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GCM has no value if it doesn’t change migrants’ life- NCFRMI boss Sen Basheer Mohammed

The Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed, says the Global Compact on Migration has no value if it does not change the life of migrants.

The NCFRMI boss made the remark during the 2019 National Migration Dialogue with the theme: ‘Localizing The Global Compact For Safe, Orderly And Regular Migration (GCM): Towards Setting Up National Action Plan for the Implementation of the GCM’ held at State House Banquet Hall , Abuja on December 17, 2019.

Delivering his speech during the occasion, Senator Mohammed said: “It is my great privilege and honor to welcome you all to the 2019 National Migration Dialogue to mark the Celebration of the UN Declared and annually celebrated, International Migrants Day.

Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed

This year, we chose the theme, “Localising the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to Develop a National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Global Compact on Migration,” as we seek local opinions on how best to manage the Nigerian migration dynamics for the benefit of all, within the framework of the recently adopted GCM.

“I am particularly happy to welcome to this event the Special Guest of Honor, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq who has been extremely supportive.”

Explaining the country’ s contribution to the adoption of the GCM, he said: “We must recall that Nigeria was a key actor in the various processes that led to the adoption of the GCM. In October 2017 we convened a national consultation that led to the development of Nigeria’s position and contribution to the Global Compact.

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“Amongst other consultative meetings and strategy sessions, we followed the African regional consultations in Addis Ababa; the thematic consultations in Geneva, Vienna, New York; the stocktaking in Mexico; the intergovernmental negotiations in New York; and finally the adoption in Marrakesh, Morocco led by our dear President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. For Nigeria, being committed to the issues of Migration is an understatement. We are more committed than ever and this is exemplified by our collective presence here today.”

Through Nigeria’s involvement in the UN Global Compact, he added: “We have shown the highest level of political Will. Interestingly, just last week the President announced that all persons traveling to Nigeria from other African countries will have the ability to apply for visas on arrival and be admitted into the country, unlike ever before. This is because SAFE, ORDERLY AND REGULAR MIGRATION through the GCM is our goal.

“After my appointment in September by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari as the Honorable Federal Commissioner, it has become clear to us how vital the role Nigeria plays within the ecosystem of migration: That is, within Africa, internationally and economically as the “GIANT OF AFRICA.”

Recognizing the giant that Nigeria is, Senator Mohammed said the Commission has strived to collaborate with various sectors to strengthen economic stability and plan interventions that advocate for a renewed hope in Nigeria, adding: “We have realized that our problem is not with migration to foreign countries but with ourselves not taking the lead to sell the richness of every region of our country as a first priority. We are rich in oil, in agriculture, and most importantly, we are blessed with an extremely skilled workforce of young professionals.

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“Each year we lose our young professionals through both irregular and regular migration to other countries where life has been sold as more prosperous than home. Ironically, several migrants upon exiting Nigeria had never stepped into their states of international departure before traveling to their destinations abroad.

“So, we should ask ourselves, how do we expect to curb poverty and improve living standards without first exposing vulnerable populations to our local opportunities?

The Commission he hinted will spend most of 2020 developing messaging that addresses and directs citizens to the various opportunities they can take advantage of in Nigeria.

“We hope to work with others to promote more Migration to the continent for the growth of our local economy. We will continue to advocate for joint bilateral agreements with all of foreign governments for the promotion of more regular migration. This improved awareness will hopefully reduce the risks being taken by Nigerian men, women and children currently crossing the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea.

“The Commission is also collaborating with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to reduce irregular migration and human trafficking. We hope to also address the protracted displacement of Bakkasi Returnees and Migrants from the North East who have migrated to the region.

“As the coordinating agency for migration governance in Nigeria, it is our hope that this dialogue will create the discourse that promotes a new Nigeria by looking inward. We also hope our inter-government, and bilateral partnerships can promote more regular migration as very clearly stated in the Global Compact on Migration.”

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He added: “The GCM has no value if it does not change the life of migrants! That is why what we are doing today is very important. Today, in the break- out sessions I urge all partners to focus on Nigerian priorities using global realities and make recommendations that feed into the action plan for national and improved management of its implementation. I also hope that we can depart from the usual approach of conferences and look towards a coordinated and result-oriented engagement.

“I will personally like to recognize the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Free Movement Mobility project of ECOWAS. Let me equally, appreciate the support and long standing friendship of the government of Switzerland. Mr. Ambassador, thank you very very kindly.”

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Over 140 migrants perish in deadliest shipwreck of the year

A group of suspected migrants are brought to shore by Border Force officers at the Port of Dover in Kent after a number of small boat incidents in the Channel in September. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

At least 140 people have drowned after a vessel carrying around 200 migrants sank off the Senegalese coast, the deadliest shipwreck recorded in 2020.

According to media sources, the Senegalese and Spanish navies, and fishermen who were nearby, rescued 59 people and retrieved the remains of 20 others.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is deeply saddened by this recent tragedy, which follows four shipwrecks recorded in the Central Mediterranean last week and another in the English Channel.

“We call for unity between governments, partners and the international community to dismantle trafficking and smuggling networks that take advantage of desperate youth,” said Bakary Doumbia, IOM Senegal Chief of Mission.

