Indication has emerged that more than 12,000 Nigerians asylum seekers in Germany are likely to be deported in 2018.
The German Global Head of Programme, Migration and Development, Dr Ralf Sanftenberg, who stated this on Tuesday when he visited Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said this is so because German authorities will deny them asylum status.
Sanftenberg, leader of delegation from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, was on a site assessment mission for assisted-voluntary returnees of Nigerian irregular migrants in Germany.
The mission coordinate centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), which offers returning expert services support that targeted knowledge transfer.
“We have over 37,000 Nigerians in Germany and more than 12,000 of them are asylum seekers.
“There is a little chance for their applications to be moved and they may be forced to come back to Nigeria next year,” he said.
He said that 99 per cent of them were likely to be denied asylum status because Nigeria is not among war countries.
Sanftenberg, however explained that if they were willing to return voluntarily they would not be forced back or deported but would be assisted through a support programme organised by Germany.
“We provide services for the retuning migrants in Nigeria, we can provide training for entrepreneurship.
“We have provided for several other countries in the field of migration policy actually we want to find out to establish migrant services in Nigeria
“we are not focusing on returnees, what we are doing is to support the returnees to be reintegrated,” he said.
Another member of the delegation who is a consultant to the programme, Ms Stphania Alofokhia-Ghogomu, urged Nigerians seeking for asylum in Germany to return home.
Alofokhia-Ghogomu, who also a voluntary returnee, said she had spent half of her life in Germany and had to tome come back to contribute to development of Nigeria.
She said she was a beneficiary of the CIM with a two years top up salary at the Federal University Otuoke, that helped her to reintegrate when she came back.
According to her most of the seekers are not likely to be given asylum status because Nigeria is not war country, and when they are denied they go into illegality.
“And that is the situation, though if they chose to come back voluntarily they can get into the reintegrated programmes that are already available for them.
“But the if they refused to come back voluntarily they will be deported, and if they are deported they cannot go back to any EU countries in the next five years.
“That is why it is advised to return voluntarily because they can always apply and go back to the place,” she said.
Dabiri Erewa commended German Chancellor, Angel Merkel for how she was addressing the challenge of illegal migrant in the country.
“So we will look forward to seeing what you want to do in terms of setting up German migrant services in Nigeria,” She said.
The presidential aide therefore called on Nigerians facing deportation in Germany to come back home and take advantage of the opportunity provided by German Government to assist them.
“For Nigeria in Germany who wants to return there is a better place for them at home to help them live a better live.
“Germany has the ministry of internal affairs and have budget for the returnees, and there are services that will be provided through Germany that they can enjoy,” she said.