situated at Konawaya village, a suburb of the state capital, Yola. Efforts are being made at rebuilding it and making it conducive enough to accommodate the expected returnees.
Baptel urged the various stakeholders to prepare a comprehensive needs report for onward transmission to the federal government and added that due to government’s concern over the plight of the refugees, he was optimistic that the needs report will be treated with the urgency it deserves.
He reiterated that the number of refugees is significant and urged international donors to also come to the assistance of the Federal Government in addressing the myriad challenges that will be encountered in handling them.
The state government also called on international donor agencies as well as the federal government to come to the rescue of the state, explaining that the state government cannot single-handedly shoulder the responsibilities of catering to the expected returnees.
Cameroon had deported some 80,000 Boko Haram refugees dumped in various camps in the country.
Some 20,000 people have been killed and about 2.3 million displaced since Boko Haram started its violent campaign in 2009.