The federal government says it will commence the voluntary repatriation of over 91,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in July.
Sadiya Farouk, federal commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), disclosed this on Wednesday at the occasion to commemorate the 2018 World Refugees Day in Abuja.
She said Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR had signed a tripartite agreement which inaugurated the Tripartite Commission with an advanced technical working group to ensure the modality for their return.
“Tripartite Agreement was aimed at the voluntary repatriation of over 91,000 Nigerians refugees from Cameroon,” she said.
“Let me state here that the TWG has concluded concrete operational modalities and support measures, including setting the timetable and procedures to ensure the safe, dignified, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.
“All things being equal, the voluntary repatriation should commence in July 2018,” she said.
She said that Nigeria hosted 1960 urban refugees, 809 asylum seekers from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Jose Antonio-Canhandula, country representative, UNHCR, said Nigeria has more internally displaced persons (IDPs) than refugees in the country.
He urged all humanitarian partners to find durable solutions to put an end to human want, stating that human beings should not be eternally dependent on humanitarian assistance.
“In Nigeria, where we have IDPs than refugees, in both situations, humanitarian assistance is like running on the same spot, we need to keep in mind, even if we are running on the same spot,” he said.
“The best is that human beings should not be eternally dependent on humanitarian assistance, we need to integrate durable solutions to our collective strategy; we need to put an end to human want.”
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, who was represented by Glory Ahmed, deputy director parastatals, said the year has been characterised by an influx of Cameroonian refugees.
He said that over 22,000 refugees were registered so far by UNHCR with 1.7million Nigerians internally displaced by the insurgency.
Mustapha said that government was committed to responsive and accountable delivery of service by ensuring effective security of lives of the refugees, asylum seekers and IDPs.