About 9,000 Nigerians are in various prisons abroad, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru has said.
The highest number of 752 being in UK prisons while most them are in Asian-Pacific death row.
The minister, who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the presentation of mid-report, lamented that the major problem confronting the foreign policy was the predicament of Nigerians abroad.
In view of this, he said that there was need to device a strategy to proffer solution to the alarming numbers of Nigerians in detention abroad.
He said, “9,000 Nigerians are in various prisons all over the world, the highest number of 752 being recorded in the UK. One of the major challenges facing Nigeria’s foreign policy is the plight of Nigerians in prison abroad. Most of them are concentrated in the Asian-Pacific with many on them on death row. Given these alarming numbers and the imperative need to find creative solutions to the plight of these Nigerians.’’
Ashiru, while noting the predicament of Nigerians abroad, warned Nigerian citizens to desist from drug trafficking, adding that the sophisticated nature of airports around the world made it possible for them to be caught.
He said: “Airport in the world is very supplicated. If you carry any drug in your body or bags you will be found. Please Nigerians don’t carry drugs again, it tarnishes the image of our country.”
Also, the minister decried that another challenges facing the ministry is the funding of the staff missioners abroad, stressing that this has necessitated the reduction of staff abroad.