FG Reaffirms Pledge to Return Refugees to Nigeria
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The federal government is set and bring back refugees across the world, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Ms Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, has disclosed.
She said this in Abuja when a delegation from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in Geneva, paid her a courtesy visit.
“The Nigerian government is poised towards ensuring the voluntary return of Nigeria Refugees in neighbouring countries as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and we are committed to implementing this in line with international best practices.
“The Nigeria government is presently hosting a large number of refugees from neighbouring countries and we are working hard in collaboration with UNHCR to provide adequate protection to the refugees and the asylum seekers,” she stated.
According to the Minister, it is one of the ministry’s priorities as a coordination agency to sustain the process of bringing back the refugees which include the development of sustainable home-grown models for rehabilitation, reintegration, and reconstruction.
Ms Farouq disclosed that the ministry has facilitated the adoption of National Policies including the IDP policy which incorporated the provisions of the Kampala Convention.
As stated by her, the policy is a predominant framework that guides operations while ensuring a coordinated and coherent approach.
Also, in a bid to ensure the provision of a sustainable durable solution, the ministry, in collaboration with related organizations, has launched a homegrown strategy called the Humanitarian Peace Development Framework, in line with global best practices and in tandem with the present administration plan.
Earlier, the leader of the UNHCR delegation and Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Mr Raouf Mazou, explained that the visit was to interact with the federal government and share ideas and views on some of the humanitarian challenges.
He said efforts would be made to safely return 170,000 Nigerian refugees in the Niger Republic and 16,000 in Chad.
On her part, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim, stated that the cordial collaboration between the Commission and UNHCR in Nigeria was making it possible for the ongoing registration of over 70,000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria.
She further said the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Armed Forces and the Multi-Joint Task Forces, has been relentless in the fight against the insurgents, to ensure that areas of return are secured and now IDPs and returnees are being resettled in safety and dignity.