“It is also important that we advocate for enhanced legal channels to undermine the traffickers’ business model and prevent loss of life.”

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Local community members told IOM the vessel left Mbour, a coastal town in western Senegal on Saturday (24/10) bound for the Canary Islands. The boat caught fire a few hours after departure and capsized near Saint-Louis, on Senegal’s northwest coast.

The Government of Senegal and IOM have arranged a mission to travel to Saint-Louis to assess the needs of survivors and provide immediate psychosocial assistance.

The number of departures from West Africa to the Canary Islands has significantly increased in recent weeks.

IOM Senegal has been monitoring departures from the coast with the assistance of members of the community since the beginning of September. In September alone, 14 boats carrying 663 migrants left Senegal for the Canary Islands. Of these departures, 26 per cent were reported to have experienced an incident or shipwreck.

IOM estimates there have been roughly 11,000 arrivals to the Canary Islands this year compared to 2,557 arrivals during the same period last year. This is still far below peaks seen in 2006 when over 32,000 people arrived.

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With this tragic shipwreck, at least 414 people are known to have died along this route in 2020 according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, which recorded 210 fatalities there in all of 2019.

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Displaced Yemen children at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity  

Migrants near Budapest

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition analysis released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners is extremely concerning. With limited access to food, humanitarian services and health care, displaced children in Yemen are at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity.

Around 26 per cent of the more than 156,000 people newly displaced this year, in the areas where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has access, cited food as their main need. This is the second most cited need after shelter and housing, which 65 per cent of people reported as their main need. In areas where there are higher levels of displacement, like Al Hudaydah, Taizz, Al Dhale’e and Marib, higher levels of food needs have also been reported.

“Displaced Yemenis leave their homes with nothing and often find themselves seeking safety in locations where there are no job opportunities and barely enough services, including health care,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Chief of Mission for Yemen.

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“This can leave vulnerable people without enough food to feed their families. Given that UN partners are reporting that acute malnutrition rates among children under five are the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen, we are extremely worried about children in displaced families.”

The situation in Marib is particularly concerning given that an escalation in hostilities has displaced over 90,000 people to the city and caused a drastic shortage of services. Displaced people in Marib report food to be one of their most urgent needs. Of the displacement sites assessed by IOM in October, some reported that food shortages were a major concern for approximately 50 per cent of their residents.

In response to food insecurity, the emergency aid kits distributed under the Rapid Response Mechanism by IOM to newly displaced families include emergency food rations. IOM also carries out livelihood support activities for displaced communities to help them generate income. Most recently the Organization supported displaced women in making face masks which help their community combat the spread of COVID-19.

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IOM also operates a health centre in Al Jufainah Camp, Yemen’s largest displacement site, and multiple mobile health clinics. In addition to providing primary health care services to over 55 per cent of displaced people in Marib, IOM’s mobile health clinics provide community level access to malnutrition screening for children under the age of five and referral for treatment, in coordination with UNICEF. Given the high demand for such nutritional support, early intervention is vital to reducing avoidable morbidity and mortality among displaced children.

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Nigerians in Spain say no to genocide

Nigerians resident in Spain have kicked against bad governance and brutalitalisation of innocent citizens by security operatives in Nigeria.

They are in solidarity with the #Endsars protesters.

The #Endsars protest  started by young Nigerians to say no to brutality, impunity and gruesome killings in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the government in the country saw security operatives using live bullets on the protesters last week, October 21, 2020.

In a statement signed by Afolabi Oloko, the Nigerians in Spain said: “In every part  of the world, including Nigeria, we believe protesting is a fundamental right of all citizenry that we can exercise whenever we deem it fit as long as it is civil and devoid of violence but such is not the case in Nigeria where the young future of the country are murdered by their very own government just because they made demands that there must be a reform to the notorious Police department and that the country be reformed in general. Have they asked for too much from a responsible and responsive government?

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“It is so disheartening that after Ten days that the youth refused to back down they resorted to killing, maiming of their own future generations just because they asked and begged for good governance and good policing. It’s a shame that young people are being killed all around the cities of Nigeria from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Abuja, Ondo , Benin, Porthacort just to mention a few. It was horrendous seeing over seventy people being murdered at night while still protesting unarmed peacefully in Lekki area of Lagos state. They organised by switching off the street light while they carried out their evil deed against defenceless young people of the country and also took away the CCTV. The commander-in-chief of the Armed forces in person of President Muhamodu Buhari must be tried at the International court for genocide against it’s own people.

“We the compatriots far away in Spain are with our young brothers and sister on the streets saying no to bad governance as you’re in our hearts and prayers. We support you in the just cause you’re are fighting. Fighting for one’s future should not be seen as an affront to the authorities, rather they should look inward and realise that the system is rotten and should be cleansed but not killing innocent young men on the streets with Army being deployed to take lives of vibrant and resourceful, frustrated and change hungry citizens.
“Today, we came out in multitude in solidarity with our compatriots back home to say #ENDSARS! #ENDBADGOVERNANCE #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #ENDCORUPTION #ENDTHEGENOCIDE”

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