By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Ahead of the 2023 Geneva Conference on Global Compact on Refugees, the Akwa Ibom State Government has confirmed total integration of Refugees in all its Socio-economic activities and programmes.
To this end, refugees are granted free access to facilities and social amenities provided by government to indigenes in such areas like education, agriculture, healthcare, commerce, water supply and entrepreneurial development, among others.
The State Deputy Governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi made this known Wednesday in Uyo, while declaring open a workshop on Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) organised by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
Senator Eyakenyi said programmes and policies of the state government were aligned to favour both indigenes and residents of the state, including refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
“Both the government and people of Akwa Ibom State have been very accommodating and hospitable to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, because it is in our nature to love and accommodate strangers.”
The Deputy Governor commended the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and its partners for working assiduously to make the world a better place, stressing that, the administration of Governor Umo Eno will continue to strengthen its relationship with UNHCR and other relevant agencies to improve the welfare of refugees in the state.
Earlier, the Associate Protection Officer, UNHCR Ogoja, Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan Darko, said the workshop was aimed at drawing a wide range of critical stakeholders for important deliberations on the implementation of the objectives of the GCR in Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Comrade Ini Ememobong, acknowledged the necessity of the workshop geared towards solving the problems of human and opined that the quality of the discussions will be of great benefit to the advancement of the cause of Refugees in the State.
Comrade Ememobong appreciated the UNHCR for the good work done in the state and assured that the Ministry of information was ready to partner with the organization to create Public awareness to ensure that Refugees become a thing of the past.
State Commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs Obot Bassey, Comptroller of Immigration, CIS Francisca Dakat and the Clan Head of Uquo Clan in Esit Eket local government area, HRH, Chief Etteudo Ikot among others gave goodwill messages at the event.