North-eastern Nigeria: assessing the response capacity of National Emergency Management Agency to the plights of internally displaced persons

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, June 2021
Raji S., Adekayaoja F.A., Agaku E.A., Akujobi J., Hamzat A.A.
The plights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including hunger, rape, insecurity, and death, have assumed a frightening dimension in North-eastern Nigeria with the sustained intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ameliorate their sufferings. This paper aimed to assess the response capacity of NEMA to the plights of the IDPs in North-eastern Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to examine the nature and dimensions of the plights of the IDPs in the Northeast, identify their coping strategies, and assess the impact of NEMA's response strategies on the burgeoning situation. The study used a qualitative survey research design, in which 166 key Informant Interviews (KII) were conducted. The primary designs were complemented by secondary data, which was derived from books, journal articles, and News tabloids. Data generated were descriptively analyzed. Major findings from the paper were that the Boko Haram insurgency was primarily responsible for the mass displacement of persons in North-eastern Nigeria. The IDPs are facing lots of challenges in the camps with weak coping strategies while the intervention of NEMA through the provision of relief materials, rehabilitation and resettlement programs, and linking of the displaced with family members have reduced the plights of the IDPs. However, the Agency currently has the minimal operational capacity to ameliorate the plights of the IDPs due to the protracted nature of the insurgency, legal restriction on the operational mandates of NEMA, corruption, and limited funding of the agency. The Study recommended improved funding of the Agency and enactment of IDP-specific constitutional roles for maximum impact of NEMA on the amelioration of the plights of the IDPs in North-Eastern Nigeria.