50% Of Nigerians Seeking Asylum In Belgium Are From Edo, Lagos - 9jaflaver

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50% Of Nigerians Seeking Asylum In Belgium Are From Edo, Lagos

    Posted by on February 1, 2024,

50% Of Nigerians Seeking Asylum In Belgium Are From Edo, Lagos

The Directorate General, Immigration Office, Belgium, Mr. Freddy Roosemont, has disclosed that approximately 30 percent of Nigerian migrants seeking asylum in the country are from Edo State.

Roosemont, who made the disclosure on Wednesday in Benin City during a press conference, added that no fewer than 20% of asylum seekers in the European country are from Lagos State.

Roosemont expressed concern over the development, stating that it tarnishes the image of Nigeria and those involved.

The press conference, organised by the Immigration Office of the Kingdom of Belgium in collaboration with the Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI) based in Benin City, aimed to raise awareness about the negative impacts of irregular migration.

We have noticed that more and more Nigerians are seeking asylum in Belgium. In 2022, about 370 Nigerians sought asylum, while in 2023, about 360 also requested asylum,” Roosemont said.

“30 percent are from Edo, 20 percent from Lagos, while the remaining 50 percent are from other states in Nigeria.”

Roosemont explained that some Nigerians arrive in Belgium legally, while others come through the Mediterranean Sea, adding that asylum is determined based on the Geneva Convention, and economic motives are not considered valid reasons for asylum.

“Some have come to Belgium by legal means while others came through the Mediterranean Sea.

“Once in Belgium, they apply for Asylum, but this makes little sense. Asylum is determined on the basis of the Geneva Convention and economic motives are not included”, he said

The high rates of human trafficking and asylum seekers from Edo State, compared to other Nigerian states, necessitated the creation of awareness about safe migration in the state.

Roosemont advised Nigerians against falling victim to human traffickers with false promises of employment in Belgium, noting that the Belgian job market is already saturated. He stated that the Belgian government supports legal migration and mentioned that about 5,000 Nigerians are living legally in the country.

Ruth Benson-Idahosa, Executive Director of PJI, called for support from Non-Governmental Organisations in creating more awareness about safe migration initiatives. She highlighted the Safe Travelling Awareness for At-risk Youth (S.T.A.A.Y) initiative, launched by the Belgium Ministry of Interior in partnership with PJI, which aims to provide safe travel awareness for Nigerian youths.

“People need to understand the reasons they need to stay in Nigeria. The initiative is also about informing Nigerians about skills and job opportunities in the country and the different organisations offering these opportunities,” Idahosa added.

Source:- Leadershipng

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