The Federal Government (FG) in collaboration with the Cameronian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will begin the process of returning 91,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon next month.
The collaboration, which was formed through a tripartite commission, has the sole responsibility of repatriating the refugees, who are at the Minawao refugee camp.
Head Humanitarian, Resettlement and Assistance department, Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative (PCNI) Dr Sidi Ali said that the process has already began.
He added that they are hoping that by the end of February the final process of bringing them back into the country will commence.
Dr Ali, who revealed that the refugees are desperate to return home, lamented poor funding. According to him, of the N45 billion budgetted for the Northeast in 2017, only N10 billion has been received so far.
He said: ” As we speak the Nigerian, Cameroonian governments and UNHCR have formed the tripartite commission with the sole responsibility of bringing the refugees back to Nigeria. They are currently in Minawao camp in Cameroon, the processes has already began, we are doing the profiling and making arrangements , putting the reception centers in place. Initially we where looking at February, early February but by and large, we are hoping that by the end of February the final process of bringing them back into the country will commence.
“Relocation of IDPs and stabilisation of camps, returnees registration and profiling, the number of people that we are bringing back into the country from our neighbouring countries particularly Cameroon has grown from 80,000 last year to 91,000. It is a task that we must be able to accomplish in 2018 by putting all hands on deck to bring these people back to Nigeria.”