Nigeria signs agreement to curb irregular migration

As part of efforts to curb irregular migration in Nigeria, the federal government has signed an agreement with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

The agreement which is dubbed the “Seat Agreement” was signed in Abuja, Nigeria on 18 January, after a series of negotiations which commenced in 2015.

During the signing event, Acting Director of Consular Division and Processes Reviewals, Mohammed Manu, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the Nigerian government is concerned about the way many Nigerians leave the country in search of better economic opportunities.

“The global migration crisis which started around 2014 has brought a lot of challenges to countries of origin, transit or destination in terms of handling irregular migration. Countries rose to these challenges to see how they could handle these challenges collectively and sometimes individually,” Manu said.

According to Manu, ICMPD is a major handler in tackling emerging migration crises. “Certainly, we know what you have done and we call on you to do more. We are not happy with the way our people are pouring into other countries. These are very good brains that we can utilize in the country. So, all we need is massive enlightenment to see how they can be brought back to Nigeria and how they can be reintegrated into the society,” he said.

Nigeria is a major source of irregular migrants, particularly those attempting to reach Europe. About 16,000 Nigerians have been returned from sixteen countries since April 2017.

With representation across 90 countries, ICMPD said the agreement will provide an alternative approach to migration management in Nigeria.

“I am happy that with the present agreement, our presence in the country would be further stabilized. It will enable us to do more activities also in other areas of the country like irregular migration, trafficking in persons, more private sector engagements and others,” said ICMPD’s Director of Migration Dialogues and Cooperation, Martijn Pluim.

TMP – 23/01/2020

Photo credit: Tayvay / Shutterstock

Photo  caption: Aerial landscape view of Abuja City Business District