The Senate has expressed its total commitment to collaborate with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).
This is to ensure effective coordination of intervention efforts geared towards protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of migrants and IDPs in the country.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, made the remarks when the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants & Internally Displaced Persons, Ms. Sadiya Umar Farouq, led other management staff of the agency on a visit to him in Abuja.
Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, further stated that the “Senate will look to see how we can help strengthen the Refugee Commission’s capacity to coordinate and monitor the activities of the various MDA’s involved in providing humanitarian relief and administering livelihood programmes.”
“It is very important for the National Assembly and the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responding to the humanitarian and migration crises to meet to exchange information about funding needs, service gaps and policy issues” said Saraki.
“In this context, my office stands open to develop frameworks to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity to mitigate future crises and build capacity for more coordinated responses,” he added.
The Senate President stated that the issue of illegal migration needed to be tackled urgently so as to prevent those still outside the shores of the country from engaging in illegal activities that would dent the image of the country and other Nigerians who reside in such countries legally.
He said while it was important to ensure the safe return of all those who illegally migrated abroad, there was a critical need to make adequate preparation on how to integrate them through gainful employment.
Saraki said: “I think for many reasons, we should come out with ways on how we can put a framework that will enable lots of our people to come back, but in doing that, you must ask yourself what do you want them to do when they come back. How do we integrate them back to the society?
“So, I think these two areas present enormous responsibility for the Commission. They are important and we must support you to adequately approach the challenges that are before you. This Senate is here to support you. We are ready to give you all the support required for you to be able to deliver. I want you to see this Senate as your partner,” he said.
Earlier, Ms Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the visit was organised to thank the Senate President for his ongoing advocacy and leadership efforts to bring stability, rehabilitation and extensive Federal Government service throughout the North-East region.
She further stated that the Commission realised that the role of the National Assembly was key in supporting the agency to address the humanitarian crisis bedeviling the country.
She called for the support and collaboration of the Senate in empowering IDPs, Refugees, Migrants and asylum seekers through appropriate policies, legislations and budgetary allocations.
“The increasing incidence of forced displacement resulting from ethnic, religious, economic and boundary conflicts, various government decisions (local and international), natural and man-made disasters, and its attendant massive destruction to lives and property has compelled the commission to embark on a search for durable solutions for Persons of Concern and this requires enormous resources,” she stated.