PRESS RELEASE: November 8th, 2023
The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Women, Children and the Disabled, Hajiya Aisha Lawan Saji, has advised the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to include all stake holders in any move that is aimed at championing the course of migrants in all states of the federation.
Hajiya Aisha Lawan Saji gave the advice earlier this week while welcoming a joined deligation from FMWA and IOM that was in Kano for advocacy visit and a sensitization programme on the Best Interest Procedure (BIP) guidelines and Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) on Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) for vulnerable migrants in Kano State.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Sa’adatu Sa’idu Bala, further explained that, “governments, civil society organizations and the private sector all have roles to play in shaping migration policies and practices that are equitable, just and uphold the dignity of every human being”.
Still at the event which was held at Mystic Falls, Sultan Road, Kano, the Honourable Commissioner who described migration as one of the most pressing issues of our time, said “it is crucial that we come together as a global community to address the challenges and opportunities that migration presents”.
She therefore reiterated government’s commitment in protecting the vulnerable through legal frame work and policies, like Children Protection Law, Kano State Person’s With Disability Law and the draft Violence Against Persons’Prohibition act currently awaiting passage .
Honourable Saji who earlier on welcome the deligation from Abuja and other participants, also urged everyone present at the event to actively participate towards intelligently shaping the outcome of the event.
In a key note address later delivered, the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy, said the main purpose for the visit was to “raise awareness among the nation’s primary stake holders, beginning with state governments that have extreme reach among irregular migrants”.
According to her, the event which took place in Kano was a starting point in a nation wide journey on sensitization on newly developed and validated national guidelines for Nigeria on the administration of the BIP and SOP on FTR for Unaccompanied And Separated Children (UASC) and adult migrants who, as a consequence of their mental,physical and physiological health challenges are not able to make decisions for themselves.
She disclosed that the ability to achieve a clear statement of the problems of migration is a direct result of a supportive partnership between the FMWA and IOM, which is fortified with an MoU.
The Minister who was represented by S.A; Private and Political Matters, Honourable Adaji Usman, disclosed that the two important policy document which is the first of it’s kind in Africa is billed for launching next year by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
She added that the technicalities of these newly adopted national policy guidelines are what the visiting team of technical experts was here to break down and answer questions from stake holders.
Also speaking during the programme, an IOM Protection Officer, Chibalani Katongo, described Kano as a major country of origin, transit and destination for migrants, a reality which she said informed the decision to place the state on the list of states with high migrants returns in Nigeria.
Katongo who explained that migrants who are separated from their caregivers often go through abuse and exploitation, added that such migrants can be either minor or adults who have mental, physical or physiological health challenges that render them unable to make decisions for themselves.
According to her, it was this and other challenges related to migrants that made FMWA, with support from IOM, financial assistance from Netherlands and supports from other well meaning organizations, to settle for the formation of the two policy document in reference.
Throwing more light on the issue, she said the event was aimed at sensitizing the state on how the policy document will contribute to enhanced production mechanism for vulnerable migrants in Kano
She then advised the incorporation of the documents into existing protection institutional mechanism such that BIP and FTR will be core components of the system for vulnerable persons in Kano and Nigeria at large.
Delivering a vote of thanks at the end of the programme, Director, Social Welfare, Hajiya Binta Muhammad Yakasai, on behalf of the Honourable Commissioner, management and staff of the ministry and the entire participants, thanked the representative of the Honourable Minister and the team of technical experts for the visit and the highly educative session.
She also hoped that the rich knowledge acquired will be put to practice in the course of handling issues of migrants and migration. She then wished everyone a safe journey back home.
Director, Public Enlightenment,
Ministry of Women, Children and the Disabled, Kano