By Edoamaowo Udeme
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has revealed that from April 2017 to October 2018, over 10,000 Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya and Niger have been assisted to return home .
This was revealed in Lagos during a three-day training of Government Officials on effective management and running of Migrant Resource Centers (MRC) in the country.
In his welcome address, The Representative of the Chief of Mission, the International Organization for Migration IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Mr Abraham Tamrat noted that the training is the “European Union (EU) Trust Fund and IOM for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria”.
Tamrat stressed that the initiative seeks to “strengthen the governance of migration in the EU partner countries and the sustainable return and reintegration of returning Nigerian migrants”.
.”It also complement the many achievements of the national 10th European Development Fund (10th EDF) project of Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria” Tamrat added.
“You will agree with me that this project is apt at a time when the numbers of deaths, and those suffering exploitation and abuse along the Central Mediterranean migration route are at an alarming rate”. Said Tamrat
“Current statistics shows that the number of migrants from West Africa in migration flows through the Central Mediterranean route have increased despite the difficult conditions of making the journey irregularly”
“It is worthy to note that thousands of Nigerian migrants are stranded in Libya, living in terrible conditions, with many desirous of the opportunity to return home” he added
Responding, The Representative of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Emmanuel Udoh thanked the IOM EU for the capacity building especially as it very relevant to it’s newly recruited staff on how to run the MRC.
“This provides a platform for participants to have a better understanding of their roles as MRC staff and how to deliver quality, effective and efficient services to migrants, would-be and returning migrants”
“Establishing the MRCs in Nigeria is a laudable achievement and I would like to emphasize for continuous training and retraining on MRC’s staff as it would provide competent human resources capable of providing services to migrants” Udoh said
One of the MRC participants Ayodele Oyebola said “The training has helped me to gain more knowledge on migration”
“We have been well trained on how to counsel returnees on skills acquisition, shelter, referrals to appropriate agencies all in the bid to curb irregular migration ” She added
On his part, Effiong Kingsley a labour officer of the Federal Ministry of Labour said “This training has developed my capacity to be more professional in my dealings with clients (migrants)”
“It has placed me in a better position to advice government on better policies on migration and reintegration of returnees” Effiong added
The MRCs has been established by IOM in Abuja, Lagos and Edo States and serves as a “one-stop shop” where migrants, potential and returning migrants can access relevant migration information and a wide range of services through direct assistance, or online services to migrants.