In a significant collaboration, the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has announced the state government’s commitment to partnering with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to facilitate the secure return, resettlement, and reintegration of irregular and stranded migrants hailing from the state.
Governor Mbah emphasized the government’s determination to assist the IOM in establishing a zonal office in Enugu, streamlining the process for returnees to come directly to their home state for rehabilitation. The governor highlighted the implementation of radical social programs designed to equip returnees with skills for sustainable livelihoods.
This announcement coincided with the revelation by the IOM that it successfully assisted 350 stranded and irregular immigrants from Enugu State, primarily originating from Libya and Niger Republic, in their safe return home.
Governor Mbah, speaking during a meeting with the IOM delegation led by Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck, commended the organization for its efforts in addressing the challenges faced by irregular migrants, including victims of trafficking and exploitation.
“As a government, we are prepared to collaborate in integrating these victims and others stranded abroad, facilitating their reintegration into their home state. Our comprehensive social service programs in education and healthcare are tailored to positively impact the lives of our people, including returning migrants,” Governor Mbah affirmed.
He stressed the importance of establishing a transit camp in Enugu for returnees to undergo counseling and reintegration, expressing enthusiasm for working with the IOM to establish a zonal office in the state.
Governor Mbah also expressed the administration’s eagerness to partner with the IOM to harness the positive aspects of migration, tapping into the state’s diaspora material and human resources for mutual benefit. Initiatives such as the Diaspora Bond and the upcoming Enugu State Diaspora Investment Summit aim to attract diasporans for economic development.
In his remarks, IOM Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck highlighted the organization’s focus on facilitating the return and reintegration of young, able individuals who left the country. Commending the Mbah administration’s initiatives, De Boeck assured assistance in tapping into successful Nigerians in the diaspora, leveraging their database and contacts for the benefit of the state.
As part of their strategy to discourage irregular migration, De Boeck emphasized the IOM’s efforts to develop avenues for Nigerians to migrate abroad regularly, ensuring safe jobs and proper conditions with dignity in host countries.