The Federal Government is dedicated to ensuring the safe and dignified return of Nigerian Refugees to their homeland.
A group from the UNHCR in Geneva paid a courtesy call to Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development in Abuja, and she let them know about it.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bashir Alkali, stated that one of the ministry’s goals is to continue the process of bringing back refugees, which involves the creation of long-term homegrown models for rehabilitation, reintegration, and reconstruction.
“The Nigerian government is poised towards ensuring the voluntary return of Nigerian refugees in neighboring 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 neighboring countries and we are working hard in collaboration with UNHCR to provide adequate protection to the refugees and the asylum seekers”.
Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations and team leader, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian government for the visit to the IDP camps in Maiduguri.
During her time in Washington, Mazou said she hopes to meet with federal officials and exchange opinions on humanitarian issues.
He added that:
“This visit is first, to express our solidarity. This is a difficult situation. In Borno particularly, there are close to three million Internally Displaced Persons.
”From the humanitarian point of view, this is a very serious problem that the country is facing, which requires the support of the international communities.
“We also came to discuss with the state government of Borno on the return of some refugees. In the Niger Republic, there are 170,000 Nigerian Refugees and 16,000 in Chad.”
In addition, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, thanked the UNHCR on the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Convention and praised the friendly cooperation between the Commission and UNHCR in Nigeria.
“I am happy to report that Nigeria has one of the best working processes for refugees and asylum seekers by ensuring that cases are looked into holistically and timely to ensure that there are no backlogs in the system.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Armed Forces and the Multi-Joint Task Forces have been relentless in the fight against the insurgents – Boko Haram and ISWAP to ensure that areas of return are secured and now IDPs and returnees are being resettled in safety and dignity”.
The Delegation includes UNHCR Country Representative Chansa Kapaya, UNHCR Nigeria Deputy Representative (Protection) John McKissick, and Mr. Murdakai Titus of the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit (NCFRMI).