“Germany said it has about 25,000 to 30,000 Nigerians seeking asylum and they can’t guarantee they will get it. So, there is every possibility that they will be returned to Nigeria,” Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said.
She spoke at a program; “Developing a mixed migration strategy for UNHCR Nigeria” in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to her, the grounds for seeking asylum by the Nigerians were not genuine as “some who are from the East and West are saying they are running away from Boko Haram while some others say they are gays and were having challenges expressing themselves in Nigeria.”
The presidential SSA said a date has not yet been set for the deportation of the asylum seeking Nigerians.
“Germany has set up a team working with the ministry of foreign affairs to see how the whole process [of deportation] can be made easier,” she added.
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While noting that Germany is offering more scholarships and easier process of regular migration for Nigerians, she appealed to young Nigerians to watch out for those opportunities and take advantage of them.
“We are looking at the option of reverse migration also where you can actually stay in your country and enjoy everything you are migrating abroad to get,” Dabiri-Erewa added.
However, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has faulted the claims that there were 30,000 of its citizens as illegal migrants in Germany who are awaiting repatriation.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja recently, Tuggar said: “To begin with, we dispute that figure of 30,000. That is not the case. We do not have up to 30,000 Nigerian asylum seekers in Germany.”
Tuggar said that most of those who claimed to be Nigerians in Germany were not genuine, stressing that it is easy for other African nationals to claim to be citizens of Nigeria.