The Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) yesterday disclosed to the Senate that it is taking all measures to repatriate the over 60,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.
Vice chairman of PCNI, Tijjani Musa Tumsah, said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Special Duties to defend the PCNI’s 2018 budget.
Tumsah told the committee that they are working following the tripartite agreement signed by the United Nations, Nigeria and Cameroon to engender a seamless repatriation of the refugees.
Apart from paucity of fund, he said that other challenges in the repatriation of the refugees are the processes involved in receiving them.
Tumsah noted that there were over 60,000 Nigerian refugees PCNI has to deal with in Cameroon alone.
He added that apart from those in Cameroon there are others in Niger Republic who also needed to be returned to the country.
Most of the refugees, he said, are willing to return home “but on our own, we are working to ensure that they are comfortable when they are repatriated back to our country; the repatriation is on-going.”
According to him, “PCNI is working to ensure the provision of necessary items and materials that will make the returnees comfortable when they come home.”
Tumsah who said that PCNI is not leaving any stone unturned in its effort to comply with the tripartite agreement added that the Ministry of Interior and the Refugee Commission are also involved.
The programme of repatriation, he said, come under “Mobilisation and support for returning North-East refugees in six North East States.”
Chairman of the committee, Senator Abdul Aziz Murtala Nyako asked the management of PCNI to ensure the availability of funds before any contract could be awarded.
Senator Nyako told the PCNI that its budget presentation which he lauded for “its simplicity” would be worked on and passed over to the Senate Committee on Appropriation for necessary legislative work.