Nigerian government concerned with large number of potential irregular migrants

Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has expressed her concern for the many youths who are considering irregular migration despite the dangers faced in the Sahara and on the Mediterranean. 

“While we celebrate the return and successful reintegration of over 15,000 Nigerians stranded in Libya, we are worried that more youths are ready to undertake this dangerous path to search for life,” the Minister said in her opening remarks at the 2019 National Migration Dialogue, organised by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) in Abuja on 17 December. 

With over 100 million Nigerians without jobs, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige said during the event that the rate of unemployment in the country has contributed to the ‘brain drain’ and high rates of irregular migration.

“Nigeria is over 200 million and about 60 per cent are youths who need employment. Unfortunately, only 10 per cent have decent jobs,” said Ngige, adding that his ministry has established linkages with other ministries to improve the situation for unemployed Nigerians. 

He said that the ministry is also reviewing the educational curriculum to empower citizens with skills that can be exported.

Farouq said that localising the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) would help the country reduce the rate of irregular migration, and provide safe and orderly migration procedures for its citizens.

She advised the Nigerian government to work with relevant stakeholders to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), a United Nations agreement which covers “all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.” 

Farouq stated that the GCM “places great emphasis on ownership at different levels, especially regional and national levels, as key to its successful implementation.” 

Since 2015, Nigeria has become a major origin country for migrants travelling irregularly to Europe and other destinations.

Over 123,000 migrants have arrived in Europe either by sea or land in 2019, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). More than 1,200 migrants are have died or gone missing in 2019 while attempting to reach Europe irregularly, IOM figures show.

TMP 30/12/2019

Photo credit: AlejandroCarnicero/Shutterstock

Photo caption: A rubber small boat full of immigrants on 3/3/2019 in the Mediterranean Sea, near from Lybia