Over 22,500 Nigerians Cross Mediterranean Sea In 9 Months—EU

October 28, 2016


By Ebitonye Akpodigha

The European Union (EU) has lamented over the high number of Nigerians taking the risk to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe to seek greener pastures.

According to the EU, in 2015, about 23,000 Nigerians used the dangerous route to enter Europe, pointing out that between January and September 2016, over 22,500 illegal migrants from the country have so far crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Speaking at an event on Thursday in Abuja, Deputy Head of EU Delegation in Nigeria, Mr Richard Young, said some Nigerian migrants, who majorly enter Europe through Italy, usually drown in Mediterranean Sea.

According to him, “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 and 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 further said 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.

Mr Young also said the EU is trying to tackle smuggling routes, which he described as “a complex issue.”

He said the EU will partner with the Nigerian Immigration Service and NAPTIP to tackle this issue.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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