By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Federal Government is committed to the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) in Nigeria.
The Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Ms Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, made this known in Abuja during an event to commemorate the World Refugee Day.
It has as theme: “the Right to Seek Safety.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Refugee Day is an international day celebrated every June 20 and it is designated by the United Nations (UN) to honour refugees around the globe.
The day is also set aside to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that Nigerian government would continue to support persons of concern in the country.
She added that the commission had undertaken the registration of refugees into the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to her, the importance of this message is that every person has the right to seek safety, whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.
“To live in dignity, safety and peace does not discriminate against race, skin colour, tribe, social status, placement or class. It is a fundamental human right.
“We will continue to give them assistance, support and protection.
“We have also embarked on a massive training of our registration protection staff to do more for refugees and persons of concern”.
She said that this year’s theme captured and pointed to the fact that people seeking asylum due to persecution, conflict or human rights abuse were simply exercising their basic human rights to life and dignity.
“To such vulnerable people, international borders should be open without discrimination to facilitate their flight to safety-zones of choice”.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim who also spoke on the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) pledges, said that the commission in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders had commenced bilateral meetings with relevant implementing bodies.
This, she said was to enhance buy-in and implementation process.
“We have carried out GCR sensitisation programmes in Cross River and Taraba states with a view to ensuring that states begin to effectively key into the implementation process,” she said.
She therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, for providing one of the best environments for refugees to operate in.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UNHCR says Nigeria is home to over 77,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.
The UN said some 67,000 women, men and children – fled violence in Cameroon.
NAN reports that the UN commended the federal government for providing land for refugee settlements.