Germany yesterday warned President Muhammadu Buhari that many Nigerians do not see any future in the country.
It said Nigeria’s many socio-economic challenges are pushing Nigerians to risk their lives in an attempt to flee to Europe.
The Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Regine Hess, stated this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of a conference on irregular migration organised by the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.
Hess suggested that the Buhari government is not doing enough to address the country’s problems.
“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 youth 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,” she said.
Hess, who is also the deputy head of mission, German Embassy, advised Nigerians against travelling through the desert to get to Europe, saying it is too dangerous.
She said: “Germany, with others, has 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.”
This is not the first time Germany will be warning Nigeria.
Last year, a German Foundation, Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS), revealed that Nigerians are the third largest asylum seekers in Germany.
KAS Head of Department, European and International Cooperation, Dr Gerhard Wahler, said that the lack of an enabling environment continued to make Nigerians, especially youths, seek a better life in Europe hence, embarking on illegal migration.
He noted that the unprecedented population growth, the lack of economic development, increasing scarcity of land and resources, will continue to drive people away towards Europe.
He said: “Today, Nigerians are for example the third largest group of asylum seekers in Germany.”
Wahler added that the prevalence of terrorist groups in the region negatively affects development in Nigeria and the African region.
Nigeria is Germany’s second most important trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2018, German imports from Nigeria were worth 2.3 billion euros, while German exports to Nigeria were worth 860 million euros. Germany’s main exports to Nigeria are machinery, motor vehicles, chemical products and electrical goods.