In a recent development, Sweden has deported a total of 36 Nigerian migrants, including children, back to their home country. The migrants arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, and were received by officials from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI). The repatriation process was facilitated by International Returns and Reintegration Assistance (IRARA).
Upon their return, the Nigerian migrants were provided with dignity kits containing essential items such as diapers, toothpaste, shirts, towels, toothbrushes, slippers, creams, and bags. Additionally, each returnee received a stipend of N158,000, courtesy of IRARA.
According to Ambassador Catherine Udida, the Director of Migrant Affairs of the Commission, the deportation was a result of visa expiration or overstaying. She highlighted that migrants are usually informed about their status and given opportunities to voluntarily return. However, in cases where migrants refuse to comply, the deportation process is initiated.
Udida emphasized that the deportees have been profiled, with a focus on identifying vulnerable individuals. The commission is committed to ensuring their well-being by offering access to shelters and providing counseling to help them accept their return and seize opportunities to rebuild their lives.
Typically, migrants are supported through livelihood programs, including training and stipends, if they return voluntarily. However, in the case of deportees, the responsibility falls on the government to make their reintegration as comfortable as possible. The commission aims to provide necessary support services, regardless of whether the migrants were deported or not, ensuring their basic needs are met during their stay, which can range from two weeks to a year.