About 40 Nigerians have again been repatriated from the United Kingdom and Spain, a senior embassy official said on Thursday in London. Head of Immigration at the Nigerian High Commission in London, Mr. Lawal Isah, disclosed this in an interview with the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the deportees, who are due back in Nigeria today, consist of 40 persons from the UK, with an uncertain number from Spain. Isah said among those repatriated were people who had served jail terms in various prisons across the UK, and others arrested for illegal stay. He said the repatriation was a monthly exercise through a chartered return flight jointly organised by the High Commission and the UK Government.
Recall that 40 people were also deported in December, 2012. Reacting to the development, the Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, said the immigration service in Nigeria had been stopping those without proper documentation from travelling out of the country. "In 2012, 1,687 Nigerians without proper documentation were prevented from traveling out of the country. "However, some succeeded in escaping," Moro said.
The minister, who is on a facility monitoring visit in London, said Nigeria had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Austria, Slovakia and Germany to facilitate the return of those without legal rights to stay in those countries. "The essence of the MoU is to add some level of dignity to the way returnees are sent home so that they are not forced into detention. "These countries have further earmarked some funds for resettlement of repatriated Nigerians," he said.
"On our own part, we have proposal to complement these funds, so that returnees can be properly integrated back to society", Moro said. NAN reported that a similar migration partnership is in place between Nigeria and Switzerland.