The federal government has received 36 Nigerian migrants deported from Sweden.
The migrants were received yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja by officials of the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), reports The Nation.
The returnees were given dignity kits consisting of diapers, toothpaste, shirts, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, slippers, creams, and bags, as well as N158,000 stipend each, courtesy of IRARA.
Their return was facilitated by International Returns and Reintegration Assistance (IRARA).
Speaking on what led to the deportation of the returnees, the Director of Migrant Affairs of the commission, Ambassador Catherine Udida said: “Usually, they would have been contacted and informed that their visa had expired or they had overstayed.
“They would have been informed to leave and, if after one or two trials they are given the opportunity to return and they (migrants) refused to return, then the country starts processing their deportation because it is different from those who come back voluntarily.”
On the fate of the deportees, she said: “We have profiled them and identified those who are vulnerable. In addition to taking them to the hotel for a few days to understand what the real issues are, we will follow up with referrals.
“We will also send them to the various shelters we have and keep counseling them to accept the fact that they are back home, and they have opportunities to start their lives.
“If they had come voluntarily, there is usually a livelihood support scheme that is provided and they go for training with stipends attached. But because they were deported, the onus is on us as a government to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
“So, most times, we keep them for two weeks and even up to a year. Whether they were deported or not, we will make sure we give them livelihood support.”
On what caused the deportation, IRARA Country Director Roland Nwoha said it may be due to failure to promptly renew their resident permit upon expiration.
“These are Nigerians who, for different immigration reasons, have been asked to leave Sweden.
“For IRARA, our role is to support Nigerians coming back to help them get a safe landing. Many of them were brought back from detention centres, and some were picked up from the street. So, you can imagine that coming back would be difficult.
“What we are doing is to provide them with arrival assistance, cash support, and give them a place to stay. For some, we will support them to establish income-generating activities.
“For each of them, they would be getting N158,000, including the children.
“Some of the migrants may tell you they have resident permits, but if you check, you will realise that it is either the papers have expired or are about to expire.