Germany, under the leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is preparing to deport approximately 14,000 Nigerians who have been residing in the country.
This move comes as Germany has seen a significant number of initial asylum applications from Nigerians in 2023, with a comparatively low recognition rate.
In response to this, the Nigerian authorities have been reluctant to accept individuals without proper identification documents, leaving around 12,500 Nigerians in Germany in a state of tolerance.
Germany’s Concerns and Nigerian Response:
For several years, Nigeria had been among the top ten countries of origin for asylum seekers in Germany, but the numbers have started to decrease. However, the recent surge in initial asylum applications from Nigerians in 2023 has raised concerns. Of the almost 14,000 Nigerians facing potential deportation, a vast majority lack proper identification documents.
Nigeria is willing to take them back “as long as they have behaved well,” but only if there is something in it for them.
Instead, we should stop the 640 million euros in development aid.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized the need for cooperation to address the deportation issue during discussions with Nigerian authorities.
He stated, “We are ready to enter into a partnership to improve migration,” and expressed Germany’s willingness to repatriate those who are Nigerian compatriots and have maintained good behavior.
The Role of Bola Tinubu:
During a joint press conference with Chancellor Scholz, Bola Tinubu engaged in discussions related to migration and deportation. While Tinubu made some evasive comments, he hinted at the possibility of a partnership to address the situation. He emphasized the willingness of Nigerian authorities to accept individuals back into the country, particularly those who can be identified as compatriots and have maintained good conduct.
The Nigerian authorities are currently not accepting replacement documents issued by Germany. This was also the topic of the conversation between Scholz and Tinabu. At the joint press conference, he made some evasive comments: “We are ready to enter into a partnership to improve migration,” he said. They are prepared to take people back if they are compatriots and “as long as they have behaved well.”
A Complex Issue:
The impending deportation of a significant number of Nigerians in Germany highlights the complexities of migration and the challenges faced by both countries involved.
The recognition of asylum applications, the lack of identification documents, and the need for cooperation are central themes in this ongoing issue.
As both Germany and Nigeria seek common ground on this matter, it remains to be seen how this situation will evolve and what conditions will be agreed upon to facilitate the return of these individuals to Nigeria.