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Number of Nigerians seeking asylum in Belgium increases

Freddy Rosemont, Belgium’s Director General of IBZ Federal Public Service and Home Affairs, has said that the number of Nigerians seeking asylum in his home country has increased.

While speaking at a press conference in Benin City where he announced the launch of a new information and awareness campaign aimed at discouraging illegal migration, Rosemont also expressed concern over the growing number of Nigerians, particularly from Benin City, engaging in illegal sex trade in Belgium.

He said this has pushed Belgian authorities into drafting policies to curb the tide. Rosemont said; “We have also noticed that more and more Nigerians are seeking asylum in Belgium. Some have come to Belgium by legal means, others taken way through the Mediterranean Sea.

“Once in Belgium, they apply for asylum, but make little sense. Asylum is determined on the basis of the Geneva Convention and economic motives are not included. Therefore, the recognition rate for asylum is very low and the chances of obtaining a residence permit are almost non-existence.

“We then see some trying to move to other countries within Europe, but there they will also see that they have already requested asylum in Belgium. Consequently, these European countries will send them back to Belgium from where they have to return to Nigeria.

“According to recent statistics from the Belgian authorities, the total number of Nigerians seeking asylum in Belgium has increased considerably, from 350 in 2022 to 370 in 2023.”

He also disclosed that at least five thousand Nigerians are living legally in Belgium. However, he also identified that the inability of applicants to provide genuine documents and proper documentation makes it cumbersome.

Rosemont urged Nigerians to stay in their own country and improve their lives rather than embarking on a journey that they are not sure of getting greener pastures.

He also said that his government would continue to enact strict control on immigration issues, warning that those who engage in illegal migration risk economic exploitation and arrest.

He said, “We urge Nigerians not to take on these dangers and take the time to see what is possible in their own country.”

 

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