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FG committed to ending statelessness, says Sadiya Umar Farouq

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Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says the Federal Government is committed to ending statelessness in the country.
According to a statement, Farouq stated this at the ongoing 70th Executive Committee (ExCom) session of the United Nations High Commissioner’s for Refugees (UNHCRs) programme in Geneva, Switzerland
The Minister led the Nigerian delegation to the event where she addressed a high level segment on statelessness.
In her presentation, Farouq said statelessness dated back to the ceding of the Bakassi Pennisula to Cameroon and more recently the Boko Haram insurgency which has led to mass displacement of persons.
Farouq further said that President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed five pledges to end statelessness in Nigeria.
“That by 2020, Nigeria commits to introduce regulations for the registration of offspring of naturalised citizens as Nigerians.
“By 2020, Nigeria commits to establishing a Statelessness Determination Procedure to identify stateless persons, grant protection status and facilitate appropriate solutions.
“By mid-2021, Nigeria commits to publishing a qualitative study, with a view to finding solutions.
“By 2024, scale up issuance of birth registration and national identity numbers, including to IDPs, refugees and returnees, thereby providing civil registration and documentation to reduce risk of statelessness.
“By 2024, Nigeria commits to undertake law reforms on registration of children born on Nigerian Territory who would otherwise be stateless and children under 10 years of unknown origin; as well as equality for spouse,’’ she said.
She explained that the legal reforms will therefore ensure no child is born stateless and gender discrimination is removed from nationality laws.
Farouq maintained that the plan also recognised the linkages between eradication of statelessness and national development agenda.
The Minister added that federal government was also determined to end statelessness by developing regulations to eliminate gender-based discrimination.
She called on stakeholders to engage and collaborate with federal, states and local governments towards ending statelessness.
Excom, the UNHCR’s Governing Executive Committee meets every year in Geneva to review and approve the Agency’s programmes and advise on protection while discussing other issues.
The event is expected to end on October 11.

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