The European Union (EU) has disclosed that 22,500 Nigerian illegal migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe between January and September this year. According to media sources, the organization expressed worry over the 22,500 illegal migrants as against 23,000 in 2015. The deputy head of EU delegation in Nigeria, Mr. Richard Young during a seminar on how the EU work for diplomatic and foreign affairs correspondents expressed concern on the huge increase in migrants crossing border without the right travel document to Europe from all over the world. 

“In 2014 the number of people travelling irregularly into Europe clinched 280,000 people, in 2015 it rose to 1.8 million in 2015. “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 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,” he said. He said all these people were passing to Italy through boat on Mediterranean he said that 3,700 people have drown in Mediterranean sea, one in 50 people will drown. He however said that the EU had put in place measures to address illegal migrants from Nigeria, which he said include the three ‘R’ policies of return, re-admission and reintegration for the illegal migrants. According to him there is an agreement that the illegal migrants be sent back home and be empowered with vocational skills that could enhance their living in Nigeria, but the training would be done in Nigeria. He stressed that if the immigration issue was not addressed it might longer impact on the EU-Nigerian relationship and therefore urged Nigeria to grow its economy and address poverty so as to address the root cause of illegal migrants. 
Sources: Uncova,Vanguard, Naji,


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