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30 percent of Nigerians seeking Asylum in Belgium are from Edo – Official

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The Directorate General, Immigration Office, Belgium says about 30 percent of Nigerian migrants seeking Asylum in the country are from Edo State.

DAILY POST reports that Mr Freddy Roosemont, Director General, Directorate General, Immigration Office, disclosed this on Wednesday in Benin City during a press conference.

Roosemont, who described the development as worrisome, noted that it tarnishes the corporate image of the country and those involved.

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He said the press conference was organized by the Immigration Office of the Kingdom of Belgium in Collaboration with the Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI) based in Benin City to raise awareness of the negative impacts of irregular migration.

According to him, we have noticed that more and more Nigerians are seeking Asylum in Belgium. In 2022, about 370 Nigerians sought for Asylum while in 2023, about 360 also requested Asylum.

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

“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.

He explained that the awareness creation about safe migration in the state was necessitated by the high rates of people in Edo State involved in human trafficking and Asylum seekers in Belgium when compared to other states in Nigeria.

While noting that jobs in Belgium were already saturated, he urged Nigerians not to fall victim to human traffickers all in the name of helping them to get jobs in Belgium.

He added that the Belgium government was in support of legal migration, saying that about 5,000 Nigerians were living legally in the country.

On her part, Ruth Benson-Idahosa, Executive Director, PJI, solicited support from Non-Governmental Organisations on more awareness creation about safe migration initiatives.

Idahosa said Safe Travelling Awareness for At-riskYouth ( S.T.A.A.Y) is an initiative launched by the Belgium Ministry of Interior in partnership with PJI 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 telling Nigerians about skills and job opportunities in the country and the different organisations offering the opportunities”, she added.

30 percent of Nigerians seeking Asylum in Belgium are from Edo – Official

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