300,000 Nigerians taking refuge in Niger Republic – FG | Dailytrust

300,000 Nigerians taking refuge in Niger Republic – FG

The Federal Commissioner for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has said there are about 300,000 Nigerians...

National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim
National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim

The Federal Commissioner for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has said there are about 300,000 Nigerians taking refuge in the Republic of Niger.

She said another 20,000 and 180,000 were taking refuge in Chad and Cameroon, respectively, but the number might have gone down as repatriation had begun.

She also said the activities of non-governmental organisations are regulated to avoid the misuse of their functions in conflict areas.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim, during a visit to the corporate head office of Media Trust Ltd (publishers of Daily Trust and other titles, and owners of Trust tv) yesterday in Abuja, said with the Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs given the power to approve activities of NGOs, they could be streamlined to conform to policies of the government.

She added that the menace of NGOs had led to some state governments not approving their activities in their states.

“We must be able to build on a strong institution because if we do not set our parameters right, anybody can come in to do what they like. As a country, we have to be very serious about our businesses.

“Borno is a state of NGOs and no wonder the governor of Zamfara refused to have camps because when you have it, NGOs come in.

“Going forward as a ministry, we have put in all the right checks,” she also said.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim said the commission, bestowed with the mandate to cater for the welfare of returnees, IDPs and refugees, was working with the UN for migration management and centralisation of data to know the number of Nigerians that had been displaced by conflict within and outside the country.

On the number of Nigerians that are refugees in neighbouring countries, she said: “We don’t know the accurate number but the last count of UNHCR shows that those in Chad are in the area of 20,000; Cameroon, we have 180,000 but repatriation has begun. So those numbers may have gone down.

“For Niger, it is a bit alarming because there are up to 300,000 that have fled from Nigeria for safety. We have a lot of them who have opted for voluntary return.

“But if we look at the areas of irregular migration, it is very difficult because all those things are done in a very quiet manner because it is a cartel, so we won’t know.

“What we are trying to do now is that as they return, we empower them with skills.”

Speaking, the Ag. CEO of Media Trust, Malam Nura Daura, commended the federal government for placing importance to the plight of refugees and IDPs by creating a ministry to supervise activities of humanitarian agencies.

He assured the federal commissioner that the company would partner with the commission on all its media platforms to amplify its activities.

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