By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The National commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have reiterated their commitment towards providing succor to displaced persons.
They made the commitment when the UNHCR representative paid a courtesy call on the Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Alhaji Tijani Ahmed, on Monday in Abuja.
In his remarks, Ahmed appreciated the team of UNHCR representative for the visit and appealed for more financial support to enable the commission to execute its projects.
Ahmed said that the commission was working tirelessly to ensure that persons of concern remained top in national and international agenda.
“The commission is ready to maintain an objective planning to ensure that the enactment comes to an end and this has been achieved through well-coordinated interventions from the UNHCR.
He also drew the attention of UNHCR to the activities of the commission for onward improvement, saying that some of its members of staff were being owed for a project they executed.
“Also reconsider the amount of money allocated to the commission and see a way of reviewing it upwards for the betterment and progress of the projects.
“Looking at the cost of transportation, in particular as a result of the subsidy removal, what we were given in the last two years is still what we received,” he said.
The commissioner also assured UNHCR that there would be a thorough audit on the activities of the commission to ensure transparency and accountability.
Speaking on the status of refugees, he said that a committee would be constituted before the end of the month to look into the outstanding issues as related to refugees whose status were yet to be considered.
In her response, Ms Bernadette Muteshi, the Deputy Representative, UNHCR, said that considering their regular responsibility with the country the commission worked very closely with the Federal Commissioner of Refugees to advance its international protection mandate.
“And, also to ensure that Nigeria continues to uphold its commitment and obligations to the international community,” Muteshi said.
According to her, statistically the number of refugees in the country is over 100,000, IDPs – 2.2 million, returnees over 300,000 and estimated population of 50,000 stateless persons.
“So, together with the commissioner, we work on our protection mandate ranging from their reception and registration, protection intervention as well as providing durable solution for them.
“We also carry out all other activities beyond registration such as child protection, access to legal aid, gender based violence, community based interventions and Integrity mechanism to ensure that we don’t have any instances of fraud within our operations,” she said.
The UNHCR Representative further said that together with the government the commission was able to identify the most suitable solution for persons of concern after a period of time.
“Whether is their ability to return home in safety and dignity or to be taking to another country for resettlement or if there is any potential consideration for local integration should they have any strong social economic tied linked with the country,” she added.(NAN)