36 Nigerians Deported From Sweden to the National Refugees Commission
Thirty-six Nigerian migrants, including children deported from Sweden, have been received by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).
During the returnee profiling process, the Federal Commissioner of the NCFRMI, Alhaji Tijani Ahmed, stated that deportees were typically contacted due to either an expired VISA or an overstay in their host country.
Ahmed stated on Wednesday that the Swedish government needed to remind the returnees of their irregular status. Ahmed was represented by Amb Catherine Udida, the Director of Migration Affairs in the Commission.
He explained that the Swedish authority must “give them two or three trials of opportunities for them to return; if you fail, it will start processing their deportation because it is different from coming back voluntary”.
He said after profiling the returnees, they would be provided with accommodation, dignity kits, and some stipends.
“We have profiled them, identified the vulnerable among them, in addition, we are taking them to a hotel, trying to understand what the real issues are then follow up with referrals.
“Ordinarily, if they had come voluntarily, usually there is livelihood support scheme that is provided, so you go for training and you’re given some stipends for start ups.
”Because they were deported the onus is on us the government to make their lives as comfortable as possible,” Ahmed added.
He said that sometimes the government would keep the returnees for up to a year, saying that whether they were deported or not, the Commission would ensure that they were taking care of properly.
Therefore, he gave the returnees assurances that “Nigeria is their country and there are a lot of opportunities for them to utilise,” regardless of the circumstances that led them back.
The returnees were Nigerians who were asked to leave Sweden due to immigration-related issues, according to Roland Nwoha, the Country Director of International Returns and Reintegration Assistance (IRARA).
According to Nwoha, different nations have different legal systems. While some nations require that all of their legal documents be renewed before they expire, some migrants were not aware of this.
“We imagine that coming back will be difficult, so what we are doing is to provide them with arrival assistance, cash support, toiletries and a place to pass the night before they travel to their final destinations.
“Most importantly, we want to set up an income-generating activity to welcome them back in a dignified way,” Nwoha stated.
He said that the returnees were given ₦158,000 each, including the children. One of the deportees said he was undergoing treatment in a hospital before he was deported.
“I thought they were taking me to another hospital before I knew I found myself in Abuja, although I was also was in Sweden to seek asylum.”
Another returnee said she was married to a Swede and was in the process of regularizing her documents before she was picked up from her house.
“I’m not even well, and I don’t have any relations here in Nigeria; all my family members are in the UK,” she added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among the returnees were seven families.
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