The federal government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is set to begin the repatriation of 322,000 Nigerian refugees in the Republics of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this while receiving the draft report from the Technical Working Group on the repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon in Abuja, yesterday.
The TWG presented the draft tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Niger Republic and Chad to the minister in Abuja.
Farouq, in a statement issued in Abuja by her media aide, Nneka Anibeze, said the draft, after its ratification, would kick-start preparations for the repatriation of refugees from the Republic of Niger and Chad.
Receiving the draft in Abuja, Farouq noted that a total of 322,000 Nigerian refugees were currently living in neighbouring countries.
“Out of the figures, Niger currently hosts 186,957 refugees, the Republic of Cameroon 118,409 refugees, while 16,634 refugees are in the Republic of Chad.”
“With the large number of refugees in Niger, Chad and Cameroon, the Federal Government has officially initiated talks with the governments of Chad and Niger to sign tripartite agreements similar to the one we have with the Republic of Cameroon
The HFC also urged members of the TWG to contribute meaningfully to discussions on updates to carry out their assignment.
The TWG is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the safe return of Nigerian Refugees and comprises of representatives of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, North East Development Commission, (UNHCR) Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of Security Services, National Security Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Police Force, Ministry of Health and the BAY states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe).