NO fewer than 10,000 foreigners are currently seeking asylum in Nigeria, the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has disclosed.
She disclosed this while speaking at a two-day workshop on “Strengthening the capacity of NCFRMI case officers on Nationality screening for asylum seekers” in Keffi on Wednesday.
“We have 10,000 asylum seekers. The asylum seekers are undergoing the process of either achieving refugee status and once they are declined, they will have to go back,” she said.
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She said some of them could be declined asylum when they don’t fulfill the specifications of the law, adding that: “They must be genuinely non-Nigerians who are fleeing from persecution.”
The NCFRMI boss also disclosed that Nigeria is currently hosting about 100,000 refugees.
“We have almost 100,000 registered refugees in Nigeria, they are actually 96,800. But you know all these numbers increase daily. So, we don’t have a definite number because of the way and manner in which these registrations happen,” she added.
“In Nigeria, a number of asylum seekers, especially from neighboring and nearby countries such as Cameroon and Central Africa, with whom Nigeria shares common boundaries and or ethnic and cultural ties and high incidents of inter-marriages and cross border movements, present cases with complex nationality scenarios.
“Some of the asylum seekers have Nigerian parents, grand or great grandparents, spouses or children. Establishing the nationality of claimants with such ties may not be easy for RSD and litigation officers, the NCFRMI Federal Commissioner said.