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FG seeks EU, ECOWAS support on border protection, illegal migration

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Federal Government has called on the European Union (EU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and other relevant stakeholders in migration management to lend their support to the nation’s ongoing efforts at curbing illegal migration into Nigeria through the border.

It said that the assistance of the stakeholders’ would be needed on deployment of additional modern technology at borders to help mitigate the influx of illegal migrants into the country.

Announcing the apex government’s stance, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the appeal on Wednesday, in Abuja, when an EU delegation led by its Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen, paid him a courtesy visit.

Aregbesola, who described the land borders as porous, disclosed that the nation’s land borders were not adequately covered and as such, provided an easier way for undocumented migrants to come into the country.

He noted that investigation made by the government further revealed that there was a need for a stronger collaboration with relevant stakeholders to check the menace.

“Illegal migration is a thing of concern as it not only depletes a region of viable and reliable labour, talent, and human resource but also makes room for unplanned human presence”, the minister added.

While arguing on the need for synergy on deployment of modern technology, he added that the collaboration would further boost intelligence sharing towards effective and efficient migration management in the West African sub-region and Nigeria in particular.

Aregbesola, who commended the EU and other stakeholders in migration management for their technological support that gave birth to the Migrants Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS), noted that it has greatly contributed towards enhancing the documentation of immigrants to the country.

While applauding the European Union for its support towards curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Minister stated further that, Government was working assiduously towards ensuring an enabling environment for its vibrant youth to thrive with a view to curtailing their desire to migrate.

Speaking earlier, Karlsen stated that the delegation was in the Ministry to re-initiate the negotiations between Nigeria and European Union on migration matters as well as encourage scientific and technological deployment in migration management processes, among others.

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