Governor Ishaku made the plea during an interactive session with the United Nations delegation led by its Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon.
Ishaku informed the group that because Taraba State shares border with Cameroun, the crisis in Cameroun had forced a refugee population of over 15,000 on Taraba State.
The refugee problem, he said, has complicated the burden being borne by the state arising from Internally Displaced Persons, a fallout of the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country.
Governor Ishaku also requested other agencies of the UN to assist the state in the area of housing and shelter, a problem which a rapidly growing population has created.
He said the state was doing its utmost best to resettle and rehabilitate those that were displaced by crisis in Southern Taraba, particularly in Chonku and Asa, adding that security was also being beefed up in those areas to encourage those who fled as a result of the crisis to return.
He listed tourism, agriculture and security as critical areas where the state would need the assistance of the UN agencies.
Ishaku also used the opportunity to brief the UN officials on the achievements of his administration, noting that women and youth empowerment has been a critical area of focus for the administration and that thousands of people have benefitted from the programme.
In a paper presented during the session, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon said a UNDP-UNWOMEN-FAO inter-agency project supported by the UN Peace Building Fund was already going on in Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states, stressing that it is in support of a harmonious and peaceful relationship between farmers and herders.
He said the intervention would promote dialogue and proactive engagement for the mutual economic benefit of the two groups.
He said the UN would also support the Taraba State government to minimize post-harvest losses through public-private partnerships and investments.
Kallon also used the occasion to remind state governments in Nigeria that COVID-19 would remain a major health challenge until the vaccine was found and urged them to take responsibility and lead by example that would help in containing the virus.
– Story by BALA DAN ABU,
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity.