- Nigeria's ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar, has denied claims that there are up to 30,000 illegal Nigerian migrants in the Dutch country
- Tuggar said that most of those who claim Nigerian nationality in Germany are actually from other African countries
- He explained that the mission does not issue emergency travel certificate to persons who are married, with serious medical conditions or undergoing some kind of education
The nation's head of mission in Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has dismissed reports that there were 30,000 illegal Nigerian migrants in Germany awaiting repatriation.
Speaking about the issue to journalists in Abuja, Tuggar said: “To begin with, we dispute that figure of 30,000. That is not the case. We do not have up to 30,000 Nigerians asylum seekers in Germany.”
Before now, Jan Hecker, the security adviser to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the president of Germany, had on Tuesday, May 15, reported to Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, that the Dutch country has began plans for the repatriation of more than 30,000 illegal migrants, Vanguard reports.
The ambassador said that most of those who claimed to be Nigerians in Germany were possibly from other African countries.
Tuggar said: “We have a lot of walk-ins in the embassy, people coming in and say I am tired I want to go home, help me out, issue me an emergency travel certificate and we do immediately and they go back.
“But we have to be careful there as well because there is a tendency to just think that x number of Nigerians in Germany are illegal.
“You will find out that a lot of the people that are purported to be Nigerians are not even Nigerians. “We interview them and I personally I have participated in interviews of asylum seekers and you will find out that a lot of them come from other African countries.”
"What the world needs to realise also is that we Nigerians actually have a shock absorber; we take in a lot of migrants from other African countries. Some of them actually come here seeking for greener pastures.
"So it is not enough if you arrest someone on charges of being an irregular migrant or an illegal alien and you look at his phone and you see Nigerian phone numbers to just assume that he is a Nigerian that is not the case.
“Like I said, I have participated in interviews and these are joint interviews between Nigeria as represented by the Embassy and the German authorities including the German Federal Police. “
And, you will find out that in a lot of the interviews you have non-Nigerians and they themselves admit to us of not being Nigerians after they talked to us.”
He also revealed that the mission does not issue emergency travel certificate to migrants who have medical conditions that make them unfit to travel, adding that some of them are married or have children with German citizens or undergoing some sort of education.
“Now all these things that I have mentioned to you, if you were to issue an emergency travel certificate to such an individual and have him deported from German, you will be contravening German laws.
“These are not our laws to begin with. They have certain laws that preclude the deportation or expulsion of individuals that are undergoing treatment or have a particular ailment."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the German government had reportedly proposed a new system of repatriation called ‘Return and Re-admission’ aimed at facilitating the smooth return of about at least 30,000 Nigerian migrants who illegally entered the country.
Legit.ng gathered that Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign affairs minister, disclosed this on Tuesday, May 15, when he received the security adviser to the president of Germany, Jan Hecker, and his team in Abuja.
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