A total of 36 Nigerian migrants, including children, have been deported from Sweden.
The migrants were received on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja by officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).
International Returns and Reintegration Assistance (IRARA) facilitated the return of the migrants.
Upon their return, the returnees were given dignity kits, which consisted of diapers, toothpaste, shirts, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, slippers, creams, and bags, as well as a N158,000 stipend each, courtesy of IRARA.
The Director of Migrant Affairs of the Commission, Ambassador Catherine Udida explained what could have led to the deportation.
“Usually, they would have been contacted and informed that their visa had expired or they had overstayed.
“They would have been informed to leave and if after one or two trials they are given the opportunity to return and they (migrants) refuse to return, then the country starts processing their deportation because it is different from those who come back voluntarily.”
Udida said the deportees have been profiled and the vulnerable ones have been identified.
“We will also send them to the various shelters we have and keep counseling them to accept the fact that they are back home and they have opportunities to start their lives.
“If they had come voluntarily, there is usually a livelihood support scheme that is provided and they go for training with stipends attached. But because they were deported, the onus is on us as a government to make their lives as comfortable as possible”
She stated that most times, migrants were kept for two weeks and even up to a year and whether they were deported or not, they make sure they give them livelihood support.
One of them who agreed to speak with newsmen with her identity concealed, said she was whisked to the airport from her bed by Swedish immigration officials.
Some others explained they were not offenders and blamed the government of Sweden for what they called their unjust return.