The Cross River Migration and Control Agency has put the number of internally displaced persons in the state and migrants from neighbouring countries at 200,000 within the last four years.

According to the State Director-General, Migration and Control Agency, Mike Abuo, the refugees in various camps are said to have migrated from Cameroon in the wake of the crisis in the country.

Speaking with journalists in Calabar on Tuesday, Abuo noted that citizens were internally displaced as a result of communal clashes in the state and when Bakassi was ceded to Cameroon.

He called on the Federal Government and the International Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to conduct a comprehensive survey in the state to ascertain the number of migrants, refugees and persons who had been Internally displaced in the state.

He noted that with a survey, it would be easy for a database to be created to enable the government to know the actual number of migrants and refugees in Cross River.

Abuo added that the database would help the government to plan ahead of time in terms of infrastructure and facilities that could provide succour to the refugees and internally displaced persons.

He said, “We have an influx of thousands of refugees because of the civil war in Cameroon. It is overwhelming; this is not something that the state governments alone can handle.

“We also call on the UNHCR to stand by us by improving on the good works that they have been doing. We also call on the International Organisation for Migration and other international organisations to provide some funding and intervention.

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“We call for an increase in terms of international funding to provide succour for these persons. The little facilities that are available are not enough to cater for the number of refugees that are in the state.”

The National Programme Director, COR Africa, Nigeria, Dr Jimoh Odunayo, said his organisation had embarked on the training of 1,000 refugees to close the gap existing between the training that the refugees had received from implementing partners.

He noted that the essence of the training was to assess opportunities available for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons in agribusiness and educational opportunities.

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