Source: Federal Ministry of the Interior, Nigeria
The Federal Government has restated its determination to eradicate statelessness by 2024. This position was stated by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Friday, during the launching and inauguration of high power steering committee on National Action Plan on eradication of statelessness in the country. The Minister argued that statelessness which diminishes human dignity does not exist even in the animal kingdom.
“Stateless persons usually have no legal protection and no right to vote. They lack access to education, employment, healthcare, registration of birth, marriage or death and property right. They are vulnerable to exploitations and human trafficking, Aregbesola said”
He added that statelessness is a global challenge in which Nigeria is playing a leading role in eradicating and has been acting in concert with other nations to find solution.
Aregbesola affirmed that Nigeria is a signatory to various international treaties, conventions or declarations relating to the status of stateless persons and eradication of statelessness in West Africa.
He said ” the endorsement of protocols on eradication/reduction of statelessness by 2024 prompted Nigeria to develop and domesticate her own National Action Plan to put an end to statelessness in Nigeria.
The Minister reiterated that the action plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council on 25th November, 2020.
“Ministry of Interior under my watch as the focal Ministry on implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) to end statelessness in Nigeria will partner with relevant MDAs, the National Assembly, civil right society, state governments, UNHCR, academicians etc towards speedy and timely implementation of the plan”.
In his opening remarks, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, briefly defined statelessness as a person who has no national identity, he added that it is an unfortunate situation to the affected persons.
Dr. Belgore, identified factors that lead to statelessness in countries, as displacement by war, natural disaster, conflicts of law and migration.
The event was grace by key stakeholders, including Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruq, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, Director Citizenship and Business, Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala and other Directors of the Ministry of Interior and other Ministries.