By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, May 22, 2022
Nigeria is committed to implementing all the 23 objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), to enhance migration governance in Nigeria.
GCM is the first intergovernmental agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
The agreement was adopted at an intergovernmental conference on migration in Marrakesh, Morocco, on December 10, 2018, and it addresses the challenges and opportunities of migration for countries of origin, countries of transit, and for countries of destination.
It enumerates 23 objectives for state action, bolstered by specific commitments, that seek to address challenges related to today’s migration.
Nigeria’s Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Ms. Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that Nigeria had prioritised all the 23 objectives of the GCM.
Suleiman-Ibrahim spoke to NAN at the UN headquarters after she delivered Nigeria’s statement at a General Debate at the First International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), hosted by the General Assembly.
The commissioner said Nigeria has achieved a lot in the implementation of the GCM and would continue to intensify its efforts.
“By the next review forum, we would have recorded more achievements as a country, drawing from the participation from the IMFR and our collaboration with other partners.
“Migration is multifaceted, and it is also cross border; we have to work in partnership with relevant stakeholders, working on our policies, working on our systems and structures to accommodate evolving trends.
“We have done so much and so much still needed to be done. Nigeria has achieved a lot of scores, starting from the migration policy in 2015 up till date in implementing the GCM,’’ the Commissioner said.
Suleiman-Ibrahim said Nigeria has a strong refuge programme and has ensured that the rights of migrants are protected.
“We have not only given them all the rights they require to settle if they wish to, but we have also given them migration passports.
“The passport is a travelling document which helps us to also monitor progress and it helps them to have freedom of movement.
“Also, we have continued to register and give certificates to babies that are born in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, host communities and resettlements,’’ she said.
In addition, the Commissioner said Nigeria has also excelled in its programmes for IDPs, adding that the country has intensified its durable drive with a lot of projects.
“We have strengthened and intensified our durable drive with a lot of projects drivers, like Project Zero Hunger, Project Resettlement City, Project Educate for All, Project Light Up, Project ICT and Project Scale Up.
“We are upscaling, we are trying to open the door for economic development, achievement and prosperity for our persons of concern,’’ she said.
On challenges of implementing the GCM, the Commissioner said the COVID-19 lockdown affected the progress in addressing migration issues in Nigeria.
“Migration issues require movement and during the lockdown, many of the migration experts could not move around due to the restrictions and that hinders some achievements around the GCM.’’
NAN reports that the IMRF, which started on Tuesday with roundtables followed by policy debate on Wednesday, ended on Friday with a General Debate.
All the roundtables, and the policy debate, reflect the “whole-of-society”, “whole-of-Government” approach, that is intrinsic in the Global Compact on Migration from over 50 panelists.
The roundtables were designed to review the progress on the 23 objectives of the Global Compact, and the policy debate, looking ahead to new and emerging challenges.