Nigeria and Germany pledge to curb illegal migration to Europe

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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Nigeria and Germany are taking decisive action to address the problem of illegal migration to Europe, which has caused the death of many.

Both President Muhammadu Bhari and visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel made the disclosure on Friday, while addressing a press conference at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to President Buhari, any Nigerian who undertakes an illegal tip to Europe, will be brought back home.

He said: “I am against my country men and women that illegally find their way out of Nigeria. The ECOWAS protocol includes free movement of people, their goods and services within the West African region but for those going to Europe, as and administration, we are not agreeing for Nigerians to defy the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean, because they feel that there are greener pastures out there. We do not support any form of indiscipline or anything illegal.

“You must have read in the papers ore seen in television, the number of Nigerians lost in the Mediterranean, so the stand of this administration on this is very clear. We do not support anything illegal and anybody who feels that this country does not offer him what he should be offered in a season and decides to defy the desert, is doing it at his own risk and gets stucked in Libya or anywhere between his final destination and Nigeria, we will bring him back home and send him back to his Local Government Area,” he warned.

Speaking through an interpreter, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on her part said, her country will continue to discourage people from travelling abroad through illegal routes.

She said Germany is establishing a development commission with many African countries to provide vocations and amenities that will encourage people to remain at home instead of rushing abroad through illegal means.

“Germany is acting in specific manner because there are many African countries with which we have established development cooperation; every two years we discuss with them what kind of projects they want and the kind of funds going to such projects and we focus on such priority areas, to help address the problem,” she said.

She pledged that talks would continue with Nigerian officials on how to curb the menace of illegal migration.

Chancellor Merkel said her country and Nigeria are now focussing on an agreement that will provide credit for farmers to boost agriculture.

Similarly, she said her country will help open up new energy sources in Nigeria in order to migrate from electricity as the main source of energy.

She also pledged to help Nigeria address the problem of terrorism, championed by te Boko Haram in the North-East zone of the country.