Nigerian government assures of rehabilitating, reintegrating 177 Nigerian returnees from Niger
By Unekwuojo O
July 30, 2020 - As more Nigerians voluntarily return home from different countries abroad, the Nigerian Government has assured of leaving no stone unturned in rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development gave the assurance as the Nigerian government received 177 returnees from Niger Republic.
Farouq , represented by Mr Basheer Mohammed Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displace Persons said the returnees would be reintegrated into society as soon as possible.
Receiving the returnees in a ceremony in Abuja, the Minister said they would also undergo COVID-19 safety measures: they would undergo a14-day quarantine before joining their families.
“I am very pleased that the directives given by President Muhammadu Buhari to assist all Nigerians, who wish to voluntarily return to the country as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, has been complied with.
“We have received 177 of our Nigerian migrants from Niger Republic. We welcome and empathise with you for the suffering, deprivations or inconveniences you might have encountered.
“This group of 177 we are receiving today comprises 122 adults and 55 infants and children. Out of the 122 adults, 74 are males while 48 are females.
“The federal government has assembled an inter-ministerial team to ensure that arrangements are in place to receive, accommodate, feed, generally take care of you and respect your dignity and rights as valued Nigerian citizens.
“In line with the revised Quarantine Protocol from the PTF on COVID-19, please note that arrangements are in place to test you within 72 hours of your arrival.
“We also have a commitment from our partner in this task, the International Organisation of Migration, to provide additional care for you in line with Standard Operating Procedure and international protocol of reintegration of Returnees,” Farouq said.
Farouq also said that the inter-ministerial and multi-agency team would do everything possible to make their short transitional stay in Abuja hitch-free.
Speaking on her ordeal, one of the returnees, Miss Favour George, said she had set out to travel to Europe, but was arrested in Niger Republic
George said she had lost all her valuables, including monies, in the course of the journey as the road was rough with robbers constantly attacking travelers.
“I really appreciate the federal government for giving me the opportunity to start a new life.
“I am expecting to get assistance from the government to start a petty trade of my own,” George said.