A total of 243,875 Nigerian refugees, currently reside in neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, Daily Sun can report.
This came as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative, Antonio Jose Canhandula, put the figures of internally-displaced persons in Borno State that have access to assistance at 1.2 million.
The data were disclosed during the Nigeria Consultation Meeting on the Global Compact on Refugees held in Abuja.
The UNHCR Nigeria data revealed that as at October 31, 2019, a total of 119,541 Nigerians reside in the Republic of Niger, 15,999 in Chad and 108,335 in Cameroon.
Similarly, the number of Nigerian refugees returning to the country otherwise known as refugee returnees from Niger, Chad and Cameroon was put at 22,408.
The returnee Nigerians, according to the data, are currently settled in northeast states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The UNHCR further disclosed that a total of 46,098 Cameroon refugees reside in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Taraba and Benue states.
According to the UNHCR data, “urban refugees in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Ogun (Ijebu Ode) are 2,355, while asylum seekers are 1,260.”
The UNHCR further gave a breakdown of the figures of urban refugees to include: Democratic Republic of Congo (635); Central African Republic (449); Cameroon (280); Syria (249); Turkey (174); Mali (144), Cote d’Ivoire (128); Chad (88); Sudan (47) and others (161).
Speaking during the meeting, Canhandula, however, said registered refugees from Anglophone Cameroon in Cross River, Benue and Taraba were 46,000.
“The majority are in Cross River. We have around 5,600 in Taraba, 6400 in Benue State and most of the rest that is so many thousand are actually in Cross River State.
“When it comes to Adamawa, we are not talking of refugees, we are talking more of internally-displaced populations. And Adamawa of three years ago is not Adamawa of today. Many internally-displaced persons in Adamawa have returned to the LGAs because those LGAs are now safe. We are talking of Mubi, Mubi South, Mubi North and even Yola and all that. The only LGAs that are not very safe for the time being are Michika and Madagali, those that are near Borno State.
“But talking of figures, in Adamawa, we are talking of the return of 900,000 IDPs back to their areas of origin. But of course, they remain in a poor state because the infrastructure still need to be rebuilt after all these years,” Canhandula said.
The UNHCR Country Representative further said Yobe also has a lot of internally-displaced persons who have returned to the state.
He added that the current situation in Borno State was that whereas the south of Borno is peaceful, the north of Borno remains quite unstable.
“And that is what we are talking about today; we are talking of 1.2 million internally-displaced populations that we have access to, plus populations to which we do not have access to,” Canhandula also said.
Canhandula added that the total internally-displaced persons that are accessible were different from the total internally-displaced persons that received assistance, saying that while a total 1.8 million is accessible, 1.2 million is access to assistance.
Earlier, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons, Sen. Basheer Garba Mohammed, said as the agency saddled with the responsibility of coordination of refugees in Nigeria, will continue to make efforts that include taking care of internally-displaced persons, returnees and their host communities.