By Ese Awhotu
The Federal government of Nigeria and the government of Switzerland acknowledging that migration is not an issue that can be handled successfully by any single nation have indicated interest to strengthen the existing relationship between the two countries in order to ensure thatmigration is done in safe and decent manner. This was contained in a statement by Abdul . A. Onu Head; Press & PR NCFRMI yesterday, disclosing that “Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar- Farouq hosted an 8-man delegation of the Federal Commission for Migration (FCM), Switzerland in her office and had extensive discussions on how best the partnership should be tailored.”
According to the statement, she told the team that Nigeria’s Migratory Landscape is complex, gaining more interest and concern locally and internationally in recent times. According to her, the existing Swiss- Nigeria partnership aimed at intensifying the cooperation between the two countries to ensure humane and dignified return of irregular migrants from Switzerland to Nigeria with benefit attached to facilitate their reintegration into society.
Speaking further, the Honourable Federal Commissioner described Swiss partnership as a testimony of success due to the commitment in applying the various provisions of the agreement by both parties, saying that a number of laudable projects have been provided to assist the reintegration of migrants as well as in the overall better management of migration in Nigeria.
Specifically, she noted that the agreement led to initiation of partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the subsequent institution of the National Migration Dialogue which she said facilitated the processes of producing the national migration policy approved by the federal executive council in 2015. Furthermore, she stressed that the national migration policy provides the framework for the coordination of all migration related activities in Nigeria, even as the project assisted the commission in taking migration governance to the states and local governments where the actual decision to migrate take place.
Briefing the delegation on the future priorities of the commission, Sadiya said they include: review of the National Policy on Migration, reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons and Nigerian Returning Migrants, sensitization of general public on dangers of irregular migration as well as data collection and management.
Earlier the President of the Federal Commission on Migrants Switzerland, Walter Leimgruber said that their visit was fact finding mission to access the performance of the existing partnership and to explore new areas that may strengthen the relationship.Mr Walter among other things reiterated the interest of the commission to continue in assisting returning migrants.
In another development, the Honourable Federal Commissioner, Sadiya Umar Farouq, at the weekend distributed starter- packs and cash awards to 79 Internally Displaced Persons who have completed training in various trades under the sponsorship of the commission.
She said over 1,000 IDPs have been trained under the programme nation – wide across the six geo- political zones and have been given the starter- packs.