Japa: Enugu Govt To Resettle Returnees Irregular Migrants

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
6 Min Read

The Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has expressed the government’s willingness to collaborate with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in order to ensure the safe return, resettlement, and reintegration of irregular and stranded migrants from the state.

Mbah also stated that the government would assist the IOM in establishing a regional office in Enugu, allowing returnees to be directly brought back home and rehabilitated instead of being taken to other states.

Additionally, he mentioned that the government’s progressive social programs would be beneficial in providing these returnees with the necessary skills to sustain a decent livelihood.

On the same day, the IOM announced that it had assisted 350 stranded and undocumented immigrants from Enugu State, many of whom were from Libya and Niger Republic, in safely returning home.

Mbah expressed his gratitude to the IOM for their efforts in addressing the difficulties faced by irregular migrants, including those who have been trafficked or exploited.

He made these remarks during a meeting with a delegation from the IOM in Nigeria, led by Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck, at the Government House in Enugu.

“As a government, we are quite ready to collaborate with you in the areas of integration of these victims and also those who may just be stranded abroad and interested in coming back home, to be reintegrated into their home state.

“We have a lot of programmes that we have also designed as a state to cater for the welfare and wellbeing of our people.

“We have several radical programmes in the social services sector. Whether it is in education and healthcare, the government is involved in indepth programmes that will impact the lives of our people, including such returnees.

“Meanwhile, it should not be a case that if our people are to be brought back from outside the country, they would be kept in Lagos or elsewhere.

“I think they should be brought back to Enugu and we should be able to have at least a transit camp where they can stay and undergo counselling and get reintegrated.

“Therefore, we are also more than happy to work with you to have a zonal office in Enugu, as I was made to understand you are interested in securing one,” Mbah said.

The administration also conveyed their willingness to collaborate with IOM in order to utilize the benefits of migration. They aim to utilize the state’s diaspora resources and human capital for the betterment of both the individuals and the state.

“You know that we have a lot of programmes, which we believe will attract the diasporans. One is our Diaspora Bond, which we hope to launch sometime in April this year.

“We believe that there are quite a lot of values that the disaporans can bring to our economy beyond remittances for consumption.

“So, if we are able to design an investment that can guarantee or secure their investment and also show some returns, we know that it will be attractive to them.

“This is why we are investing in the Enugu State Diaspora Investment Summit to raise awareness and tap into the consciousness of our people”, he added.

Speaking previously, De Boeck, the IOM Chief of Mission, stated that the IOM’s primary goal in the state was to ensure the “return and reintegration of young, able people who left the country.”

“For years, we have worked with some of our offices abroad and in other countries where we have identified Enugu people, who were stranded or were victims of smugglers and traffickers.

“And in this regard, we have organised their return and reintegration.

“We have returned 350 people so far to Enugu. Our offices in Libya and Niger Republic are where we have identified most of them.

“We have more of them in the plane coming back to Lagos, and we will look at the manifest to know if there is still any person from Enugu State among them, and we will activate their return,” he stated.

De Boeck praised the Mbah administration for their efforts to engage successful Nigerians living abroad. He assured them that his organization is ready to assist in this regard, as they have a vast network and connections with Nigerian professionals, businessmen and women, students, and others around the world.

As a way to discourage illegal migration, the IOM Chief mentioned that they are working on creating opportunities for Nigerians to migrate abroad under safe conditions, with access to decent jobs and respect in their host countries.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.