The Federal Government, in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration and The Netherlands, have inaugurated a programme to assist victims of illegal migration and trafficking in Nigeria.
The project, sponsored by the government of The Netherlands and tagged “Cooperation on Migration and Partnership to Achieve Sustainable Solutions”, is a global initiative designed to protect migrants and victims of trafficking.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the initiative also aims to tackle human trafficking, human smuggling and support dignified return as well as promote sustainable reintegration.
At the inaugural ceremony on Tuesday, the Programme Manager of International Organisation for Migration Saskia Kok explained that the scheme would take advantage of a social approach to assist individuals.
She said the project would be implemented simultaneously in 12 countries and would work across all levels, including households and the wider community.
Countries to benefit from the programme include Nigeria, Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.
According to her, the new programme is focused on returning irregular migrants and also reintegrating them into society.
She said more than 21,000 migrants had been returned in the past four years.
She also said that most of the returnees had been exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq represented by Ali Grema, Director, Humanitarian Affairs Department of the ministry, commended the government of the Netherlands for sponsoring the project.
She gave assurance of Nigeria’s commitment to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda, Agenda 2063 and key principles outlined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.