We do not support illegal migration, Buhari tells German chancellor

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said his government does not support illegal migration and the Nigerians who risk their lives going through the desert and the Mediterranean.

Buhari said this in Aso Rock, Abuja at his meeting with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“Anybody who feels this country does not offer him what he should be offered as a citizen and decide to defy the desert and the Mediterranean is doing it at his own risk,” says Buhari.

Buhari said Nigerians who get stuck in Libya on their way to Europe would be sent to their local government area.

“We have made it very clear that we do not support anything illegal and indiscipline. But if he is stuck somewhere in Libya between his final destination and Nigeria, we will rescue him and bring him back home and send him back to his local government.”

He noted that 3,000 Nigerians stuck in Libya on their way to Europe were repatriated six weeks back.

Merkel, in her remarks in German, described Nigeria as a very important country in Africa, hence the need to maintain a cordial relationship.

She echoed her praise for Nigeria in producing food that is needed in the country as well as manufacturing Volkswagen cars.

The German chancellor declared her country’s interest to invest more in Nigeria, and other African countries to keep migrants from moving to Europe in search of opportunities.

She said currently, 12,000 Nigerians were studying in Germany through scholarships and her government intends to increase that number.

Merkel was accompanied to Nigeria by a German business delegation comprising German CEOs. Consequently, this German Economic team delegation held a meeting with the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and the German-Africa Business Association. Saratu Abubakar, deputy national president of NACCIMA, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Stefan Liebing of German Africa Business Association, signed on behalf of the German business delegation.

    Another agreement was also signed between the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Petkus Technologie GmbH, a company that specializes in a post-harvest agricultural value chain.

    Merkel is on a three-day tour through the West African. Before Nigeria, she had visited Ghana on Wednesday, and Senegal on Thursday.

    “We must not be accomplices of the people’s smugglers. We must fight illegality but also create legality and conditions for work here on the ground,” Merkel had said after a meeting with Senegal’s President Macky Sall, according to the Associated Press.

    This week two western leaders—the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Theresa May and the German Chancellor’s Angela Merkel— have visited the African Continent primarily for economic development support.

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