Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, the Hon. Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) says International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Lagos State Government have provided a transit centre to support returnees, victims of human trafficking and others.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim disclosed this at a joint press conference to announce the preparation for the 2021 International Day for Migration.

The News Agency of Nigeria [ NAN] reports that the International Migrants’ Day is annually celebrated on December, 18, to commemorate the return of migrants.

“Migrants are a remarkable engine for growth. They account for more than 250 million around the world, which make up three per cent of global population and contribute 10 per cent of global gross domestic product.

“To facilitate the safe and dignified return of refugees, the Commission, Lagos State Government, and IOM have provided Emergency Returnees’ Relief center in Igando, Lagos.

“The transit center will be used for receiving arriving beneficiaries, temporarily accommodate vulnerable cases in need of shelter, family tracing for unaccompanied minors, cases requiring mental health, psychosocial support and victims of human trafficking,” Sulaiman-Ibrahim said.

The NCFRMI boss stressed that migrants were a remarkable engine for growth, adding that they accounted for more than 250 million around the world, which constituted 3 per cent of global population and contributed 10 per cent of global gross domestic product.

She noted that the first global celebration of the International Migrants’ Day was in 2014 and ever since, Nigeria had commemorated the Day with a National Dialogue on Migration.

The theme of this year’s dialogue is, “Human mobility in the context of sustainable national development.”

“The key objectives of the 2021 National Migration Dialogue are: to facilitate constructive dialogue on migration, to plan for the migration year 2022 and to map out sustainability plans for migration activities in Nigeria and promote resilient migration governance in Nigeria.

“This year’s celebration of the International Migrants’ Day and the National Migration Dialogue, is a departure from how we were celebrating the Day, since 2014.

“This time, the NCFRMI is carrying it out in active partnership with the Civil Society Organizations Network for Migration Development (CSOnetMADE) with the support of the IOM and other International Partners.

“This year, international migration partners, government dignitaries, selected members of the Organized Private Sector, State Actors and at least 90 CSOs will be physically participating in the programme.

“We expect about 500 people to connect to the programme online from Nigeria and beyond,” she stressed.

The statement also quoted Mrs Elizabeth Poage, the National Project Officer, Labour Migration and Diaspora for IOM as saying, “IOM has been supporting the efforts of Government of Nigeria to support migration through capacity building and counter-trafficking since 2001.’’

She stated that in spite of the economic down turn by the current pandemic, Nigeria had  received 17.2 billion dollars in remittances in 2020 which was among the largest in Africa.

“With the COVID-19,, we all realised the pivotal role of migrants in weathering the pandemic. Migrants have been on the front lines, taking care of the sick, providing essentials to the needy among others.

” On the National Migration Dialogue and the International Migrant’s Day, we reiterate the fundamental rights to freedom of movement as enshrined in ‘’A’’ Article ‘’13’’ of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as contribution of migrants to both, countries or origin and destination.

“The IOM interventions focus in particular and support services for migrants and their families by fostering synergies between migrant and development, while promoting legal avenues for regular migration as an alternative to irregular migration”, Poage stated. (NAN)

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