Nigeria hosts 73, 000 refugees, 1, 600 seek asylum

3000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Shiroro and Munya local government areas taking refuge in Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Primary School Minna

The Federal Commissioner National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Hajia Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, has said the Commission has taken necessary actions to ensure that refugees are protected and provided for in Nigeria.

In statement in commemoration of the 2021 World Refugees Day made available to Blueprint in Abuja on Sunday, Suleiman-Ibrahim said as of May this year, there were a total of 26.3 million refugees in the world, with 73,000 in Nigeria, including 71,400 refugees and 1,600 asylum-seekers.

She said: “To honour refugees around the globe, the United Nations designated June 20 of every year as a World Refugee Day. The day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

“In Nigeria, the World Refugee Day is commemorated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“There are a total of 26.3 million refugees in the world. Out of this figure, 73,000 are in Nigeria, out of which 71,400 are Refugees and 1,600 are Asylum-seekers (May 2021).  Nigeria play host to refugees and asylum seekers from Cameroon, Niger, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Cotre D’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Togo and China. 

“Aside from ensuring that all the rights guaranteed Refugees in the Protocols and Conventions are not denied, the Government of Nigeria, through the NCFRMI, at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum’s meeting, made far reaching pledges and commitments for the inclusion of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in national development plans.

“In fulfilment of the pledges, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in 2020, made a special provision for NCFRMI in the designing of Economic Sustainability Plan so as to ease implementation of key actions relating to refugees and IDPs.

“Also, in February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued directive to Banks and Financial Institutions to recognise refugee identity documents issued by NCFRMI and UNHCR and Convention Travel Document (CTD) by NCFRMI and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for opening of bank accounts to facilitate access to financial services in Nigeria.”

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