Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government has listed various factors fuelling irregular migration from Nigeria to Europe and other destinations.
Speaking at the 2017 National Migration Dialogue in Abuja recently, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the pains and suffering most Nigerians go through with the hope of reaching Europe were tortuous and unwarranted.
He accused border security agencies of greed and the root cause of the increasing cases of irregular migration by Nigerians to Europe.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, expressed regret that despite the dehumanising conditions Nigerian victims faced, the quest to embark on such ill-fated journey has continued unabated.
He said: â€œThe journey has become more perilous than ever and in most cases fatal. The journey has become a graveyard for many who seek safe haven in places where the pastures are greener.
â€œThe vulnerability of these prospective migrants is increased by the greed and heartlessness of traffickers and corrupt border security officers who exploit them. Nigeria is considered one of the main origins of irregular migration, with each migrant attempting to reach Europe and other continents,â€ Buhari stated.
The President maintained that Nigeria will continue to do more through relevant agencies to mitigate the migration crisis, particularly in Libya and Mediterranean Sea.
Speaking, the Federal Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Commission for Refugees, Sadiya Umar Farouq, explained the challenge of tracing some Nigerians still held up in Libya was enormous, given the precarious nature of their trafficking.
Farouq said: â€œEven the embassies are finding it difficult to get into those secret centres in order to free Nigerians held captive in Libya.â€
She explained that with the presidential directive for Nigerians to be evacuated from Libya and other locations, the commission has intensified efforts to ensure that most Nigerians return home.
Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa tasked Nigerians to desist from embarking on irregular migration and feeding the greed of traffickers.
She urged those citizens who have returned to embrace some of the interventionist programmes of the federal government in order to start a new life.
Officials from the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), European Union (EU), the Swizz Government and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) also made presentations at the event in Abuja.