By Doh Bertrand Nua
Authorities of the Nigeria’s Cross River have decried challenges they face handling over over 50,000 migrants from Cameroon’s restive North West and South West regions, residing in various parts of the communities across the State.
Prince Mike Abua, Nigeria’s Cross River Director General, DG of Migration and Control Agency, said it is high time the Nigerian Federal Government and the International Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons conducted a comprehensive survey in the state so as to ascertain the number of migrants, refugees and persons who had been internally displaced in the state.
He was speaking during a workshop on Children of Rural Africa- Nigeria, COR Africa which held at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, Nigeria.
Harping on the topic, Agro-business and Education Opportunities for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced, Abua said it would be easy for a database to be built to enable the government to have a full grasp of actual migrants and refugees figure in Cross River.
According to him, there are 150 000 IDPs as a result of civil unrest occasioned by inter-tribal/communal clashes for a mere parcel of land in Nigeria and about fifty thousand displaced from Cameroon due to conflict.
He said the migrants are still currently being held up in bad condition in Obanlikwu local government in Nigeria. The official added that the database would also help the government to plan ahead of time in terms of infrastructure and facilities that can provide succour to the refugees and the internally displaced.
“We have an influx of thousands of refugees because of the…War in Cameroon, it’s overwhelming. This is not something that the state governments alone can handle” he said.
“We also call on the UNHCR to stand by us by improving upon the good works that they have been doing, and the IOM and other international organizations to provide some funding and intervention”, he urged.
“We call for an increase in terms of international funding to provide succour for these persons” he added.
Earlier, the National Programme Director, COR Africa- Nigeria, DrJimoh Odunayo, said the organisation, which had previously provided skill acquisition programmes /livelihood support for the refugees, embarked on the training of a thousand refugees to close the gap existing between the training that the refugees had received from implementing partners.
According to Jimoh, the essence of the training workshop is to look at the opportunities that are available for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons in the area of agribusiness and educational opportunities.
“We also realised that due to the effect of COVID-19, which broke out in 2020, the gains recorded have been eroded so far on this. So we want to ensure that the refugees and internally displaced recover from losses incurred during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic” he said.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Africanian News.