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7,204 Cameroonian refugees invade Cross River



No fewer than 7,204 Cameroonian asylum seekers have been registered by the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service, an exercise it carried out in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.

The state Comptroller of NIS, Mrs. Funke Adewuyi, said this in Calabar while briefing journalists on the successes recorded by the command from January 2017 till date.

 She explained that as of December 17, 2017, the UNHCR in collaboration with the NIS and other relevant agencies, had registered 7,204 refugees at various camps scattered across the state. According to her, the refugees are in camps in Etung, Ikom, Boki, Obanliku, Obudu and Akamkpa local government areas of the state.

The NIS boss, “NIS is working closely with the international agencies and local stakeholders who are responsible for management of refugees.”

According  to Adewuyi: “In the last three months, we have had a lot of technical committee meetings with all stakeholders involving the UNHCR, UNICEF, the state primary health care agency and others, with a view to looking at the likely implication of the influx of those Cameroonians.

“The Comptroller-General of NIS was in the state between October 17 and 19 to assess the situation on the ground.

“The data that was shared with us by the UNHCR is 7,204 and these Cameroonians are scattered in many communities across the state. Our officers are monitoring their activities.”

On the successes recorded by the command in 2017, Adeuyi said that the command repatriated no fewer than 75 illegal immigrants to their countries and refused the entry of 171 illegal immigrants for the lack of valid documents.

She explained that the victims were arrested by men of the command at different border posts across the state, adding that officers of the surveillance unit of the command were stationed in all border posts to check the issues of migration and others.

Adeuyi said, “On revenue generation, this command generated the sum of N92.8m from the issuance of passports and other travel documents for eligible applicants plus $8,673 from the issuance of visas on arrival to eligible applicants.

“Sadly, we lost six of our officers during the period under review, while three of our senior officers retired after 35 years of service. Five erring officers were dismissed while one was suspended.”

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