Sadiya Umar-Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has disclosed that there is no official register for missing persons in the country.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by her ministry in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday, January 24, Farouk stated that lack of an official register has added to the difficulties in getting a reliable national data on the number of missing persons in Nigeria.
The minister who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Nasir Sani Gwarzo, further averred that there is also no national structure or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to address the humanitarian consequences of disappearances.
Farouk noted that the federal government is very concerned about this, adding that irregular migration by many Nigerians, including children through cross borders, the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety and a better life each year, often contribute to the great risk of disappearance.
The Minister said;
“The latest figures show that out of the 64,000 disappeared persons across Africa, Nigeria is recording over 25,000 missing persons including over 14,000 children.”