The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres, has affirmed the organisation’s readiness to mobilise an additional $321million in support of Nigeria’s efforts to combat terrorist activities in the North East.
Gutteres disclosed this while addressing State House correspondents after closed doors meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja yesterday.
He expressed the hope that the amount would also assist in addressing humanitarian crisis in the affected region.
The UN Secretary General who arrived Nigeria on a two-day visit was in Maiduguri, Borno, the worst hit by the insurgency.
While in Maiduguri on Tuesday, he interacted with victims of terrorist activities and repentant Islamist militants, saying from what he saw, “great hope lies ahead.”
According to Gutteres, the amount will be part of the overall $1.1billion the UN earmarked for humanitarian response plan for Nigeria.
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: “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.
“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 Buhari touched on how to address the challenges confronting Nigeria and the smooth conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
His words: “We discussed the importance of laying the ground work to ensure peaceful and democratic elections next year and the full participation of Nigerian women and young people in all areas.
“We also discussed 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 reiterated the commitment of the UN towards combatting terrorism, violent extremism, organised crime, poverty and food insecurity, worldwide.
He commended Nigeria for her role in sustaining peace in Africa and beyond, as well as 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,” he said.
“We also discussed 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 peace keeping 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.”