Nigerian, German leaders discuss illegal migration

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday praised Germany’s accommodation of migrants and said Nigerian nationals who enter Europe unlawfully do so at their own risk.

“As an administration, we are not in support of (illegal migration),” Buhari told the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint news briefing in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

“About three weeks ago, we repatriated 3,000 Nigerians from Libya. They want to travel to Europe illegally. We do not support this and anybody caught is at his or her own risk.

“Any Nigerian found in Libya or anywhere on his way to Europe through illegal means will be brought home and we will send him back to the local government,” Buhari added.

Accompanied by top German officials and a business delegation, Merkel’s visit to Abuja marks the final leg of her working tour of three African countries that included Ghana and Senegal.

Buhari called for improved trade ties with Germany, saying Nigeria is politically stable and has the largest market in Africa. Buhari said his administration has concentrated on strengthening infrastructure like rail and road.

Merkel, for her part, called for an end to illegal migration.

She said Germany would help Abuja in the area of strengthening security, small businesses and technology transfer by deepening access to Nigerians wanting to study in her country.

“About 1,200 Nigerian students are studying in my country, we are making plans to increase that number,” Merkel said.

She also called for holding a “credible and peaceful” election in Nigeria next year.

The two leaders also signed agreements that covered immigration, trade and manufacturing.

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