Technocrat Media, Abuja
Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) says the organisation will be mobilising another 321 million U.S dollars to support efforts at combatting terrorist activities in the North East.
The UN chief made the disclosure while addressing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
He expressed the hope that the new commitment would also assist in addressing the humanitarian crisis in the affected region.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visiting secretary-general, who arrived in Nigeria on a two-day visit was in Maiduguri, Borno, the worst hit by the insurgency.
While in Maiduguri on Tuesday, Gutteres interacted with victims of terrorist activities and repentant Islamist militants, saying from what he saw,” great hope lies ahead”.
According to him, the amount will be part of the overall 1.1billion U.S dollars earmarked by the UN for the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria.
”We are very active in support of the humanitarian efforts of the Nigerian government and that is why we have called for an additional $351 million as part of the overall $1.1 billion for the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria,” he said.
The UN scribe lauded the Nigerian government for establishing the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Return and Resettlement of displaced persons in the North-East,
He said, ”In spite all that they have seen and endured, the people I saw remain hopeful and committed to returning to their communities and resuming their lives.
“To that end, I welcome the establishment of the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Return, and Resettlement of displaced persons in the North-East.”
Guterres disclosed that his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari touched on how to address the challenges confronting Nigeria and the smooth conduct of the forthcoming 2023 General Elections.
He maintained that the spirit of hope amidst hardship and solidarity in the struggle was also at the centre of his discussions with the Nigerian leader.
“We discussed the importance of laying the groundwork to ensure peaceful and democratic elections next year and the full participation of Nigerian women and young people in all areas.
“We also discussed the government’s measures to address security challenges across the country.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the appalling attacks in Plateau State, two and half weeks ago.
“It is a tragic reminder of terrorism scourge across West Africa and the Sahel,” he lamented.
He reiterated the commitment of the UN towards combatting terrorism, violent extremism, organised crime, poverty, and food insecurity, worldwide.
He also commended Nigeria for its role in sustaining peace in Africa and beyond, as well as for playing the leading role in sustaining democracy on the African continent.
“I thank President Buhari for his unwavering support for the Multinational Joint Task Force and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
“We also discuss the other challenges that Nigeria is facing today. Nigeria is a pillar of continental and global cooperation and a steadfast part of the United Nations.
“From its vital support for peacekeeping to its leadership in fighting for fairness in developing countries, to being home of my Deputy Secretary, Amina Mohammed, above all Nigeria is a country where Africa’s promise and potential can come to vivid life,” he added.