The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa has raised concerns that German government is likely concluding plans to deport about 30,000 Nigerians.
Speaking at a programme; “Developing a mixed migration strategy for UNHCR Nigeria” in Abuja, Erewa disclosed that, “Germany said it has about 25,000 to 30,000 Nigerians seeking asylum and they can’t guarantee they will get it. So, there is every possibilities that they will be returned to Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, the reasons for asylum by the Nigerians were not genuine as “some who are from the East and West are saying they are running away from Boko Haram while some others say they are gays and were having challenges expressing themselves in Nigeria.”
The SSA to the President said a date has not yet been set for the deportation of the asylum seeking Nigerians.
“Germany has set up a team working with the ministry of foreign affairs to see how the whole process [of deportation] can be made easier,” she added.
While noting that Germany is offering more scholarships and easier process of regular migration for Nigerians, she appealed to young Nigerians to watch out for those opportunities and take advantage of them.
“We are looking at the option of reverse migration also where you can actually stay in your country and enjoy everything you are migrating abroad to get,” Hon. Dabiri Erewa added.
She noted that irregular migration was no longer working as the foreign countries were also having their own challenges now.
She said the government was already doing much to tackle the issues that are encouraging irregular migration, adding that “we are fighting corruption, insecurity and trying to revive the economy.”
Earlier, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Antonio Jose Canhandula told the stakeholders to suggest better ways of tackling irregular migration, adding that European countries were already closing their doors against migrants.
On her part, the South West Zonal Director of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) Margret Ukegbu lamented that Nigerians have started migrating to unpopular countries like Morocco, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Mali.
She noted that importance should be placed on education, stressing that the Nigerian society has been encouraging irregular migration.