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22,500 Nigerians have ‘crossed Mediterranean illegally’ in 2016…and still counting

22,500 Nigerians have ‘crossed Mediterranean illegally’ in 2016…and still counting
October 27
23:29 2016
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The European Union (EU) says over 22,500 illegal migrants from Nigeria have crossed the Mediterranean sea to Europe between January and September, apart from 23,000 in 2015.

Richard Young, deputy head of EU Delegation in Nigeria, said this while speaking at a media workshop in Abuja.

“In 2014, the number of people travelling irregularly into Europe clinched 280,000 people; in 2015 it rose to 1.8 million in 2015,” he said.

“From January to September 2016, the number is about 420,000; we are expecting that the number will rise to 800,000 before the end of the year.

“Within this number, people coming from Nigeria in 2012 was 800, in 2013 the number was 2,900, in 2014 the number was 8,700 in 2015 the number was 23,000.

“And between January and September 2016 the number is 22, 500. 3,700 drowned in Mediterranean Sea in 2016 alone, which indicated that one in 50 people drowned.”

He said there were measures put in place for the illegal migrants to be sent back home and be empowered with vocational skills that could enhance their living in Nigeria.

Young said that these measures include the three ‘R’ policy of return, re-admission and reintegration for the illegal migrants.

“The second thing we are trying to do is tackling the smuggling routes,” he said.

“We are trying to put in place some level of collaboration with the Nigerian Immigration Service, with NAPTIP to tackle this issue.”

He added that if the immigration issue was not properly addressed, it might have longer impact on the EU-Nigerian relationship.

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