President Muhammadu Buhari says those who take the risk of going through the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea are on their own.
The president said this in Abuja when he played host to Angela Merkel, prime minister of Germany on Friday.
He said those who get stuck in the journey would be rescued and sent to their local government areas.
Buhari added that over 3,000 illegal migrants stranded in Libya had been repatriated to the country.
“Firstly I’m against those my country men and women that illegally travel to Europe. I believe you know the ECOWAS protocol encourages free movement of persons, goods and services,” he said.
“For those going to Europe, we are not as an administration agreeing with those who continue to defy the Sahara dessert and the Mediterranean because they feel there are greener pastures there, whether they are prepared for it or not. We do not support anything illegal and indiscipline.
“About six weeks ago, we repatriated 3,000 Nigerians who were stuck in Libya on their way to Europe. You must have read in the papers and watch on the television the number of Nigerians lost in the Mediterranean.
“We have made it very clear that we do not support anything illegal and anybody who feels this country does not offer him what he should to be offered as a citizen and decide to defy the desert and the Mediterranean is doing it at his own risk.
“But if he is stuck somewhere in Libya between his final destination and Nigeria, we will rescue him and bring him back home and send him back to his local government.”
In her remarks, the German chancellor described Nigeria as a very important country in Africa, hence the need to maintain a cordial relationship.
She commended Nigeria’s success in producing food that is needed in the country which necessitated the important cooperation in agriculture as well as manufacturing Volkswagen cars in Nigeria.
Merkel also spoke on how to address the problems of migration by providing jobs.
The chancellor, who spoke in German, commend the effort of Buhari’s administration in tackling Boko Haram.
She said currently, 12,000 Nigerians were studying in Germany through scholarships and her government intends to increase that number.
On the 2019 elections, Merkel said they both discussed the importance of free and fair elections.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Germany on Friday signed two memoranda of understanding in agriculture and commerce as part of the visit of the German chancellor.
The first agreement was signed between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA) and the German-Africa Business Association.
Saratu Abubakar, deputy national president of NACCIMA, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Stefan Liebing, of German Africa Business Association, signed on behalf of the German business delegation.
The second agreement was signed between the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, and the PETKUS Technologie GmbH, a company that specializes in post-harvest agricultural value chain.
While the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, signed on behalf of Nigeria, the representative of PETKUS Technologie GmbH, Peter Huser, signed for the Germans.