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30% of Nigerian asylum seekers from Edo- Belgium immigration

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The Directorate General of the Immigration Office, Belgium, revealed that approximately 30 percent of Nigerian migrants applying for asylum in the country hail from Edo State. 

The Director General, Mr. Freddy Roosemont, made this disclosure during a press conference in Benin City, which was jointly organized by the Immigration Office of Belgium and the Pathfinder Justice Initiative .

Roosemont expressed concern over the situation, highlighting its negative impact on Nigeria’s reputation. He emphasized the need to address the issue of irregular migration and its consequences.

In his remarks, Roosemont stated that the number of Nigerians seeking asylum in Belgium has been increasing steadily. In 2022, around 370 Nigerians sought asylum, while in 2023, approximately 360 did the same. 

He noted that 30 percent of these applicants were from Edo State, 20 percent from Lagos, and the remaining 50 percent from other states across Nigeria.

“30 percent are from Edo, 20 percent are from Lagos, while the remaining 50 percent 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.

Roosemont emphasized that seeking asylum based on economic motives is not a valid reason under the Geneva Convention. 

He urged Nigerians not to fall prey to human traffickers promising job opportunities in Belgium, as the job market in Belgium is already saturated.

Ruth Benson-Idahosa, Executive Director of PJI, called for support from Non-Governmental Organizations to raise awareness about safe migration initiatives. 

She highlighted the “Safe Travelling Awareness for At-risk Youth (S.T.A.A.Y)” initiative, launched by the Belgium Ministry of Interior in partnership with PJI, aimed at educating Nigerian youths about safe travel and job opportunities within Nigeria.

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