Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, said to number about 91,000, will return home this month, following a tripartite agreement reached for their voluntary repatriation, an official has said.
The National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) disclosed this on Sunday.
The agreement involving Nigeria, Cameroon and the UNHCR was reached to ensure the the return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in line with international best practice.
The tripartite agreement was drafted by Nigeria, Cameroon and the UNHCR along with other stakeholders in June 2016 and signed on March 2, 2017 in Yaounde for the voluntary repatriation.
While fielding questions from journalists in Yola on the preparedness of Nigeria for the returnees, Lawal Hamidu, the Director, Refugees and Migrants Affairs of the commission, said measures were being taken to ensure the safe, dignified return and sustainable reintegration of the 91,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon.
"The Commission has since directed the Technical Working Group to conclude concrete operational modalities and support measures, including setting timetable and procedures to ensure the safe, dignified, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.
"We are expecting them this month, 4,000 are indigines of Adamawa ,while Borno state has the largest numbers of 87,000, so we are expecting the return of 91,000 Nigerians from Cameroon," he said.
Mr. Hamidu said the affected states of Adamawa and Borno had been directed to develop a phased-approach for organised return of the refugees based on the security situation in the North-east.
"Hence the need for various bilateral and multilateral development partners to raise the necessary funds to facilitate the repatriation and restoration programme," he stressed.