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Nigeria, Germany discuss repatriation of 30,000 illegal migrants

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Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Republic of Germany has proposed a new process that would ensure a smooth repatriation of about 30,000 illegal Nigerian migrants.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed the proposed move, on Tuesday, in Abuja, when he received in audience, the Security Adviser to the President of Germany, Dr. Jan Hecker.

According to Onyeama, “They don’t have enough faith and confidence in the process that we have at the moment for the repatriation process. Some of the delays, they believe, is with the mission and consulate in Germany.

“They want to propose a completely new process of repatriation known as Return and Re-admission,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama added that in the past two years, just about 200 Nigerians have returned to the country out of about 30,000.

He said Germans were not happy that the system we have in place is certainly not working to their satisfaction.

The new process, Onyeama further said, is basically that once all legal processes have been exhausted, Nigeria should believe in her German counterpart to make the right decision on whom should be repatriated.

He stated that as soon as the decision is taken, Germany would bring the concerned individuals to Nigeria without the involvement of the Nigerian Embassy in Germany.

Onyeama added, “They will bring them here to Nigeria and say we have gone through a process in Germany, these people are your nationals, they have exhausted all the legal processes, please take them. And it will be here on Nigeria’s territory that any possibility will then exist to say maybe that one is not or this one is not.”

While noting that the proposed process is a complete transformation of the current process, Onyeama said apart from issuing travel documents to those to be repatriated, Germany would also be responsible for their travels.

In his remarks, Hecker said he was in Nigeria to see how both countries can intensify their bilateral relations and achieve good result, most importantly, on the issue of migration.

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