The Netherlands supports Nigeria in tackling illegal migration
On Tuesday, Ankie Broekers-Knol, the Minister for Migration, reached agreements with Nigeria on tackling illegal migration. The Netherlands will be focusing on capacity building in the African country, as well as on improving border security. This is necessary due to the many Nigerians wishing to leave their country in search of a better future. Another agreement concerned further bolstering the good cooperation on repatriation.
According to Broekers-Knol, it is undesirable for so many Nigerians to uproot to Europe.
'Nigerians have very little chance of being granted asylum here in the Netherlands. Once their application is rejected, they're out in the Dutch streets, or drifting through Europe.'
It is also difficult to deport Nigerians, as they will often have made themselves scarce before it happens, their destination unknown. For the migrants themselves, the journey can be very dangerous, also because criminal trafficking gangs are often involved.
Preventing illegal migration
It is therefore necessary to prevent Nigerians from travelling to Europe as illegal migrants. Not only does this involve improving border security in Nigeria, but we must also deal with smuggling networks and human traffickers. The Netherlands will also be investing in campaigns to raise awareness of the dangerous journey. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with its department for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, is responsible for alleviating the root causes of migration, but the Prime Minister's trade mission will also aid this plan.
Training and support
Broekers-Knol reached an agreement in Nigeria to equip Nigerian border forces with an app that allows them to check passports offline. A training programme for the Nigerian immigration service will also have a follow-up. In addition, Nigerian border forces will be trained, and European and Nigerian public prosecution services will exchange expertise to combat human trafficking and cross-border criminality.
Nigeria is one of the few African countries with extensive regulations concerning migration. Although a great deal has been settled on paper, the implementation still requires a lot of attention. As a result, too often there are still illegal flows of migrants leaving the country. Nigeria is very cooperative with regard to repatriation. This cooperation will be further intensified in coming years.