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Nigeria emerges next chair of Euro-African Dialogue on Migration

Nigeria has been elected to chair the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development, also known as the Rabat Process, for the period 2025 to 2026 in Rabat, Morocco.




Alhaji Aliyu Tijani Ahmed, Federal Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), disclosed this on Thursday.




Ahmed told journalists in Abuja that Nigeria was unanimously elected to chair the body because of her robust engagement internationally in the migration space.


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“I am happy to inform you that because of our engagement internationally in the migration space, Nigeria is going to be the next chair of the Rabat Process from 2025 to 2026.




“In our last meeting in Rabat, Nigeria was unanimously elected to chair the Rabat Process. You know, in the process, what is being discussed is mainly migration and development,” he stated.




The Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) is an intergovernmental migration dialogue bringing together Central African, West African, North African, and European countries and organisations.




The NCFRMI chief executive disclosed that his agency is under matching orders from President Ahmed Bola Tinubu for the agency to meet the demands of internally displaced persons forced into taking refuge in camps across the country.




He said his agency will, in a matter of days, roll out its action plan geared towards bringing succor to IDPs, especially amidst prevailing hunger and economic challenges in the country.


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Ahmed, however, lamented that factors such as climate change, banditry, Boko Haram insurgency, and desertification, amongst others, have swelled the number of IDPs in the country from3m in 2022 to 6.1m presently.




“As I am talking to you now, in the next few days, you will see us going out to all our camps across the country. With hunger everywhere now and with the matching order by Mr President to ensure that we meet the demands of our people, the commission is also going out to ensure that food items, succour is being provided to our people in the IDP camps,” he stated.




He added that the NCFRMI is also seeking lasting solutions towards making sure that IDPs leave the camps and return to their homes.




“Before the 2022 floods, we had not less than three million people who were displaced. But as a result of the floods of that year, today we have not less that 6.1m people displaced. Government is making very serious efforts to tackle this challenge. One of the efforts being taken by government is to see the exit of these people that are living in camps,” he said.




Ahmed disclosed further that, after providing resettlement cities to host these IDPs, his agency is making final arrangements to build elaborate skills acquisition centres with the pilot scheme to be kickstarted in North East, North West and North Central, where IDPs will acquire skills and learn trades to enable them lead independent lives outside the camps.




Speaking further, Ahmed lamented that NCFRMI, established over 15 years ago, with a mandate to manage the affairs of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons in Nigeria, lacks a permanent office accommodation.




He explained that, among the legacy he expects to leave behind is to ensure that the NCFRMI has a befitting office accommodation.




“This is a commission that is concerned about humanities, not only in Nigeria, not only within the country but internationally. Because the NCFRMI is internationally recognized. Since it is dealing with issues about refugees and migrants, which are some of the major challenges facing the whole world.




“I think one of the legacy that I want to bequeath after leaving this place is to have a permanent accommodation for the commission,” he added.



Commenting on the japa syndrome, he said the commission will soon launch an aggressive campaign to educate the people on the right steps to take when leaving or coming into Nigeria.




“We will embark on the campaign in order to avoid situations where Nigerians leave the country illegally, follow the back channels, and eventually meet their death at the Mediterranean sea,” he said.