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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.”
IOM launches open South America portal
Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Open South America, available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.
The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.
The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.
Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.
“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.
“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.
29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM
The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.
About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.
Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.
He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.
Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.
“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”
Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.
“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.
Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.
The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.
FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK
The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.
Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.
Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.
Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.
“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.
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