Over 10,000 Nigerians have died on perilous trips to Europe and North Africa

FILE- In this Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 file photo, migrants and refugees wait to be helped by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as they crowd aboard a rubber boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea about 21 miles north of Sabratha, Libya. The EU made commitments Wednesday, July 5, 2017, to ease the migrant pressure on Italy and Greece by having other member states take in some of the refugees who have made the dangerous Mediterranean crossing, but several countries in eastern and central Europe have shown little or no appetite for doing so. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)

– As EU fights human trafficking in Africa with €47m

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, says over 10,000 Nigerians hav so far died on their way to other continents or regions. He also lamented that Nigerians lead in the pack of applications for asylum seekers rejected by European countries.

Saraki spoke at a roundtable conference in Benin on Migration and Human Trafficking in Benin-City, noted that the European countries rejected asylum since 2011, added that Nigerians accounted for nearly 100,000 applications, almost three times the number of any other African country.

While assuring that the Federal Government would adopt a carrot and stick approach in its commitment to put an end to the scourge of irregular migration and human trafficking in the country, he noted that government was losing sleep over irregular migration and human trafficking which has led to the death of over 10,000 Nigeria on the perilous journey in five months.

The senate president opined that as representatives of the people, they are determine to seek ways of addressing the problem.

“This is not a blame game. Let me make it abundantly clear that Nigeria is willing to collaborate with countries and international partners on irregular migration. We should be able to work out a carrot-and-stick approach that gives our people the incentive to stay on the continent and strive.

“Every human being deserves his or her own place in the sun – and for many, that place in the sun is here, in Africa – but they have to stay in order to find it,” he said.

Saraki, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative to immediately commence the repatriation of Nigerians stranded in countries such as Libya and being sold as slaves, promised that Nigeria was willing to collaborate with international countries and partners in its commitment to put an end to irregular migration in Nigeria.

He said the roundtable is intended to help identify how legislation and policy could be brought to bear in addressing the problem.

Speaking, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, on Monday said the EU has committed the sum of €47million to fight against human trafficking and irregular migration across the Africa continent.

Karlsen assured of the EU’s readiness to provide the needed assistance to end the scourge of human trafficking and irregular migration in the continent.

He added that in 2017, about 187,000 registered irregular migrants to Libya about 16 percent of them are from Nigeria.

In his welcome address, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said his government has been proactive in dealing with the issues of irregular migration and human trafficking in the state.

On his part, the Minister of Defense, Abdulrahama Danbazau said, not all migrants were illegal as money running into several billions of naira has been remitted to the country by Nigerian migrants working overseas.