The Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Regine Hess, has said the Federal Government of Nigeria is not doing enough to address the socio-economic challenges facing the country. This, she said, was responsible for the desperation of many Nigerians to leave the country, risking their lives in the desert for better opportunities abroad.
Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after delivering a speech at the conference on irregular migration organised by the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on Tuesday, the envoy challenged the Federal Government to address the issues responsible for the exodus of Nigerians to Europe and other foreign countries.
Hess, who is also the deputy head of mission, German Embassy, noted that many Nigerians appeared not to see a future in their country, noting that people all over the world preferred to live in their country and among their own people. She said, “The big question is why do so many Nigerians want to leave Nigeria? Is it not a very hospitable country? Do they not see a future here? That seems to be the case and that is the conclusion you have to draw. So, the Nigerian government should try to look into this.
“They should make sure the Nigerian youths find a future in their own country. Most people all over the world would like to live in a country where they come from. They like to live with their family and friends.” The diplomat admonished the government to work harder and with the help from the international community and development corporations to create an enabling environment for Nigerians to live happily in their own country.
The German official said her country alongside other European nations had been sensitising migrants on the dangers of irregular migration, adding that there was a lot of rumours and false information about life in Europe. “Germany, with others, have started to sensitise them that travelling across the desert is far too dangerous. We welcome regular migration; irregular migration, we don’t welcome that much. If you are trying to find a job, come as a regular migrant,” she advised.
The Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, in his goodwill message, emphasised that the problem of irregular migration was complex and deserving of multi-stakeholders’ action. He counselled youths to moderate their ambitions and material expectations, cautioning them against the “get-rich-quick by all means syndrome.”