The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that it has assisted over 11,000 irregular migrant returnees and trained 5,000 of them in several skills in the past one year.

Mr Frantz Celestin, Chief of Mission, (IOM) made this known while speaking with our correspondent on the sidelines of a solidarity walk to commemoration the International Migrants Day.

Celestin said that the assistance programme was to create a thriving environment for returnees to properly reintegrate into society and to dissuade them from re-embarking on perilous journeys in search of greener pastures.

“As at November, we have assisted 11, 000 Nigerians coming from mostly Libya, Mali and Niger.

“We provide support for them working with NAPTIP, working with NCFRMI, Nigerian Immigration Services, NEMA and all the concerned agencies to bring those who have been stranded back home.

“That is the very first step and once they are home, we have to provide the means for them to stay home, we have to create an environment for them to thrive in Africa.

“So far, we have trained about 5,000 returnees in business skills, business management and we are in the process of contacting more because it is a process to get everybody integrated,’’ Celestin said.

He added that the IOM was also stepping up and wrapping up activities to train and reintegrate more of the returnees.

The Chief of Mission said that in line with this year’s theme, the IOM was advocating for migration with dignity with the call for intending migrants to go about migration in the proper manner.

He explained that migration was not a bad thing when done the proper way, adding that orderly migration benefits everyone; the migrant, the government and the societies where they go.

He said that migration spreads innovation, allows for cross cultural communication and had made the World what it is today.

The  returnees were repatriated and reintegrated under the IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme.

The IOM’s AVRR programme aims at the orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return to their country of origin.

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